I’ve accumulated a few priming products in my collection, i use them both for my kit (makeovers) or for my personal use. Being an oily type gal, need to use a primer under my foundation to keep the shine away as much as possible.
The line up:
From left to right: Shu Uemura UV Under Base Mousse, Lancome La Base, Mac Prep and Prime Spf 15, Smashbox Photo Finish Spf 15, Smashbox Photo Finish Light, Smashbox Photo Finish Color Correction in Blend, Smashbox Photo Finish Color Correction (old packaging), Smashbox Photo Finish Color Adjust, Shiseido Smoothing Veil, Clarins Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch.
Before showing you the textures and giving you mini reviews about them, i want to tell you a bit about the whole primer philosophy. I’m aware that all the beauty aficionados and beauty bloggers are going to roll their eyes, but dealing with ladies on the counter, most of them are not fully clear about what a primer does.
A Primer is a smoothing silicone based (most of the times) gel or lotion that is used under your foundation, to fill all the little pores and fine lines so when you apply your foundation everything will appear smoother.
- What im asked about 90% of the time is if a primer can be used alone, without foundation. The answer is No, because it will not do anything for you in any way. See it as a filler or a film, you have your little lines or pores, this will fill them up so when you apply your foundation or tinted moisturiser, it will be a smooth surface. If you don’t apply anything on top, your appearance will not be changed in any way. I tend to joke and call primers, Photoshop in a bottle.
- A primer does not act as a moisturiser. Yes when applied, your skin will feel super velvety but that’s just the silicon film. Some of the primers are more moisturising then other (Laura Mercier, the new Smashbox Hydrating Primer) but will not double up as a anti-age or hydrating treatment.
Shu Uemura UV Under Base Mousse SPF 30
Ive been eying this cult product since Shu Uemura set foot in Brown Thomas! It is very different to the gel primers I’m used to, it comes in a slightly tinted mousse (the shade is beige) and it has a whooping high Spf 30. You have to be careful when pumping the product not to get too much out, literally an olive size of product is more then sufficient for the entire face and eyes. The skin tone its improved, the foundation lasts longer and goes smoother and it doubles up as a sun factor too.
Ideal for oily-combination skin, not great on dry types.
Mac Prep and Prime
Prep and Prime its a lotion type primer with light reflecting properties. It doesn’t have any shimmer or glitter in it, just tiny, tiny particles that reflect the light for a dewy, radiant complexion. Raging to be honest that i didn’t get the Spf 50 one, wasn’t aware of its existence. Its not as slippery as a gel type primer, works excellent on a dry skin.
Lancome La Base
La Base is the classic gel primer, that gives an instant velvety feeling to your skin. To be honest i find the formulation and result to be identical with the Smashbox PhotoFinish, only at a cheeper price (La Base is €30 and Smashbox is €35). The formula its quite heavy, in the sense that you need a pea size amount for the whole face. Works on all skin types.
Smashbox Photo Finish Primers
Photo Finish UVA/UVB Spf 15 – doubles up as a primer and a sun factor, if your day time foundation or moisturiser doesnt have one. Smart!
Photo Finish Light – for sensitive complexions and very oily textures, its a lighter formulation (doh!) that doesn’t block up the pores or irritates.
Photo Finish Color Correcting different colors: Blend (salmon shade to even out skin tone), Green (against redness or rosaceea), Purple (for dull complexions, instant brightening effect).
Shiseido Smoothing Veil and Clarins Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch
Clarins Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch – this is my primer to go for a mature, dry skin. Its best to be used with your fingers, working it into the skin. Here’s a little test that you can do in the shop, to see for yourself the power of this type of primer: take a pea size of product and apply it on the interior of one of your palms, working it in the lines. Then compare. Comment bellow if you are amazed or not.
Lancome has a very similar alternative out in two shades (fair porcelain and sallow skin), it primes and evens out skin tone.
Shiseido Smoothing Veil – feels more like a light moisturiser rather then a priming product. It evens out the skin tone, brightens and smooths the skin surface. Ideal for fair, dry complexions.