I used to think primers were invented to encourage me to part with more of my money until I was given (no cash required) Givenchy’s MISTER MAT. One very warm summers day this new product slowed down the process of my clients foundation from turning (oxidising which results in the colour ‘turning’ a shade darker). Since then I now use primers on most shoots. Don’t get me wrong, primers do not stop you from perspiring or your body temperature from rising but due to this layer between the skin and make-up I feel it slows down the process of affecting the appearance of foundation, therefore looking fresher for longer.
I’ve found a simple explanation for primers on Wikipedia in the decorating section which I often like to quote, just replace the words material with skin and paint for foundation…A primer is a preparatory coating put on materials (the skin) before painting (foundation). Priming ensures better adhesion of paint (foundation) to the surface, increases paint (foundation) durability, and provides additional protection for the material (skin) being painted.
There are treatment primers which in the main are colourless i.e. mattifying; nourishing; hydrating; SPF and then there are what I refer to as the cosmetic types i.e. illuminating; colour enhancing; colour correcting. For this months hero I’m focusing on the colourless kind.
Givenchy’s Mister Mat was where my appreciation for primers started. As I mentioned earlier, one very warm summers day I feared my clients (who was an oily skin type and facing a long day ahead) foundation would simply not stay and loose its freshness very quickly, so out of despair I grabbed the Mister Mat thinking I may as well give it a go; what have I got to loose? My foundation did not turn and from that moment on I was sold. As for Mister Smooth it does exactly what is says on the tube, it really does improve the appearance of uneven pores. Its texture is a little bit drier than others although it does not dry up on the skin. I apply this all over or where ever the skin texture is uneven. It’s especially great for medium to full coverage foundation, liquid or cream.
NARS Smooth and Protect Primer is a great one for outdoor shoots because of the high SPF. High SPF’s can leave a slight white film on the skin but I’ve used this on a wide variety of skin colours and shades with no residue.
SMASHBOX Photo finish iconic Prmer Stick is my trusted primer especially when working on men. The texture of a man’s skin is generally not as refined as a woman’s and the tiniest amount of product can look obvious. This Smashbox primer mattifies wether applied under or over make-up and the latter stops me from over powdering.
I like the texture of Erborian’s Pink perfect Crème, it works well on all skin types because it has an even balance of not being too creamy or dry in texture. It also leaves a soft focus effect on the skin due to the added benefit of a slight pearly glow, I don’t find it illuminating though, just radiant.
Images Jason Yates