3 October 2015

The prime of your life

Don't ask me how, but somewhere along the way I've managed to accrue a load of primers. So many, in fact, that I almost have one for every day of the week.

Which is kind of ridiculous when you consider most people don't even know what a primer is/don't tend to use one as part of their make up regime.

However, as I've moved to London and experienced the classic "where the heck has my make up gone, it was here two minutes ago I SWEAR" moment way too many times, I've learned that a primer is something I can't live without.

A good primer will do three things - make your make up last longer, make application easier, and have a slight blurring affect (due to the light reflecting particles they contain that trick the eye, ooer).

They also promise to do many other things. Sometimes they succeed, sometimes they fail. And that's where this post comes in. Here are the 6 I own (yes, SIX) - what they say they do, what they do well, and what they do not so well.

Oh yeah, another thing about primers - they tend to have super long names.

What they say: Say goodbye to visible pores! Prime to perfection, plus dramatically blur and reduce the appearance of pores instantly and for up to 8 hours. 

What it does well: This feels silky smooth upon application, there's no getting around it. It comes out a nude colour then disappears once blended in. It made my red patches less red, pores appeared reduced. And it's oil-free, so brilliant for unpredictable weather and combination skin.

What it does not-so-well: 8 hours seems like a stretch to me, but then again it does say *up* to 8 hours. I imagine if you have normal skin it's probably true to it's word. Oh, and the price is pretty spenny for 30ml. However, it does have a cult following for a reason.

**Smashbox doesn't have an ingredient list on its site - naughty Smashbox - but I have a sneaky suspicion this may have silicon in it (lots of primers do) which may irritate very sensitive skins.**

What they say: It is the perfect skin primer for all complexions and all skin types. Pore minimizing. Shine controlling. Hydrating. Oil free. Hypoallergenic. For all skin types.

What it does well: Pixi make some pretty bold claims on their site about this product, but their ingredients seem to back their claims up. Willow Bark mattifies the skin, and the humble dose of salicylic acid unblocks pores to prevent breakouts. 

What it does not-so-well: I feel like I'm being picky here, but it also happens to contain shea butter which I've heard can actually clog pores, so I'm a bit confused as to why both that & S.A are used. Contains a lil bit of alcohol and silicon, so again very sensitive skins may need to use this sparingly.

Laura Mercier Foundation Primer, £29.00

What they say: Laura Mercier Foundation Primer creates a smooth, invisible layer that acts as a "buffer" to outside elements and expertly holds foundation. This water-based formula guarantees that your makeup stays fresh and color-true for hours.

What it does well: I have the standard ol' primer - you can get a hydrating and an oil-free version too. But honestly, this mattifies the skin pretty well. Also, it applies as a clear gel, so darker-tones shouldn't have a problem (the above two may result in an ashy complexion). It's also anti-ageing, so thumbs up.

What it does not-so-well: It smells a bit. I'm not sure why. It's not an over-powering smell, and it doesn't last. I think it's the vitamin E, maybe? I think I'm just being overly picky. It's a good'un, really - and yet another cult product along with Smashbox.

KIKO Skin Tone Corrector, £9.90

What they say: Thanks to the Diamond powder, Skin Tone Corrector Primer captures the light and delicately reflects it over the entire face, giving it an extraordinary diffused radiance. 01 Green: ideal for contrasting pink discolourations such as rosacea, capillaries and blemishes.

What it does well: It mattifies the skin. That is literally it. Oh, how I tried to love this product. It let me down. Maybe I'll just stick to the make up.

What it does not-so-well: Let me tell you a little story: my face had been red for a few months when I bought this. My skin was angry and irritated and I hoped this would help - it didn't. THE END. It does indeed leave a green tinge to the complexion, which is then hidden when you put foundation over the top, but it does not help with redness. If it didn't help me, it won't help with rosacea. Sorry, KIKO.

Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield SPF 30, £55.00

What they say: Invisiblur™ Perfecting Shield SPF 30 is a 5 in 1 multi-benefit formula featuring invisible SPF technology. This superb new anti-ageing treatment also blurs, primes, moisturises and protects with an invisible sunscreen to reveal a smooth, blurred, flawless complexion in just one step.

What it does well: It has SPF! Hallelujah! It's also seriously good stuff and has science to back it up. It's a clear, non-sticky gel which melts into your skin and I can promise you your skin will have never felt so silky. It's hydrating and light and feels like you haven't applied anything (but obviously you have).

What it does not-so-well: The pump where the product is released can get a little sticky. It contains silica and fragrance, so sensitive skins should be weary. Plus, fragrance may irritate already inflamed skin (but I couldn't really smell anything so you should be fine).

OM Skincare Invisible Finish Primer SPF 40, £42.50 

What they say: A new generation of Primer that brightens and moisturises whilst protecting skin from pollution and harmful UVA + UVB rays – resulting in a radiant and luminous complexion.

What it does well: FYI, this is a new British brand which is all about taking care of skin and

encouraging mindfulness and harmony and all that lovely stuff - hence OM, as in the sound you make in meditation. Anyway, I'm using this at the moment and love it - it's slightly tinted but melts into skin on application, keeps my skin mattified and uses (nearly) all natural ingredients and a tiny percentage of silicon. PLUS SPF 40.

What it does not-so-well: I do need to touch this up sometimes, either with more of the product over make up or with a little setting powder. But I have quite oily skin anyway. I don't mind too much because it contains no fragrance. I'll be keeping an eye on this brand.


Have you come across these brands? Love them, hate them?

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