Sunday, 23 June 2013

Foundation Primers - The Mission

I am currently on a mission to find the perfect primer, something which is turning out to be a little tricky, in large part due to my lack of mission funding. I haven't yet found the perfect primer but I will not rest until I do! (Too dramatic?!) In the meantime I thought I would share my findings so far.

I have currently tried four primers, two high-street (drugstore) and two high-end...



Maybelline Dream Smooth Primer -  This is the first primer I ever tried and it was back when I first started getting obsessed with makeup and beauty blogs. I swatched it on the back of my hand and was amazed by the difference! My hand instantly looked smoother and younger. It is a clear gel like formula in a small pot but a little goes a long way.

This primer claims to "blur away imperfections, minimise the appearance of pores, and create a perfect canvas for makeup." I agree with all of the above actually, it does apply to skin nicely, creating a smooth velvety soft layer over imperfections and pores and it makes foundation go on very smoothly. It does feel greasy when on the skin but it doesn't look greasy, so as long as you don't mind the feel of it, it's not too much of a problem. Because it is quite greasy it would be better for those with dry skin (it does prevent foundation clinging to dry patches) and those with oily skin should probably avoid it. I haven't really noticed any difference in the length of time my foundation stays on when I wear this primer so I would mainly use this if I am having a very dry skin day to smooth out my complexion.

No.7 Beautifully Matte Makeup Base - I really don't like this primer. I have a lot of trouble keeping my foundation/concealer on my problem areas for long periods of time and this was my main reason for wanting a primer. I thought perhaps a matte finish primer would help a bit more so picked this one up from Boots. The formula is really difficult to work with. It's like glue. I put it on my skin and just can't spread it around, when I try it just sticks and clumps. I have tried applying it over just blemishe areas but it's very difficult to apply foundation over the top. Not good.

Maybe this primer would work better on very oily skin but on my normal/dry skin it was a nightmare. It is sort of like PVA glue that has tried out a bit. Does that make sense?



Benefit Porefessional - The Benefit Porefessional Pro Balm claims to minimise the appearance of pores and fine lines for smoother skin which I would agree with. Like the Maybelline Dream Smooth Primer it creates a smooth velvety soft layer over the skin and blurs imperfections. I only have a mini tube from one of the Benefit How To Look Good At Everything kits but would like to buy a full size tube at some point. Unlike the Maybelline primer Benefit's Porefessional does not feel overly greasy on the skin. This is probably my favourite of the primers I have tried so far and I used this one on my wedding day, but again it doesn't largely effect how long foundation stays on.  

Laura Mercier Radiance Foundation Primer - This primer is a creamy gel formula which has more of a natural finish and has less of a smoothing impact than the others. I decided to try the radiance version which is a gold toned primer with some serious shimmer! This does look very odd on my pale and pink under-toned complexion and the shimmer actually seems to exaggerate my pores and blemishes as opposed to improving their appearance. For that reason I use this only on my cheeks, which, with foundation over the top, leaves a nice 'glow from within' highlight effect which I do really like. I did also use this primer on my wedding day but again it was just on the cheeks for a bit of added highlight. This would look gorgeous on those with tanned and darker skin-tones!

I haven't really noticed any difference in foundation longevity with this primer either, but as I only use it in a very small area of my face it may not be a very fair test. I would like to give the normal Laura Mercier primer a try to compare and without the shimmer I should be able to use this one all over my face.



So overall, Benefit's Porefessional is my favourite primer so far but still lacks in the longevity category. I do like Maybellines Dream Smooth Primer as a cheaper alternative but it would be better for winter and dry skin days. I love the Laura Mercier Radiance Foundation Primer but not as a primer, more as a highlighter and I wouldn't bother with the No.7 Beautifully Matte Makeup Base again.

I have heard that Smashbox primers are good so that may be my next experiment. Any recommendations for a primer with skin smoothing effects which helps foundation and concealer stay put all day? Let me know by commenting below...

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