Belfast Telegraph

Make-up masterclass: Five tips for choosing the perfect primer 

Paddy McGurgan is one of NI's best-known beauty experts and each week he tells us all we need to know about the latest make-up techniques and trends

Paddy McGurgan is one of NI's best-known beauty experts and each week he tells us all we need to know about the latest make-up techniques and trends
Paddy McGurgan is one of NI's best-known beauty experts and each week he tells us all we need to know about the latest make-up techniques and trends
L'Oreal Paris Infallible Primer Matte Base (£8.99)
Make Up International's Supermatte Antishine (£17.50)
Clarins Beauty Flash Balm (£32)
Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer (£26)
Fenty Beauty's Pro Filt'r Hydrating Primer (£24)

Primers are one of my favourite products in my beauty kit - they are the first step to preparing your face and securing your make-up.

When they first entered the beauty market, all primers contained silicone because the aim was to prevent make-up clogging the face, but now, formulas have become much more skin-specific to suit different types of skin textures and tones. Today I'm going to show you what primer I recommend for each skin type.

Dry/dehydrated skin

If your skin is dry then it's more likely to feel tight and uncomfortable and will also appear patchy and textured in certain areas once you put your foundation on. When I'm teaching my students, I tell them to think of the skin as an orange - what happens when it doesn't have the nutrients and water content it needs? It becomes tight and shrivelled.

Therefore, it is so important to use a hydrating primer that will lock moisture into the skin but won't be heavy or emollient. For this, I highly recommend using Fenty Beauty's Pro Filt'r Hydrating Primer (£24) which will instantly nourish normal to dry skin.

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Fenty Beauty's Pro Filt'r Hydrating Primer (£24)

This light-weight, silky-smooth formula will keep you feeling comfortable all day while improving and extending foundation wear.

Dull/tired skin

For dull or tired skin that doesn't have any unresolved texture problems, a soft and subtle glow will work wonders to allow the complexion to look radiant and counter-act any dullness.

For this, pick up the Clarins Beauty Flash Balm (£32) which I always describe as a little miracle in a tube! This product will give you an instantly brighter complexion by firming, toning and erasing lifeless skin and fine lines.

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Clarins Beauty Flash Balm (£32)

Problematic/textured skin

Raised pores, texture areas, fine lines and acne scarring are all issues with skin that can be difficult to disguise or treat. What I recommend for this is a smoothing primer, such as the Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer (£26), which will give the skin a soft focus effect and will glide over any areas to smooth and even out any texture.

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Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer (£26)

Oily or combination skin

If your skin is shiny and your make-up often moves or slides throughout the day, then you need a mattifying primer. This is only to be used in areas that need it, as you do not want to dry out the areas that are normal or already dry. For this, I would recommend using L'Oreal Paris Infallible Primer Matte Base (£8.99) which will transform skin texture, leaving a matte finish with a velvet-soft touch.

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L'Oreal Paris Infallible Primer Matte Base (£8.99)

Excessively oily skin

If you're already using a mattifying primer but find that the shine still creeps through, then you need to use a stronger primer. You need to try Make Up International's Supermatte Antishine (£17.50) as this will leave the skin feeling fresh and taut, and won't produce that "caked on" feeling you often get from a powder product.

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Make Up International's Supermatte Antishine (£17.50)

It's available in three sheer shades: light, medium and dark. Antishine is not only great for women, but also for men's palms, foreheads and balding scalps.

Five tips for choosing the right primer 

1. Work out the issues you want to counter-act or disguise with your skin, for example, dryness, raised pores, oil, etc.

2. Make sure your skincare doesn't trigger your issues. Using a heavy moisturiser and having large pores can clog the pores excessively, so change to a light-weight or oil free product.

3. If you have different problems in different areas of your face, don't expect one primer to solve everything. Target effectively.

4. If your skin is prone to break outs, try a silicone-free or water-based primer which may be more suitable.

5. Always make sure your primer is compatible with your foundation as sometimes they can rub together and appear patchy on the skin.

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