Do You Really Need A Makeup Primer? A Beauty Expert Explains

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Everyone knows the basic components of a standard makeup kit: foundation, concealer, eyeshadow, eyeliner, lipstick, mascara, and blush. Where things get a little more complicated are the products that many people consider optional — but essential — add-ons: setting spray, finishing power, and, perhaps the most widely questioned, primer. You probably remember a time before everyone used primer and makeup was still worn by the masses. Does this mean that primer is just a scam created by cosmetics companies or is it really a necessary step? 


To get to the bottom of it, Glam spoke exclusively to beauty and skincare expert Sasha Core, owner of the Sasha Core Beauty + Skin Clinic, for her thoughts on primer and whether applying it is essential to a flawless face (spoiler alert: it is). In fact, according to Core, at least one primer belongs in your makeup kit, and you can use the controversial product to bring to life the best possible art on your face. 

The benefits of using primer

Primers, often silicone-based, are meant to be applied before your foundation and concealer, but why? "Primers help to prepare the skin, allowing for better and longer-lasting makeup application," Sasha Core exclusively tells Glam. She goes on to reveal that primer can help hold your makeup onto your face for longer. "Without primer, your makeup may fade after just a few hours," she adds. "With primer, it should stay put all day long." That sounds like an amazing promise, right?


Core adds that a good primer can also help to even out your skin tone, absorb oil to assist with a matte finish, smooth out imperfections, and can even provide protection from sun damage. Overall, taking the time to apply a primer before putting on your base makeup products is the best way to "make it easier to apply foundation and concealer for a more flawless-looking complexion," she assures us. 

How to use primer like a pro

However, Sasha Core exclusively cautions us that "not all primers are created equal" and to "make sure to choose one that is specifically designed for your skin type." This means seeking out oil-free formulas for those with oily skin or hydrating primers if your skin tends to be dry. Once you find the right product for your skin type, as well as complements your foundation, Core recommends applying your primer in sections to ensure an overall even application.


Finally, and possibly most importantly, Core exclusively advocates for allowing your primer to set before adding any products on top of it. "Once you've applied your primer," she elaborates, "let it set for a few minutes before applying foundation or other makeup. This will allow the primer to really sink into your skin and create a smooth base layer for your makeup." From there, you should have fewer issues with makeup patchiness or uneven texture thanks to the template provided by the primer. Now that an expert has weighed in, it's time to start the hunt for the best primer for your skin and see just how smooth of a finish you can achieve.