Join Date: Oct 2013
You seem to be a little confused about the difference between primers and foundations. Here's a crash course in face makeup:
Primer is designed to smooth the skin, reduce the appearance of pores, correct color issues (if the primer is colored-- e.g. green primer to correct redness), and help adhere product to the skin. It does not impart any color (except in the case of color correctors, but these are not opaque). They can be water or silicone based, and are designed to help specific skin issues (e.g. dry skin, oily skin, redness, sallowness).
Foundation is designed to cover imperfections, even skin tone, and impart color (if used to change the color of one's skin). It comes in different formulas designed to work with different types of skin (e.g. oily skin, dry skin) and in different tones (warm, cool, neutral). Powder foundations are recommended for those with normal to oily skin, and come in a variety of coverage options from sheer to opaque. Liquid foundation is available for all skin types, and coverage can be varied with different application methods. Cream foundation is thicker and generally better for those with normal to dry skin, as it can break up on oily skin. Theatrical foundations are usually cream formulas because they are the most opaque.
Concealer is a product designed to work with foundation to hide imperfections such as dark circles, hyperpigmentation, redness, or blemishes. It comes in a variety of colors to cover different issues. Formulas can be cream, liquid, stick, pencil, or liquid. Green concealers are used to cover redness, orange or salmon concealers are used to cover purple or blue tones such as eye circles or bruises, yellow concealer covers purple imperfections like veins or eye circles, and lilac concealers are used to cover sallow skin. Concealer can also be skin colored, and used as a multipurpose coverup. Concealers can also be used to hide tattoos.
Setting powders are used to keep foundation in place once it is applied. They can be colored to match the skin, or translucent (transparent). Available as compacts or loose powders, they are a handy addition to keep makeup in place for those with normal to oily skin. If you have dry skin, powder is generally not needed and can have the adverse affect of making makeup look cakey.
Bronzer is a powder product designed to add a sun-kissed or tanned look to skin. It can be used to add a summery glow (if it contains shimmer) or to contour the face (if matte). It shouldn't be used all over the face, unless you're trying to look like you fell in dirt. Generally bronzer is applied to the areas of the face that the sun would naturally hit.
Blush is applied to the apples of the cheeks (the fat part that sticks out when you smile) and blended lightly upwards on the cheek bone. Available in tons of colors, it is used to add a healthy flush to the face, or to create dramatic "dolly" or avant-garde looks. Blush can be creamy, compact powder, loose powder, or a liquid tint.
Highlighter is a product used to add a subtle radiance to the face. It is applied on the brow bone, on the cheek bones, on the "cupid's bow" of the lips, and on the bridge of the nose. It is the opposite of bronzer, and is used to illuminate certain features when contouring. Highlighters can be liquid, cream, compact powder, loose powder, or pencils.
Setting Spray/Finishing Spray is a product that is similar to hair spray for your face. It "melts" the makeup onto your face and keeps it in place so that you don't need to reapply throughout the day. There are several formulas designed for different purposes (e.g. setting on oily skin, waterproofing, sealing theatrical paint, setting on dry skin). Model in a Bottle, Mehron Barrier Spray, Ben Nye Final Seal, and Kryolan Fixing Spray are heavy-duty sealers designed to keep makeup in place during theatrical performances, television/movies, photo shoots, and live events. Sprays like Urban Decay De-Slick (formulated for oily skin) or Urban Decay All-Nighter are for setting everyday makeup. Finishing sprays like MAC Fix+ or e.l.f. Mist & Set are designed to refresh makeup on dry or normal/dry skin and keep if from looking cakey.
The key to making makeup look best is making sure that it matches. Make sure that you are using products with the correct undertone for your skin, with the correct formulas for your skin, and that the products are all the same base (e.g. all water-based or all silicone-based). The general application order for face products is: primer, concealer, foundation, blush, bronzer, powder, spray. There are variations of this, usually flipping the foundation/concealer, or eliminating steps if a product isn't being used. There is no "right" way to do it, just do whatever works for you.