Primers or foundation primers, as they are called in the beauty biz, are gaining greater popularity these days. And there are a large number of primers on store shelves to choose from. Most are colorless. But there are some that come in bronze shades for a tanned appearance. Some in green to cancel out or minimize redness. And some in lavender to balance out yellow skintones. There are other primers with moisturizers blended in them. Or some with salicylic acid to battle pimples all day long. And even a bunch with soothing anti-oxidants like grapeseed extract and peptide complexes. And so on.
The beauty of a primer is its perfection at filling in fine lines and pores for a flawless finish BEFORE foundation application. Some women like to wear primer alone, and skip the foundation. But most primer fans love to create as smooth a complexion as they can, so that the next layer, that of foundation, glides over easily.
In other words, think of these steps, as building a house. Layer upon layer. Only in this case, you end up with an almost 'air-brushed' face. The primer allows your makeup staying power. Oily faces are supposed to stay fresher longer. And if your primer doesn't contain 'built-in' dewy softeners for dry skin, then apply moisturizer before you prime.
Here are 3 foundation primers well-respected in the world of makeup:
Laura Geller Spackle Primer ($21.50, http://www.sephora.com/ and fine dept. stores) 100% oil-free. Comes in an 'airless' pump, so you get every last drop. Perfects your skin's texture. Contains soothing botanicals.
Smashbox PhotoFinish Foundation Primer-colorless ($36, http://www.sephora.com/ and fine dept. stores). Contains Vitamin C and peptides to help even skintone and encourage collagen production.
Benefit That Gal Brightening Face Primer ($28, http://www.benefitcosmetics.com/). Helps skin retain its natural moisture with sweet almond, algae extract, and soothing raspberry and chamomile.
Foundation primers seem to cost more than regular foundation makeup. At least starting in the $20 range. Think of a primer as a good beauty investment. And in case you're wondering about a separate primer for eyes, yeah, they've got that, too. It really makes eyeshadows and liners 'stay put,' and helps minimize crepey skin, which is common in wrinkles around the eyes.