Does makeup primer really work?


Everyday that I put primer on, I wonder, is it actually doing anything? I will say I don’t see a major change in my makeup when I change primers (particularly compared to the difference of when I switch foundations), but lately I’ve been using Smashbox’s Photo Finish foundation primer. I realize that making makeup last longer is one of primer’s many uses, but for this post, I decided to focus on how it makes your foundation look after application.

The first photo, is a section of my face completely make-up free. Then, a photo with JUST foundation (Estee Lauder’s Double Wear), and the third image is one with primer put on before foundation. I also dusted just a bit of powder to have a finished look.



I see just a bit of a difference, but honestly, it might have just been these photos. In person, I couldn’t really see a major difference. I don’t know if the formulation in the primer has anything to do with it, but it is called “Photo Finish,” and yes I did just now come under the realization that it might actually photograph differently. As for the staying power, my makeup itself doesn’t last very long unless I’ve been taking care of my skin, and the primer rarely helps.

All in all, I’d say primer doesn’t make enough of a difference for everyday makeup wear, but if I were to be going to a special event where I’d know I’d be taking photos, then I’d wear a primer. Perhaps my next step will be to invest in one with SPF so it’s doing double duty with sun protection.

I’d love to know if anyone else has a different experience than my own and feel their primer makes a massive difference in their makeup. I’m no makeup expert, so maybe I just don’t know enough about it to know how to make it really work!



  1. I do notice a slighttt difference in my makeup when I wear primer – it helps it to last a bit longer, so I’ll use it for a special event or occasion, but I usually skip it for everyday. The less products I need to use on a daily basis, the better lol

    1. Really? I’ll have to try it! I’m the same way when it comes to regular primer. I don’t see a significant difference really, but i’ll have to try primer for my eye makeup next time. Thanks!

  2. I don’t use primer & this post doesn’t necessarily sell the product. Haha. I’d like to see how your make up with primer looks in the morning & how looks at night. Then we can see how your make up without primer looks in the morning & how looks at night. That way it could really be the best judge of primer works or not. :]

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