Prime Time

Primers: One easy tweak to your routine that can revolutionize your skin, makeup and hair.

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If you want things to go smoothly, be prepared. You’ve heard this advice before, and it’s particularly applicable to your beauty routine. Like painters readying a canvas, top makeup artists and hair stylists use priming products on skin and hair to help subsequent ones go on more smoothly and last longer. Why else do experts rave about them? “The less contact there is between your skin and your makeup, the less you feel like the former is ‘eating’ the latter,” says Katey Denno, a celebrity green makeup artist in New York City who applies primers to lids, lips and face. Hair primers work differently, but to the same end: “They offset some of the hair cuticle’s porosity, allowing for a uniform distribution of your styling products,” says Paul Cucinello, creative director at the Chris Chase Salon in New York City. The end result is a lesson in sustainability—the right prep products mean you won’t need to use as many items overall. Read on for pro tips and our favorite products for head-to-toe priming.

“An eye primer is the magic wand that prevents dreaded fading and sliding of eye shadow once lids start to become a bit oily,” says Denno. The right primer can be a godsend to the under-eye area, too, preventing concealer from caking and settling into fine lines.

glo•minerals Under Eye Primer softens the appearance of dark circles with the help of lightdiffusing pigments and is sold in a package produced with 100 percent wind energy. ($24;

The moisturizing hyaluronic acid in BY TERRY Hyaluronic Eye Primer helps plump up fine lines and make eyelid skin taut for a more even and longer lasting makeup application. ($47;

tarte MultiplEYE Clinically-Proven Lash Enhancing Primer increases lash volume with natural peptides and waxes that condition lashes. ($22;

There’s a multitasking primer to address every type of complexion, so finding one targeted to your skin’s needs is a breeze. Not only do the latest products prevent foundation from settling into fine lines, but many of them fight acne and provide anti-aging benefits as well.

Natural minerals in Alison Raffaele Face Forward Primer Acne Response offer SPF 15 in a makeup artist-developed formula that’s free of parabens, talc and fragrance. Meanwhile, anti-microbial peptides help to treat blemishes without being irritating to your skin. ($46; alisonraffaele .com)

Combat wrinkles, dark spots and uneven skin tone with Miracle Skin Transformer Vanish, which contains antioxidant vitamin C, sesame and grapefruit extracts to boost collagen production and reduce the effects of environmental stresses on skin. ($58;

Napolean Perdis Set Pre-Foundation Bronzing Primer warms skin tone and hydrates with soybean oil. ($29;


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