To prime or not to prime? That is the question.

The answer is yes. Prime. Always prime.

Priming isn’t just for walls anymore, its for your face, lips, and eyes. The cosmetics industry has come a long way since the days of big hair and blue eyeshadow, a.k.a. the 80’s. Undoubtedly one of the biggest strides that have been made is the commercialized use of make-up primers.

A beautiful complexion is skin that is clear, flawless, and smooth! While you may think it’s dependant on you choice of foundation, the secret for creating complexion perfection is priming your skin prior to make up application. Primers form a thin layer between your skin and make up to smooth out fine lines, wrinkles, and minimize the appearance of larger pores. This helps to create an even, flat canvas.

Foundation primers prepare your skin by creating a soft, smooth, and supple surface that allows for make up to blend effortlessly, bind to the skin, and last all day! Like me, you’re probably wondering how you ever managed to live without one.

With so many primers on the market now, how can you decided which one is right for you? Let me help you.

The Primer Grade Sheet

Olay Simply Ageless Serum Primer ($15.99) – A

I am such a sucker for smart beauty, this primer is the epitome of that! It will leave you with a very dewy, moisturized finish that lasts all day.

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer ($27.99)- D-

This is one of the most controversial products in the industry, you either love it or you hate it. Personally, I’m not a fan. The main ingredient is silicone which gives a silky feel, however the staying power of this primer does not exceed two hours. Not to mention the faulty packaging.

Bare Escentuals Prime Time ($21)- A-

This primer is infused with vitamins that combat flaky skin, rough patches, fine lines, and excess oil. It works best with powder foundations, and is good for sensitive skin.

Laura Mercier Foundation Primer ($30) – B+

This is a water based gel primer that lasts and hydrates, it is a simple formula that works well on most skin types.

Make-Up Forever HD Primer ($32) – C+

I had high hopes for this one, I was ultimately let down with the formula, its very thin  and absorbs immediately into the skin, keeping it from benefiting make-up application.

Cargo Mattifier ($24) – A+

Anyone with oily skin will adore this, its silicone based and glides effortlessly over the skin to conceal fine lines and minor imperfections as well as keeping excess oil at bay.

Stila One Step Correcter ($36)- B

This primer is supposed to help every skin concern from brightening to color correcting. However it mainly manages to correct minor color imperfections, it does not help the longevity of your make-up.

Benefit That Gal ($28) – B+

This primer’s claim to fame is that it brightens a sallow complexion, and it actually does! The pink shade is not suitable for complexions with red undertones, but for everyone else it is an exceptional primer.

Cover FX Skin Prep FX ($45) – A+

Another smart primer, this is infused with ingredients that reduce skin inflammation and suitable for sensitive skin. It’s also oil, and fragrance free, AND it won’t clog your pores.

Revlon Beyond Natural Smooth Primer – B

The main ingredient in this is Dimethicone, it leaves the skin feeling so smooth, the only drawback is that you need quite a bit of this making it last about a month per tube.

Rimmel Foundation Primer ($6.89) – B

Aside from an odd color this primer has a decent pay-off and is perfect for someone on a budget.

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