"Makeup artists, don't hate me, but I honestly think this beauty product is a waste of time."

This wonderful nugget of beauty wisdom comes courtesy of Mamamia’s shiny new beauty podcast, You Beauty. Each week, hosts Leigh Campbell and Kelly McCarren will answer your burning beauty questions, share their favourite exxy and budget beauty buys, and rummage through the beauty bags of famous women to see what they’re loving.

To ensure you never miss an episode, subscribe to You Beauty here. It’s a blast.

Leigh Campbell knows a lot of makeup artists.

Having worked as a beauty journalist for 15 years, the now-executive editor at Mamamia has some of the industry’s best, who paint celebrity faces each and every day, in her contacts list.

Right now, she’s really hoping none of them are sticking pins into tiny Leigh voodoo dolls.


Because in her opinion, one of their favourite beauty products is a waste of your precious time.


“I personally think primer is a waste of time… I don’t believe it’s necessary for a regular girl’s Monday to Friday makeup routine,” Leigh sheepishly admitted to co-host Kelly McCarren on Mamamia’s You Beauty podcast (get it in your ears below)…

But before you go and throw your primer in the bin (or at Leigh’s head), you really ought to hear why she feels like the revered beauty routine step isn’t all that necessary.

“For me, I’ve got oily/combination skin but if I’ve got my skincare right and my foundation right, I haven’t found the need for a primer. I also get up at 5am and leave for work by 7am, I don’t need the extra step,” she said.


Just because it’s not in her everyday kit, doesn’t mean Leigh thinks primer is the outcast of the beauty world.  For example, if you’re going to a wedding or an event and need an extra hand keeping your face sheen-free, by all means, reach for a primer.

Leigh also said girlfriends who have dry skin also find primers can add extra hydration and radiance, in particular, ones with a tiny bit of shimmer.

“I think primers are more useful for women with dry skin who need moisture. For me, I want to stay dewy and the primers I’ve tried for oily skin are mattifying… super mattifying and then I look like I’m wearing a face of powder,” she said.

The good news for those of us who love the reassurance (or placebo effect) of long lasting makeup products is Leigh does use one kind of primer in her everyday makeup routine.

An eyelid primer, specifically, MAC Cosmetic’s Prep + Prime 24-Hour Extend Eye Base, $36.

MAC Cosmetic's Prep + Prime 24-Hour Extend Eye Base
This friend keeps Leigh's signature black eyeliner in place for hours. Image: MAC.

"I often use eyelid primer, which is separate to face primer. It's essentially the same thing because your eyelid is super oily, so I'll use one on my eyelids so my shadow doesn't crease and my eyeliner doesn't transfer or slide off everywhere."

Leigh also recommends substituting a face primer for a setting spray, to be misted all over your face after makeup application to lock in whatever makeup look you've gone for.

The Urban Decay Chill Cooling And Hydrating Makeup Setting Spray, $49, is a great option - you can also try the mini version beforehand (30mL for $22) before committing to the full size product.

Urban Decay Chill Cooling And Hydrating Makeup Setting Spray
This setting spray is heaven. Image: MECCA.

You Beauty Cheat Sheet

Other questions Leigh and Kelly answered, as well as products mentioned in passing, and their 'spendys' and 'saveys' (and where you can buy them).

'Please explain the deal with silicone, sulphates and parabens in hair care, are they bad?'

  • Leigh's hair loves supermarket brands - they normally contain silicone and parabens.
  • Silcone in haircare coats the outside of the hairs (giving it that silky feeling), meaning hydration can't penetrate the cortex of your hair.
  • It can be harder to colour hair that's been coated with silicone.
  • Sulphates give hair products that foamy feeling - it really cleans the hair but can make your scalp itchy or over-strip your hair of natural oils.
  • Parabens are preservatives, they may mimic oestrogen in the body and wreck havoc with hormones (studies are inconclusive).
  • Even though, technically, silicone and paraban-free haircare is 'better' for your hair, Leigh still loves her $8 supermarket shampoos and conditioners (see below).

Products in Passing

Pantene Pro-v Daily Moisture Renewal Shampoo and Conditioner, $7 each.

Leigh loves this supermarket-brand hair care range. Image: Woolworths.

Pantene 3 Minute Miracle Conditioner Daily Moisture Renewal, $7.

Pantene 3 Minute Miracle Conditioner
This one's Kelly's fave. Image: Woolworths.

Spendy and Savey

Leigh's Spendy: True Me Original Straightener, $179.

True Me Original Straightener
This is Leigh's new best mate. Image: True Me.

Why she loves it:

  • Aussie brand by a husband and wife team.
  • Made by the people who first brought ghd and Cloud Nine to Australia.
  • Smooths and styles hair, can straighten, curl or add a wave.
  • Comes in standard and thicker size.
  • Leigh is impressed by the price and quality.


Kelly's Spendy: Omni Luxe Treatments, $50 to $150 per session.


Why she loves it:

  • $50 to $150 per session.
  • Light therapy treatment.
  • The blue light is anti-inflammatory and treats acne.
  • The red light is anti-ageing and treats pigmentation and fine lines.
  • Non-invasive treatment, usually as a part of a facial.
  • Goes for around 20 minutes.


Leigh's Savey: Innisfree Skin Clinic Mask, $3.

Innisfree Skin Clinic Mask
Plump skin for less than a coffee. Image: Innesfree.

Why she loves it:

  • Innis Free is Korea's number one natural skincare brand.
  • Hyaluronic acid, 100 per cent natural cotton sheet mask.
  • Leave on for 10 to 20 minutes.
  • It's grippy, won't slide off.
  • Leigh uses at night before her rich night cream.
  • She also thinks it smells like a lemonade icy pole... yeah.


Kelly's Savey: Mario Badescu Drying Lotion, $24.

mario badescu drying lotion
This stuff is legit magic. Image: Mecca.

Why she loves it:

  • Topical pimple treatment
  • Lasts for between six to 12 months
  • Pink sediment at the bottom, clear liquid on top.
  • Apply by dipping a cotton tip down into the pink layer and up through the clear liquid
  • Apply straight onto the skin
  • DO NOT SHAKE, the two layers are meant to be separate.
  • Works best for whiteheads, blind pimples, not so much.

Until next week, stay lovely.

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