How to Apply Primer Like a Pro: 5 Easy Steps

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​We’ve all been there. You finish your morning beauty routine, you step outside feeling gorgeous, then you happen upon your reflection a little after lunch only to see your foundation has completely run down. What a way to shoot down a woman’s confidence.

Making sure your makeup last the entire day can be a challenge. Sweat, oil, pollution all contributes to your makeup going from on-point to melted out after just a few hours.

So what’s the secret to keeping your face looking fresh all day? It’s simple: makeup primer.

Chances are, you’ve already spotted a few primers at the cosmetics corner before but chose to overlook it.

Before trying out my first tube, I always thought primers were just for makeup artists, celebrities, models, and other people who need to pile on a ton of product on a daily basis. Since I mostly just put foundation, concealer, and other basic stuff, I don’t really need primer, right? Wrong.

Turns out, they can make a world of a difference in my beauty routine and even help me make the most of my other makeup products!


How to Apply Primer Like a Pro

To help you experience the difference primer can make for your beauty routine, we at BeautyShortcutips made a simple guide to help you apply makeup primer like a pro.

What You’ll Need:

Step 1: Choose the right primer

Before getting started, you’ll need the right product depending on your needs. You’ll probably be surprised by the variety of primers available on the market.

There are tinted primers, ones for oily skin, even green primers like the Smashbox Photo Finish Color Correcting primer. So how do you know which one to get? Here’s a basic breakdown:

1. Primers for specific skin types

These primers are labeled for oily, dry, or combination skin types. If you know your skin type and would like to stick to something basic, this kind of primer would be a good start. You can also find primers made for mature or sensitive skin.

2. Tinted primers

There are two kinds of tinted primers: regular and color correcting. Regular primers are made to provide extra coverage and comes in a variety of skin tones.

Color correcting primers, on the other hand, are used to counteract unwanted shades on your skin. For example, green primers are used to mask bright red tones that may come from acne or sun exposure.

There are also primers to make your skin look brighter and to mask dark circles. If you’re not sure what color primer is best for you, you can check out these article below.

3. Other primers

Besides tinted primers and those specially made for specific skin types, there are also those that address other skin concerns. For example, there are primers to help minimize the appearance of pores, have anti-aging ingredients, etc. The choices are endless and it’s for you to decide what kind you prefer.

Some beauty bloggers claim other products such as gel and even after shave balm have the same, or even better, effects as a regular makeup primer. It’s up to you if you want to try them out later on but we’ll stick to regular store-bought primer for now.

Step 2: Moisturize

The key to keeping a nice and healthy look that lasts all day is to start with moisturized skin. Applying any kind of makeup to dry, flaky skin can cause your foundation to emphasize your flaws instead of hiding them. We don’t want that.

Even if you have oily skin, this step is still a must. To make sure you don’t experience any unwanted shine throughout the day, use oil-free moisturizers like aloe vera gel to hydrate your skin.

After moisturizing your skin, remember to allow ample time for your skin to absorb the product before applying your primer. This helps create an even layer of primer on your face to prevent patchy makeup later on.

Step 3: Dab on some primer

Once you’re done prepping your skin, it’s time to put on the primer. You could apply your primer using either a damp sponge or your fingers, whichever works best for you.

  • Start by applying a bit of product under your eyes and around your nose area.
  • Then apply to your forehead, cheeks and chin.

Step 4: Blend

Using your fingers or a damp sponge, spread the primer on your face making sure each area is evenly covered. Apply more product to areas such as your T-zone where you experience more fading.

Tip: Be careful not to pile on too much primer at a time to avoid caking. If you must add more product, wait for the first layer to dry before applying a thin second layer. Repeat this process until you achieve your desired coverage.

Step 5: Wait to dry

This step is very important. The point of the primer is for it to create a tacky layer that helps your makeup stick on longer and better.

If you rush and go ahead with applying foundation or concealer without waiting for your primer to set, you’ll be left with uneven patches of makeup at the end of the day.

Step 6: Prime your eyelids (optional)

Most face primers are not made to prime your eyelids. If you’re going for an eyeshadow-heavy look, it’s best if you purchase a separate eyelid primer to help your eye makeup last longer.

If unsure still, here is a video to walk you through:

Using eye makeup primer can make cheap eyeshadow look more vibrant and hold on longer than it normally would.

Once you have your primer down, apply your makeup as you usually do and see the difference! Your makeup will last longer and leave you looking great even after a long day at work or partying all night long.

As an added benefit, using primer also helps you save up on foundation and other products as you won’t have to keep reapplying.

So the next time you need to step up your A-game, remember the five easy steps to applying primer like a pro and rock it!

Top Editor's Choice on Primer Face Makeup

The Ordinary High-Adherence Silicone Primer 30ml
The Ordinary High-Adherence Silicone Primer 30ml
Maybelline New York Face Studio Master Prime Primer, Blur +...
Blurs skin imperfections and smooths fine lines; Primes skin for even makeup application without a greasy feel

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