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Primers for the prime of your life

Tricia Cusden / 24 June 2016

Make-up artist Tricia Cusden explains how primer can solve some of the issues older women face…

A woman applies make up after applying primer

When I had the idea for creating a range of make-up for older women, I knew that three key products would be a face primer and also an eye and lip primer. I knew from experience that although these are essentials for every woman's make-up bag, many women of my generation (I am 68) are not aware of how brilliantly primers work to keep your make-up looking fresh and beautiful for hours on end.

I often use the analogy of blotting paper to describe the changes that occur as we get older. As we lose collagen and elastin, our skin becomes bumpier and more absorbent. It is therefore prone to dryness. It also becomes difficult to create clean, sharp lines with products like eye liners and lipstick – just as it is difficult to draw a line with ink on blotting paper without it feathering and blurring into the surface.

This is why face make-up tends to disappear after a few hours and also why eye and lip make-up can end up looking mess, or 'fuzzy'.

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Face primer

Fortunately the solution is fairly straightforward. Let's start with face primer. LFF Face Prime is a clear gel which is applied after moisturising. So the routine is: cleanse, apply serum and then top with a moisturiser, preferably with a high SPF to prevent sun damage.

Allow your skin to absorb these products and then you can apply a thin covering of face primer which will do two things brilliantly. Firstly it will fill in any fine lines and open pores and secondly it will make the skin feel like silk.

The effect of this 'smoothing' is that anything that goes on top – like your foundation, concealer and blusher – will glide on and (more importantly) stay put for hours on end. In fact, I apply my make-up every morning at around 8am and it's still looking really good at 10pm when I remove it before retiring to bed.

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Eye primer

Eye primers do a similar job of preparing the delicate, thinner skin of the eyelid to accept the shadows or creams that you are going to apply on top. Often our older eyelids are more crepe-like than they once were, so eye primer has the effect of smoothing the surface and preparing it for shadows or coloured creams. Our LFF Eye Prime is also flesh-coloured so it does a further job of neutralising any brown discolouration on the eyelid, allowing the eye make-up to look much nicer.

We also suggest that you don't try to draw a harsh black 'goth' line along the lashes but create something softer and more forgiving using a small wedge brush and a darker eye shadow, which you can smudge slightly with a Q tip. The eye primer will ensure that your eye make-up doesn't start to 'migrate' after a few hours and instead stays looking clean and crisp.

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Lip primer

Does your lipstick now feather and bleed into the small lines around your mouth? This was a terrible problem for me before I started to use LFF Lip Prime! Now I clean my lips of any foundation using a Q tip and then apply the Lip Prime around the edges of my mouth and rub it into the skin with a finger.

The primer is not a balm nor a moisturiser; its main value is in sealing the edges of your mouth so that you can create a nice sharp edge with your lipstick. Allow the Lip Prime to dry for a few seconds and then use a small brush to apply a couple of coats of lipstick. Voila! A perfect mouth and no chance that after a short while the colour will start to look fuzzy around the edges!

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So – if you have never used a face, eye or lip prime I urge you to try them – you really don't know what you are missing!


The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.

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