Oh, primer. Without you, we’d be slapping foundation atop our moisturizer with the potential for a shiny, makeup slip ‘n slide situation within hours (and we all know slip ‘n slides are for frat parties, not faces). I have dry skin, so the risk of looking like an oil slick isn’t really an issue, but I’m a firm believer in using primer under your foundation/BB cream/CC cream to create a smooth canvas for your makeup to go on and stay on flawlessly, no matter your skin type. There are so many incredible products out there; Smashbox’s Photo Finish primers ($36-$42), Laura Mercier Foundation Primer Radiance ($32), and the mac daddy of them all, Hourglass Veil Mineral primer ($52), go on silky smooth and provide the picture perfect base for your makeup, but I’ve discovered something a little different (and a lot cheaper).

L’Oreal’s Studio Secrets Magic Perfecting Base actually lives up to its name. Instead of a clear, liquid-y gel, it’s a whipped, pink paste that goes on slightly thick at first, then quickly and easily blends to create the sheer, lightweight canvas you crave. Users (including those with oily complexions) rave over its ability to minimize/cover large pores and fill in fine lines. I even use it under my eyes to make my concealer smoother and much more, well, concealing. What about eyelids, you ask? It covers the bases there, too. My regime: Apply serum and moisturizer and let sink in, then apply the Magic, followed by foundation or BB cream. My only complaint is the jar. If you have fat fingers or long nails, don’t even attempt to get in there (and maybe consider a manicure and some hand cardio). I recommend using a Q-tip or popsicle stick to get the paste out and onto your fingers for application. Annoying? A little. But just remind yourself it’s a choice product for $11-$13 and available at Target and CVS instead of the mall.

It’s a dream cream come true.


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