If you’ve never used a primer before, it may seem like something best left to the makeup pros. Sure, it’s an extra step in your makeup routine, but it’s one that can help you go from zero to J.Lo in sixty seconds (well, maybe not quite). At the base level, face primer preps the skin for foundation and “allows it to go on smoothly,” says Toronto-based makeup artist Jackie Shawn. What’s more, primer “can reduce the appearance of fine lines and even out the texture of the skin.” The ultimate multi-tasker, primers contain silicones that help blur imperfections and make your makeup go the distance. Most primers have added skin-loving ingredients such as antioxidants and vitamins to help improve the complexion over time. No matter your skin care need, there’s a primer for you; the latest products boast a wealth of skin care benefits and can even target acne and wrinkles or minimize the visible appearance of pores and redness. Most primers come in a lotion formula and a little goes a long way–you only need to use a dime-sized amount to cover your whole face. Prefer one of the new spray primers, Shawn recommends spraying it on a brush first and then applying to your face when using it to prep the skin. “You can then focus on where you want to place it,” says the pro, allowing for more precise application.