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5 Reasons You Need a Face Makeup Primer

5 Reasons You Need a Face Makeup Primer
At RMS, we’re often asked why you need a face primer, and if it’s even necessary. We get it; what’s the point of using something that, oftentimes, you can’t visibly see? But the secret to achieving a flawless and long-lasting look starts at the foundation—literally. A face primer preps the skin, creating a smooth canvas for a filter-like base. It can hydrate and nourish (if you pick a clean, skincare-infused one like our RMS Beauty ReEvolve Radiance Locking Foundation) and helps lock in your look, so it lasts all day long. 

If you’re ready to be filled in (pun intended), keep reading for our comprehensive guide, detailing what the purpose of a makeup primer is, why you need one, how to apply a makeup or skin primer, and so much more.


First Things First: What is a Primer?

A makeup primer (also known as a skin primer or face primer) is a prepping base used to keep your makeup lasting longer. Think of it like priming the canvas for painting; every painter needs to coat the canvas prior to using paint to help get rid of any ridges, texture, or bumps that could show up in the painting later on. They also need to use a primer so the paint doesn’t gradually fade or seep into the canvas.

The same way painters use primers, we can also use them for makeup (or without makeup!). And while makeup primers can come in lots of different varieties—from sticks and lotions to gels and creams—the uses for them and the reasons you need one are equally as varied. 

The Benefits: What Does a Skin Primer Do?

5 reasons you need a primer…now. 

  1. It Extendeds Your Makeup’s Wear
    The first and main reason people use makeup primers is to lock in their look and extend makeup wear. When you apply a primer, you immediately have a protective layer between your skin and whatever makeup you’re going to put on top of it. Your foundation (similar to our painting example above) can lay on top thanks to that protective layer, so it doesn’t flake off or seep into your pores and fade.

  2. It Smooths Texture and Pores
    Putting concealer, foundation, or—oh nooo—highlighter on top of ridges, fine lines, pimples, or textured skin can be super frustrating and get prettty messy. A proper primer will smooth and even your skin texture, blurring imperfections like fine lines or enlarged pores.

  3. It Can Also Nourish and Hydrate
    The purpose of a makeup primer can also be to simply just nourish and hydrate your skin—this is why we love using it even when we’re not wearing any makeup at all. When using it for skin, pick one that’s ultra-nourishing and skin-loving, like our ReEvolve Radiance Locking Primer or our SuperNatural Radiance Serum Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen (which, per its name, has sun protection, plus radiance-boosting Glowplex, to boot).

  4. It Preps for Better Pigmentation
    Because of that protective layer, makeup primers can intensify the pigmentation and color of your makeup products, allowing the true color of your eyeshadows, blush, highlighters, and foundation to shine.

  5. And it Controls Oil and Shine
    For anyone with oily skin, a mattifying or oil-controlling primer can do wonders for your look. But even if you just pick a normal primer, applying it before you use your foundation and setting powder will allow your skin to not get too oily and keep your powder looking fresh; especially around those pesky areas like your nose and t-zone.

The Best Makeup Primers

Hydrating primers, mattifying primers, pore-smoothing primers, oh my!

  • ReEvolve Radiance Locking Primer
    Our silicone-free formula is made with vegetable squalane and hyaluronic acid to lock in your skincare and grip makeup all day long. It’s ultra-nourishing and skin-loving, so we love using it as a moisturizer without makeup or under any makeup look to smooth and filter. 

  • SuperNatural Radiance Serum Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen
    This is the ultimate multitasker. It nourishes skin, blurs imperfections and color corrects, and protects with invisible mineral SPF30. Use it under foundation as a protective base that smooths, or as a dewy hint of tint. And if you want just a blurring SPF without any makeup, it works great for that, too. 

  • Master Radiance Base
    What’s not to love about our Master Radiance Base?! Our universally flattering, incandescent whipped cream is made to blur imperfections and create a flawless base—for makeup or not. When you apply it as a base underneath makeup, you get the most gorgeous luminizing glow; and we can’t get enough of it.

  • Beauty Oil
    Our cult-classic Beauty Oil is most-loved for a reason. It’s an adaptogenic herbal blend that Rose-Marie, our founder, made so you could use it alone, or so you could mix it with UnCoverup Concealer for a tinted moisturizer. And when you use it as a foundation base, just press it into the skin for a nourished base.


How Best to Apply Primers

  1. Prep Your Skin
    A nourished base is everything. Clean your face, moisturize, and let your moisturizer fully absorb before you press your primer into your skin.

  2. A Little Goes a Long Way
    For all primers, and especially ours, you only need just a pump or dab. Pump one dot of primer on the back of your hand and use our Skin2Skin Beauty Sponge to apply onto your skin for a smooth complexion, or apply directly using your fingers.

  3. Press or Pat, Never Rub
    The purpose of a makeup primer is a silky smooth base. So aways make sure you press or pat your primer—no matter the format—into the skin. Rubbing the primer could cause pilling, which defeats the purpose of scoring a clean, smooth, and never-textured base.

  4. Wait for It
    Before applying your foundation, blush, or highlighter, let your primer “set”. That means waiting a couple minutes for it to sink in and dry so you can get a smooth, clean base for any look you’re going for.

Now that you know what the purpose of a makeup primer is, it’s time to have fun with it! Pick your favorite, and try applying it in a few different ways. As a makeup gripping base? Check. A gorgeous, protective barrier? Done. As a smoothing filter without any makeup at all? Yes. We’re here for you, so as always, if you have any questions, just reach out to us.
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