Makeup Primer Basics

Makeup Primer Application Tips

It's no laughing matter when your eye makeup makes you look like a clown, but makeup primer can keep everything in place on your face and get you through the rigors of the day. Begin the application process with a gentle cleaning and then pat skin dry. Rub a moisturizer into your face in outward strokes with a sponge, and then wait at least three minutes before applying a thin layer of primer [source: Langston].

When applying primer, use the same technique you use to apply moisturizer. Put a small amount of primer on the back of your hand, and then dab a makeup sponge into the gel and apply it to your face using sweeping motions. Wait a few minutes for the gel to sink into your skin before applying your next layer of makeup. In some cases, women opt not to use foundation and simply follow primer with finishing powder. If you're using an eyelid primer, you can also mix the primer gel with eye shadow for even longer-lasting color.

In areas where makeup feathers, creases and fades the fastest, and on hard-to-cover areas such as wrinkles around the eyes and mouth, experts suggest applying more primer and using your fingertips instead of a sponge [source: Hertzig]. If you're prone to breakouts or uneven skin texture, proper exfoliation each week coupled with the right primer for your complexion can help create a flawless look. In some cases, primer can even minimize the appearance of large pores.

Adding primer to your makeup bag can improve fine lines and wrinkles and provide long-lasting coverage for all skin types. For more information on using makeup primer, check out the links below.

Related Articles


  • American Academy of Dermatology. "Cosmeceutical Facts and Your Skin." 2005. (Accessed 8/11/09)
  • Associated Content. "How to Choose and Apply Foundation Primer". Nov. 3, 2007. (Accessed 8/11/09)
  • CosmeticsInfo. Silica. Nov. 28, 2007. (Accessed 8/11/09)
  • Hertzig, Alyssa Kolksy. "9 Summer Makeup Tips". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. May 29, 2009. (Accessed 8/11/09)
  • Kashuk, Sonia. "Step-by-Step Makeup Application". Ladies Home Journal. 2009. (Accessed 8/11/09);jsessionid=3BZRWO2P5Y2SMCQCEASB5VQ?page=2
  • Langston, Eleanor. "Meltproof Your Makeup". Self. June 2009. (Accessed 8/11/09)
  • WebMD. "Oscar Winner Beauty Tricks That Really Work". Feb. 23, 2006. (Accessed 8/11/09)
  • WiseGeek. "What is Makeup Primer?" (Accessed 8/11/09)