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Read the latest beauty blogs from our amazing bloggers. Our team have covered a huge amount of topics related to the beauty industry including hair & makeup.

Makeup primers that actually work

Unlike some of the big-hitters such as lipstick and foundation, primers are a relative newcomer on the beauty scene. In fact, it wasn’t until the early years of the 21st century that these clever formulas started to become a staple in every makeup kit. But, like anything, some of them work better than others – and the most expensive products aren’t always the best. Here’s our guide to the top five makeup primers that really deliver results.

The Illuminator Radiant Perfecting Primer + Finisher by Estee Lauder

If you want dewy skin that radiates a healthy glow, this mid-priced option from Estee Lauder is a great choice. A little goes a long way, and a light layer under your favourite liquid foundation will help to create a bright and youthful appearance. And if you want to go for a more natural look, you can even use it on bare skin.

High Adherence Primer by The Ordinary

Ever since its launch in 2016, budget beauty brand The Ordinary has become the go-to choice for quality makeup products that won’t break the bank – and this is no exception. Ideal for those who are new to primer, this no-fuss, non-oily formula creates a fantastic base for makeup – or wear it on its own for a subtle, airbrushed finish. 

Ultra Sun Protection Anti-Glycation Primer by Chantecaille

At the other end of the scale is this primer by Chantecaille. Despite its eye-watering price tag, it’s a firm favourite with beauty lovers across the country, and it’s easy to see why. Again, you only need a small slick of this wonder cream to prep your skin for foundation – and also protect it from the sun’s harmful rays. Packed with ingredients that work to soothe and repair, it’s the ideal choice for more mature skin. 

Wonder Glow Instant Soft Focus Beauty Flash Primer by Charlotte Tilbury

If you’re looking for some real red carpet results, you can’t go wrong with this primer from celeb MUA Charlotte Tilbury. Containing a fluorescent core light diffuser, this clever formula reflects UV light to give skin a super-luminous, glowing appearance. Again, it’s a great choice for mature complexions with its enviable ability to turn back the clock. 

In Your Prime Illuminating Primer by Flower

Another excellent primer at an entry-level price, this high street choice delivers results on a par with its far pricer peers. In just one sweep, it lightens and brightens your skin, blurring out fine lines to create an airbrushed, glowing finish. 

2016 vs. 2021: The Makeup Trend That is Going Viral on TikTok

On the face of it, five years might not seem like a very long time. But think what has changed since 2016. Back then, the Kardashians’ heavily contoured, airbrushed look was all the rage, 90s fashion was enjoying a comeback and looking good was all about appearing highly polished and ready for the red carpet. 

Fast forward to 2021 and things couldn’t be more different. Having been deprived of parties and social engagements for the past 12 months, we’ve all been embracing our natural sides – without ditching the makeup completely, of course. Instead, this coming year is all about glowing skin, full, fluffy brows and blusher in place of bronzer. 

To highlight just how much things have changed, some beauty influencers have taken to TikTok to share their interpretation of both looks, in a video trend that’s fast becoming a viral hit. 

As of today, these “2016 vs. 2020” videos have amassed a combined view count of more than 90 million – which is not something to sneeze at. So what’s the story? In the short clips, beauty fans and influencers can be seen dividing their face into half. One side, it soon becomes clear, represents the 2016 look, while the other is done up to reflect more recent beauty trends.

Amazingly, the result really does emphasise just how far we’ve come. In one video, posted by the London-based beauty influencer Ling Tang, one half of her face is given a no-holds-barred, 2016-style makeover, complete with a heavy layer of bronzer, winged eyeliner and more contour than you can shake a stick at. On top of that, the look is completed with cut crease shadow above the eyes, lashings of highlighter and big, full false lashes. All in all, it’s an effect that would not look out of place on reality TV.

Then, on the other side of Ling’s face, she applies a more “2021 look.” Essentially, this involves swapping the bronzer and contour for just a light layer of foundation and concealer, a touch of highlighter and lips in a deep berry hue. For the eyes, meanwhile, she opts for more natural looking falsies and trendy, feathered brows.

Looking at the two looks side by side, it’s clear that 2016 was all about glamour turned up to the max, while the 2020s have seen us opting for a more toned down appearance. And a look at the sales figures confirms it. With skincare products experiencing a meteoric rise, it’s easy to see why influencers are keen to let their natural beauty shine through instead of smothering their healthy glow under layers of foundation. But once things reopen and nights out are back on the cards, will we see a return to the heady, highly-polished styles of 2016? Only time will tell.    

Makeup tips for different face shapes

Whether you’re blessed with a perfectly symmetrical, oval shaped face or you’re more about the cheekbones and jawline, everyone’s face is different. And as such, there’s no one set of makeup tips that will be universally effective. With that in mind, here are our tips to make the most of what you’ve got – whatever your shape.

Oval faces

As an oval face is already quite balanced, there’s no real need to use makeup to create a different effect. Instead, use blush and bronzer for an airbrushed finish while highlighting features such as the cupid’s bow, the temples and the brows with light brush strokes.

Heart-shaped faces

Heart-shaped faces can look fabulous, especially as they tend to come with some killer cheekbones. But if you don’t want to look too top-heavy, use highlighter on your chin to balance out the more prominent areas. And don’t forget to make the most of that bone structure by applying blush across the apples of your cheeks.

Square-shaped faces

Square-shaped faces can look very elegant and dramatic, but you may want to consider using makeup to soften the angles a little bit. By brushing contour upwards from the jaw you can create a more gentle profile, while an arc of highlighter across the tops of the cheeks will define the areas of your face that might otherwise go overlooked.

Round-shaped faces

Good news! According to experts, those with round faces are the most likely to stay looking young. But there are still things that you can do to create a more striking look. For example, a sweep of blush blended downwards across the cheeks will help build definition, while contour on the outer edges of your face will help to break up the roundness.

Oblong-shaped faces

If your face is much taller than it is wide, you probably have an oblong-shaped face. And when it comes to makeup techniques, you’ll want tricks that will help to balance things out. A touch of bronzer along the hairline and under the chin will make your face appear shorter, while blush and highlighter along the cheekbones will create the illusion of width.