When doing someone’s makeup, I get asked all the time, what is a primer and what does it do?  Well, simply a primer is a formula that you put on your skin to smooth, fill in pores and fine lines, etc. so that your foundation looks smooth, stays fresh and in place the entire day.

There are so many primers on the market now.  My introduction to primers came years ago when I used to use Laura Mercier’s uber popular foundation primers.

Primers, these days, come in a load of formulas and they do so many things now.  From moisturizing to highlighting to mattifying, and anything else you can ever need from a primer.  And trust me, I’ve tried my fair share of them.

At the moment though, I have three in rotation that I’m using — Artistry Intensive Skincare Advanced Skin Refinisher, Marc Jacobs Under(cover) Perfecting Coconut Face Primer, and MAC Strobe Cream.

Here’s what I do with my primers.  I use the Marc Jacobs Under(cover) Perfecting Coconut Face Primer for pure hydration.  It’s made with “five forms of coconut, including cold-pressed coconut water, juice and pulp to form a natural, vitamin-rich barrier between your skin and makeup.” This primer is so hydrating, I would be tempted to use it as a regular moisturizer!  It’s just that good! 

When I want a little something extra, I will add a drop or two of the MAC Strobe Cream in Peachlite to the Marc Jacob’s primer and work that into my skin for an added glow.  I will use a small drop of my liquid foundation on top of this blend and my skin looks completely flawless!  And speaking of MAC Strobe Cream, the whole Strobe Cream product has been extended recently into not just one shade, but now five!

The original shade has a name now and it’s called Pinklite.  The newer shades are Goldlite, Peachlite (mentioned above), Redlite, and Silverlite.  And as a side note: before the whole “strobing” thing became so popular, MAC was “strobing” a long time ago! 🙂

The Artistry Intensive Skincare Advanced Skin Refinisher isn’t a primer.  It’s a cream-gel hybrid liquid that is great for a gentle exfoliation and to fill in large pores.  But the consistency is so spot on, that it can actually serve as a  primer.  I love using this during the warmer months because it gets my skin a semi-matte finish and it doesn’t a wonderful job in keeping my foundation looking fresh.  I also like it because it doesn’t give an ashen look to dark skin.

Marc Jacobs Under(cover) Perfecting Coconut Face Primer

Coconut fruit: features skin-boosting vitamins and antioxidants
Coconut water: features nutrients for hydration and smoothing
Coconut milk: helps prime and smooth the complexion and blur imperfections
Coconut polysaccharides: help prime the complexion
Coconut extract: provides a natural coconut fragrance

MAC Strobe Cream

Smoothes skin
Improves clarity
Provides radiance

Artistry Intensive Skincare Advanced Skin Refinisher

Optical diffusers provide instantly smooth, soft focus skin
Patented oat extract and NMF sugars exfoliate, unclog pores, and smooth roughness
Antioxidant-rich lentil seed extract helps reduce the appearance of pore size
Java tea extract provides oil control, suppresses excess oil, helps reduce the appearance of pore size
Star fruit extract helps reduce the appearance of pore size by improving elasticity and tightening pores


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