If it saves money, and it works, why not? (Image Credit: Thinkstock)
For a long time, I suspected that primer was a bit of a swizz. Makeup to go under your makeup, you say? Sounds very “Emperor’s New Clothes” to me.
But everyone in the entire world seems to love it. And everyone in the whole world can hardly be wrong, can they?
Anyway, I have since tried some primers, and they do actually do things, which is exciting. You can basically get one tailored to any of your face requirements, whether you want moisture, glow, smoothness, or longevity.
But using primers as primers is one thing — how about using weird things as primers? I found some unusual and cheap options on the www and tried them out for your pleasure.
1. The famous Nivea Post Shave Balm.
NikkieTutorials started this, and it has since blown up. I must say, I enjoy the image of thousands of blokes trying to get their usual moisturizer, only to find hoards of teenage girls circling the stand.
It’s super cheap (around $7 for 3.3 oz) and a thin, milky consistency. It smells like men, which I actually enjoy, but if you don’t, don’t worry: it doesn’t last long. Using a small amount (pea sized, shall we say) rub it in like moisturizer. It will eventually start to become sticky, at which point you’re ready to apply base. The stickiness helps the foundation stick on to your skin, sort of like makeup glue. The moisturizing ingredients - like glycerin - help smooth over dry and flaky bits. You makeup lasts longer, while looking better. A palpable win.
2. Slightly upping the weird stakes, Monistat Chafing Relief Powder Gel.
This is a silicone heavy, balm-like product, designed to go between your thighs and stop them rubbing together. There truly is a product for everything.
It isn’t as cheap as the Nivea, at around $10 for 1.5 oz, but you don’t want this all over your face. In fact, a tiny amount over your “poor” (like pore, get it?) skin will be ample.
For those who don’t like silicone-y primers, you won’t like this. It feels incredibly slippy. However, on the face that seems more smooth than slick. It fills in pores and minimizes texture exceptionally. I don’t think it aids longevity at all (in fact, I suspect it denigrates it), but for short bursts of seemingly laminated skin, this works really well.
3. And finally, weirdest of all (and I can’t believe I’m writing this) … lube.
Yes, you can put lube on your face. I read about this from an interview with drag queen Darienne Lake, and if anyone knows how to use foundation, it’s a drag queen.
To avoid angering my sensitive skin, I bought the plain and simple KY Jelly. I didn’t want anything warming or cooling or *shudders* strawberry-flavored on my face. And this is “Doctor Recommended?" Probably not "Doctor Recommended" for the face, but whatever. It was no great monetary loss either, at about $3 for 2oz.
It looks like a clear, slightly shiny gel. Upon application, you’ll find your skin super smooth and, indeed, lubricated, and after rubbing in, it becomes extremely sticky. Stickier than the Post Shave Balm. This means it grabs your foundation and makes it bond with your skin.
For a few hours, it actually looks surprisingly great. I was a bit weirded out by the fact I had lube on my face, but to the outer world, I looked smooth, radiant, and pore-less. While I don’t think it made my foundation wear off any quicker, like I suspect the Monistat did, when my foundation did begin to wear, it didn’t look great. It sort of piled up and rubbed off in a flaky manner. I think if you used less (like, as little as possible), this would probably not happen. So yes, lube as primer does sort of work. Now let’s all move on, ok?