PRIMERS do for your skin what lingerie does for your figure - they smooth, flatter, conceal and hold things in place, so that everything you put on top of them looks immediately better. Whether you want to blur wrinkles, minimise the appearance of pores or to even skin tone, primers do this whilst creating the perfect, velvety base for foundation and bridging the gap between skincare and make-up.
Advanced formulations and improved textures mean that today's primers are better than ever, though cult classics such as Smashbox's Photo Finish Foundation Primer and Urban Decay's Eyeshadow Primer Potion still stand the test of time. See UK VOGUE's favourites:
This primer has a fiercely loyal following - so much so that the brand has launched an entire range of alternative versions to suit every different skin type and requirement. The original is second to none, and gives skin a soft-focus finish and silky texture.
The clue is in the name - this primer is all about luminous, youthful skin. Use all over the skin for a dewy glow, or apply to cheekbones, the bridge of the nose and the forehead for a subtle but noticeable radiance.
L'Oréal Paris Lumi Magique Pure Light Primer. £9.99; available at www.boots.com.
If shiny skin is your nemesis then look to Bourjois's mattifying formula, which refines pores and smooths skin for easy make-up application with no caking.