As we get older, changes in our skin can be frustrating. It’s not just the expanding crow’s feet and fine lines, but many of us are also experiencing dry, dull skin or even a resurgence of the acne we thought we’d left behind in our teens. And while those changes mean you’ve probably had to adjust your skincare routine, it’s also important to look at your makeup application process.
One big change I’ve made in my makeup routine is the addition of a good primer. Makeup primer, which goes on after your serums and moisturizers but before foundation, creates a base that helps makeup go on smoother, stay on longer, and not become cakey. More importantly, a good primer can minimize fine lines and wrinkles, filling them in so that your foundation doesn’t end up settling into them and making them look more pronounced.
There are plenty of primers on the market to choose from, all promising a variety of fixes for the skin and ranging in price from super expensive to next-to-nothing. I have two personal favorites, one from a more high-end, luxury brand, and one you can pick up at nearly any drugstore.
For evenings out or special occasions, my go-to primer is Rodial Soft Focus Glow Booster Drops. This illuminating formula is the next best thing to Tinkerbell’s pixie dust. It’s one of the lightest primers I’ve found, and it has a soft glow that really makes your complexion shine. Because it’s so light, you won’t feel like you have layer upon layer of product on your face, and it also contains antioxidant properties. But what I really love about this product is that while it’s great for under makeup, you can also wear it by itself on those days you want a little extra boost but don’t feel like putting on a full face.
If you want something that’s a bit less spendy, my other favorite daily primer is NYX Professional Makeup Hydra Touch Oil Primer. This is a must-have for dry skin, and even though it’s oil based, it is still lightweight and easy to apply. It absorbs quickly into my own incredibly dry skin, and leaves it feeling smooth and hydrated. This primer also has some very skin-friendly ingredients like jojoba oil and sweet almond oil, and to top it all off, it’s vegan. It doesn’t give as much of a shiny finish as the Rodial brand, but it is otherwise equal in quality.
Science hasn’t quite figured out how to stop the hands of time, but it’s definitely possible to slow things down a bit. Using a good primer under your foundation can help your skin look smooth and polished, minimizing those fine lines and really allowing you to “put your best face forward.”
Jody Ellis is a freelance writer who specializes in beauty, health, travel, fashion and style. Her work has appeared in publications such as LennyLetter, Huffington Post, BBC Future Planet, Civil Eats and Eater.