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!
Over the last few months, I have been testing several different primers under my daily makeup to see which one I like best.
Primers seem to be all the rage, given that basically every cosmetic brand has one – but how are we supposed to know what’s going to work for us? Because I have a Birchbox subscription, I have been able to sample three great options that I’m going to share with you here, today!
But first, what the heck IS a primer? The Huffington Post offered a great, simple explanation: Makeup primer is a base for foundation or face makeup that allows it to go on smoother and last longer.
Primer can come in the form of sprays, gels, creams, and even powder. While most users apply primer prior to applying tinted moisturizer, concealer, and/or foundation, it can also be worn alone.
I have been applying my primer after my moisturizer, but before my concealer and foundation, which seems to work. The three primers I want to share with you today are all creams and gels. Personally, I’m not sure I’d trust a spray or powder primer.
Perfecting Ultra-Smoothing Primer – Sephora Collection
According to Sephora.com, this is a makeup primer that perfects the appearance of skin and prolongs the wear of foundation. This primer softens the appearance of imperfections, prolongs the wear of your foundation, and keeps you looking flawless longer.
Infused with hydrating ceramides, this formula moisturizes and smooths, while protecting with antioxidant-rich vitamins E and A.
This product is not tested on animals, and does not contain parabens. This primer can be used on the eyes to smooth and enhance wear of eyeshadow.
This product is dermatologist tested, non-comedogenic, and comes in an airless pump bottle for freshness.
This is the primer I’m currently using, and I really like it. It goes on very smooth, and leaves a matte look that feels very soft and light on my skin. It’s clear, so you don’t have to worry about which shade to choose.
$29.99 for .5 ounces
Prime Time – Bare Minerals
According to Ulta.com, this primer helps to combat enlarged pores. Uneven texture. Flaky dryness. We’ve all had complexion problems. That’s why we created Prime Time, which prepares your skin for seamless coverage with bareMinerals SPF 15 Foundation. Apply it first for the smooth, evenly textured complexion you’ve been waiting for.
Combats rough patches, flaky dryness, fine lines, excess oil, uneven texture and enlarged pores so that your foundation goes on flawlessly.
Extends the wear of your foundation, keeping you looking fresh for longer.
Soothes and nourishes with plant extracts, antioxidants and vitamins C and E.
Free of preservatives and irritants so that your skin feels great.
Silky formula glides on without any stickiness.
For Christmas, I got a sample pack of Bare Minerals makeup – I’d never tried it before and the kit contained this primer, the mineral veil foundation, an eyeshadow duo, and a lip gloss. I have quickly come to love all of it!
This primer is very, very similar to the Sephora mentioned above: it’s clear, has a gel-like consistency, and offers a smooth, matte finish. While in some stores, it is a little more pricy than the Sephora brand, it takes about a pea-size drop to cover the entire face, and has a very light feeling.
$19.30 for 1 ounce
Radiant Primer – IPKN New York
According to Birchbox.com, great foundation requires, well, a great foundation. This creamy SPF 15 primer creates a smooth, radiant canvas for makeup, refining pores and enhancing skin tone. And thanks to the blend of nourishing fruit extracts and shimmer pearl powder, your skin will glow whether you’re wearing this under foundation or under nothing at all.
This was the first primer that I tried and I loved that it was lightly tinted. I have red areas on my skin and blemishes that I’m always trying to cover up, so why not start building the mask with a primer?
I also appreciate that it has an SPF! The only reason I didn’t make this my favorite was because it has more of a glossy finish – and I prefer the matte. However, if matte isn’t your thing, this is a great starter.
It’s light, great for the skin, and could be worn alone. And it’s got a great price!
$22 for 1.3 ounces.
I am still trying additional primers, so perhaps I’ll report back with something even better! If there’s one you’re using that you love, tell me about it in the comments.