Category Archives: photo finish primer


Winter Skin with Primers, Balm and more

As I am sitting here writing this, the outer bands of Hurricane Sandy have hit and its been raining for days*.  I swear that no matter how cute your rain gear is- its hard not to come out looking like a drowned rat.  All this to say, that I’m starting to look forward to our first blanket of snow.  I’m thinking about glowing skin, pink cheeks and a cute tuque. 
The Good Stuff: Beauty Balms and Primers
Of course, this is grass-is-greener type thinking since most winters I come out looking vaguely yellow and sad.  We all get dry, maybe a little patchy.  Your under-eyes start to look like bruises. Plus, you start to look at your Facebook pictures from the summer with your faint (faux) glow and think, “I looked healthy/happy/thinner/ hot”.  
Instead of ruminating, let’s talk about winter complexions.  There are three key measures you need to have in place, and presto you will look like a picture postcard instead of like Earthworm Jim.
I know, you’re thinking, “Sunscreen! Always with the sunscreen”.  We are known as the sunscreen company so it was bound to come up but we have a good reason! People always seem to miss the fact that those pesky UVA-Aging rays are constant all year round, through rain or snow and at every latitude.   In other words, you may be freezing your gloves off in the North Pole during a blizzard but you still have to worry about those rays responsible for crepe-y skin, discolourations, wrinkles etc.  Plus they come through windows so your commute to work and your window-side desk all contribute.  The great benefit to sunscreen in the winter though is that Zinc is naturally calming and soothing.  A great formula can also act as a primer itself since I find it gives your make-up a nice surface to adhere to. 
Primer Vs. Beauty Balm:
These two are the must-have items in the beauty world now.  Every company has their own version but it may not be clear how to incorporate either one or both of them into your routine.  It’s best to think of primer as good for texture and Beauty Balms for tone.  Primers typically have some form of silicone and other humectants so they glide on the face.  They fill in uneven textures (think acne marks or dilated pores) and they give your make-up something to adhere to.  I’ve tried Coloresciences version- it smells like synthetic chocolate, which is less tantalizing than you’d expect.  I’ve also road-tested Stila’s, which while I really liked the correction version, it has a huge ingredient list!  I’ve yet to try Jane Iredale’s but at least I know they will have quality ingredients. 
Jane Iredale’s Beauty Balm Option
As for Beauty Balms, the worst of them are glorified tinted moisturizers.  The best of them definitely offer great coverage with a hint of luminosity.  I don’t know whether they warrant their own beauty category but a good one will provide your complexion another layering option. 
In terms of using them, I tend to use primers for when I’m going out or have a big presentation in front of others.  They make sure your make-up does not slide off in the heat of any moment and they mattify as well.  You could use a primer and then just layer on your Beauty Balm for lighter coverage during the day.  If you would like maximum coverage, you could use both products and then dust a powder (mineral-based) foundation over top. 
Pale vs. Tanned
To Faux Glow or not?  In the winter, I’m less excited about the prospect of standing naked in my bathroom trying to apply tanning lotion.  For day to day, I opt for a primer that has a bronzer in it.  It provides just a gentle wash of colour so there is no discernible line around my neck and face.  I also always recommend the St. Tropez Wash-Off bronzer and just add a couple of drops to my moisturizer.  Alternatively, you could buy a beauty –balm with a slight tint to it as well.  There is something to be said for the paler version of you though.  As long as you can brighten, you will not look sickly.  Do your own DIY facials with turmeric and Indian gooseberry, or use skincare products with them as active ingredients (FYI-that’s a plug! We have both in our line).
So hopefully this winter, you’ll be all cozy in your layers of sunscreen, primer, and balm.  You can nestle by the fire or go ice skating and you will be picture perfect.
All the best,
* Editors note: lots of prayers and well wishes to the people who have been hurt or impacted by Hurricane Sandy- it’s been more than a little rain for many.