Eyeing the many bottles of primer lining the counter in my bathroom my husband commented that it looked like I was getting ready to start a remodeling project.
Little did he know.
The fact is, that's exactly what a good makeup primer does, by serving up a smooth, line-free canvas for foundation, shadow and blush. It's the ultimate basis for remodeling of the daily kind.
Makeup primers call upon ingredients such as polymers and silicones that can smooth fine lines and imperfections temporarily (and by that I mean all day), which helps your makeup stick around all day.
I've rounded up a few favorite primers so you, too, can spackle your way to a smoother complexion.
Surface primer: Rae Cosmetics, from Austin, Texas, serves up Texas-sized value in an oversized primer container that's both effective and economical. Free of oil, fragrance and talc, Surface Primer diminishes the appearance of fine lines and pores, extends the wear of makeup, and boasts an SPF of 20 and a free-radical blasting formula rich with vitamins A, C and D. Get it for $36 for 1 ounce at raecosmetics.com.
Color correcting primer: Women with acne scars can benefit the most from a great primer to temporarily fill in pitted areas. Pur Minerals' Color Correcting Primer in green was designed to diminish redness from acne, rosacea and beyond. Get it for $31 at Dillard's stores around the Tampa Bay area.
Age intervention primer: Aging skin will benefit from a primer designed to meet its unique needs, such as Jan Marini Age Intervention Prime ($75). Promising "airbrushed results," the product goes on smoothly, leaving skin feeling supple and, of course, "primed" for makeup. Great for covering age spots and other discolorations, this product contains ingredients that promise to improve skin's elasticity and volume, to boot. Visit Janmarini. com for area retailers.
Not such bargains: Determined to find a drugstore primer I could endorse, I was disappointed with primer after primer that didn't deliver. Among my least favorite was Sally Hansen's Luminizing Face Primer. The price appeared right — $11.99 for 0.48 ounces at drugstore.com — but the oh-so-greasy application and less than perfecting results left me unimpressed. Plus, once I did the math I found that Rae Cosmetics' Surface Primer is more affordable, ounce for ounce, and delivers results.
Carolyn Brundage is the founder of TampaBay.PrettyCity.com, a guide to all that is hip and happening in local beauty. E-mail her at carolyn@ prettycity.com.