Self care, skin care,
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Prep & Prime

When it comes to primers and products which promise to prolong your makeup, I used to be dead set against them. "They want me to put another liquid product on my oliy skin? And it's supposed to help my makeup not get greasy and creased up?!" was my general thought process but after some time I eventually caved and have now tried and tested what feels like thousands of products. Setting sprays, powder primers, anti-blemish/medicated primers, you name it, I've probably gave it a go. The struggle has been finding ones I actually like and work for me, but I think I've finally found them...

Let me start with the L'Oréal Lumi Magique Base Primer. This is a great one for all skin types as its not drying. It is very pearlescent in an aim to give you a glowing complexion which is great for those seeking a dewy look to their makeup. Now, I'm not someone who likes a dewy look as there's a fine line between dewy and oily for my skin, so I tend to use this product sparingly. Rather than apply it as an all-over base, I simply use it on the highest points of my face (my nose, cheekbones etc.) and use it almost like a base highlight. This is great for subtly highlighting or giving your face some dimension without the aid of a highlight on top of your foundation. As it is quite light reflecting and hydrating, I also like to use it under my eyes as a good base for my concealer. This is a great way to use this products as it makes tired dull eyes look a little more awake and alive!

One of my absolute favourite primers but again, not for everyone, is The Body Shop's All-in-One Instablur Universal. This first came on my radar about a year ago when I saw a few blog posts raving about how great this was for oily skin. Obviously that was a selling point for me and I've never looked back. The primer is quite thick and silicone in texture so if you are not a fan of those type of primers, the Lumi Magique's consistency may be more your thing, but I find the Instablur melts beautifully onto the face and creates a poreless base. It doesn't fill or hide your pores completely, but it does create a smooth finish over them which is perfect for applying foundation. Its also a great one for those good skin days when you want to be makeup free but also stay oil-free as it gives a more balanced appearance to your skin. The tube I've had has lasted me around 6 months so far and I would say I have maybe half of it left and that's from using it daily - at £14 a tube, that's pretty good value, no?

My other favourite - which is a new one for me - is the Nivea Men's Post Shave Balm. Yep, you read that right. Watching Kathleen Lights on YouTube one day she mentioned this product being raved about in the cosmetics world and put it to the test. She was impressed with it and as I've used it as an actual post shave balm before, I figured buying another bottle wouldn't go to waste if I didn't like having it on my face. A big 100ml will only set you back around £5 which is an absolute steal! Buying the sensitive version also means that it is alcohol and fragrance free so should be suitable for most skin types and shouldn't cause any skin issues. As its a post shave balm, it should help hydrate drier skin but also help mattify the shinier skin. I've personally fallen head over heels for the stuff. A little goes a long way but the finish of it makes applying foundation a dream and it really does prolong my makeup more than any other primer I've tried, ever. Honestly give this crazy phenomenon a go - I'll be surprised if you don't like it!

My last fave product is the Nyx Matte Finish Setting Spray. I've tried a few setting sprays and have found some of them to make me feel like if I smile my face will crack and others that have a spray nozzle so bad that it just soaks the creation you've spent the last half an hour perfecting. Although I'm a huge fan of Nyx, I was hesitant about trying this because of my experience of setting sprays in general and also the cheap price tag (£7). How silly I was to doubt it. It really does keep you matte, it doesn't make your skin feel crispy, and helps achieve a natural healthy look. As I've always used it alongside a primer, I can't say how good it is as a stand-alone product, but combined with the Nivea Post Shave Balm or Instablur it keeps my face oil-free from 7am til 4pm! And if you're more of a dewy finish girl, they have one for you too!

What are your favourite priming and setting products that you would recommend?

- A.
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