Yep, I am still on a mission to try as many beauty products as possible in order to find the perfect batch! Over the last few months, I’ve tried four new primers, along with an eyelash primer, and I’m here to report my findings.
Balance Me Instant Lift Primer
I got a sample of this primer in my Birchbox! Here’s the description from Birchbox.com: We have our fair share of things we wouldn’t mind getting rid of (pesky neighbors, traffic delays—to name a few), but helping our pores disappear would be at the top of our skincare wish list. This formula uses hard-working ingredients like hyaluronic acid and acacia gum to tighten and blur enlarged pores and smooth and refine your skin’s surface for a glowy complexion.
This one has a thick texture, so it’s good if you have larger pores. Because of its texture, I really felt like I was doing something good for my skin while wearing this. It’s white in color, but rubs in easily.
I’ve seen this primer range in price from $12-$45, so search around if you want to try it!
Smashbox Photo Finish Radiance Primer
I got this as a sample, too, either from Sephora or Birchbox… but I loved it! Honestly, all of the Smashbox primers I’ve tried have been a success, but this one has a little bit of a sheen to it, which I love for summer. Here’s the description from Smashbox.com: This moisturizing face primer gives you an instant golden-hour glow. It has a satin-smooth formula that illuminates, perfects & enhances radiance while hydrating for better makeup application.
Price for this one is around $35 – but it looks like you can buy various sizes on Amazon, including a sample for $7.
MAC Prep + Prime Fix+
I bought this after seeing my favorite makeup artist (ahem, Jaclyn Hill) spritz some on her Beauty Blender before applying foundation. I have been using it ever since and am LOVING it. I use this in addition to a cream primer directly on the skin. Here’s the description from Ulta.com:
The holy grail of hydrating mists! M·A·C Prep + Prime Fix+ gives an instant boost of hydration while delivering a soft sheen to refresh and set makeup. The lightweight, prolonging formula is packed with vitamins and minerals, infused with a blend of green tea, chamomile and cucumber to gently moisturize, soothe and enhance your complexion. Pair with your favorite products in near-endless ways – to sheer out foundation, intensify the color payoff of eyeshadows and highlighters or simply to extend the wear of makeup.
Ummm… since I bought the travel size (1 ounce for $12), I did not know it came in different scents – it comes in original herbal, creamy coconut, romantic rose, and calming lavender. I will most-definitely be getting the romantic rose! This is my first time trying a spray primer, and I think it’s perfect for use on a beauty sponge (nothing beats the cosmetic wedge, if you ask me). This one is $26 for 3.4 ounces.
Laura Geller Spackle Hydrating Primer
This is the second primer from Laura Geller that I’ve tried and I like this one better than the Champagne one I reviewed last time. This one really is hydrating and I would almost say you could use it and skip your moisturizer, but I feel like that’s just not right to say. Here’s the description from LauraGeller.com:
Introducing Spackle Hydrating, a multi-tasking marvel that not only perfects, but also hydrates skin with moisturizing ingredients for normal to dry skin. This vitamin-rich formula moisturizes and soothes skin while priming it for make-up application. Formulated with natural, soothing and hydrating ingredients such as Aloe Vera Gel and Cupuaçu Seed Butter.
Laura Geller Fortifying Lash Eyelash Primer
This came as a sample in my Birchbox, and having used the Laura Geller mascara, I was excited to try this. I don’t think I’ve ever used an eyelash primer before so I can’t compare it, but I’d say you can’t really go wrong with adding an extra layer of color to your lashes. Here’s the description from Birchbox.com:
You prep your skin before foundation and apply a base coat before nail polish, so it only makes sense to get your lashes ready for mascara too. A swipe of this primer strengthens and lengthens your fringe and helps prevent clumps. The black tinted formula blends in seamlessly underneath your mascara (read: no white streaks in sight), and even wears great alone on low-maintenance mornings. Lashes look longer, more defined, and dramatic for eyes that do all the talking.
This is $22 – I’ve only seen it in black.
What primers are you guys using? I think so far, the Smashbox Radiance and the Bare Minerals original primer are my favorites, on top of the MAC Fix.
Happy Halloween! I am pretty excited for today – oddly – mostly because this means I can take a break from mass-producing Holly Golightly sleep masks for seasonal costumes, and because I love hearing “Thriller” on the radio constantly.
Several months ago, I posted short reviews about cosmetic primers I’ve tried. I got such good advice on new ones to try, that here I am, back after trying FOUR new primers! I’m curious to see what you guys think of this batch.
If you aren’t big on makeup or haven’t tried a primer, it is usually worn under makeup (particularly foundation) and provides a smooth base that helps the makeup stay on longer and look flawless. A primer can come in the form of a gel, spray, powder, cream, oil… it just depends on what type of product you like.
NYX Shine Killer
I love NYX products because they are so affordable, it makes it easy to try new things. The Shine Killer primer is a clear gel and I found it really helped control my shine throughout the day (I did use it along with the NYX matte setting spray).
- Foundation primer that prepares skin for silky smooth makeup application
- Lightweight, colorless gel creates an invisible layer that acts as a buffer to the outside elements
- Helps makeup stay fresh and color-true for hours, lasting all day and well into the night
- Moisturize your skin with a daily dosage of Vitamin E
- Prep your face with this foundation primer before applying face makeup
- Maintain a matte and fresh face all day
$13.99 for .67 ounces
Laura Geller Spackle Tinted Under Make-up Primer
Over the last year, I have been trying bits and pieces of Laura Geller’s collection and her products are wonderful! This Spackle (in “Champagne”) came in a gift set I got, which are always such great deals. It has a slight glow to it, so it’s perfect to wear under makeup or alone for a dewy look.
Revive and re-texturize your skin to achieve a flawlessly smooth finish with my Spackle® Tinted Under Make-up Primer in Champagne. This formula has the same features and benefits as the revolutionary best-selling Spackle®, but it shimmers with a champagne glow!
Made with natural plant extracts and the powerful anti-oxidants, White Tea and Centella Asiatica. These ingredients protect the skin along with Aloe Vera Gel. Spackle also helps the skin retain moisture, feel softer and look smoother. It is lush, incredibly lightweight and suitable for all skin types.
$32 for 2 ounces
Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer Pore Minimizing
I got a sample of this in one of my Birchboxs a few months ago and have been using it over the last few weeks. I love that it has a light tint to it – my skin has some redness (which I’m currently trying to derma-roll out), so I am always looking for FULL coverage products. I also liked the texture of this – it goes on smooth and has a dry, matte finish.
Smashbox’s Photo Finish Pore Minimizing Foundation Primer is an Allure Best of Beauty winner. It works for all skin types but is ideal for oily and combination skin. It pairs best with liquid or cream foundation. This primer is non-acnegenic and ophthalmologist tested.
- Dramatically reduces the look of pores
- Mattifies shine and controls oil all day
- Smoothes and preps skin for makeup
- Won’t clog pores or cause breakouts
- Water-resistant, smooth-glide texture
- Leaves a soft, even finish
Formulated without parabens, sodium lauryl sulfate, phthalates, oil, fragrance and talc. Vegan friendly.
$39 for 1 ounce
Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Oil
I got this as a sample from the Company Cosmetics Store (I. Love. That. Place!) after buying a Smashbox set that had all sorts of goodies in it. This was my first time trying the oil, and frankly, I am still trying to figure out what I think of it. It definitely does not leave an oily finish, but I might save the rest of it to use during the colder months (like, in December maybe? #Texas) when my skin is dry.
Smashbox’s Photo Finish Primer Oil is non-acnegenic and dermatologist-tested. Morning and evening application adds increased moisture in just four weeks. Not ideal for oily skin.
- Preps skin for makeup
- Moisturizes for seamless makeup application
- Instantly absorbs and adds radiance
- Reduces the appearance of dry fine lines
- Blended with 15 lipid-rich plant extracts and essential oils including moisturizing jojoba + calming chamomile
- Strengthens the skin’s barrier
What primers are you using? I am always looking to try new products!
Before I sign off, be sure to check out my Etsy SALE – today only – and you can get 15% off all items in honor of Halloween (and the Great Pumpkin, of course)! As always, there is free shipping on domestic orders.
Have a fun day, y’all!
I haven’t written much about it, but I’ve been experimenting more with my makeup lately. It’s a fun way to express myself, even at my desk job, and I love trying new products – and okay, I really enjoy watching makeup tutorials. It’s oddly calming!
At first, I was hesitant to spray my face in hopes of setting my makeup and helping it last longer. I mean, that just doesn’t seem right. But, lots of people say it works, and why not try it? It’s taken me months to try multiple brands and types – I like to get a complete opinion! While I tried to test different kinds, I also have to stick to what I like, but who knows, maybe you’ll find one you like or have one you can suggest to me! Here goes…
NYX Matte Finish Makeup Setting Spray
This was the first setting spray I purchased. I’ve used NYX products before, and like them, and you can’t really beat the price tag. The bottle looks small, but I usually just need one or two sprays a day and I’m good to go.
Honestly, even with nothing to compare this to, I loved this product. I have always had a problem with my makeup settling into my skin by lunch time, or even fading by the end of the day. This stuff makes my face bullet-proof. Even after a day of work and dance class, my makeup looks good!
I bought this one at Ulta and when I checked the website later, it has 4.5 stars out of 5 – sounds like a winner to me!
Coola Face SPF 30 Makeup Setting Spray
I got this in one of my monthly Birchbox shipment, and it made for a great setting spray while traveling. I used this anytime I was going to be outdoors, including an outdoor protest/rally, a music festival, and outdoor volunteering – all hoping to get a little extra SPF on my face.
It worked fine as a setting spray – it does have a slight “sunscreen” smell, which doesn’t bother me, but I know it’s not for everyone.
It set my makeup, but I’m not sure I would choose this for everyday use unless my job required me to spend lots of time outdoors. It doesn’t take much though, so purchasing a bottle would probably last you awhile.
Ulta Matte Makeup Setting Spray
I get my hair cut and colored at Ulta, and Often used the 20 minutes under a cap to shop (yes, I’m roaming the aisles in a cape, clear cap, with red dye all over the place). I came across Ulta’s makeup line and saw this matte setting spray had a special feature that sold me: coconut scented.
I know it’s small, and really, no one is getting close enough to my face to smell it, but I can smell it when I spray it on and that’s all that matters. The price was great, and it’s on-par with NYX as far as quality.
I don’t wear a ton of makeup, but I do wear enough that needs to be looking good at the end of the day. This one does well keeping my makeup in place, while keeping shine under control.
So far, I think the NYX is my favorite, but I will probably keep trying new brands. I haven’t tried any of the aerosol setting sprays, so maybe that’s next. I do have a Smashbox primer/setting spray that I have yet to try (not sure how I feel about 2-N-1 products). But let me know what makeup setting sprays you like to use and maybe I’ll give them a try!