+ Makeup, + Tips and Tricks

It's Time to Mix Up Your Makeup

Last week, I wrote about how much I disliked the Dr. Jart Detoxifying Primer that I tried.  But even though the product may have been an epic fail, switching makeup, even if only for two weeks, caused me to take another look at my current routine.  

A couple of days after switching back to my NARS Pro-Prime Oil-Free Primer ($32) and Clinique BB Cream ($37), I started to notice that my makeup was looking a bit cakey.  By the end of the day, whiskering formed on my cheeks and between my eyebrows.  How had I never noticed this before?

I mentioned my predicament to a friend and she suggested that I try mixing my primer and foundation together, instead of applying them separately.  

Mixing the foundation with the primer can create a bit of a mess, but it’s not too bad.  You simple dot a pea sized amount of primer onto the back of your hand and then, a slightly larger amount of foundation next to it.  Using a makeup sponge, give them a little swirl until they are mostly mixed.  (When I tried to mix them completely, I ended up with more makeup on the sponge and covering my hand than was available to apply, not what I wanted.)

Since I started blending the two products together, I’ve noticed that my makeup feels lighter and looks smoother.  It also seems to look fresher longer.

Blending primer with foundation works best with liquids, but can also be done with creams or loose powders.  However, I recommend using a stippling brush ($10) instead of a sponge if you want to apply the powder/primer mix.  And it allows you to water down a heavier cream foundation for great coverage.

I think this mixing trick is a keeper.  I only wish I’d learned it years ago. 

P.S.: If you like the BeautyBlender sponge, it works well with this technique.



  1. BB says:

    I thought BB cream already had the primer mixed in, thus eliminating the need for a separate primer. Am I doing it wrong?

    September 27, 2012/Reply
  2. Jennifer says:

    I mix moisturizer into my foundation, SOO much lighter and closer to the coverage I want most days. I realize this is what a tinted moisturizer is, but even those can be too heavy to wear all day every day, and this way I can control it if I do want more coverage on some days and less on others, without having different foundations.

    September 27, 2012/Reply
  3. PSP says:

    I second the question asked by “BB” – I have recently been using a BB cream, skipping both primer and foundation. Is this not the way I should be doing it?

    September 27, 2012/Reply
  4. Lauren says:

    If you're interested in picking up the Beauty Blender sponge, it's cheapest on Amazon! Two for the price of one practically, plus I tried their sponge/brush cleanser in my birchbox and was very impressed.

    September 27, 2012/Reply
  5. Nora says:

    Belle, I'd love to hear whether you use a peel and, if so, which ones you like. Based on past posts, it appears we have the Exact Same Skin.

    September 27, 2012/Reply
  6. Belle says:

    BB: Some of them do. But I wear my makeup for 16 hours usually, so I like to double up.

    September 27, 2012/Reply
  7. Primer says:

    Belle, have you tried the new Neutorgena primer? I am curious about it and how it compares to NARS

    September 27, 2012/Reply
  8. Anonymous says:

    I guess I am doing it wrong – I just use primer. I think foundation is so heavy I can't wait to get it off. Just using primer smooths my skin and it feels so velvety and flawless. Should I be mixing it with foundation, too?

    September 27, 2012/Reply
  9. Anonymous says:

    Hey, it's me, Anonymous, again. I was wondering if it's actually alright to wear primer alone? Should I not be doing this, should I wear no base at all, would that be better? Just not sure if wearing primer alone does anything positive or negative.

    Thanks for any thoughts or feedback.

    October 5, 2012/Reply
  10. Belle says:

    Anonymous: I think you should do what gives you the look you want. I don't think it will damage your skin or anything like that.

    October 5, 2012/Reply