You're Probably Making These Primer Mistakes

by Jessica Willingham

Making makeup last is one of the biggest beauty concerns, right up there with achieving perfectly even winged linger and preventing lipstick from getting on your teeth. Using a primer on your face can dramatically increase the longevity of your look while reducing your pores or even perfecting skin tone, but it can be tricky to use. If you are unhappy with how your foundation looks, you're probably guilty of making these primer mistakes, but not to fret — there are easy and quick ways to learn how to fix them.

Primer can go on as a base to your foundation, making everything applied after it look smooth and velvety. Primer can smooth over fine lines and wrinkles, camouflage pores, and correct skin issues. While it is an extra step in your routine, it's worthwhile: Primers can improve your skin and even the massaging motion you use to apply it can have long-lasting, anti-aging benefits.

So now that we know priming is important, it's time to dive deeper into how to best use and apply it. Like any makeup product, we can get stuck in routines and ruts around how, when, where, and why we use it. Below, I rounded up some of the most common primer mistakes and how to fix them.

1. Not Using Primer

Smashbox Photo Finish More Than Primer Dark Spot Correcting, $42, Birch Box

Duh. Whether you're oily or dry, or you battle big pores or discoloration, there is a primer out there for you. Consider it another tool in your fight against bad skin.

2. Using The Wrong Primer for You

Benefit POREfessional, $30, Amazon

You can really shoot yourself in the foot by using a product not specialized for your specific skin needs. There are a ton of primers out there — you'll find one to combat any skin issue.

3. Only Putting Primer On Before Your Makeup

Too Faced Primed & Poreless Pure Skin Smoothing Face Primer, $30, Sephora

Massaging a primer into your skin prior to foundation (with clean hands, of course!) is a great way to apply it, but it isn't the only way. Consider mixing your primer into your foundation and applying them simultaneously. This will slightly sheer out the coverage but keep it long lasting.

4. Forgetting to Prime Your Eyelids

MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot, $22, Nordstrom

The skin around our eyes is ultra thin, resulting in fine lines, veins, and discoloration (hello, dark circles). Priming your eyelids can create a smooth and even foundation to begin building beautiful color.

5. Never Changing Your Primer

NYX Angel Veil Skin Perfecting Primer, $16, Amazon

I love switching up my primer based on the season and the finish. Fall is a great time to deploy a matte primer, while dewy primers look and feel great in the spring.

6. Only Applying Primer With A Brush

Revlon Color Correcting Primer, $13, Walmart

You can (and should) use a brush for priming smaller areas, like the lips or eyes. But for areas larger than a quarter, consider gently massaging your primer in with your fingers. This will get the blood circulating in your face (oh, hey, gorgeous blush) while the heat from your finger tips will melt the product into your skin.

7. Not Wearing Primer By Itself

Makeup Forever Step 1 Skin Equalizer, $37, Sephora

Think you can't wear primer alone? Think again. If you're wanting smooth and even skin without all the heaviness of foundation, simply apply primer. You'll look fresh faced and put together.

Image: @benefitcosmetics/Instagram; Courtesy of Brands