Five Reasons You Need To Use A Primer (Plus Some Of My Current Faves)

If you don’t own at least one makeup primer, then you’re really missing out on the secret to a flawless and long-wearing base. Although we often try to reduce the amount of products we apply to our face, in the constant search for minimal beauty, sometimes adding a touch of something new can make the world of difference to your overall routine: primer is the perfect example. Many people skip this step because they’re confused as to how to use a primer, what benefits it can bring or even if it’s worth the investment – but it 100% definitely is. Integrating this quick and easy step into your morning routine can offer a world of difference; all you need to do is apply a thin layer over your skincare and beneath your foundation, focusing on the t-zone and chin in particular. I also like to apply a touch under my eye area to ensure fine lines are concealed as much as possible, as well as using on eyelids to enhance the performance of my eye makeup. Here are the five reasons you need to start using a primer today:

1. Helps Makeup To Last
The basic function of a primer is to aid the performance of a base; it both provides a surface on which your foundation can grip on to, as well as creating a barrier between skin and makeup that helps to reduce oiliness. If you need your makeup to last all day (and even all night,) then investing in a great primer is the first step towards foundation nirvana. 

2. Blurs Fine Lines & Imperfections
The silicone nature of many primers helps to brush over fine lines and imperfections so they’re not as prominent. The formula ‘sits’ in the gaps that would have been taken up by your base, helping foundation to look a lot smoother and reduce caking throughout the day. I personally love adding a touch of primer under my eyes to reduce the fine lines that are starting to appear and cause concealer to move about.

3. Reduces The Appearance Of Pores
One of the biggest concerns amongst women is the appearance of pores – particualrly around the nose area. Despite what many makeup or skincare products claim, you can’t close pores; however, you can reduce the appearance and help them to shrink a little to give a much better overall appearance. A primer will help to conceal pores and again prevent makeup from sitting in them, which makes them even more visible.

4. Colour Corrects
If you’re concerned about redness, dullness or uneven skintone, then a primer may be a great place to start. Many formulas contain colour correcting formulas or tints, including violet to reduce dullness and green to conceal redness; using a primer pre-foundation can help give skin a boost and ensure it’s looking fabulous.

5. Enhances Performance
There’s nothing worse than spending hours perfecting your smokey eye look, drawing in striking red lips or contouring yourself into a Kardashian, only for it all to fall apart a few hours later. Using a primer can enhance the performance of products and ensure they stay put so they can be as effective as possible; from long-lasting eyeshadows, to hydrating lipsticks and creamy blushers, adding a primer can help them perform as intended without the skin’s natural oils messing things up.

Since I’ve been introduced to primers I’ve become a little bit addicted. Applying foundation straight onto skin now feels a little odd, while my base sans primer simply doesn’t look or feel as good. The first primers I ever used included Benefit’s Porefessional (£24.50) and Bare Minerals’ Prime Time, both of which are still firm favourites years later – their silicone formula melts onto skin and is completely invisible, making them perfect for a first timer. When I want to inject some brightness into my look I always start with my primer; Clinique’s Superprimers (£20.00) and YSL’s CC Cream Forever Light (£30.50) formulas both provide colour correcting qualities that are great under foundation. The colours may look a little intimidating, but once applied and blended with foundation you’ll see nothing but beautiful skin. If you’re after a much lighter texture, then NARS (£26.00) and Laura Mercier (£29.00) offer lightweight creamy textures that are a lot less intimidating and easier to apply; both are oil free too, making them great for oilier complexions. However, if you’re after a budget buy then Rimmel’s Lasting Finish (£6.99) and MaxFactor’s Facefinity (£10.99) are both equally as effective and much friendlier on the purse; I use both regularly and they really help my foundation to apply even more effectively.

Are you a fan of makeup primers? Do you have any favourites, or are you a fan of mine?

Features PR samples unless otherwise stated. To read my full disclaimer, click here.  




  1. Philippa
    March 31, 2015 / 2:33 pm

    I really like using a primer, wouldn't be without one these days! (:ABlogByPhilippa

  2. luce ellen
    March 31, 2015 / 3:32 pm

    Lovely post! I never skip primer anymore. My favourites are Smashbox which makes my skin feel amazing, but I also have the same Rimmel one as you've written about and it's much more easier on the bank balance. lucy | luceellen xxx

  3. Chloe x
    March 31, 2015 / 3:38 pm

    I love the Bare Minerals Brightening Primer, it smooths out my skin and adds a beautiful sheen, really great for anyone that wants that 'inner glow' effect!

  4. Kathryn Liquid Grain
    March 31, 2015 / 4:29 pm

    I think Maybelinne's Baby Skin is a great dupe for Porefessional, and actually lasts longer!

  5. Lily
    March 31, 2015 / 4:38 pm

    This was such an amazing post. I use primer daily, but I can never have too many. Thank you for the recommendations

  6. Alisha A
    March 31, 2015 / 5:28 pm

    I love using a primer, I can really see the difference.Alisha x

  7. Ciara Pollock
    March 31, 2015 / 6:10 pm

    I love Benefit's Porefessional primer, it makes my skin feel amazing!Ciara x | Ciara Pocket

  8. Rhianna Bailey
    March 31, 2015 / 7:07 pm

    Thankyou for the tips! I will invest in a budget option before going all out! xxThat Girl Rhianna

  9. Anonymous
    March 31, 2015 / 7:27 pm

    Really good post! Reminded me to wear primer a bit more often. I have Porefessional and a primer by Make up forever- both are pretty good. Zahra |

  10. Saloca
    March 31, 2015 / 8:07 pm

    Porefessional and Laura Mercier have been my favourite primers for a long time, probably the best products I ever discovered in a beauty subscription box! I'd also add that if you like your eye make up, use a separate, specific eye primer, BareMinerals Prime Time for eyes get's my vote every time!Sarah :)Saloca in Wonderland

  11. Leanne Dolan
    March 31, 2015 / 8:34 pm

    I cant believe there was once a time that I didnt use a primer! Won't go without it now! โ€‹Leanne x My new blog post… The A to Z of blogging

  12. Kat @ Cherries In The Snow Beauty Blog
    March 31, 2015 / 9:43 pm

    I'm yet to find the perfect primer for my oily skin. I've tried silicone ones, but they feel too much for the day time. I've given the Max Factor and Rimmel ones a try but they didn't hold back the oil as much as I would want.The search for a perfect primer is still on!Kathryn /Cherries in the Snow

  13. Emily Brookes
    April 1, 2015 / 10:44 am

    Wow, I had no idea how important primers are! I do have a couple of primers, but I have never really used them properly I'm definitely going to try and start using them now!Emily xxEmily May Designs

  14. Laura Brooks
    April 1, 2015 / 2:00 pm

    I'm a big primer fan to and don't skip it at all anymore: I use the Laura mercier one at the moment but I might try the YSL cc one you have mentioned to see how that performs: great post, Laura xx

  15. Anonymous
    April 1, 2015 / 3:10 pm

    I use the Shu Uemura primer which is a mousse – it completely freaked me out at first as it was like putting hair mousse on your skin, but I can't believe what a difference it makes. It really sets my foundation all day.

  16. Chaste & Beautiful
    April 2, 2015 / 5:13 pm

    I love they way, you have written about primers. I've heard a lot about the Mac factor and the Rimmel one. I might try the Rimmel one. But currently I'm obsessing over L'oreal lumi magique

  17. Jasmine Stewart
    April 2, 2015 / 8:08 pm

    I don't know what I was doing before I started using primer but now I can't be without it! I like Benefit Porefessional, Smashbox Photofinish and Body Shop Instablur the best ๐Ÿ™‚ xx Magpie Jasmine | Zoeva Brush Set Giveaway

  18. Becky Smith
    April 4, 2015 / 12:12 am

    I have to admit I've never been a huge fan of primers because as of yet I haven't really found one that has wowed me and made me think it's a vital step in my makeup application. More recently I have got my hands on a Laura Mericer primer and it's definitely the best one I've tried so far, but I'm still not sure I'm blown away by it x Becky @ The Little Blog of Beauty

  19. sampan_27
    April 14, 2015 / 11:10 am

    I am addicted to POREfessional. It is so lovely! Got my manager addicted and she came in one day saying "Feel my face" hahaha! Definitely worth using a primer. I have now seen the light!

  20. Zoe
    June 9, 2015 / 8:22 am

    Hi Hayley, I don't really wear foundation, would you recommend that I still use a primer?Love your blog! Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Hayley Carr
      June 9, 2015 / 9:54 am

      Primers are good if you're using makeup – you don't have to without, but they can help prevent shine if you're prone to a bit of oil in the afternoon!

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