Beauty · Makeup Category Focus

Primed & Ready

What is a primer and do I actually need one?

Primer is a base for foundation that allows it to go on smoother and last longer.

It’s supposed to prepare the skin giving it something to hold on to so it lasts through out the day & smooths fine lines & wrinkles, pores or do some colour correcting for rosacea etc.

So all in all a miracle worker!!!

For me I skip moisturiser, I just use a serum in the mornings as I have no time to wait for it to sink in. So primers are perfect for me, especially the moisturising kind.

When applying use a thin application in the direction that facial hair grows in and press in more so than rub as this will help stop “pilling”. You can mix & match for different areas of the face that may have different concerns.

The are a lot of different types on the market with lots of different finishes.

These are some of the ones I have tried:

Illuminating primers – normal skin


My favourite of this bunch is the L’Oréal Lumi primer. It’s a gorgeous pearlescent finish & quite moisturising.

The Seventeen Skin Wow has a more pink tint to it although it’s not quiet as moisturising. It’s a close call between these two but L’Oréal just edges to the front.

The No 7 Skin Illuminator is my least favourite of the bunch, it’s a bit too sparkly for me and doesn’t moisturise at all.

Mattifying – oily skin


img_0237These have a bit of a “slip” to them and “blur” pores etc.

The Smashbox Photo Finish is a cult favourite for a reason and my favourite of these types of primers.

Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser is touted as a Dupe for the Smashbox and it is extremely similar but for a fraction of the cost!

L’Oréal’s Blur Cream has a hint of colour which is nice of a day that you don’t want to wear makeup but want your skin to look a little bit better.

My least favourite of the bunch were the L’Oréal Infallible & Studio Secrets. They didn’t feel good on my skin or make my foundation sit nicely on top.

Moisturising – dry skin


My absolute favourite of this bunch is the Flormar Illuminating Primer. My only gripe with this is the name is,for me at least, a tad misleading as it is no where near  as “Illuminating” as the first three I mentioned!  But it just reacts really well with my skin and my foundation sits beautifully on top.

The Max Factor Facefinity is a close second, really moisturising and foundation sits nicely on top.

I haven’t really had much time with the Wet n Wild but when I have used it it’s been grand and is most definitely the most affordable of the bunch.

Firming – More Mature Skin 


Clarins Beauty Balm has been on the go for a long time and with good reason. It can be tricky though, you don’t fully rub it in, more press it in & need to follow up with foundation quickly.

The No 7 Instant Radiance is supposed to be a dupe for it but I didn’t find this to be the case 😟

Botanics Radiance Balm is another cult product for good reason. And the best part about it is that more often than not it can have up to 50% off in Boots!

Sprays – Time Pressed!


Granted the Urban Decay Allnighter spray is not sold as a primer but I find it fine.

I really loved the Smashbox Primer Water ……..until I got to about two thirds of the way through it and the nozzle went to absolute SHITE! The fine mist I was loving became actual drops of water and as I was using this before and after make up application there were a few maddening moments where make up was on the verge of being ruined (slightly dramatic #firstworldproblems!) I’m still tempted to repurchase though cause I did love it 😍

Now. I can’t mention primers without mentioning the most hyped Non primer EVER!


Yup. Nivea Men Post Shave Balm. Yes. MEN! Nikki Tutorials made us all root through our men’s wash bags , scanning the ingredients to see what we could nick for ourselves! This does have a strong scent on initial application but I found it dissipates quickly and acts the very same as a moisturising primer. Even better for me as I have sensitive skin and it can help calm it down.

Last but not least I have 2 new ones that I am trying out cause Wayne Goss told me to!

These are from “it” brand of the moment for skin care “The Ordinary”. I got mine on victoriahealth.com  €14.53 for the two of them delivered! Very excited to try these!

Wow that was a long one (that’s what she said 😆)

What are your favourite primers or even more important least favourite? I’d love to know.

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2 thoughts on “Primed & Ready

    1. Oooh yes I’ve been wanting to pick up the S & G one ! Thanks for the rec 👍 The Ordinary primers just arrived in the post yesterday and I was really impressed with everything to do with the company, it was a week earlier than they said and so cheap!

      Liked by 1 person

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