One of the fist things one learns when painting with oils is to treat the canvas with Gesso first. This protects the canvas fabric and seals the cracks, providing a nice even surface texture for the paint. Pictures that haven't been through this process don't last as long. The same theory applies to painting your face for a night out.

Backstage at fashion shows and shoots Embryolisse {Lait-Creme Concentre} has historically been the primer of choice as it perks up and moisturises the face for a lovely even make up application; but the needs of a model for a shoot or show are rather different from say, a first date. The latest primers not only prep the skin, they also answer a wide variation of skin types and needs.

1. Spot the Difference...

For those with propensity to spots, covering them up can literally be a minefield. {Anti-Blemish Matte Primer} from Jouer is non-comedogenic and made with Salicylic Acid – which gently resurfaces to unblock your pores and alleviate congestion while you wear it. Its calming aloe base calms redness and soothes inflammation, while the anti-bacterial action helps prevent the development of new spots.

2. All that Glistens...

Oily skin types do age well, but make up placed on top of them doesn't. Stila's {Stay All Day Prime & Anti-Shine Balm} is like velcro for your make up, that keeps it looking matte all day. If your skin is oily or combination this handy little compact means you won't have to be checking the mirror every 10 seconds to see if your make up look isn't somewhere round your knees by noon.

3. Master the Moisture

Kevyn Aucoin, the make up that 'made' the supermodels, have a moisturising primer that is a godsend for dry skin types. If you prep with the {Primed Skin Developer} not only does your skin take on a more luminous quality than normal, with much more even colour distributiom, but also that 4pm parched or cracked make up look will become a thing of a past.

4. The Test of Time

As we age the terrain of our face becomes more and more hazardous for make up. Sunday Riley have created a brilliant skin care/make up hybrid primer called {Effortless Breathable Tinted Primer} that not only plumps out your wrinkles as you wear it, but also 'polyfillers' over the deeper ones with a breathable, elastic formula that won't budge. This one is even sweat-proof so you can wear it to the gym.

5. Odds or Evens?

If you have uneven skin tone or hyper-pigmentation and don't want to wear a thick foundation, Stila's {One Step Correct} can be worn under a tinted moisturiser for a lighter, long lasting look. It contains three colour-correcting brighteners, suspended in an anti-ageing serum. The green tone neutralises redness and blemishes; the lavender balances sallow undertones and the peach disguises shadows and imperfections.