Lip Primers

Gwen Stefani and her coveted red lipstick

This week I will be looking at lip primers which do the same as face and eye primers. They are designed to keep colour on for longer and making colours a little more vivid. I will also go into how to make your lips appear bigger and enhance their natural shape.

To enhance the natural shape of your lips there are a few easy techniques to follow before you make a knee-jerk reaction to get botox or fillers.

Lip primers either come in liquid form or solid like a lipstick. They really need to be moisturising for the lips which is why those kinds are more successful and popular with lip primers. Application is applying a small amount to the lips and making sure it has been fully blended out, sometimes lip primers are a nude colour and the application on the lips can give a pale effect, it’s just creating a base for the colour, most are colourless on application – but is for your information. A primer would go on just before you put lip liner & lipstick/gloss on. There are a variety of things you can do to enhance your lips just before you apply the primer.

Different Lip Primers on the market

Lip plumpers can be fabulous but I feel if you were to apply everyday you would build a natural tolerance to the sensation on the lips they give, which could make you think that it’s not working as well anymore, so for best results try not to apply it daily and stick to it being between special occasions or just use it now and again. Mint is a common ingredient in plumpers giving them a minty scent. Lip plumpers get the blood ‘rushing’ to the lips which gives off that pouty plump look. The texture of lip plumpers is often a thick liquid consistency.

Lip Plumper

Another tip to help smooth out the lips and prepare them for a lip plumper would be exfoliating. Please consider if you do this daily it may cause dry, cracked lips. Exfoliate when needed as this will get rid of the dead skin cells and the exfoliating beads will improve blood circulation to the lips, creating a slight plumping effect itself.

Lip Scrub by Sara Happ

Highlighting is a great effect that will make a difference. Applying and blending concealer out around the lip-line brings out the lips and gives an illusion of making them bigger. It’s a small and very easy tip, remember to line your lips with a lip-liner if you can as a little extra make-up around the lips might make your choice of lipstick bleed. Another tip – using white eyeliner does not work in this case, I have tried and it is not cute that’s for sure!

Lip liner is a product for delicate hands. What colour you use is up to you, keep it on the lip line especially after highlighting around the lips as this will create a very defined look and enhance the natural shape of your lips. Feathering the colour into the lip from the line will help blend the colour of your lipstick and have a more seamless effect. If you’re using similar lip colours, I wouldn’t advise you to do that for dark brown lip liner and a pale lipstick.

Blistex

Matte lip colours do look beautiful in red but they can sometimes make you look dehyrated or have a chalky appearance. Adding a tiny bit of a natural lip balm can blend the lip colour where it’s needed to stop the chalky look. Glosses made from natural ingredients or SPF like Blistex are the best choice because of their qualities. Sometimes gloss is used as another layer of colour and that can really make the lipstick come off after a short period of time. Lipcote, and other products like it, do a good job of keeping lip colour on for longer but it makes the colour bleed very easily so try to use minimal amounts.

Glitter glosses can enhance the appearance of cracks in the lips and they are a hard one to pull off at the best of times. For best results, use these glosses on smooth, plump lips. If you have dry or mature skinned lips, place a lip plumper on before using glitter glosses. Primers do have a tendency to help moisturising lipsticks last longer.

Images reproduced from fashionstylebeauty.com, strictlyesthetics.ca, jaleesajaikaran.com, bellasugar.com, makeupconnection.com, product.madeinchina.com, lipexfoliator.net and eyecandybeauty.blogspot.co.uk

Primers: Is Your Face in It’s Prime?

Firstly – welcome to my first beauty post!

I will be posting weekly tips, tutorials and advice on things to do with beauty – topics that fall into that are make-up, hair and miscellaneous beauty products! Reader input is always welcome, be it questions, opinions etc, anyway, I digress and shall get on with this week’s post!

So, here we are, almost summer and the weather is hotting up, and you know what that means… sweat! Rather than having to touch up your make-up countless times in the day that it becomes the OCD of the season, you can try using primers – I know, these are one of the Marmite products in the make-up world, and I’m going to type-talk you through face primers today.

For those unaware what a primer is, it’s a make-up product designed to keep foundation on for longer by being a base for the foundation, smoothing the appearance of the skin and filling in fine lines.

There are many questions about whether these products are actually beneficial to keep foundation on for longer. If you’re one of the people that are worried it will cause break-outs, clog pores or sit heavy on the face – the real answer to this would be to assess the factors that affect your skin – everyone is different, common factors to think about are your skin type (are you oily or dry?) and your location – the skin is different if you live in the country as opposed to a very busy city.

There are a variety of primers out there for different skin types. When introducing a new product to your routine it can throw your skin off balance because for the first 2 weeks the skin trys to get accustomed to the new product – we’re talking about very small changes. However,  if you go bright red, itchy and sore on the first application, I don’t think you need telling twice to put the product down, step away and get yourself a cold compress!

Smashbox Primers

Primers cost between £7 to in excess of £30 and finding the right one for you can be expensive if not done properly, so here are a few tips for the various skin types. Mature skin suits gel primers more than liquid, it’s smoother and applies better to this type of skin. Dry skin (with exfoliating and moisturising depending on how dry you are) would also benefit with gel primers because dimethicone (polydimethylsiloxane) is a silicon based polymer found in gel primers that does wonders for smoothing the skin and makes gel primers a little more gentle on the skin as opposed to liquid ones. For areas that have a rougher skin texture, gel primers could help a smoother application of foundation with less irritation. Smashbox do a wide range of primers aimed at covering most skin types.

GOSH Gel Primer

Dimethicone can also be found in other non-primer products such as anti-chaffing gels. The Monistat anti-chaffing gel was creating waves on the primer scene a couple of years ago and, when compared to gel primers like the ones from Smashbox, was a third of the cost! Whether Monistat was a surprising multi-purpose cosmetic or a placebo due to price I shall leave up to you to decide.

Monistat Anti-Chaffing Gel

Oily and acne prone skin would better suit liquid and oil free based primers. Oil free primers in liquid form settle better on oily skin rather than gel primers which can sometimes add to the shine and make-up feels like it’s sliding off. I would advise those with acne prone and sensitive skins to also go for natural, perfume-free and oil-free primers so you don’t irritate the skin. NYX HD liquid primer is a US brand similar to GOSH and MAC and available to purchase online in the UK.

NYX HD Liquid Primer

As for myself, I fall into the combination dry/oily skin type. I do use a primer when I am going out to special occasions and/or gigs but sometimes I do not use a primer on days when I’m short of time and obviously I wouldn’t use a primer on days when I do not wear make-up. If the weather is really hot or wet, I will always wear a primer as it works wonderfully to make my foundation last longer and it helps make my skin look flawless.

On the whole primers are a great investment if you love to have that flawless look everyday or even just on special occasions. Primers – like all other make-up - are not gender specific. Both men and women can use them.

What are your opinions on primers? Do you wear them daily? Do you think they are a go-to beauty product? I’d love to hear about your experiences – good or bad!

Pr-eye-mer: Eye Primers

This week’s edition is brought to you by those bare canvases around the eyes, known as the eye-lid, with a wonderful range of different types of make-up to make this area dazzle like disco balls or colours giving luminous neon lights competition, eye primer is a product to keep these products on longer, making brighter and giving dimension.

Like primers for the face eye primers come in different consistencies, there’s liquid, gel and mousse varieties and it is used as a base – applied before eye-shadow/liner and optional to apply concealer first before the base or just go ahead with the primer application.

Liquid primers I find are best to suit all types of skin and ages but it is ideal for dry eye-lids, mature skin and sensitive thin skin, the texture of this is usually creamy and thicker than what the liquid name would make you assume, it’s creamy texture makes it very easy to apply and to make sure to rub it in and keep eyes closed for a few seconds for it to settle into the skin (sometimes it can crease – simply rub and blend any crease lines out) any eye primer that’s the equivalent to fluid and very watery I would say is a no-go, chances are the product’s off or it’s just not going to be ‘strong’ enough as a base. The same attributes can be applied to cream primers, the only thing is that they are thicker so it depends on how smooth and creamy it is to how it will suit you, cream to powder ones I find go cakey quickly so try to find ones with a blend-able and creamy texture.

Thicker primers like mousse ones I find are a little harder to apply, you need to blend more and prolonged rubbing of the eye-lids just isn’t great, they also are more likely to make the eye-shadow/concealer or foundation to cake as it doesn’t settle as well into the skin and creates more of a layered effect. Thick cream primers like Urban Decay Primer Potion (before they changed the formulae & packaging) was great at doing its job of a base and improving the look of eye-shadows etc, but it was very hard to blend on the eye-lids, it would dry very quick on the lid and it went chalky in areas that weren’t blended as well or little parts that were unnoticeable until it dried (also the product itself would dry-out fast) hence eye-shadow being stronger in different places and if you’re precise with make-up it will annoy you, also the chalky appearance makes it a little harder for darker skin tones to use.

Primers can also just be worn alone and just used to conceal veins or improve the colour of skin around the eyes, but they can come in colours like white and black to enhance colours, white would be used more for making bright colours stand out more and black to be used for smoky looks and really making blacks, greys and any dark colour very dark and deep, a lot of mineral make-up companies do make the coloured primers and my first black primer was from ‘The She Space’ many moons ago, the only issue I have with coloured primers is that it can get heavy and is quite likely to crease after a long period of time, e.g. going out dancing will probably make it crease more as being more active makes you sweat more and this will obviously affect the make-up.

There’s a massive range of primers out there and I am sure there’s a few I’ve not come across yet, go out, have fun and experiment all you want with them to find what’s right for you. As for myself I use eye primers, I don’t use it daily as I don’t wear make-up every day the times I really make sure to use it is if I am going out and long social occasions, I’ve done my experiments with primers and I am sure I have the one for me right now and that’s a creamy liquid one and it does the job of making the shadow last longer and being more vivid and bold, even if I’m using nude tones. Whether or not you think this type of make-up product is useful or not it is worth an experiment with once and remember the skin around the eye is a very delicate place, it is its thinnest around the eyes and try to keep application of eye-primers using the ring finger – ideally, as this applies the least pressure.

Product Image reproduced from beautynomics.com, buy-her.com, community.sephora.com and mahyacosmetics.blogspot.co.uk. All other images courtesy of the author.