When you hear makeup aficionados say they swear by using primer makeup you immediately think: not another thing to put on my face. For some, especially women with oily and acnetic skin, it makes sense to be wary of adding more cosmetics to your face. But it is good to use primer makeup in your routine to give you a smooth “canvas” to work with, help minimize your pores and any fine lines and keep your look fresh and vibrant all day long.

Skin or face primer gives you a smooth canvas, or base, so your foundation has something to hold onto. This allows your makeup to stay on much longer and it should help minimize the appearance of large pores or fine lines. Primers typically come in cream, gel or powder-like form. When selecting a skin primer for yourself choose one that is silicone-based because these last longer than other primers.

Tips

If you have reactive skin or cystic acne it’s a good idea to test the skin primer product in a small section on your lower jaw line before applying it all over your face. If you haven’t had any swelling or discomfort from the product after a while it is safe to use.

Eye primer — like skin primer — also helps create a smooth canvas for your eye makeup and helps to keep your eye makeup long lasting. The natural oils and moisture from your eyes or humid weather can cause eye makeup to smear. Eye primer helps to keep this from happening by creating a barrier between the oils of your skin and your eye makeup. Eye primer usually comes in a lotion or cream consistency.

Tips

Because eye primer is a liquid product it doesn’t work with cream eye shadows and is better for use with powder eye shadows.

Before applying skin or eye primer you should wait about five minutes for your moisturizer and eye cream to settle into your skin. Then use a small, pea-size amount of skin primer and rub it in with your fingertips. It goes without saying that your hands should be clean when you do this. Once your skin primer is carefully rubbed in, apply your foundation and concealer over it. With eye primer you also use just a tiny amount. Apply all over your lid and under your brow with either your fingers or an eye makeup applicator. Once you’ve smoothed it completely out, start creating your eye look for the day.