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

Makeup · Skincare

Foundation: Pale Skin and Full coverage

Foundations are such a pain in the ass. Too light, too dark, too pink, too yellow. So many things to think about before buying a foundation.

This is especially difficult for people with pale or dark skin as the majority of companies only make shades for the majority to save money.

The lightest shades are very often not light at all, and usually tend to be orange. Then when you do find a light shade, you find it’s the wrong undertone. (Its cheaper to make pink undertones than yellow).

So here are my suggestions. These will be medium-full coverage foundations, I hope they help.

Drugstore brand: Revlon colourstay £12.99

I have acne and oily skin, and this was my holy grail foundation for years. The lightest shade is ivory, it has pink undertones and sadly my undertones are yellow-neutral. So I had to use the next shade up which is Buff. I found it covered my acne to a standard I liked and looked good even with my oily skin. It looked more dewy by the end of the day rather than a frying pan.

It lasted me a 9 hour day out and about, I didn’t blot and maybe if I did it would have lasted longer. It comes in oily to combination form and dry to normal. So whatever your skin type this would be a great foundation for you. I did once accidently buy the normal to dry form and I…hated it. Weirdly it was slightly thinner and I felt even the shade was a little off. The oily one has a thicker feel (in my opinion) and it felt like more coverage. 

It is the best drugstore foundation I have used. After 4+ hours there’s some slight break up on the crease of my nose, chin and under eyes which I get with most foundations. It isn’t noticeable though unless you look for it.

However, I have stopped using it as it oxodised (this is common for oily skin) so when I didn’t blend down my neck it was noticeable. If I ever need a quick foundation though, it is still on my list of best foundations to buy.

Mid-brand: Mac Studio Fix Fluid £23.50

This is my current foundation. For the longest time I used shade nc15. 

NC is neautral leaning yellow undertones.

NW is neutral leaning pink undertones

The smaller the number, the lighter the shade. I used Nc15 and went about a year without anyone telling me it was too dark for my skin. Bitches.

So I switched to NW10. (There was no NC10.) It was a good match, besides the pink undertone. But it was better than NC15. So that is what I used for a long time until *sobs with happiness* NC10 was released. This is my favourite foundation.

A lot of people don’t bug Mac because it “causes acne”. This is not true. A foundation can not cause acne for everyone. Yes, you may use it and it breaks you out, but it is different for everyone!

I have acne and it doesn’t break me out more or less. It covers my acne pretty well, though I have to use about 6 pumps (however I need this much for all foundations). I need a new bottle every 3 months, but if you have less severe acne then it will last you so much longer.

It matches beautifully to my skin. I did have trouble with it breaking up around my mouth. It looked terrible, creasing where I would smile and separating on my chin. However I have found this was due to the powder I was using :O. I used rimmel stay matte. And recently ran out so bought NO7 loose powder in translucent. My foundation looked flawless for so much longer and less cakey. I kept looking in the mirror I loved it so much. So powder is important!

*also like to add I don’t use primer. I do however moisturise with simple 30spf.* 

If you use primer make sure it’s leading ingredients are the same as your foundation. If your foundation is water based, use a water based primer or your foundation is going to break up like crazy.

High End: Estee Lauder Double Wear £32.50

I was matched to…desert beige. Oh my god. I looked insane. Returned it and I was then matched to Ecru. Still too dark. Then I took action myself. I bought cool bone. Too dark. Then I found shell (not available in USA) it has a pink undertone but it looked okay

Usually, people can use shades that look too dark but when blended on their faces it matches. However for me, because I have to build so much my face will look the shade of the foundation inside the bottle. If that makes sense.

I used all of 1c0 shell. Then for Christmas my mum bought me some as a gift in shade 1n1. This is a neautral shade and I finished all this and bought another! There was a mild demarcation line if I didn’t blend but I could handle it. It covered my acne in two layers using a beauty blender.  

One of my all time favourites. However, I can not afford this so often. I am a student after all haha.  However, Mac is the better shade match for me.

If you have oily skin, you make do what I do and bake the fuck out of your face with powder. This results in the dreaded cake face. I recommend using a good amount of mousturiser even if you have oily skin, then finish with a few (or in my case a bottle) of Mac prep and prime. It takes away a lot of the powder residue on the face 🙂

Hope this helped anyone

-Hidden Shadows