Reader Q&A: Why Do I Need a Foundation Primer?

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Recently, we received an email from a reader who was baffled by the scores of makeup primers on the shelves. Here, we break down the primer's many benefits (one of them is scoring skin as flawless and baby-smooth as Kelly Rowland's), and why you must have one in your beauty arsenal... QUESTION: "I don't get it, I see foundation primers everywhere--in department stores, at Sephora--and I have no idea what they're for. What exactly are the benefits of using a primer? Do I need one? Help!" -- Jessica P., Shreveport, LA ANSWER: Okay, Jessica, here's the thing...they're not absolutely necessary (and really, who wants to add one more step to their makeup regimen), but primers give your skin such a spectacularly even-toned, silky-smooth finish that it's worth it. A good foundation primer is a sheer, lightweight base that helps fill-in fine lines, reduce the appearance of pores, and add a soft-focus finish to the skin--all of which creates a clean, smooth canvas for your foundation. Plus, it makes your makeup look better and last longer...no smudging, smearing, or fading. To use it, simply apply over clean, dry skin, and then apply the rest of your makeup. From wallet-friendly to fancy, here are some of our favorites:
  • A cult-favorite among celebs, Perf'kt Skin Perfection Gel ($59) is spiked with powerful antioxidants, as well as vitamins A and E to help nourish and protect your complexion.
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