How To: Apply Face & Eye Primers

Today I am beginning a new series… each segment of the series will tackle a category of makeup and cover how to properly apply each one.  For you beauty gurus out there this may be old news, but I’m hoping this will be helpful for beginners or those who have always dreaded makeup application.  Stay tuned as we work our way over the whole face!

How To Apply Primer www.jilliandanielle.com

Photo courtesy of Ashley Ella Design


Today’s topic is primers.  In order to condense things a little we will cover face primers, eye primers and setting sprays all in this segment.  Even if you haven’t liked them in the past, I think most people can benefit from primers… it’s simply a matter of finding the right formula for you!


When face primers first appeared on the market, they were almost all a clear, silicone-like gel with a slightly matte finish (think Smashbox Photo Finish)… and this is still a great option!  However, primer formulas have expanded and changed so much to include a variety of formulas and finishes, and to suit many skin types.  There are options to minimize pores, to promote longevity, to hydrate and to add a luminous finish!

Whatever formula you choose, the technique is almost always the same.  Apply face primer with your fingers (this works much better than a brush), and lightly smooth it over your skin.  If you prefer, you can apply only to areas of concern such as your T-zone.

The trick to face primer is not to over blend.  If you rub your primer in until you can’t feel it anymore, you are losing most of its effectiveness.  You should feel as though you are leaving a light layer over the skin… this will result in the best lasting power and reduction of pores.

Allow your primer to sit for just a few seconds before applying your foundation.


Eye primers differ from face primers immensely and are not meant to be interchangeable.  While face primers are meant to provide smoothness with a slight hold, eye primers are thicker and provide a very tacky finish for shadows to cling to.  Some primers have more hold than others, and some like Nars Pro Prime are more suitable for oily eyelids.

Apply eye primer to your eyelid with your finger, and blend it in with gentle patting.  Try to avoid rubbing in your eye primer to prevent pulling on the delicate skin around the eye.  Extending your eye primer application slightly past your lid is a great idea if you will be sporting winged liner!


Setting Sprays can seem like a bit of a princess product, but there are a lot of skin types that can really benefit from the effects of a setting spray.  For my oily skin, I love the Urban Decay De-Slick Setting Spray!  It increases the staying power of my makeup by locking things into place, and also keeps oil at bay.  It sort of acts like a hairspray for the face, but still feels lovely and cooling!

Those with dry, dehydrated skin can benefit from a hydrating mist.  More so than hold, these sprays provide a burst of extra moisture.  This is a great way to re-hydrate the skin throughout the day without disturbing your makeup!

Favorite Primers www.jilliandanielle.com

My Must Have Primers, clockwise from top left:  Mary Kay Eye Primer, Urban Decay De-Slick Makeup Setting Spray, Mary Kay Oil Mattifier, Mary Kay Makeup Finishing Spray, Mary Kay Foundation Primer


I hope you enjoyed these little tips for the perfect primer application!  If you have any suggestions for primers, either formulas or application, please comment!  I would love to hear!

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  1. I really love your post also I didn’t know about the face primer. It is that you leave like a thin layer. I have been really rubbing it in. Oh whoops.

    • jilliandanielle says:

      Thank you! Yes, just a thin layer is best. Just enough to smooth over any pores without being to thick. 🙂 Have a wonderful day!


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  3. […] I started a new blog series this week covering the basics of makeup application.  Each post will cover the How To’s of one type of makeup… this week we started with primers.  You can check out the first edition of the series HERE! […]

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