Sunday, 15 July 2012

Primped and Primed

I first started using a foundation primer when I found that my Bare Minerals Matte foundation was just failing to keep my forehead shine free. Now in the summer months, well the UK's version of summer anyway, I have started using it under liquid foundation as well, in order to prolong the wear of my makeup. I have tried and tested three different foundation primers over the past year.

The Body Shop Skin Primer Matte It
This was the first primer that I ever bought and whilst it retails for £11, I think I got it at a slightly cheaper price during one of their frequent promotional sales. This is a silicone based primer and creates a very smooth base for my makeup. On my combination skin it keeps shine at bay for about three hours, before my skin (again, mainly my forehead) starts to take on a more dewy appearance. However, this primer seems to diffuse the oils quite nicely, making my skin look "glowy" not greasy. It also prolongs the wear of my makeup just slightly. Before using other primers, I used to think that this was the best a primer could probably do, as despite some shine, it made a considerable difference when compared to just using foundation alone. It contains 25ml of product, which will last me absolutely ages as I'm not even halfway through and a tiny amount goes a long way. When purchased in one of The Body Shop sales or using one of their many discounts, I think that this product is quite good value for money and I will continue to use up the rest of it.
Rating: 3/5

Benefit the POREfessional
I received a sample size of this product in the July edition of Glamour magazine and the full size normally retails for £23.50. It is another silicone based primer and it claims to reduce the appearance of pores. I don't have many enlarged pores, but it does create a smooth base (like most silicone primers), on which my foundation glides over. But it is one of Benefit's top selling products, so I'm guessing that it does live up to its claims. However, what impressed me most was its mattifying properties. This primer kept me shine free for most of the day, with only the tiniest bit of shine coming through at the very end of the day. For a product that doesn't claim to mattify at all, I think that this is pretty impressive. My makeup remains pretty much intact as well. The only major downfall for me is the size. It only contains 22ml, which is less than most of the other primers on the market, and for £23.50 I think that this is a bit steep. For this reason, I think that I will be trying out several other primers before considering buying the full size of this. Also like most Benefit products, it is highly fragranced so it may not agree with more sensitive skin types.
Rating: 4/5

Clinique Super City Block 40 SPF
Whilst this product is marketed as an "oil free daily face protector", Clinique claims that it is "Perfect as an invisible under-makeup primer or alone, on bare skin." It retails for £16  and at 40ml contains more product than most primers. However you do need to use slightly more of this to cover your face. I bought this to double as both sun protection and a primer on days when I need extra SPF, as I like to minimise the amount of products on my skin.
The first thing that I like about this is that it doesn't leave a white mask on my face like most SPFs as it's tinted. Although the colour is lighter than my NC35/37 skin tone, the sheer formula means that it blends out perfectly. Despite being "oil free", it does leave the skin looking dewy, although I find that this subsides slightly after a few minutes. However, whilst this product doesn't instantly mattify the skin, I have found that there is no extra oil production throughout the day and my makeup retains the fresh dewy look that it starts off with. But I have to say that I prefer to add extra radiance and dewiness to areas that I want and like to start off with a more matte base to begin with. Another gripe that I have with this product is the slightly sticky nature of it, meaning that I have to allow five minutes between applying this on top of my moisturiser and at least ten minutes before I can begin to apply my makeup. It is also slightly hard to blend, although Clinique do another version with SPF 25, which is supposed to be lighter in texture. Unfortunately, I am not the best judge of sun protection as I don't burn easily and well, I live in England! I haven't been able to test this abroad yet. I'm going to continue to use this product, but am thinking of trying the Mac Prep and Prime SPF50 next.
Rating: 3/5

I hope that these reviews have been helpful and please leave any recommendations for primers in the comments down below. I'm always willing to invest in primers and foundations, as I think that the base is the most important part of makeup application!


  1. I LOVE the Porefessional! I used a sample of MAC's Prep and Prime and, like I explained in my latest blog post, it really didn't work for me as it broke me out extremely badly. Might work for you, though!

    x Michelle |

  2. Aw really, I'll definitely try to get a sample before I commit to the full size then! Thanks for the comment! :)

  3. Arrr, I can't decide if I'm going to buy the benefit set with this full sized primer, mini girl meets pearl (which I reallllllyyy want lol) and a conceler which won't match me or just the full sized highlighter... arrrr (they are the same price and everything!) What do you think I should get lol?
    Verity x

    1. Ooh that's a tough one! I would look on the back of the box of the set and add up all the ml/ounces and compare it with the full size higlighter (yes I'm sad like that lol) to see which is better value for money. You could also maybe use the concealer as an eyeshadow base (not sure if it work would as a primer) to bring out the intensity of your eyeshadows, depending on the shade? Hope this was helpful, I really want to try out girl meets pearl too! X

  4. As an alternative to the Porefessional primer you should check out GOSH's velvet primer. Its completely mattifying too and creates the perfect base for any make up. As far as I'm aware its only around £11 - £13 too :)


  5. I really want to try the porefessional, I hear such good things about it but everyone seems to be put off by the price but still loves it. I think i'll just need to take the plunge and try it out. I'm gutted i missed the sample size thought :(

    Elle xx


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