Beauty Basics Part 1: the underwear of beauty

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while, I’ve had the Easter weekend off. But I’m back and today I’m going to write about something that I’ve been meaning to write about since I started this blog. The basics of beauty. 

First of all, primers. If makeup were clothes, primer is the underwear. Bad underwear can make your whole outfit look ill fitting and unflattering, but good underwear can make a difference you never thought possible. It is the same with primer. You don’t know how good a difference it can make until you use one. No primer, or bad primer, and your makeup will look bad from the start and only get worse. You wouldn’t paint your house without a base coat of primer on first, so don’t paint your face without it either. 

There are three different types I use on my face. Foundation primer, eye shadow primer, and lip primer. Regular readers will know which foundation primer I currently use, and it is NARS Radiance Enhancing Pro-Prime Light Optimizing Primer (£24) a bit of a mouthful but it works. You can wear it on it’s own on a no makeup day for a natural glow, or as a primer to make your makeup last 8+ hours without setting spray and 24 hours with setting spray. Some more affordable primers are Smashbox which are designed to make your makeup last under the hot lights of a studio, and Benefit’s Stay Flawless 15 hour Primer. Or if you really want to splash out Laura Mercier has a range of different primers that are fantastic but expensive (£28-35).


I use many different eye shadow primers, as I have a lot, but my most reliable one is again NARS. Eye shadow primer is the most important of all, because sometimes a good enough foundation can look ok without a primer, but a good eye shadow primer can make even cheap eyeshadow last all night and day without creasing or melting off no matter how hard you dance. It also gives your eyes an even base to apply shadow onto, so you don’t have to work too hard to get rid of redness. I also use various Urban Decay primers because I get a lot of these free. They are also very good and they have different types for matte or sparkly eyeshadow or even anti-ageing. 


Lip primer is not essential, as you can just use a combination of lip balm and concealer, however it does make a difference. My favourite is Mac’s Prep and Prime Lip (£12.50). This is colour free so you can still add concealer over it, it just moisturises the lips and helps lipstick stay put and not to dry the lips or flake. If you want a neutralising base, Mac also do Lip Erase (£14.50) which “neutralizes and erases natural colour from the lip” 


But again, not essential as concealer will do a similar job. 

Some people might think “primer, what’s that? is it worth spending extra money on for something you can’t even see?” because that is what I used to think when I was a youth, but it IS worth it. I never take makeup out with me because I simply don’t have to re apply and that saves a lot of grief on a night out. So trust me and invest. You will not regret it. 


I’m such a NARSissist…

I was in SpaceNK the other day when I remembered I could do with some more primer. My usual – Laura Mercier – was running low. But while I was browsing I spotted a NARS primer specifically for radiance boosting. It’s cheaper than my usual at £25 so I thought I’d give it a go. 





The NARS Radiance Enhancing Primer Pro-Prime range (£25)

I always set my makeup with a very expensive makeup setting spray (lies, I use hairspray. It’s £4 and works better than any posh setting sprays) so even if I forgot my primer my makeup could last all day. So the real test of this product is how well would my makeup last without hairspray? Well I wasn’t going anywhere yesterday so took the risk, my skin will thank me for it cause hairspray is not good for it. And 8 hours after application my makeup was still flawless and radiant! I already knew NARS primers were great because I use the eyeshadow primer, but I wasn’t expecting this. I highly recommend.


“And God Created Woman…”


“And God Created Woman” is a smoky eye palette from Nars that provides a selection of six neutral/brown tone shades. It also comes with some sample size eyeshadow primer and a mini eye shadow brush. This was a Christmas present and I have already gotten so much use out of it. The colours are perfect for anything from a day cut crease look to an evening dark smoky brown and works particularly well on the brown eyed girl. 



For the day I used the top left lightest burnt peach colour on the lid and the bottom left sparkly brown in the crease and to line the lower lashes. 


ImagePictures from Instagram @barbzhj

Unfortunately these were taken with the front facing camera on my iPhone so they are not the best quality and you can’t quite see the detail but I love this look. The light peach is really gorgeous on. Furthermore the primer is amazing. I usually use and Urban Decay eyeshadow primer but this was so good I want to invest in a full size one. Not only did it keep my makeup in place all day but it also made for very easy application of the eye shadow which is not something I usually notice in primers. 

I basically am really happy with how this looked and it is my current day look when I’m making an effort. I pair it with a nude matte lip.

ImagePicture on Instagram: @barbzhj