Most anyone even remotely interested in makeup have heard of makeup primers. They are the newest creation in a long line of makeup products designed to hide/cover/distract/erase, or otherwise diminish, facial flaws.
Almost all liquid or cream primers contain silicone as it's primary weapon. There are multiple types of silicones available. Those that absorb into the skin, those that sit on the surface of the skin, or hair shaft (as in the case of heat protectant hair products), and a combo of the two. These create a barrier visibly smoothing pores, lines, and other imperfections. The makeup is then deposited on top of the primer creating a more refined skin surface appearance. There are many types of barrier primers for eye, face, lips, hair, etc. Not all are created equal. One of the distinct advantages to this type of product, the good ones that is, is that it works quickly and efficiently, and really does help keep makeup in place. With the good, comes the bad however, many people find the silicones to create a heavy feeling on the face, no breathability to the skin. mostly found with the barrier silicone. Oily or sweaty skin can find the makeup beading up & separating on the skin, or sinking into pores rather than gliding over them and actually calling more attention to flaws rather than minimizing them; This problem is most often seen with the silicone combos, or skin absorbing silicone.
Some well respected brands of primers are Primer Potion by Urban Decay, Benefit, That Gal face primer, FX Skin Prep which was created in a hospital for serious skin disorders, and Smashbox Photo Finish primers. These can all be found at Sephora, of course, a great resource for upscale, high quality beauty products. In fact, type in primers at Sephora, and there will be a Plethora of product to choose from.
Now when it comes to powdered, mineral makeup, primers take a different perspective. Naturally, I am partial to this type because I own a mineral makeup company. face, eye, and sometimes lip primers can be found in a mineral, all natural, or combo (and believe me, there is a difference so read your labels ladies) My own mineral primer contains silica, from which silicone is created. Silica is found in sand, and is naturally occurring. Silica is tiny, round, light reflective particles that glide over lines and pores reflecting light away from the depression created in the skin. Mica is another mineral ingredient that works in this same fashion, though I personally find the coated, or treated mica's give great adhesion, but less reflective properties, so a good primer powder will contain plain untreated mica, or at least a combo of both. Lastly my favorite underdog in the world of corrective cosmetics is Cornstarch. Cornstarch is light, fluffy, oil & moisture absorbing, and floats beautifully over pores giving instant light as air coverage. The major drawback with this product, however, is finding non-genetically modified corn products. There is only one company that I have found where I can purchase Organic, non-GMO cornstarch, it's great, but not cheap!
These are by no means the only primers ingredients available, but they are my favorites, and the ones I personally use.
One major drawback with mineral primers, and powdered mineral products in general, is the mess! I keep a box of tissues on my vanity & spread one out under my mineral jars everyday when appling my makeup, you can swirl minerals right onto the tissue or a paper towel, and this absorbs the excess intead of keeping it in the cap or fling loose in the air. Also tapping the handle of your brush on the surface where you apply your makeup to disperse it into the bristles (rather than tapping excess off back into the cap) can cut the flyaway powder, also using the sifters rather than removing them like some prefer to do. These sifters dispense smaller amounts of minerals into the cap, but usually they are enough for one application, you can always apply a second coating if more is needed.
As a makeup artist, and a makeup creator, I am always hunting for new ingredients or products, and work hard to find a great balance of naturally occurring, unadulterated ingredients, but ones that still show superior performance in makeup. Yes gals, we can have it all!
I always welcome yout comments and questions, so keep them coming!