I sometimes get caught up in what I call The Beauty Bubble. It’s what happens when I assume everyone knows certain products exist, and I’m subsequently stunned to learn that that is just not the case.
Like on a recent Zoom meeting with the PRIMER team, when I casually mentioned a new blurring product I was using and loving – only for co-founder Anna to exclaim: ‘What’s a blurring primer?’
If you know what a blurring primer is: good. Well done, you. This story is not necessarily for you (although there are some handy product recommendations at the end.) If not, let me explain – because I think blurring primers are going to change your life.
Blurring primers blur (yes) the line between makeup and skincare.
On the makeup side, they superficially help soften the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, pore craters, acne pitting, and uneven texture, so skin looks smoother and more matte, and, because the formulas are usually balm-y and velvety, skin also feels silkier. Some blurring products also contain pigment, so you can get colour-correcting benefits, too.
Skincare-wise, these formulas often contain ingredients like vitamins, peptides, antioxidants or SPF, so they can help moisturise, nourish or protect your complexion, as well.
But how exactly do blur primers pull off this magic trick? It’s down to two key ingredients: silicone particles “fill in the gaps” on the surface of skin to even it out, and light-diffusing particles scatter the light that hits the surface of the skin, creating an optical illusion that tricks the eye and makes pores and fine lines less visible.
Sounds ideal, doesn’t it? And yes, OK, technically it’s like you’re living in a slight state of denial, but honestly, after the last 24 months, I think we all deserve it.
“Slight” is the key word here, as blurring products won’t completely camouflage that blemish or wrinkle, but it will make them slightly less conspicuous, and in a completely natural way. It’s you, but in soft-focus.
The other thing I think you’ll enjoy about these is their ability to adapt to whatever you need them to be—a traditional, all-over-the-face primer, a spot-corrector around the eyes, nose or mouth, patted over makeup to mattify, or on bare skin
Have I sold you on blurring primers? I know Anna’s in. Here are a couple of my favourites to get you started.
Trinny London Miracle Blur Lip and Line Filler, $48 The translucent balm is like putty, and works best as a spot corrector. I press this into my crow’s feet and marionette lines, and love the lies it tells me.
Benefit The POREfessional Primer, $56 Beloved for good reason, this iconic primer legitimately erases pores, no sweat (it keeps that in check, too). And there are a couple of different formulas for different skin types.
Ole Henriksen Wrinkle Blur Bakuchiol Eye Gel Crème, $75 This promises wrinkle-smoothing results both immediately (confirm) and long-term (cannot confirm), and the lavender tint does some colour-correcting (kinda).
Mecca Max Off Duty Blur Stick, $18 Think of this like the Photoshop eraser tool: scribble it over the areas you want to transform, and presto.
Hourglass I’m not usually a fan of powder makeup—except when it comes to this brand. Their powders are so finely-milled, they seem to fuse with skin (instead of sitting on top of it) and the light-diffusing effect is insanely flattering. Say yes to the setting powder, blush and the iconic illuminator.