What Is Makeup Primer and How to Apply It

How do you apply face primer tips about mixing coloring and correction of Makeup Primer? Primers can be confusing. It’s a simple statement for a complicated matter. There are different bases, colors, uses, and textures. Where do you even start?! I hope this post will be beneficial, and please let me know if there are any questions I haven’t answered. So let’s have a look at How do you apply face primer. l



Primers, the main function is to prep your skin for foundation, well-prepped skin results in a more comfortable, more flawless foundation application. Starting with a “perfect” canvas makes foundation application a BREEZE. However, most of us don’t have flawless skin (and that’s okay!), primer is here to help boost your skin appearance. This isn’t a skincare post (although primer is definitely close to being skincare). Still, I want to highlight how important of a step that is because you can spend gross amounts of money on foundation, but what makes things easier is focusing on skincare so that your foundation routine is crazy easy.

Primers can allow a smoother base, may help longevity, color correct, brighten, minimize fine lines, and pores. Etc. It can do plenty of things for your skin! I neglected the use of primer for a very long time but have not looked back since putting together my stash.


TL;DR version: no, you don’t. There are many skin prep benefits to a primer, but it is not necessary. Most foundations these days are meant to last on your skin, so although primer can boost the wear-time, it may only be a few extra hours.

BASE (Silicone vs. Water):

THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT! Go look at your foundation, read the ingredients (or be like me and just google what the base of your foundation is). If it is a water-based foundation, chances are it’s not going to bode well if you’re using an oil/silicone-based primer. If you’re using a water-based primer, however, if you wait a sufficient amount of time (letting the product sink in your skin so you can no longer feel it), it may not have any reaction to your oil/silicone-based foundation.


SILICONE/OIL based primer water-based foundation
WATER-based primer MAY be okay with SILICONE/OIL-based foundation.

Here’s a Wayne Goss video with a good explanation of this.

By this point, you may be wondering, well, HOW DO I KNOW WHAT MY PRIMER/FOUNDATION BASE IS? Well, it’s not fun, but you’ll have to read the ingredients (or just ask your friend Google!).

Redditor u/kahlex did a great guide on this. Basically, if you see silicone ingredients near the top of the ingredient list, it is likely silicone-based. If there isn’t silicone near the top, it is expected water-based. To determine whether a product is water-based or silicone-based, you have to look at the ingredients. -Cone/-methicone and -siloxane words near the top of the list tend to signal a silicone-based product. Water will be at the top of the list for any liquid product because water makes it liquid. It doesn’t mean that a product is water-based. Without water, the product would not be spreadable/blendable. — u/kahlex. How do you apply face primer: She uses examples and even shows that it’s not ALWAYS the case but a good majority.


Picking which type of primer base, if good for you, is mostly dependent on which foundation you’re wearing, but there are other points to think about when choosing which to use. What would you like your primer to do? Moisturize? Hydrate? Blur your skin and hide your pores? Primers are one of those makeup products that are almost on the cusp of skincare.

Prepping your skin with moisturizer beforehand helps quite a bit, but if you’re in a hurry or don’t have the time, a primer can substitute as a moisturizer. If you have dehydrated skin, a water-based primer is likely way more hydrating and better for your skin but, you can always use essence or hydrating moisturizer before.

Also remember that you can combine primers, as in use one after another, but NOT mix two different bases (feel free to mix if they’re the same base though!). In this case, you would use a water-based primer first and WAIT till it sinks in the skin thoroughly. If I do this, I would usually use a mattifier or a pore minimizer just on my t-zone/ your oily areas.


How do you apply face primer: You may notice some primers have color tints to them, here’s what they do. One thing to keep in mind with color correcting is the color wheel! Yes, I’m bringing you back to kindergarten. Analogous colors are colors that are next to each other on the color wheel. Contrasting/complementary colors are those that are across from each other on the color wheel.

So let’s take a look at the wheel, if you have blue undertones in your eye bags, using an orange -apricot/salmon-colored concealer will cover it better than just a flesh tone concealer. Ideally, you’d use your color correct, and if it’s not mixed with a flesh tone colored concealer, you will use your regular one on top.

GREENS: This color correct is probably the most well known. I would like to mention one thing; if you just have a few pimples, it’s much better to use a green concealer rather than a green primer. A green primer is excellent for those with redness/rosacea (I tend to prefer using yellow in these cases, though). One thing I would recommend is to be light-handed!. Green can easily take all the color from your face and make you look like the living dead. I recommend using green in the areas you need only.


Pink concealers are great for people who are cool-toned and fair. What this color does is create a brighter appearance and get rid of sallowness. Great for lighter skin tones.


Peach primers are a good in-between pink and yellow. Great for cover acne marks, pigmentation and sunspots. Great for light-medium skin tones. ->Orange will have similar effects and is best for tanned/olive skin tones.


Yellows are great for medium-tan complexions (remember, just a guideline, not a rule!) and will help brighten and get rid of sallowness.


Purple will make your face appear lighter by covering yellow appearances in the skin. If you have pink undertones and are porcelain, chances are this type of primer won’t do much for you. If you have yellow undertones, it will brighten your skin tone. -> Blues will do the same but are great for those with mainly pink undertones –having pink undertones doesn’t mean that there is no yellow in there!–.

HOWEVER, let’s all remember don’t neglect your neck if you’re doing this. Mismatched colors don’t look good.


If you have darkened skin and are finding a difficult time with foundations (I know, the color range can suck for deeper skin tones), a caramel primer can help brighten and add warmth to your skin tone. Just because you have darker skin doesn’t necessarily mean you have warm undertones; however, a good majority of foundations in that color range do have red bases. To match up better and give a nice fresh feel to your face, try a caramel color! It’s a staple in my kit, cool or warm-toned!

*pink/peach/yellow all have similar benefits; the main difference is each is a little more catered to different skin tones.


How do you apply face primer: There are also primers on the market that have all colors combined. You’ll get the benefits of more than one color! It’s a time (and money) saver if you’d like to have the benefits of more than one color. You can always mix your primers (as long as they’re the same base), but a pre-combination of colors seems a bit more user-friendly.

There are powder versions of these mixed guys too, so if that’s the type of primer you’d like, don’t forget about those either! I like this idea of these but personally haven’t tried it. I do mix myself, but I think it’s a pretty genius idea to have it premixed. Most people have a little redness in their skin they’d like to cover, and I often see yellows/purples/pinks to help brighten your face as well.


There is more than one texture/form of a primer, the most known is, of course, liquid, which holds the majority of the market. However, there are others! Benefits to liquid would be the ease of application, and it’s likely to be more moisturizing/hydrating than the others.

The spray would probably be the next popular; setting sprays can be used before application as well, but there are certain spray mists explicitly used to prep. A spray is probably to most comfortable, most fuss-free primer since you don’t even need to touch your skin. I find these are mainly for hydrating or oily control, as you can’t exactly have a color mist color correct as well. Skindinavia’s makeup setting spray is actually silicone-free and works excellent with all types of foundations. I’ve tested this product with my foundation, and it holds my makeup great.

The least known is powder! I know we’re told never to apply the liquid on top of powder, but rules are meant to be broken! I’m not one to listen to many makeup rules; there are a few you should (like washing your makeup off every night!), but something like this can be broken. Often call The Goss Method because he made it famous via a YT video, a light application of powder on your oily areas then apply your foundation on top acts as a primer! I often use MUFE’s HD powder when doing this since I like the special soft-focus effect it gives.


In my opinion, you should opt for a primer without sunscreen. The reason being is that mixing sunscreen with the primer actually makes the SPF less effective. You’ll get more protection if you actually use sunscreen and then a primer on top. The same thing goes for the foundation. You won’t get great protection because it’s basically being diluted by your foundation (also why you shouldn’t mix your sunscreen with anything). If you don’t wear sunscreen or don’t care for it, then getting something with sunscreen is better than nothing.


How do you apply face primer: Depending on which texture/formula you use, they’ll be a little different. One constant thing is that you do not need a lot. A little goes a long way! If you’re using powder, focus on your oily areas only. You can use your fingers or brush, but I wouldn’t use a sponge as it’s likely to soak up too much product (unless you’ve accidentally applied too much!). Apply primer after moisturizer (if any) and before foundation.


Though, some primers can actually be applied after foundation as well. Generally, it’s the soft-focus/pore minimizers, for example, Benefits POREfessional or MUFE’s Smoothing Primer –in this case, it acts more of a pore buster rather than helping your foundation’s longevity. I personally still prefer before foundation, but play around and see what works for you!


I have lots of primers, and I do things differently depending on the day. I will say one thing I do most often is used more than one primer. I usually use a hydrating primer then a smoothing/pore minimizer just on my t-zone and under-eye area to smooth out fine lines. In the summertime, I often use HD powder on my t-zone area. I also use my fingers to apply primers on myself.

My personal favorite brands are: Make Up For Ever Skin equalizer (*I’m a freelancer for the brand), Skindinavia Primer Spray, Benefit’s POREfessional, The Body Shop hydrating primer, Amazing Cosmetics anti-aging primer. All of which are linked throughout this post. WHEW~ Well, that’s it! I hope this helped someone out there! Let me know if you have any other questions!!

So, what are your favorite primers?