I get asked all the time if I think primers are a necessary purchase. As a makeup artist, a beauty blogger, and a rampant spender or money on beauty products, I can officially say: NO, not necessary. But I friggin love them. I don't think you need them, but once you experience the smooth canvas that is a primed face, I don't think you'll ever go back. Half the time I don't even wear foundation or tinted moisturizer, I just wear primer to protect me from the elements and lock in all the hydration from my daily moisturizer. There are also a lot out there that cancel out things like redness, some that can mattify you, and most of them at least have some hydrating properties to help your skin. Anybody who doesn't feel like their foundation goes on smoothly should try a primer at some point. Here are the primers that I absolutely can't get enough of. Some were given to me to review on the blog, some were gifts with purchase that I ended up falling for, and some were completely unnecessary purchases, but what they all have in common is that I'd recommend them time and again. The Porefessional by Benefit ($29) because a little goes a long way (and I really like the smell). I also like this for touch-ups throughout the day. Yes, that's right, it can go over or under makeup. This product is specifically meant to reduce the appearance of pores, so I dab a tiny amount on my T-zone on afternoons where I'm feeling a little oily or splotchy.
Arbonne Makeup Primer ($36) for being incredibly lightweight. But I also feel good about putting this on my skin because Arbonne is committed to using sustainable botanical ingredients in their products. This has absolutely no fragrance so I'd say this one is the safest of the bunch to use on sensitive skin.
Too Faced Primed and Poreless ($30) for being flattering on a multitude of skintones. This comes out of the tube remarkably similar to my actual skintone, but this has a way of adapting to every skin tone I've come across. I guess you can say it is invisible. It's also formulated with Mulberry Extract, Retinol, Vitamin A and Vitamin C.
Koh Gen Do Makeup Color Base ($50) in Lavender Pink for concealing my sins. For those of you who are fluent in color correcting makeup/concealers, you know that lavender is used to counteract unwanted yellow tones or sallow complexions, while pink helps add a healthy glow or on the rare occasion that you have a grey cast to your under-eye circles... but traditionally you won't have both colors combined, especially in a makeup base. Basically both of these colors combined can give skin a healthy, radiant color, while actually helping to counteract hyper-pigmentation with its ingredients, rather than just covering these things up.
Becca Cosmetics Rejuvenating Primer ($40) for the primer with the best skin care benefits. This "Tightening & Hydrating" primer is packed with ingredients like coconut oil (a favorite of mine), Vitamin A, Vitamin E, and their patented Gatuline Intense; a flower extract with anti-aging properties.