Smashbox primers help put your best face forward

By Lisa Schryver

Smashbox makeup primer is, for many, for many, essentially Photoshop in cream form. It tackles your skin concerns while creating a perfect canvas for makeup.   

With various formulas for lashes, lids, lips, foundation and under the eye, primers seek to address all your needs, each formula aiming at a specific skin concern, such as fine lines or dark spot correction.

“Most Smashbox primers can be layered and used together,” explains Lori Taylor Davis, director of global pro lead artistry for Smashbox Cosmetics. “When choosing a primer, it's best to think about the main skin concern.”

For example, you can pair Smashbox’s Targeted Pore & Line Primer with a signature primer, such as Photo Finish, for further complexion assistance.

Alternately, you can switch to Photo Finish Foundation Primer Broad Spectrum SPF 20 with Dermaxyl Complex during the summer months or whenever you will have prolonged sun exposure.

“Generally, primers are used to literally do just that: prime the area for another product,” says Los Angeles-based makeup artist Nicole Walmsley.

“It helps the product you’re using to grip to the surface and add staying power.”

When shopping for primer, consider your skin type

Because many primers have additional purposes like correcting color, fighting acne or creating a dewy finish, Walmsley suggests first pinpointing your most critical skin concerns when you first start shopping.  

Do you have redness? You may want to try Photo Finish Color Correcting Foundation Primer.

Want to smooth fine lines and pores? Consider adding Photo Finish Targeted Pore and Line Primer to your beauty regimen. Does your Mascara need a little oomph? Check out Layer Lash Primer.

How to apply primer

“Apply a small amount of primer with your fingertips rather than a brush or sponge,” advises Jackie Silver, makeup artist and author of “How to Think Yourself Slim, Healthy and Young” ($49, Aging Backwards LLC). “The fingers warm up the primer—or any creams—allowing it to spread easily and you’re not wasting any product that absorbs into the sponge or brush.”

Wait a few minutes and then apply your usual foundation. Silver recommends lightly sweeping a blending sponge along the face after applying foundation, especially around the jawline to blend it naturally into the neck.

When applying foundation primer, use a pea-sized amount and gently smooth it across the face with your fingertips. A foundation brush can also be used, but be sure to use a separate brush for primer from the one for foundation.

Usually the area that needs the most help is the T-zone, or the forehead, nose and chin. People tend to be oily and have the most redness in this area, says Walmsley. Follow with your favorite foundation for more coverage.

“Even without additional makeup, [primers] will smooth the skin, reduce oiliness and tackle problem areas,” she explains. “Another option is to use Smashbox’s BB Cream or CC Cream as both are created to save time by combining five steps in one product.”

BB and CC creams prime the skin, add coverage, protect with SPF, hydrate and control oil all in one product. And who doesn’t love cutting out a few steps in the morning?

“Once you narrow down what your specific needs are, using a primer becomes a great tool to have in your beauty regimen,” Walmsley adds.

Under-eye primer helps concealer last all day. Dab on a little in that area before applying foundation and concealer.

Lid primer is ideal to keep eye shadow in place -- without creasing or running. That means you can rock the smoky eye look without looking all Alice Cooper by the end of the day.