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June 16, 2023
Primer and moisturizer are two beauty products that, in many ways, do the same things. However, they are two distinctly different products that often ignite debates in the beauty world about their proper application order. Both professional makeup artists and novice beauty enthusiasts have wondered: Should moisturizer be applied before primer, or should primer come before moisturizer? The answer is straightforward: moisturizer should be applied first.
While there is flexibility in the application of certain products, this isn't the case for makeup primers and face moisturizers. Achieving long-lasting makeup and a flawless complexion requires getting the order right. Although we've already told you whether primer goes on before or after moisturizer, there's more to explore. Below, we'll address your lingering questions about using a primer or moisturizer first in creating the ideal face base, along with product recommendations for your best complexion.
Is Primer the Same As Moisturizer?
Believe it or not, there is a common misconception that primer and moisturizer are interchangeable or identical products, leading to confusion about their proper application order. However, these two products have distinct differences and serve specific purposes for your skin.
You might be wondering about moisturizing primers. These versatile products offer an additional boost of hydration while preparing your face for makeup application. They are particularly beneficial for those with very dry skin, as they can address issues of makeup emphasizing dry patches. However, it's important to note that moisturizing primer is not intended to replace your moisturizer. Consider it as supplemental moisture rather than the sole source your skin needs. For a multi-use option, you can try the L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Miracle Blur, which not only functions as a moisturizing primer but also provides a velvet-smooth finish in a single step.
What Is Moisturizer?
Now, you probably already know what moisturizer is, but we’re going to explain the ins and outs in a little more detail. On the flip side of the primer versus moisturizer conversation, moisturizer is a skin care product that’s formulated to hydrate your skin. Like primers, moisturizers come in a myriad of formulas designed specifically for different skin types. Whether excess oil, dry skin, or a dull-looking complexion is your skin care concern, a moisturizer provides the right amount of nourishment and can address other issues in the process.
When to Use Moisturizer?
You should use a moisturizer daily. Skin care is a very personal thing and depending on your skin concerns you might want a specific moisturizer to address a need you have. The American Academy of Dermatology Association recommends having a dedicated nighttime and daytime skin care routine consisting of (at least) a gentle cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen. Skin care layering should always be done with the thinnest formula going first. With that in mind, layer your moisturizer after a serum but before an spf and primer.
What Is Primer for Makeup?
Primer is a makeup product designed to give your makeup an even base for a smooth application and help it last longer. The best way to think of primer is as a barrier for your skin and your makeup products. Depending on the formula, it can add a mattifying effect or boost the skin with moisture to help your makeup look go the distance.
Primer for makeup can also come in a shimmery or bronze formulation to create a glowy foundation on the skin that won’t make you look like a sparkling vampire. For a subtle glow that is Martha Stewart-approved, try the L’Oréal Paris True Match Lumi Glotion Natural Glow Enhancer.
When Do You Apply Primer?
As we’ve discussed so far, primer can be applied on the face to act as a base before makeup (i.e. foundation, concealer, blush, etc). Try the L’Oréal Paris Prime Lab Up to 24H Matte Setter for a shine-free base. Primer can also be applied to the eyelids in the form of a dedicated eyeshadow primer that is safe to use around the eyes.
How to Choose the Right Primer and Moisturizer for You?
When choosing the right primer and moisturizer for your skin type, it's important to consider your specific needs. If you have oily or normal skin, try a lightweight yet hydrating moisturizer like the L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Triple Power Day Lotion SPF 30. It provides the necessary moisture without feeling heavy, and the added SPF protects your skin from damaging ultraviolet rays.
In the world of primers, if you have oily skin pick up the L’Oréal Paris Prime Lab Up to 24H Pore Minimizer for a base that creates an instant blurring effect and combats oiliness all day and night. Those with skin on the drier side need a primer that won’t dry out skin further. That’s where the L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Makeup Blurring Face Primer shines with the infused serum that’ll visibly transform skin quality for a soft-focus effect. For all skin types, including sensitive skin, try the L’Oréal Paris Prime Lab Up to 24H Redness Eraser which is formulated with the skin-loving ingredient, niacinamide.
When it comes to moisturizers, there are dozens of products to choose from that can target certain skin types and skin concerns. Oily skin that needs moisture without the extra greasy layers will appreciate the L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Triple Power Day Lotion SPF 30 which doubles as a moisturizer and sunscreen. If you have normal to dry skin, pick up a water-based moisturizer like the L’Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care - Normal/Dry Skin that provides 72 hours of intense hydration while locking in the moisture for longer skin radiance. All skin types, including aging and sensitive skin, should try the L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Derm intensives Micro Hyaluronic Acid + Ceramides Line-Plumping Water Cream that visibly reduces fine lines.
Should You Apply Primer or Moisturizer First?
Let’s dive a little deeper into the question of primer first or moisturizer first that brought you here. The truth is, you should always apply moisturizer before reaching for primer (seriously, always). As we mentioned above, the purpose of a moisturizer is to lock in moisture to keep dryness at bay. If you apply primer first, you run the risk of sporting dry, lackluster skin. Since primers are not formulated to provide skin with moisture, they can take a toll on your overall makeup look if not used correctly, which is the last thing you want.
An easy way to remember the right order is to separate your products into two separate routines. Moisturizer (or sunscreen) should always be the last step in your skin care routine. The primer should always be the first step in your makeup routine. Your skin care routine always comes first.
Once you’ve got your moisturizer and primer on, you’re ready for makeup. For a quick flushed look that’ll show off the skin you just prepped, try the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Up to 24H Fresh Wear Soft Matte Blush.
How Long to Wait Between Moisturizer and Primer?
To achieve the best results, you should wait for a few minutes (around one to five minutes) after applying moisturizer before applying primer. This allows the moisturizer to fully absorb into the skin, providing maximum hydration and creating a smooth base perfect for makeup application.
Next: What's the Difference Between Cream and Lotion?
Edited by: Alexis Gaskin,Photographer: Nelson Huang, Art Director: Hannah Packer, Producer: Becca Solovay, Beauty Content Director: Shalwah Evans, Visual Designer: Sarah Duvivier, Wardrobe Stylist: Alexis Badiyi, Wardrobe Assistant: Jazmine Alzado, Makeup Artist: Jonet Williamson, Hair Stylist: Akihisa Yamaguchi, Digi Tech: Jacky Jiang, Photo Assistant: Tyler Andrews, Model: Mecca Allah
The truth is, you should always apply moisturizer before reaching for primer (seriously, always). As we mentioned above, the purpose of a moisturizer is to lock in moisture to keep dryness at bay. If you apply primer first, you run the risk of sporting dry, lackluster skin.In what order do you use Loreal products? ›
- Step 1: Facial Cleanser. Facial cleanser should always be the first step in your skin care routine. ...
- Step 2: Toner. ...
- Step 3: Facial Serum. ...
- Step 4: Moisturiser. ...
- Step 5: Eye Cream. ...
- Step 6: Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen or Night Cream.
It's the answer to keeping your makeup in place—day and night. Once you've completed the final step in your skin care routine, apply your primer in small dots onto your skin, then blend in a circular motion over your face.Should I wait for moisturizer to dry before primer? ›
Ginger recommends waiting at least one minute after moisturizing before applying makeup primer. If you experience a doughy texture or any pilling, she says, then you've put in on too quickly. Also worth keeping in mind is the compatibility of your primer, moisturizer, and foundation.Can you put moisturizer and primer? ›
If you have combination skin, you may want to apply both primer and moisturizer. The benefits of using primer and moisturizer together include a flawless complexion and longer-lasting foundation.Is L Oreal Paris good for skin? ›
L'Oreal Paris Skincare Wrinkle Expert 55+ Anti-Aging Face Moisturizer. The Wrinkle Expert 55+ by L'Oreal Paris can help you with so many signs of aging, it is incredible! The calcium in the formula helps strengthen thinning skin. Regular use of the moisturizer can help you achieve smoother and younger-looking skin.What is the correct order to apply products? ›
- Eye Cream.
- Hyaluronic acid serum.
- Other serums.
Step 2: Once the moisturiser is absorbed, apply a small amount of primer on to your skin. Don't add too much as this may make your foundation appear uneven, a pea-sized amount will do the trick. Step 3: Blend the primer into your skin in circular motions, starting with the T-zone and blending outwards.Should you let primer dry before applying foundation? ›
One of the main missteps people make when it comes to priming is applying makeup too soon afterwards. As Phillips mentioned, you want to wait a full minute or more to allow the primer to dry completely before going in with makeup, as this will help to curb pilling or patchiness.How long do you leave primer on before foundation? ›
If you're using a moisturizer, apply that first, then let your skin dry for a few minutes. Beginning at the center of your face, apply just a light layer of primer, dabbing it in with your fingers or a makeup sponge. Allow the primer to dry for a few minutes before applying your foundation.
Not applying primer all over the face.
Greenberg says that if you don't put primer everywhere you're planning to put foundation, you're asking for trouble. Some of your makeup will go on more evenly than the rest, and some will probably wear off more quickly, creating a patchy, uneven mess.
It's just as important to let your moisturizer and skincare dry down as it is to apply it in the first place. If you apply liquid, gel or powder foundation before your moisturizer has completely absorbed, you run the risk of streaky, splotchy makeup. Try and wait five to ten minutes before moving onto your makeup.What do you apply after primer? ›
As much as it's debated, foundation comes after primer.
"Afterwards though, I always suggest lightly off-setting your foundation with a powder foundation that warms your face."
It's just as important to let your moisturizer and skincare dry down as it is to apply it in the first place. If you apply liquid, gel or powder foundation before your moisturizer has completely absorbed, you run the risk of streaky, splotchy makeup. Try and wait five to ten minutes before moving onto your makeup.What order should makeup be in? ›
- Step 1: Primer & Color Corrector. ...
- Step 2: Foundation. ...
- Step 3: Concealer. ...
- Step 4: Blush, Bronzer, & Highlighter. ...
- Step 5: Eyeshadow, Eyeliner, & Mascara. ...
- Step 6: Eyebrows. ...
- Step 7: Lips. ...
- Step 8: Setting Spray or Powder.
One of the main missteps people make when it comes to priming is applying makeup too soon afterwards. As Phillips mentioned, you want to wait a full minute or more to allow the primer to dry completely before going in with makeup, as this will help to curb pilling or patchiness.