The INSIDER Summary:
- Many people don’t bother wearing primer under their makeup, but it can make a big difference to how your makeup looks by the end of the day.
- I took photos in the morning and evening to show how my makeup held up with and without primer over the course of two days.
- Without primer, my makeup vanished.
- With primer, you can still tell I was wearing makeup by the end of the day.
- Using primer saves me time and money as I don’t need to reapply my foundation or undereye products.
I’d never really given much thought to wearing primer until I went makeup shopping for my wedding day. Like most brides, I wanted to make sure I looked pretty in all photos taken on the day, so I decided to buy a primer to make my makeup last longer. And that’s exactly what it did.
Ever since, I’ve come to think of primer as an essential beauty product, and there are few days when I don’t apply it after my moisturizer and under my makeup.
Primer acts as a smoothing base for whatever products you apply, and makes makeup like foundation and concealer last a lot longer than they would without it.
Though I fell hard in love with Hourglass’ Veil Mineral Primer ($54) — which I wore on my wedding day — I’ve since switched to wearing a slightly less extortionate version: Smashbox’s Iconic Photo Finish Foundation Primer Light ($36).
To prove just how well it works, I put my Smashbox primer to the test. Over the course of two separate days, I took photos to monitor how my makeup held up with — and without — primer underneath. I wore the exact same makeup products each day to see the difference the lack of primer would make.
Day 1: No primer
As you can see, I don’t even look like I’m wearing makeup by the end of the day. My foundation hasn’t lasted the length of my workday, there’s no sign of my blush, and my lipstick has vanished.
Day 2: Primer
While my makeup doesn’t look exactly like it did in the morning, wearing primer made a significant difference. My foundation stayed on evenly (though the lighting in the INSIDER office doesn’t help show that), and you can still tell I’m wearing makeup.
The biggest difference I noticed was that the color corrector and concealer I wore under my eyes were still holding strong when I had primer underneath. The bags under my eyes are far more visible by the end of the day without primer.
Without primer, I might be tempted to refresh my makeup throughout the day, using up more of my products in the process.
So, while it might seem like a non-essential beauty product, it can actually save both time and money — especially if, like me, you’re lazy but want your makeup to look on-point.
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