Makeup · Skincare

To Prime or NOT to Prime

Some people swear by primer and others don’t believe in its use at all! So what is it? Do we splurge a little extra and add another step to our makeup routine or do we skip it all together? Well I am going to give you suggestions and advice from my own personal experience. 

*What works for me may not work for you, and vice versa. You honestly just need to test it yourself but hopefully this post will help speed up this process for you 🙂 *

The first step you should ALWAYS have for your makeup routine is MOISTURISER! Whether you have oily, dry, normal or acne…you still need to moisturise.

There is a thing I hear a lot “Moisturising will reduce how much oil you produce.” I have oily skin and acne and I do not believe this claim. However, using moisturiser doesnt increase the oil on my skin. 

What this step does is ensure your face is smooth and preped for makeup…but isn’t this what primer is supposed to do?

Primer can be really cheap, or really expensive so is it really worth buying them when a cheap moisturiser can do the job for you?

With my oily skin I have tried a good amount of primers including Milk of Magnesia (MoM), so continue reading for my opinions on each 🙂

Milk or Magnesia

If you have oily skin like me, MoM (the PLAIN one NOT flavoured) may be a holy grail for you. It keeps oil at bay and I was matte basically all day! However, I do not use it anymore as 1. We don’t know the long term affects magnesia could have on our skin. Especially being worn all day. 2. The white finish it gave my face made me have to work harder to cover it with foundation. 3. It sometimes made my foundation patchy. 

Overall, the cons outweighed the benefits for me so I do not recommend. It’s also difficult to get in the UK, so you will have to buy abroad and it can get a little pricey. 

And hey, it doesn’t look too great having a laxative on your makeup table haha.

Benefit Porefessional

I’m going to cut to the chase with this one. OVER RATED. Maybe I just don’t have big pores thst need filling but I definitely didn’t find any ‘benefit’ from using it. I just don’t understand the hype…

It has a slight tint to it but it blends away so pale or dark skin, you don’t need to worry, the colour will dissapear. It does have a silky feel to it, so this can help make a smooth base for your foundation to go onto. Smoothing…though again just having. A good moisturising ritual can do this for you…

It’s £26…I could get myself a decent foundation for this price. I don’t think it’s worth it honestly. 

Smashbox Photo Finish

Again, straight to the point. I wouldn’t buy it again. 

It gave me a nice smooth base to work with, again I’m going to say a moisturiser will do this. I found I got oily as fast as usual, or maybe even faster…

It was so hyped so I was disappointed to see it didn’t work for me. My foundation didn’t last any longer. It just didn’t do anything for me really.

Again it may have worked for some others and it may just be my skin. So if you really want to give it a try, go for it. Though it is pricey at £26. You could just buy a really decent moisturiser that will benefit your skin more.
I do want to try the green one though. They sell several colours. Green cancels out red therefore it should cancel out my acne redness. So I will be looking to buy that sometime in the future though I am not hopeful it will work. 

L’oreal Magic Perfecting Base

I…loved this. It mattified my skin and I loved it. However, this was before I used moisturiser and it was a few years ago because sadly my local boots doesnt have it anymore! I never thought to look anywhere else for it or order it online but from what I can remember it was good

It is thick, and I would use my finger to scoop it out of the pot. It lasted a long time and I went through two pots, so something must have been good! 

If you can find it I definetly recommend! Though I feel like it wouldn’t be as great for dry skin. So I recommend you definetly moisturise, leave to soak in for 10 minutes then do the primer. I recommend this for everyone but especially those with dry skin!

No7 Beautifully matte 😦 discontinued

This was my all time favourite. It was super thick, and reminded me of MoM as if you didn’t blend enough it would leave some white on my skin. I had to make sure to blend it or it would cause so many problems. From uneven foundation to patches where mg makeup would stick more than in other places.

But it controlled my oil and was much easier to use than MoM. Sadly…it was discontinued as with everything I love. Typical isn’t it. 

I do hope this helps a little. My overall conclusion is that primers just aren’t worth it and unless you’re having some trouble with your makeup such as pores or it not lasting as long as you want then I definetly recommend checking out some primers. They may work for you! However, for the majority of us, even those with oily skin…we can get away with no primer. Its a waste of money in most cases. 

My current go to moisturiser: try and get something with SPF as it will really benefit your skin in the future by protecting it from the sun 🙂 Don’t skip MOISTURISER!

-Hidden Shadows


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