Pick a Primer

Thursday, July 5, 2012

I'm definitely a huge advocate for fully prepping the skin before applying my makeup. I make sure my face is deep cleaned, moisturized, THEN I use a primer. Though at first I wasn't always into adding this extra step, I've definitely found that it makes a difference in the appearance and wearability of my foundation and gives my face a nice flawless finish. But the question is, which primer is best? I have tested out MANY primers and they all come in different formulas, finishes, and textures depending on your skin type. Here are a few of my recommendations and reviews some of the ones I've tried so you can decide which (if any) is best for you.

Pick a Primer

1. Smashbox Photofinish Foundation Primer- I'm starting off with this one because it is my absolute personal favorite. Though when I discussed it with some friends they differ in opinion because this product has a very distinct texture. It is extremely smooth and soft. Not only does it smooth over blemishes and wrinkles but it leaves your face feeling like a cloud and your foundation really glides right over it. However, I've been told that if you have oily skin this formula can make it feel even more oily. It does come in an oil-free version but I have yet to try it. But this would be my first recommendation if you're looking for a flawless finish and smooth feel.

2. Benefit The PoreFessional- This primer also offers a smooth finish, however I feel as if the formula does not blend well across the face, you have to use a lot of product to get a full face of coverage, whereas with the photofinish a little goes a long way. This does cover your pores and fill in lines. So if you are the type of person who only needs a little help maybe around the nose or under the eye. This product would be ideal.

3. Clinique Pore Refining Solution- I first tried this product when I was in high school and at the time I had no idea it was a face primer. I think some woman at the counter sold me on it because at the time I was really passive and kind of a pushover (things have definitely changed!). Either way, I'm glad I made the purchase because after a while I realized this product really does smooth out my skin. I would say the formula is almost EXACTLY like that of the Benefit Porefessional though and I believe this one is less expensive, so for the same reasons listed above I would try this one, and also for the more reasonable pricing.

4. Laura Mercier Foundation Primer- At first when I used this product I REALLY didn't like it. To me it felt more like a lotion/gel and did not give my skin that smooth finish I was looking for. But after continued use I can see why it's so popular. After all Laura Mercier is the self-proclaimed creator of the
flawless face" so they have to know something about primers. I think what you can really appreciate about it is that the formula is suited for all skin types BECAUSE it does not have the super smooth finish and it still gets the job done with prepping the face for foundation to set and stay for all day wear. And it doesn't add too much texture or heaviness to the skin if that's what you're into.

5. MAC Prep + Prime Skin Smoother- I was sold on this product during the MAC seminar I attended because I wanted to try a new primer and also for the packaging. I liked that it was a bit more portable than my others and because of its claim to fill in wrinkles and smooth skin. But after a few weeks of use its definitely not my favorite. I'd say I like it a bit less than the porefessional and I think that's because it still leaves my skin feeling a little on the dry side. I'm wondering if it might be a little more suitable for someone with more oily skin. It still has a smooth finish, the coverage just isn't what I thought it would be. Also they claim it can be used to "touch up" your face throughout the day, I think it's supposed to mattify the skin if you're makeup is starting to fade and get oily. I've yet to try it for that, but that's another positive factor to the product. If you've ever used Benefit's Dr. Feelgood, it's a bit like that just not as heavy.

6. Sephora Foundation Primer- Finally, the Sephora primer is really one of my favorites because it's an almost exact dupe for the Smashbox Photofinish, just with a smaller price tag. It fills in lines, leaves your skin smooth and helps your foundation last all day. And now it comes in a larger size with an easy to use pump, I love it.

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