Are makeup primers necessary?


Hello lovelies, I hope you’re having a great week! For some reason makeup tutorials flooded my Youtube subscriptions page recently and while trying to watch all of them I realized that primers are the thing these days. There wasn’t a single tutorial in which some kind of a face primer wasn’t applied. But are primers really that necessary or is it just a useless product?

Face primers

They are generally supposed to smooth the skin and prep it for makeup application, help the makeup stay longer and look better on the skin as well as cater our skin’s needs by either moisturizing it or mattifying. Most of the primers are based on silicones (or contain solely silicones) but some of them are, for instance, oil or glycerin based. Silicone-y primers mainly smooth our skin making it look almost photoshopped and help certain types of foundation look better – usually the lighter, more runny ones meant for normal to dry skin. Primers without silicones don’t smooth the skin that much but they make a heavy foundation blend like a dream and keep it from looking cakey.

Even though it may sound that a primer is a must-have, I think that a good moisturizer can do exact same things. If we want our skin to be smoother and mattified we can choose one of the silicone-based moisturizers and if we need more hydration we can also switch to a richer moisturizer and there won’t be a need for an additional product. My personal favourite to use as a base for heavy makeup (underneath my Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation) is Cetaphil DA Ultra moisturizer that is based on glycerin. You probably remember the famous trick for using Nivea post-shave balm as a primer that was popularized by Nikkie Tutorials on Youtube – it works so well because it’s main ingredient is glycerin that helps the foundation stick to the face and stay flawless all day.

Pros for face primers:

-help the makeup stay longer

-make the skin look smoother

-make the foundation blend better (if the primer-foundation combo is right)

-additional moisturizing/mattifying

-can help the makeup look better in photographs

Cons for face primers:

-additional layer on the face

-usually comedogenic/acnegenic

-additional step and expense

-usually can be replaced with using the right moisturizer as a base

I think that sometimes face primers can be really useful, for example on special occasions when we need the makeup to look flawless for many hours or at photoshoots, but overall I don’t think it’s necessary to have one in an everyday makeup bag because the right moisturizer can work as a perfect base for makeup. However, everything depends on individual preferences and skin’s needs.

Eyeshadow primers

These are definitely more of my cup of tea than face primers! They are meant to prevent creasing, fall out and fading of the eye makeup and a good primer does all that. I’ve used eyeshadows without any primer a few times just to check how the makeup will look and the difference was huge! Without a primer, eyeshadows that I normally love faded so quickly. To show the difference, I swatched one of the shadows from my favourite Too Faced Chocolate Bar palette – once without a primer and once on the Urban Decay Primer Potion and then rubbed the swatches with my hand:

Too Faced Chocolate Bar and Urban Decay Primer Potion base in Eden, unedited swatches

I guess the photos speak for themselves here haha! Eyeshadow applied on a primer looks much more intense and sticks to the skin. After rubbing the swatches, eyeshadow applied without a primer disappeared almost completely and the one swatched on a primer – stayed put even though it looks blended and faded a bit.

Are eye primers necessary then? I think so! Any shadows applied on top of a good primer (my all-time fave is Urban Decay Primer Potion) look much more intense than without it. A primer helps them stay put all day or night as well, preventing creasing or fall out. To me it’s a real must-have in a makeup bag. The only con I could list here would be an additional expense and step in doing makeup but I think it’s worth it.

Do you use face and eye primers? What do you think of them, are they a must-have?

10 Comments Add yours

  1. This is a really interesting post which I still don’t know the answer to! I use primers occasionally, but I’m just so terrified that they’re really going to clog up my skin. It’s good to know there are good quality primers out there though that help to prevent this x

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you 🙂 Exactly!


  2. thepoppyproject says:

    Hi! I just started blogging again and have only written two posts at this time, but am hoping I can get people to take a look at them to perhaps give me any pointers on how to improve my posts! I would love it if you would take a look for me!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for stepping by, xx

      Liked by 1 person

  3. ayrgalaxy says:

    I love this post! I too don’t think face primers are a must for everyday makeup, although they do help make it last for hours.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you :* I totally agree! It’s best to reach for them on more special occasions or very long days, xx


  4. Jani V says:

    I only prefer primers in areas where my pores are visible because it helps to minimize them, other than that I agree. Before I delved back into the makeup world recently I had never used primers.
    GREAT post ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. They definitely do the the job in minimizing pores! Unfortunately if I use any primer on the more problematic areas of the face they break me out the next day 😦 Thank you so much! xx

      Liked by 1 person

  5. For me, I think eye primers are a must have because my eyelids get slightly oily. My face though, it’s kind of toss up. Sometimes I can do without it, but when it’s warmer…I need it! otherwise my foundation gets a bit oily.


    Liked by 2 people

    1. They definitely help in keeping oily skin matte! Thank you for reading, xx

      Liked by 1 person

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