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Back to Basics: What is a Primer? | MUNAZZA BANGASH

A lot of the times, we assume that all the beginners are aware of every tiny detail about a particular product as we do. We think that they’re familiar with every terminology that we know, and understand every jargon that we use. But we forget that as beginners, these were the same things that used to confuse us. So, today we are going back to basics. Here is everything (in my knowledge) that you need to know about primers.

Note: I am not a chemist or a dermatologist. I only share the very basic knowledge I have about whatever topic is being discussed.

What is a Primer?

A primer is a thin layer between your skin and your foundation that helps the rest of the makeup to sit better on the skin. It is the fine line between makeup and skin care. Long lasting makeup, smooth surface, evened out skin tone are some of the perks of using a primer.

Kinds of Primer

There is a primer for everything. But to keep it simple, there are 3 kinds of Makeup Primers.

  1. Eye Primer: This primer is worn underneath your eye shadows to make the colors pop, to prevent facial oil from ruining the look, to prevent lines in the eye look and to make it last longer.
  2. Lip Primer: Lip primer is used for the same purpose. It makes the lipstick look a lot smoother, intense and makes it last longer. It can also make the lips look plumper.
  3. Face Primer: Face primer is used on the rest of your face. Today, we’ll be talking about the Face Primers.

Types of Primers

Based on the ingredients, primers have three basic types.

  1. Oil Based Primer: These are made especially for dry skin. The primer will deeply moisturize the skin to create a softer surface for further makeup application.
  2. Water Based Primer: This is suitable for both dry and oily skin types. It moisturizes the skin a normal amount and creates a beautiful base for foundation.
  3. Silicon Based Primer: This is mostly for oily skin type; especially the skin with larger pores. This fills the pores and wrinkles, and makes the skin look and feel smoother, and reduces texture.

Note: To find out what the primer’s (or any other product’s) base is then take a look at the ingredients; the first few words will give you an idea of what the product is like. If it is oil based, the first words would be the names of different types of oils; if it is water based the first word would be “aqua” and if it is silicon based, the first few words would be the names of chemicals.

According to their nature and finish, we have two types of primers.

  1. Mattifying: Primers that leave skin tight, powder like, and without the trace of oil. This is best suited for oily skin types, and for special occasions that ask for a long lasting wear.
  2. Moisturizing/Dewy: These are best suited for dry skin types. This will leave the skin soft and smooth, and is great for everyday wear as it will take care of the skin as well. This leaves the skin dewy and glowing.

Tip: The best way to make good use of primers is to use the appropriate one on different parts of the face. So, for example, if your cheeks has large pores, use silicon based primer on the pores, and the rest of your face is dry, then use a moisturizing primer on the rest of the skin.


Q. Which comes first, moisturizer or primer?
A. Moisturizer is skin care. It gives the skin the nutrients that it needs. Primer is the layer between skin care and makeup. So, technically, the moisturizer goes first.

Q. Can I use face primer on my eyes?
A. For the most part, you can. But it will never be as effective as the eye primer. Use a concealer instead.

Q. How to make the primer most effective?
A. Apply the primer with your fingers and push it into the skin. Don’t rub it too hard on your face. Let the primer sit on your skin for at least five minutes before going in with your foundation.

Q. Why do some primers make me too white?
A. Some primers have sunscreen in them that when the sunlight hits your face, it turns white! It is called Titanium Dioxide. Try using primers that have less of this.

Q. Can I layer primer on top of other primer?
A. Of course! Layering primers is a useful technique when it comes to achieving a flawless base. But it should be done carefully as to not leave your skin looking like a plastic.

And that’s it. I hope you guys enjoyed this post. Leave a comment for more!

Thank you so much for hanging out with me!
Munazza Bangash

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