Over the last year I have tried many face primers, thinking that they were an integral part of my daily routine that I was most certainly missing out on. I assumed that they were like eye primer - a step that I find impossible to leave out now, or I feel that something is missing. For the record, I use either a Mac paint pot or Urban Decay Primer Potion for my eye primer 99% of the time. I really do feel that eye primer makes a difference in the consistency, color, and wear of the eye shadow. I have always assumed that a face primer would work the same way, and once I found the right one I would always wonder how I "ever lived without it".
As far as face primers go, I have tried silicone based primers, such as Smashbox Photofinish and Mac's Prep and Prime only to find that I am definitely allergic to something in these (the silicone maybe?). I break out into little white bumps that go away within 48 hours of discontinuing use of the primer. This has happened to me with certain foundations too, like Mac's Studio Fix Fluid and Nars liquid foundations.
I have also tried non silicone based ones, like Bare Escenutals Skin Rev-ver Upper, which is not a typical primer but basically is the same concept, and my newest one, Laura Mercier's Hydrating Primer. The Laura Mercier one apparently does contain silicone in it, even though I was told it did not when I bought it. It has an ingredient in it called "dimethicone" which is a silicone oil. Now... call me a hypochondriac but as soon as I found out it does indeed contain silicone I discovered a breakout on my forehead. Was it the primer or my imagination? Let's just say after continuing the use of the primer the breakout went away - so I'm not sure.
Even beyond the breaking out part, I have never really thought primers... did that much. I don't really understand the hype - in my opinion it makes my foundation apply worse! Obviously I just haven't found the right one, but I hate buying them over and over again only to be disappointed.
So my question is, are face primers that important? Does anyone have one that is part of their routine that they would never skip? Am I really missing out? And lastly - does anyone have one that does NOT contain silicone?