My Best and Worst Primers.

A few years ago, unless you were a makeup artist, most of us hadn’t heard of primers, however, now we wouldn’t dream of putting foundation on without a primer underneath, or in some cases just wear the primer!  I thought I would share my thoughts on some of the primers/Illuminators I have in my makeup stash, obviously I’m looking at what suits a fifty something with drying skin and her fair share of lines and wrinkles. So in no particular order ….



Charlotte Tilbury Brightening Youth Glow Primer – £38.50

This is marketed as an anti-ageing, colour-correcting, glow booster with ingredients including chlorella to even skin tone, Vitamin B3 also to even skin tone and brighten the complexion, and Watercress to brighten.  It also has pearlescent pigments to bounce the light around for a flattering effect.

In my opinion this is great as a primer, it creates a good base for your makeup, but I haven’t noticed any of the other benefits, for example I haven’t seen any glow boosting (certainly nowhere near as good as the PIXI), brightening or blurring of fine lines.  All in all if I wanted a basic primer I wouldn’t have paid nearly £40 for it.



Avon Anew Skin Transforming Primer – £15.00

This contains an anti-ageing serum, but that doesn’t limit it to just mature skin.  

I like the Avon Anew skin transforming primer as a basic primer for dry skin, it’s a creamy consistency and easy to apply and doesn’t leave any residue.  It sinks in quickly, so if you’re in a hurry on a morning you can apply your foundation more or less straight away. It is marketed as containing an anti-ageing serum to promote a more youthful looking complexion, but I haven’t noticed any change in that respect.   



This Works In Transit Camera Close-up – £30.00

This is one of those products that those in the Beautysphere rave about, but it doesn’t work for me; perhaps because I’m from a totally different demographic than most of those 20 or 30 somethings.  It contains anti-oxidant plant oils- to rebuild and protect the skin barrier, along with hydrating Hyaluronic Acid and Caffeine to rebalance and revitalise and is marketed as a mask, moisturiser and primer all-in-one.  However, when I use it, it feels dry and tight and I can feel that I’m wearing it, I can’t wait to get home and take it off. You shouldn’t be aware of your makeup!


PIXI Glow Booster in Peach Gold – £20 for a 3 piece kit (Glow Booster in PeachGold, Beauty Blush Duo in Peach Honey, and LipLift Max in Honey Sheen)

This lotion from PIXI is a great primer, it’s lightweight and silky textured, it enhances your natural radiance and prepares skin for further makeup. It smooths and blurs the appearance of imperfections and contains brightening Mica as well as iridescent pigments for a dewy finish.  It can be used alone, mixed with your foundation or worn under the foundation.

I absolutely love this.  I like the consistency and it’s easy to apply.  Not only is it a wonderful primer, but it gives my skin such a lovely dewy glow even through my foundation.  I look healthy and glowing.


PIXI Glow Booster in White Pearl – £20 for a 3 piece kit (Glow Booster in WhitePearl, Beauty Blush Duo in Winter Flush, and LipLift Max in Sheer Ice.)

This is the same idea as the PIXI Glow Booster in Peach Gold (which I can’t praise enough), it’s just a different shade.  The product works equally as well as the Peach Gold, it gives luminance and is a good primer but it doesn’t suit me, I’m too pale with fair hair, I really look like a “white walker”.  So I can’t fault the product, it’s just the wrong colour for me.


Trinny London BFF – £35.00

This is more than a primer, it’s a skin perfector.  You simply rub BFF onto your face, just as you would a moisturiser. It contains coloured microspheres which adapt to your own skin tone and also light reflecting extract of porcelain flower to boost radiance and tone down redness.

It’s a yes from me for this product.  I like that it contains an SPF 30 to protect skin from UV and pollution. If you just want a natural (but slightly enhanced) look then wear it without foundation.  When used under makeup it seems to boost your foundation so you look healthier and glowing, yes I like a glowing look! It comes in 4 shades, I’ve been using light but I’m going to order a medium as well so in the summer when my skin has more colour I can mix the 2 shades together.



Estée Lauder – ‘The Smoother’ Universal Perfecting Face Primer – £26.00

This silicone gel primer is infused with skin softening apricot essence, it’s lightweight and designed to leave skin with a smooth, even texture.

I decided to give a silicone primer a go but it wasn’t any good for me. It does feel smooth but within a few minutes of putting it on my skin felt tight and uncomfortable, irrespective of how much moisturising product I’ve put on underneath. I think this would be a great primer for someone with an oilier skin than me.

With so many products available it can be a bit of trial and error as to what works for you and obviously this can also be very expensive.  If you can’t get a sample then try the product out in store, just don’t be talked into buying something that doesn’t work for you. I know sometimes it’s difficult to stand your ground and say “actually no, I don’t think that’s right for me”, I was persuaded to buy the Charlotte Tilbury product when I had my doubts about it.  I hope my brief overview of some of the myriad of primers has helped.



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