Makeup Artist Swears Ice Cubes Are the Secret to Perfect Foundation

Remember a couple years ago when it seemed every other viral video was about applying makeup with some ridiculous non-tool, like bra inserts and condoms? At first glance, it seems like a new video posted to Instagram by beauty vlogger Ashley Blue DeFrancesco is another one of those; in the still shot before you press play, she's seen pumping liquid foundation onto a big ice cube. But it turns out she didn't use it to apply the foundation — she actually used the ice cube as a primer. And she may be on to something.

"Used ice as a primer again and honestly like……. IT REALLY WORKS," DeFrancesco says in the video caption. Yes, she's done this before — specifically in August, before applying YSL Beauté All Hours Foundation. After mugging with the especially gigantic ice cube, she's shown sliding it all over her face before applying foundation and concealer.

"I got the idea because my mom had huge ice cubes in her fridge and I remembered hearing a long time ago that ice shrinks your pores," DeFrancesco tells Allure. "My skin felt tighter and my pores seemed smaller — almost gone — and my makeup went on so smoothly. I definitely think it works."

Her makeup does turn out beautifully, but you have to wonder — did the ice really play a part in that? The short answer: maybe.

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"Ice-cold temperatures help constrict blood vessels," dermatologist Joshua Zeichner told Allure last year, explaining how an ice cube can help reduce redness and swelling. And Queer Eye's Karamo Brown swears by ice as a complexion perfector, telling his Instagram followers in March, "I use a wash cloth to pick up one ice cube. I then run the ice cube along my entire face until it melts. It does wonders for my complexion, pimples, wrinkles, etc."

Ice doesn't contain the ingredients that many primers do to help hold makeup in place; however, makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes tells Allure, "It probably closes the pores so you get a smoother application." And while Vincent Oquendo doesn't prime his clients' faces with an ice cube, he told Allure that he does wet his makeup sponge with ice water for a de-puffing effect.

So while an ice cube may not be the most comprehensive way to prime your skin before foundation, it's arguably a fast — and free — way to get a firmer canvas when you unexpectedly run out of your favorite primer.

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