When it comes to makeup, there are a lot of products to choose from. Primer and foundation are among the most popular products, but many people don’t know the difference between the two.
While they are both supposed to help your makeup look better, they have different purposes.
This post contains affiliate links. Read the full disclosure.
The main difference between primer and foundation is their primary purpose. Primer is supposed to help your makeup last longer and create a smooth base for your foundation, and foundation is supposed to cover up blemishes and even out your skin tone. Primers don’t provide coverage, but they can help improve the look of your foundation.
There are many different primers and foundations on the market, so it’s essential to find the right one for your skin type and makeup needs.
What’s A Primer? Is It Necessary?
A primer is applied after moisturizer and before foundation. It’s supposed to help your makeup last longer, create a smooth base for your foundation, and help reduce the appearance of pores and fine lines.
Primers come in different formulas depending on your skin type. They have a gel or serum consistency and are clear in color.
You don’t necessarily need to use a primer, but it can help your makeup last longer and create a smooth base for your foundation.
If you have oily skin, you’ll want to look for a mattfying primer like this shine stopper oil control primer.
For dry skin, look for a hydrating primer that will help create a smooth base for your foundation.
How To Apply Makeup Primer?
Applying primer is simple. Start with a clean face and apply a pea-sized amount of primer to the areas where you need it.
Then, use your fingers to blend the primer into your skin. Dab it gently on the skin and avoid dragging the product across your face.
Applying too much primer can cause your foundation to look uneven, so be sure to use a small amount. Once you’ve applied the primer to all the areas you want to cover, let it dry for a few minutes before applying foundation.
What Is Foundation?
Foundation is the second step in your makeup routine and is a product that you apply after your primer and before your concealer, powder, and other makeup. It’s supposed to even out your skin tone and cover up any blemishes.
Foundations come in many different shades to match your skin tone, and they can have a liquid, powder, or cream formula.
Not everyone needs to wear foundation, but it can be an excellent choice for those who want to even out their skin tone or cover up blemishes.
When choosing a foundation, it’s essential to find the right shade that matches your skin tone and undertone. Selecting a light shade can cause your makeup to look grey, and using a shade with the wrong undertone can cause your makeup to look pink.
Foundation comes in different formulas, so choosing the right one for your skin type is essential.
For example, if you have oily skin, you’ll want to look for a matte foundation that’s oil-free and non-comedogenic. This type of foundation won’t clog your pores and help control shine.
If you have dry skin, you’ll want to look for a hydrating foundation like this Pro Glow Creamy Foundation.
Related: Foundation Vs. Concealer.
How To Apply Foundation?
There are many different ways to apply foundation, but the most important thing is to find a method that works for you.
You can use a brush, makeup sponge, or fingers to apply foundation. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages.
For example, a foundation brush can give you a more precise application, but it can also leave streaks.
Makeup sponges give the skin a natural and dewy finish, but they can absorb a lot of product.
Applying foundation with your fingers can be quick and easy, but it can also cause your makeup to look cakey if you don’t blend it well.
No matter which method you choose, start with a small amount of foundation and build up the coverage as needed.
My favorite way is to apply one or two pumps of foundation to the back of my hand and then use a damp sponge to apply it to my face.
I start in the center of my face and blend the foundation outwards. I use a little more foundation on the areas that need more coverage, such as the cheeks.
Once I’ve applied the foundation, I set it with a loose powder to help it last longer.
Related: Loose Vs. Pressed Powder
Differences Between Primer & Foundation
Now that you know a little more about primer and foundation let’s look at the differences between these two products.
The Main Purpose of Primer & Foundation
The primary purpose of primer is to prepare your skin for foundation and help your makeup last longer. Primers are not supposed to cover up blemishes as they are very sheer.
Depending on the primer you use, it can help control shine, blur pores, and smooth out the skin.
On the other hand, foundations are supposed to even out your skin tone and cover up any blemishes or imperfections.
Primers come in different formulas, such as gel, serum, cream, or spray. They are lightweight and have a water-based or silicone-based formula. Primers should not be seen on the skin, and they should feel light and comfortable.
Foundations also come in different formulas, such as liquid, powder, or cream. They are thicker than primers, as they are supposed to provide coverage.
Foundations can also be water-based, silicone-based, or oil-based. They can provide light, medium, or full coverage.
The Shade Range
Primers usually come in one clear shade that all skin tones can use.
You can find some tinted primers on the market too. These primers can be used to even out the skin tone, but they don’t come in a wide range of shades.
On the other hand, Foundations are available in a wide range of shades to match different skin tones and undertones. The right shade of foundation should match your skin tone to look natural.
Mattifying and smoothing primers have a matte finish, and they should not be seen on the skin. Hydrating and luminizing primers have a dewy finish, and they can add a healthy-looking glow to the skin.
Foundations can have a matte, dewy, or satin finish. The finish of the foundation depends on the formula and the makeup look you are going for.
The Application Order: Primer Or Foundation First?
Primer is applied before foundation, and it should be the first step in your makeup routine.
Foundations are applied after primer, and they should be the second step in your makeup routine.
With that being said, some primers can be applied on top of the foundation to touch up your makeup or control shine. These primers have a lightweight formula that blends easily into the skin without disturbing the foundation.
TIP: You can mix your primer with foundation to thin out the foundation and help the makeup last longer.
Related: How to Thin Out Thick Foundations?
The Application Process
Primers can be applied with a brush or a sponge, but it is best to apply them with your fingers, and this will help the primer blend into the skin better.
You can apply foundations with a face brush, a sponge, or your fingers. Experimenting with different application methods is the best way to find out what works best for you.
Primer Vs Foundation Comparison Table
Can You Use Primer Instead Of Foundation? (Is Primer Enough For Makeup?)
On those days when you don’t want to wear a lot of makeup but still want your skin to look smooth, you can use a primer instead of foundation. Primer will help blur pores and fine lines, but it won’t provide any coverage.
If you don’t need to hide any skin discoloration or blemishes, you can get away with just wearing primer.
If you have oily skin, you can use a mattifying primer to control shine during the day.
If you have dry skin, you can use a hydrating primer to add moisture to the skin and create a natural and dewy look.
For mature skin, a smoothing primer can help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Eye Primer Vs Foundation
An eye primer is a product applied before eye shadow to help improve its longevity and blendability. Some eye primers have mattifying properties and help control oil and prevent creasing. Others have a tinted formula that you can use to cancel out any redness or discoloration on the eyelid and create a smooth canvas for eye shadow.
On the other hand, foundations are not typically used on the eyelids as they can be too heavy. They are supposed to be used on the face to even out the skin tone and provide coverage.
With that being said, most foundations are not the best choice for the eyelids as they can cause the eye shadow to crease.
It’s better to stick to an eye primer if you want your eye makeup to look flawless.
To know more, you can check the difference between eye primer and face primer.
Tinted Primer Vs Foundation
The main difference between tinted primer and foundation is the coverage. Tinted primers have a sheer coverage, while foundations have a light to full coverage.
Tinted primers are becoming more popular, and in some cases, you can use them in place of foundation. They help to smooth and even out the skin tone. They also have skincare benefits, and some of them contain SPF.
This tinted primer, for example, has an SPF 30. It helps to give the skin a smooth look and sheer coverage.
If you have good skin and don’t need a lot of coverage, you can use a tinted primer. If you have blemishes or skin discoloration, you might need a foundation.
You can also use a tinted primer and a foundation to create a full coverage flawless look.
Related: Primer Vs. CC Cream
Primer Vs Foundation Vs Concealer
The main difference between primer, foundation, and concealer is the coverage.
A primer is used to create a smooth canvas for your makeup, and it helps your makeup last longer.
A foundation is used to even out your skin tone and cover blemishes.
On the other hand, Concealer is not meant to be applied to the entire face, and it’s used to cover up specific areas like dark circles or blemishes.
You can use these three products together to create a flawless makeup look or use them separately, depending on your needs.
Read More: Concealer Vs. Primer
If you want to achieve a minimal makeup look, you might not need a primer. In that case, you can use a concealer or a light coverage foundation.
If you have blemishes or dark circles, you can use a concealer to cover them up.
However, if you have large areas of discoloration, you might need a foundation with higher coverage.
And finally, if you want your makeup to look perfect and last all day, you can use a primer before your foundation.
So, what’s the difference between primer and foundation? Primer is designed to smooth out your skin and create a better canvas for foundation application, and it can also help makeup last longer on your face.
On the other hand, foundation provides more coverage than primer and comes in a wider range of colors to match your skin tone, and you should apply it after primer.
You can use these two products together to create a flawless makeup look or use them separately, depending on your needs.
Have you tried using primer and foundation before? Let us know in the comments below.