Prime Suspect

Confession: I slather things on my face.

I don’t apply them carefully with expensive brushes and $8 sponges. Who has time for that? No, seriously, I work from home and I still don’t have time for that.

There’s very little delicacy involved in my daily application of products– almost none, really, if we’re being totally honest here.

I rarely pat, or mist, or brush something lightly onto my skin with the eyelashes of babies. Because first of all, that would be terrifying. And second, I am just not a delicate girl! I’m not. I’ve accepted it. I crash into things, I break them, I offer to pay for them (when everyone knows I can’t, really, but it’s the thought that counts, right? RIGHT?)

I like to feel things, I like to pick them up and play with them and squish them accidentally. I like to finger-paint my face. I like to over-indulge, and I have a hard time with moderation; if applying something 1x a day is good, than THREE times a day must be great, right? I am messy. I use my hands to eat foods that are not finger foods. I am a TACTILE MOTHERFUCKER.

This all leads to a veritable oil-slick of an epidermis most mornings. Concealer half-smeared across my cheeks, moisturizers fighting for space, two types of liquid blush all mushed together, five layers of serums and sunblocks and magical potions I mixed in my golden cauldron while speaking latin……I put a lot of shit on my face, okay? And that means that I’m usually working with a less-than-perfect piece of skin on which to put my actual makeup. I slather. Like icing a cake in the dark, I slaaaaather on my products. The sunblocks alone could cushion a small comet if it flew into the side of my face.

Now normally — when it’s time to put on my usual liquid eyeliner– if I didn’t take some small precaution? That careful cat’s eye would end up down by my chin before the day was over.

It doesn’t, though. My mascara stays put, my eyeliner remains fresh and doo-wop pretty, my face looks fresh to death when I arrive on the scene and demand they play that song I like. You know, the one with the hand claps and the children’s chorus? You know it.

Now, the reason my makeup doesn’t melt like a Carvel cake at a midsummer birthday party?

I prime this bitch like a motherfucker.

That’s vulgar, I know. It’s an un-ladylike thing to say. I should encourage you to “create a smooth, crease-free canvas upon which to feather your makeup with fingers light as air.” Who TALKS like this? I am not a PAINTER, my face is not MY CANVAS. MY FACE IS MY FACE, AND MY FACE HAS A LOT OF STUFF ON IT.

So I use shadow primer. And then I win at life. Because I get to keep slathering on my products with abandon, and I still get to look put together and bright eyed and polished.

Primer, to break it down for you, is a product (usually a cream, but sometimes a powder…though I’ve found the creamy ones work a lot better) you apply to literally “prime” your skin before you put on your makeup. For eyeshadow primer, which is what I’m most passionate about, you’re painting on a coat of neutral-colored cream that, once dry, is going to block any oils from your skin (or from slathered on products) from interfering with your eye makeup… those oils that usually cause eye shadows to crease, liners to move/bleed, and mascaras to smear. By priming the surface of the skin, you’re essentially giving yourself a shield to wear under your makeup. It’s magical. 

Seriously, if I could impart any wisdom to you– if I could convince you to purchase just ONE product that seems like it’s overkill, seems like it belongs in the makeup bag of the type of chick who calls her face her Canvas and always smells like rosewater, it would be this: makeup primer is actually really awesome, and worth the extra five seconds it takes your lazy ass to apply.

No matter how much goop I glob (look at that alliteration!) on myself, if I use primer on my eyes (and I mean my lids, my creases, and my under-eye area as well) I will remain flawless-looking for the day.

This one is my favorite:

I want to marry this tube and have 5 tube-shaped babies with it. I do.

It’s eighteen dollars, and you use a tiny little bead of it at a time because it spreads well. So a tube can last you at LEAST 4 months, usually 6…sometimes up to a year. What a BARGAIN, right?

This stuff! This stuff is so great, you guys. It’s like a layer of someone else’s skin on top of your skin. Someone who is a model and who never sweats, whose eyeshadow never creases and who dates Leo DiCaprio on the regular. This is the get-up-on-a-banquette-and-dance-in-a-too-small-dress, I-know-I-look-amazing-and-you-wish-you-were-me of products. It is CONFIDENT and PERFECT and makes you feel like a zillion bucks. Or at the very least, it makes you feel secure. I check my makeup about zero times a day when I wear this stuff, just because I know it’s not going anywhere (so let’s hope I applied it right the first time, you know? Ugh.)

There are other primers out there that have their own crazy cult followings and they deserve them, I’m sure. Personally I think they’re all pretty much the same, except some cost more or less and some smell different. Some are lighter than others, some are made specifically for when you want to wear glitter. (Who are you? Who are you that needs a special glitter primer? I’m just asking.) There are actual FACE primers if you wear a lot of foundation/concealer/blush and find those products have a propensity to run on you. Do some exploring! Put some on your face, see if you like them!

I’m just encouraging you to use a primer, ANY PRIMER, for God’s sake– just use one, any of them. It will change your whole game up.

This Lorac one is fucking GREAT, and I go back and forth between this and the above Too Faced one. If you are feeling splurgish, go for broke and pay the extra three bucks for this one: Lorac Behind the Scenes Eye Primer.

Also in the running: NARSMakeup Forever,   and Urban Decay. Three fantastic products that I heartily recommend.

Take this step. Ensure your face looks fresh all day, even when you’re wearing 5 layers of sunblock. Give yourself creaseless lids, smearless liner and smudgeless mascara. (None of those is a real adjective, I know, but it’s my blog and I will misspell if I want to.)

Primed and ready (in the strictly non-prostitute sense),


2 thoughts on “Prime Suspect

  1. dumpy says:

    i’ve been considering buying a primer since i have oily lids, but i’ve always felt like buying one was too much of a *commitment* since i never really knew if it was worth it, or maybe i’m just really fucking lazy. buying the too faced primer now!!!

    • maxinelk says:

      ATTA GIRL. From one oily lidded lady to another (ew? I pray that doesn’t become how I am referred to on the internet, but am now sure it will) I wish you nothing but the best of luck with your priming endeavors. Let me know how it works out.

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