There was no such thing as primer 20 years ago. Until a brand called ‘Make Up For Ever’ created their pro foundation called ‘Face & Body’ makeup. They developed this foundation to improve and smooth out the illusion of the texture of the skin. So it improves the look of fine lines, dehydration, dryness, flakiness and pores size. And it was also the first foundation invented that was 100% photo friendly, hence was used by professional makeup artists worldwide, long before there was such a thing as Youtube. The secret ingredient in the foundation that gave this amazing finish was silica (a form of silicone), which had never been used in a foundation prior to that.
Originally, Make Up For Ever was created in 1984 and only available to professionals and was only sold in small pro stores in London, Turkey, Paris, Greece, etc. until 1993. I discovered the brand back in 1993 and I knew immediately that it was the best overall cosmetic brand I had ever experienced and worked with. I was the Director of Cosmetics for Nordstrom back then. And myself an another Beauty Director convinced Nordstrom to fly Dany Sanz, the creator of Make Up For Ever to the USA to convince her to make her brand available to the general public for the first time. She agreed, Nordstrom was proud to launch Make Up For Ever at Nordstrom South Coast Plaza in California to be sold to every day women for the first time ever. (It was a hot mess too. They had no tester unit, schematic, stock book, training manual or anything to become a retail cosmetic brand.) Within a month they were on the verge of getting kicked out of Nordstrom and have all of the accounts canceled. But I believed in the brand, so I quit my big wig position as job as Beauty Director and went to work for MUFE to help ensure their success. I have to say, it was one of the hardest year of my life without a doubt. But we opened 44 stores for them, and then launched MUFE in Barneys NY & Beverly Hills and in Macys.
Their Face & Body foundation quickly became a staple with millions of makeup artists in the USA. Other cosmetic brands sales were suffering in the foundation category because once women tried the Face & Body formulation, there was no going back. Even the staff that worked at other counters were all using the MUFE foundation! So even the big brands like MAC, Lancôme, Chanel and Lauder’s sales were affected by the new brand and they had competition for the first time in history. So of course all the brands wanted to copy the Make Up For Ever formula. But creating a new foundation formulation can take up to 2 years to get an approved sample from a cosmetic chemist and into production and get all the way to the shelves at the malls. And the companies did not want to loose sales for 2 more years. So in the mean time they found a way to make money while they were waiting for new foundation formulas. They decided fill tubes up of silica and call it “Primer” and they laughed all the way to the bank. Once they realized consumers fell for it and bought it… They decided there was no reason to improve their foundations after all since consumers were actually buying TWO products to do what one could do.
Personally, I won’t invest in a brand that takes advantage of consumers and sells a low quality foundation that is unflattering on the skin, UNLESS you buy a second product. It is 2016… Brands can absolutely make a foundation that doesn’t need a primer. They CHOOSE not to because consumers fall for it and it is more profitable to sell them 2 products.
Anyway, Louis Vuitton bought Make Up For Ever in 1999 and put it into their Sephora stores, (Yes, Louis Vuitton owns Sephora for those that did not know.) The rest is history.
Love and Wisdom,