Belfast Telegraph

Make up masterclass: The perfect primer for your skin type

Paddy McGurgan is one of Northern Ireland's best-known beauty experts and over the coming weeks he'll tell you all you need to know about the latest make-up techniques

By Paddy McGurgan

A good make-up primer is a staple to achieve a flawless, long-lasting base for foundation. Choosing the correct primer will help to reinvent and revamp your skin and make-up application.

Primers were originally created to prevent make-up clogging the skin and afterwards the formulations became more sophisticated in their formulations in a bid to address more skin issues for more people.

My top primers are:

Dry/dehydrated skin

If your skin is dry then it's more likely to feel tight and uncomfortable, leading to patching in certain areas once foundation is applied. However, Make up Atelier Illuminating Primer FLV's (£22.50, right) is an illuminating primer which makes the skin appear dewy and beautiful.

Dull/tired skin

To counteract dull skin a soft, subtle glow is best, allowing the complexion to look radiant. Opt for Clarins Beauty Flash Balm (£31, left) - it's a little miracle in a tube. Expect an instantly brighter skintone, with this dreamy balm also firming, toning and erasing any traces of lifeless skin and fine lines.

Problematic texture on the skin

Raised pores, uneven skintone, fine lines and acne scarring are the enemy of smooth skin and can be very hard to disguise or treat.

Seek out a smoothing primer which will give the skin a soft focus-effect and glide over any areas to produce a much more even texture.

Try Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer (£26, right).

Oily/combination skin

For those with skin which is shiny and prone to make-up moving or sliding throughout the day then you need a mattifying primer. This is only to be used in the areas which need it, though, as you do not want to dry out the areas that are normal/dry. For this I would recommend using L'Oreal Paris Infallible Primer Matte Base (£8.99, right).

Excessively oily skin

If you are using a mattifying primer but can not keep the shine at bay, then you need to use a stronger formulation. Supermatte Antishine (£13.25, right) should do the trick, leaving skin feeling fresh and taut without the 'caked on' feel you get from powder. Available in three sheer shades: light, medium, and dark, Antishine is great not only for women, but also for men's palms, foreheads and balding scalps.

Prime tips:

1. Work out the skin issues you want to counteract such as dryness, pores and anything else.

2. Ensure your skincare regime addresses any complexion issues. Using a heavy moisturiser on large pores can clog the skin so change your skincare to a lightweight or oil-free formulation.

3. If you have different issues on various parts of your face one primer won't solve everything. Target effectively.

4. For skin which is prone to break-outs use a silicone-free/water-based primer which will suit your skin better as it is lightweight.

5. Always make sure your primer is compatible with your foundation. Some foundations and primers some can rub together and separate your make-up base.

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