not a professional. just crazy.

Tatcha’s New Primer Has Rid Me of My Fear of Primers

Rio Viera Newton holding her new Tatcha primer in her hand.
The author holding her new Tatcha primer. Photo: Rio Viera-Newton

People who care about skin care often say they’re afraid of primers. Primers, which do a wonderful job of making your makeup stay in place when it’s hot out, act as a sealant on your skin — and if a primer isn’t noncomedogenic (meaning it’s formulated specifically so as to not clog pores) or if your skin isn’t clean when you apply it, then dirt and bacteria can get stuck underneath the primer and cause blemishes.

I’ve broken out almost every time I’ve tried a new primer, and as a result tend to rely on moisturizer to prep my skin for makeup. But when I heard that Tatcha was releasing a primer, I became curious. You’ve heard it before, but Tatcha’s products really are among some of my favorites: I love the Recovery Cream (even though I’ve had to dial back on using it, for the sake of my bank account) and Enzyme Exfoliants for a smooth and hydrated complexion. If any brand could make a primer that would keep my skin clear, Tatcha would be the one. Plus, every single skin-care blog, makeup forum, and beauty magazine I read has been singing this primer’s praises. Still, I was nervous that it would send my skin into a spiral. Also, at $52, this product is expensive as hell.

Then, while I deliberated, a friend sent me a picture of the two of us in which my makeup was so far down my face that it looked like I had a second face. I added the Silk Canvas to my cart without another thought.

The first thing I noticed after unboxing my Silk Canvas was how much product you get: The container holds about 0.7 ounces. I felt comforted that I was at least getting my money’s worth. The instructions say to use a “rice size amount,” but in order to cover my entire face, I probably used closer to four “grains of rice.”

Tatcha The Silk Canvas Protective Primer
$52 at Sephora

I’ve used primers that feel heavy and sticky, but Tatcha’s melted into my skin like a gentle moisturizer, making my face feel supple and velvety smooth. The smell is divine and very similar to the Tatcha Camellia Cleansing Oil. Plus, it contains ingredients like botanical extracts and pearl, which work to ensure that your skin looks and feels healthy and happy after application. (I should mention here that when I first put the stuff on, I noticed a little bit of a white cast on my skin —don’t be alarmed if this happens to you, it went away after a couple of seconds.)

The only thing you really need to know about this product is that it will make your foundation and concealer go on incredibly smooth and will keep everything in place all day, even in this miserable, sweaty summer heat. I left the house at 9 a.m. and came home at 8:30 p.m. on a 85-degree day, and my makeup had not budged in the least. And guess what? No breakouts afterward.

Other Strat-approved primers

Etude House Beauty Shot Face Blur
$12 at Amazon

One Amazon reviewer said of this primer: “This makes my face look bright, smooth, flawless, and easier to apply makeup. Also leaves my skin a delightful smell, which I love. I call this a GAME CHANGER. I feel sad for people who don’t know about this wonderful thing.”

High-Adherence Silicone Primer
$5 at Deciem

Strat writer Lori Keong impulse-bought this silicon primer at the Deciem store in Cobble Hill, and loved it. “I’ve found that my makeup applies more evenly without pilling or puckering, my dry skin stays hydrated and dewy the whole day long, and my skin doesn’t get quite so flushed,” she wrote. “I’m amazed. It’s so cheap at $5 that I’d recommend it to everyone.”

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I Didn’t Use Primers Until I Met Tatcha’s ‘The Silk Canvas’