I just popped into Marks & Spencer to buy some shapewear to smooth my wobbly bits into firm, cinched-in contours underneath my new evening frock. Indeed, as the party invites stack up this invisible layer worn underneath dresses and skirts will do for my body what a good haircut does for one’s face - slim, sculpt and brighten confidence.
The point I’m making here is that the best things often have a hidden layer behind them. Take a glowy complexion; it’s rarely the case (toddlers excluded) that it got that way naturally. Even the cleverest foundation needs a layer beneath its surface to maximise its potential, particularly in winter.
A make-up primer, I’m late to find out, is like Spanx for your skin, shrinking pores, mattifying oiliness, tightening or illuminating. It is different to a serum or moisturiser as those are designed to treat the skin - a primer on the other hand is mostly superficial (although many now include skincare ingredients) and merely there to create a smooth canvas for your base to grip onto so that it doesn’t sit in lines or accentuate open pores.
And if you choose one with a little added sparkle, it can illuminate a drab 3pm complexion taking it from meh to goddess-like instantly. If you’ve ever painted a piece of wooden furniture you’ll know what I mean. It’s fine without, but apply a primer first and the paint goes on smoothly, resulting in a refined, expensive looking finish. And there isn’t a woman I know who wouldn’t want their skin to look like its just got back from St. Barts.
As the party season commences, I cannot think of a smarter make-up bag addition than this to see you through until Spring, when the warmer climate will do the glow-inducing for you. These are my eight best ageless make-up primers - all of which have been put to the test under disco lights (I did say the invites were stacking up).
The 8 best skin-perfecting make-up primers - find your perfect fit
A lovely silicone-free formulation with anti-inflammatory antioxidants, including vitamins A and E and green tea. Great value for money.
Clean and silicone- free, this weightless formulation contains agave to reduce shine, leaving skin with a matt finish.
While concealing pores and fine lines, its luminous finish adapts to your complexion throughout the day to maintain radiance.
Hydrating yet not overly moisturising, this makes foundation last longer and melts into the face instantly.
A non-shimmery glow-enhancer, this contains four plant-based oils that smooth the skin’s surface without an oily finish.
A primer that not only smooths, it hydrates skin and promises to prevent moisture loss at the same time.
A highlighter and primer in one, this gives skin a poreless, radiant finish that’s perfect for evening.
Enriched with hyaluronic acid and calendula, this green primer is perfect for neutralising redness.
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