Whether you’re about to reveal your ready-for-my-close-up fully made-up face or are just heading out with some tinted sunscreen and the bare minimum of make-up, applying a layer of primer can be a big plus. Many people pass on this step since it’s something they’ve never tried or didn’t know they needed. Others may have given it a shot, but paired the primer with a foundation that was a bad fit. That old saying about water and oil not mixing holds true for make-up as well. However, if done right, primer can take your beauty game up a notch to the next level.
We often think of foundation as the first step because, hello, it’s called foundation and words are supposed to clue us in on the order of operations, right? Well if we think about building a house or adding color to a canvas, there are steps before that “first” step. In fact, there can actually be a few. Before pouring the concrete foundation of a house, there’s the requisite excavation, waterproofing, and backfill. And, did I have to Google those home-building steps just now? Yes, yes I did. But it makes sense that you have to prepare a surface in order to get the best results, and this holds true for the face as well. It’s important to clean and exfoliate first. Then, applying a primer to your face provides a smooth surface upon which you can paint your masterpiece.
Primer helps to cover up the look of large pores, fills in tiny lines, and absorbs oil. If you have oilier skin, the primer provides something for your foundation to affix to that lasts much longer than going without. It makes your make-up stay fresh and not feel like it’s slowly sliding off your face.
Most of the primers you can purchase contain silicone and build a barrier between your foundation and your face. This is a fine solution for many folks, but occasionally there are people with allergies, or that just have a preference for other ingredients that serve a similar purpose. If you haven’t picked out a perfect primer for yourself yet, and are looking for a little low-risk DIY, try seeing if one of these options below works for you.
1. Simple Spray Primer with Glycerine
Since some of you may not even make it to the end of this post, we figured we’d share the simple spray primer first! Also, there’s no shame in not scrolling all the way through – maybe you just want to get down to business and do this DIY, or perhaps you’ve got to get back to binging all the Star Wars movies ever made with your kids. That’s an excellent use of time, too. No one is judging – we’re here to help!
For this spray primer, all you need is a small spray bottle, filtered water, and glycerine. Don’t worry too much about the bottle – you can buy one in just about any drugstore, or repurpose one from your bag of beauty products. Glycerine is a humectant moisturizer, which means it helps the skin retain water. If you just spray plain water on your face, it will eventually evaporate and actually leave your skin slightly drier. Adding glycerine keeps some of that essential moisture locked in. Use about 10 parts water to one part glycerine, and voilà! You’ve got a simple solution to moisturize skin and give it a slightly tacky texture that makes make-up adhere much better.
Be aware that you don’t want to leave this mixture sitting around for too long because it can be fodder for bacteria. But if you remake it every few days you’ll be just fine. And if the thought of that makes you nervous or you’re not that good of keeping track of which day it is, then you can always put a drop of glycerine in your palm, spread it around with some water, and pat it into your face. This way you can be worry-free and still moisturized. Plus, even a small amount of glycerine will leave you with that slightly tacky texture that helps your makeup hold on longer.
Consider that pretty face of yours primed!
2. Primer Powered by Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is a great ingredient to include in your DIY primer because not only is it something you might have on hand, but it’s also a best friend for your skin. Whether you are scraping it from the plant yourself, or purchasing it at the store, getting that good stuff on your skin is what matters. Aloe Vera gel has anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties and aids in cell regeneration. This keeps skin protected and looking youthful. It contains vitamins A and C, so it nourishes the skin as well. Ultimately, Aloe Vera works like a glue that helps skin cells stick together which creates a smoothing effect of the surface. Only a couple other ingredients are needed to achieve the consistency you need to convert this gel into a primer.
For this mixture, you need one part Aloe Vera gel to one part moisturizer. If your moisturizer already contains sunscreen, then you don’t need to add any, but if it doesn’t, you can decide if you want to add that in as well. Just remember that it’s one more way to protect your skin from that unwanted sun damage. Then, all you need to do is add in a small amount of your liquid foundation so you can easily assess your coverage as you apply. If your skin is not dry, you can also throw in a few pinches of loose powder to get a thicker, silky consistency.
If you don’t wear a lot of make-up, this primer may be all you need before you go about your day. But if not, then you have a beautiful base layer upon which to work your magic.
If any of the steps above were unclear or you just learn better by watching, here’s a short video you can consult of someone making a very similar type of DIY primer. You can choose any small container to mix and store your primer, but the small twist top ones work quite well. There’s always the option to reuse a container that you happen to have around – just be sure to thoroughly clean it out so you can start fresh.
3. Aloe Vera Strikes Again
Honestly, there are more than a few primer mixes that include Aloe Vera because it is just that fabulous for your face! Similar to the recipe above, you will need Aloe Vera, moisturizer, and loose powder, but this one calls for witch hazel as well. So let’s launch into our laudatory recitation of the benefits of Hamamelis virginiana, more commonly known as witch hazel.
Most likely you’ve come across a bottle and have benefitted from its ability to soothe and tone skin. But did you know that it contains antioxidants that help prevent inflammation? Witch Hazel can also neutralize free radicals, which are compounds that build up in your body and cause disease. It reduces reddening from injury or irritation if applied topically to the skin. So, if you are prone to breakouts or have oily skin, the addition of witch hazel in your primer is a great idea. It’s also just a good product to have around for other skin irritations, or to swipe across your face with a cotton ball to cleanse and refresh your face.
Just combine equal parts Aloe Vera gel and moisturizer (extra points if it contains sunscreen), and then add a few drops of witch hazel. The exact amount of drops will depend on how much primer you plan to make, and your preferred consistency. Then, you can simply spread it across your face gently with your clean fingers. If you whistle while you wait – cue “Whistle While Your Work” from Snow White (and the seven dwarfs) – then, before you know it, your primer will have set. And that means, you’re all set!
4. The Calamine Cure for Oily Skin Primer
Maybe right now you’re asking, “but I don’t have chicken pox, so why in the world would I use calamine lotion?” Well, you’re onto something by making that association, but calamine lotion can be used for more than just calming itching and irritation on the skin. Sometimes it is used to spot treat pimples because of its drying properties and ability to absorb excess oil. Well, I’m sure you’ve guessed by now that those properties work for a primer too, especially when you need a little help reigning in pores that act like oil wells.
This is the one DIY primer on the list where you should actually apply some moisturizer first. Since the calamine lotion can be rather drying, you do need to give your skin a little drink before you seal if off from the world. After you apply your moisturizer you can pour some of the calamine lotion into the cap or on a clean surface where you’ll be dipping your stippling brush. Use the brush to paint a thin layer over your entire face. (If you’ve never had calamine lotion on your skin before, you’ll want to do a patch test to make sure you don’t have any allergies. This is actually a good tip to follow for any new ingredients you introduce to your skin.)
You’ll notice that it creates a light chalk-like layer on your skin that is the perfect palette on which to apply your favorite foundation, blushes, shades, and so forth. This is definitely not the primer to use if you’re going for a light layer of make-up or planning to skip your foundation completely. This is a perfect primer for a full make-up look that you want to last from morning till night. Now you can go strut your stuff with confidence all day long.
5. Island-Perfect Primer
If you’re anything like me, your mind transports you to a tropical island where you’re holding a big-girl glass with a tiny umbrella as soon as the smell of sweet coconut is sensed by your sniffer. Coconut oil is a great natural moisturizer, and is the star of this primer recipe. It contains fatty acids that nourish and moisturize the skin. The vitamin E found in coconut oil also works to make skin super smooth. However, not everyone is cuckoo for coconuts, so if you’re not, you can select a different oil or moisturizer to add to this primer. A little avocado oil or your favorite moisturizer will do.
For this primer, mix ⅓ cup of Aloe Vera with a teaspoon of coconut oil, and a couple pinches of that mineral powder makeup that you’re just certain you have in some drawer somewhere. Once it’s thoroughly blended, you can apply it with fingers or a clean makeup brush. This primer is perfect for any skin type, and is especially moisturizing for drier or aging skin. You can doll yourself up for the evening, or just add some BB cream and be on your way. You should feel free to share this secret on the coconut telegraph, since there’s no need to keep good news to yourself!
Bonus: How To Use Eye Gel
That’s How You Make Homemade Makeup Primer!
Well, that concludes your primer on DIY primers. The good thing is you might already have many of these items in your house at this very moment. If not, they are pretty easy to find at a drugstore or online. Each of the options above have worked wonders for some skin types, but be sure to take notice of your own skin’s unique needs and adjust recipes accordingly.
Not everyone is a do-it-yourself kind of gal, and that’s just as well.
Some people have spent a lot of time perfecting formulas to get the mix just right. There are plenty of reasons to trust the experts on this one, especially when you have affordable options that are absolutely fabulous, like Viviane Woodard’s Retexturizing Face Primer. This Retexturizing Face Primer works wonders with every skin type. It’s lightweight but loaded with vitamins A, E, and C that nourish and heal the skin as they leave it silky smooth. As with all Viviane Woodard products, this primer is cruelty-free and vegan. So if you don’t have the desire to DIY, sit back and let Viviane Woodard D. I. for Y.
For over 60 years, Viviane Woodard has represented “The Purity of Skincare”. We are the leading beauty brand for water-based skin care products and promote the importance of good skin hydration. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest for skin care tips, product discounts and more.