What is Makeup Primer & How Do You Apply It?

When it comes to beauty products, we consider makeup primer to be the holy grail. Let’s be honest—is there anything more frustrating than looking at yourself in the mirror, and noticing that your makeup is fading in the middle of the day? Or even worse—that your lipstick or eye shadow is migrating to other parts of your face? If you’re wondering how to avoid this unappealing situation, the answer is makeup primer! You may be asking, “What is face primer?” or “What does makeup primer do?” We’re here to break it down for you. Let’s get started!

What is Makeup Primer?

Primers are formulated specifically for the face, eyes, lashes and lips, and each primer can help your makeup stay in place and enhance your makeup look. Generally, primers are applied as the first step in your makeup routine. They create a smooth canvas for the rest of your makeup products, and they keep your foundation, eye shadow, mascara and lipstick in place. Primer for face and eye makeup can be great for those who battle oily skin and have issues with their makeup moving around. Primer formulas can also come in the form of gels, creams, tinted, untinted or face mists.

Are you itching to try out makeup primer for yourself? We’ll get you on the right track with some application tips to prevent a midday makeup meltdown and create a gorgeous makeup look.

How to Apply Primer

Do you find yourself reaching for foundation and concealer straight away? Stop what you’re doing! Firstly, you’ll need to prime. What is face primer? It’s the answer to keeping your makeup in place—day and night. Once you’ve completed the final step in your skin care routine, apply your primer in small dots onto your skin, then blend in a circular motion over your face. You can wear primer either on its own or under foundation, giving you a smoother more even look. 

Our Best Face Primers

Great news—there’s a face primer out there for just about everyone! Whether you’re looking to smoothen lines, pores, mattify your skin or give your face a highlighted glow, there’s an option that fits. Choose one of our favourite face primers:

Infallible Matte Priming Base:

Looking for a smoothing gel formula? This primer instantly transforms your skin, gliding on seamlessly with a subtle cooling effect. It prepares your skin by minimising imperfections, pores and shine—giving it a soft, velvety texture.

Nude Base Magique Primer:

Give our award-winning, lightweight primer a try! The silky formula glides onto your skin, instantly smoothing pores and fine lines to completely transform your skin’s surface.

Infallible Super grip Primer:

Our first primer that acts like double-sided tape to grip to the skin and makeup. Formulated for oily to super oily skin with double adhesive polymers for high adhesion and a water-based formula for a lightweight texture and a matte finish.

Editor's tip: Regardless of your skin type, make sure you’re following a regular skin care routine, prior to applying your primer. Your skin will thank you later!

How to Apply Eye Primer

Does your eye makeup smudge and your eyeliner fade as the day goes on? Does your eye shadow never look as pigmented as it should? If you answered yes to any of the above, try using an eye primer first. Apply a small amount of eye primer onto your eyelids, gently blending with your finger. If you wear eyeliner or shadow along your lower lash line, be sure to apply primer there as well. Using an eye primer can help to create a smooth base for eye makeup application, lock your look in place and make your eye shadow appear more vibrant.

Editor’s tip: Fair-skinned beauties, we’ve got you. If you hate seeing your veins through the thin skin of your eyelids, look for an eye primer with a tint that matches your skin tone. By doing this, your veins won’t distract from your makeup look.

How to Apply Lash Primer

Did you think mascara was the only product meant for your eyelashes? Think again! Lash primer does exist, and if mascara is an absolute beauty staple for you, then you may want to consider adding lash primer to your daily beauty routine. Lash primers can make lashes look longer and more voluminous—yes, please! When applying lash primer, place the bush at the base of your lashes and sweep upwards. Allow the primer to dry, then layer your mascara on top. Be sure to completely coat your lashes with mascara, as lash primer tends to be very light in colour.

If you’re keen to know what is our best primer for lashes, look no further than our Paradise Lash Primer. This is our first 2-in-1 lash primer to boost volume and condition your eyelashes, truly taking them to next-level paradise! The ultra-soft brush coats lashes with a silky smooth formula enriched with jojoba oil and vitamins, leaving you with longer, fuller, stronger eyelashes.

How to Apply Lip Primer

Rocking a bold lip colour is the best way to grab everyone’s attention—but you’ve probably spent time worrying about whether your lipstick is blotchy or stuck on your teeth. The next time you reach for your lipstick, use a lip primer beforehand to smooth your pout and ensure a seamless application. Try applying lip liner after the primer, followed by a long-lasting lipstick. Relax—your lip colour isn’t going anywhere!

Editor’s tip: Don’t have a lip primer on hand? That’s okay—your lip liner will suffice just fine. You can achieve a similar priming effect by filling in your lips entirely (not just outlining them) with a lip liner, like the Color Riche Classic Lip Liner.

In our humble opinion, you can never know too much about how to make your makeup look last longer. Now that you know how to apply primer, continue furthering your knowledge with our article on How To: Budge-Free Makeup!