Beginners Guide to Primer

So primer… Should I use it? How do I use it? How do I know which one is right for me?

I’ve decided to start a beginners guide, I am by no means an expert but I would like to share what I’ve learnt along the way as a self-taught makeup enthusiast. These are not only things that I have learnt from others but what I figured out for myself through trial and error along the way. I am hoping to help you along your journey so you can hopefully avoid making the same mistakes too. In this post, I will start with how to use primer, because that is basically the first step.

So I know skincare is step one but honestly, I feel like that is basic common sense, taking care of your skin ensures a much better make up application. Having said that I believe another skincare step is definitely primer.

Why do you need a Primer?

Makeup primer is a base for foundation or face makeup that allows it to go on smoother and last longer. I feel like it creates a barrier between your foundation and your skin, thus, kind of providing a little protection. I would also advise you to give the primer a few minutes to sink into your skin, for added benefit and longevity.

What kind of primer is best for me?

Well this would totally depend on your skin type and needs

Dry Skin (with large Pores)

Personally, I have dry skin and large pores on my cheeks, so the way I apply a primer: An illuminating or hydrating primer (this simply depends on my mood) over my entire face, then, I apply a pore filling primer on my cheeks only. To me its the same concept as ‘Multimasking‘ and this way I tackle 2 of my biggest concerns.

Dry Skin (No visible Pores)

So if you have no visible pores, firstly I am jealous, secondly, it’s obvious that there is no need for a matte or even a pore filling primer, all you are looking for is hydration. In this instance, my advice is to apply a really good serum and moisturizer. Then you can decide if you would like that healthy lit from within look or plumper skin. A primer with illuminating in the name will provide the glow, whilst one with hydrating in the name will create plumper looking skin.

Oily Skin

My friend has oily skin and her pores aren’t as visible as mine, so when I apply make up for her, I apply an illuminating primer all over and a matte primer on her T-zone, sometimes, I will set the matte primer with translucent powder (The Wayne Goss method) then go in with foundation, but that just depends on how long we need the makeup to last.

How to apply

Illuminating or hydrating primers can be applied the same way you would apply a moisturizer, and for me, that is always in an upward motion. My mom always told me never to pull my skin in a downward or circular motion, always upward to prevent wrinkles and very light pressure.

A pore-filling primer should always be pressed into the skin. I mean, after all, the point is to decrease the size of your pores right?! So rubbing it is defeating the purpose, because all that does is spread the primer over the pores and I found that if I use a brush to buff in my foundation it ends up rubbing away the primer and during the course of the day it sinks into the pores anyway and makes the pores more visible.

So press these types gently into your skin.

With a mattifying primer, unless your entire face is an oily mess, these are used only in strategic places, mainly the T-Zone. From what I’ve seen and learnt, that is where most people get the oiliest, and if your oil production is next level, I would definitely suggest setting it with a translucent powder BEFORE you apply foundation. I won’t demonstrate because there are many videos covering this topic but Wayne Goss’ video is probably one of the more popular ones, go check it out, there you will be able to see exactly how to do it.

So guys in my humble opinion primers are essential, if you don’t like one specific primer, don’t give up on all of them, try others, I’m sure you will find the one that works well for you.

Let me know in the comments what are your current favourites and your tips on how to use a primer effectively.

Have a be YOU tiful day! You’re worth it.





  1. I really enjoyed your post – I think it’s a wonderful guide for readers new to primers. I agree with you, I also have dry skin and a little bit of pore visibility around my nose. So I also use a pore filling primer (I use Benefit’s Porefessional) only in those areas and then whatever I feel like elsewhere.

    1. Thanks…Having dry skin and pores is such a pain hey…most people with dry skin have no visible pores, it makes me sad lol

    1. It feels like it isn’t serving a purpose or is just an additional step, but when you don’t use primer you definitely see a difference

  2. I have combination skin (dry with a oily t zone) and my favorite primer is the Hourglass Mineral Veil primer. I just love the texture of the product and the finish it gives my foundation. I usually just throw some on my face but I’ll definitely be utilizing some of your techniques!

    1. I love that primer too now that I’ve tried it and gives awesome longevity to my makeup… that’s awesome let me know how it all works out 😉

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