primed and ready

Years ago, when we bought our first house, an exterior paint job was at the top of the to-do list.  Being a) ambitious b) naïve and c) broke, we embarked on this DIY project by heading to the paint department of our local hardware store. There, we were sold buckets and brushes and rollers and tape, and plenty of other accoutrements needed to turn our miniature house from blue to white. The shutters–which we wanted forest green—were another story. Can’t remember the original shade, but according to the hardware salesman, the best way to achieve perfect, full coverage was to apply the paint in two stages: first, the primer—an intense (think Miami on a bad day) coat of turquoise, followed by the desired dark- green finish coat.

I wish I had a photo of the house and shutters mid-job, but suffice it to say that the neighbors (who had to tolerate the turquoise for a full week until we had two more days off from work to finish painting), were seriously concerned that the young couple in 93 Fifth Street had lost their marbles…their very garish, very turquoise marbles.

They breathed a sigh of relief when we completed the job…and so did we. And that was my first exposure to the concept that primer under paint makes things look perfect.

So it was no surprise when primers hit the makeup market a few years ago. These early, silicone-based—how best to describe this?—face coatings, were slicked on like Crisco to a Bundt pan—enabling foundation to slide on with the greatest of ease.  Did the vaguely-chemical-smelling silicone fill in some of the rough road caused by wrinkles, creases, and crevices? Sure. But it also left an uncomfortable greasy trail…which seemed to take on more and more shine as the day wore on.

All of which has led to new primer introductions minus the silicone: They smell better, to be sure…but I’m not convinced they do anything miraculous under your makeup.

Things are looking up, though. I’m now in love with Rimmel London Fix & Perfect Pro (002/transparent), which seems to have just enough of that slickness to give foundation its glide power, yet not so much that you want to wash with car-mechanic soap at the end of the day. Bonus: It actually smells good. Bonus bonus: It costs about $8 and you can buy it in the drugstore.

It does not come with buckets and brushes and rollers and tape.

How about you? Have you tried makeup primer yet? Do you like it? And do turquoise shutters make you…shudder?

1 Comment
  • debbi

    I am so glad your blog is back up and running. You left out the best part of the DIY paint job story though!

    November 22, 2012 at 3:25 am