Product Reviews: It’s Time to Prime! Your face that is…

Makeup primer used to be a product that only true beauty gurus knew of, used, and purchased back in the day.  Only very high end or makeup artistry geared lines carried these “magical” makeup primers that were supposed to “prime” your face for the absolute “perfect” makeup application afterwards.  Many primers claim to work by prepping your skin into a smooth, poreless, shine minimized canvas that would allow your makeup to go on flawlessly and endure hours of wear without looking greasy and worn down by the end of your day/evening.  One of the industry leaders of makeup primers would be Smashbox Cosmetic’s Photofinish Foundation Primer which is said to on Sephora’s website do the following:

The silky blend of vitamins and antioxidants smoothes and perfects skin while the unique formula helps to inhibit the destruction of collagen, and fills in fine lines and pores for a flawless finish.

I have indeed purchased and used this primer several times and really do believe in the claims it makes, but the price for the amount you get ($36 for 1 oz or $42 for added SPF 15) seems a bit too steep and unjustifiable even for beauty addicts such as myself who will go to any length to get the products that work.  Especially with the surge of most makeup lines, including many drugstore brands, coming out with a makeup primer of their own, I had to see what else was out there.

Recently I have purchased Avon’s MagiX Face Perfector SPF 20 which retails at $10 and Rimmel London’s Fix & Perfect Foundation Primer which I purchased for $7.59 at Ulta, both for 1 oz of product.

Avon’s MagiX Face Perfector SPF 20 is described on Avon’s website as:

A magical air-light gel-powder colorless formula that makes all skin tones look flawless… invisible coverage; instant perfection. Banish shine up to 10 hours. Apply evenly before sun exposure or as needed. 1 fl. oz.

“This colorless formula is perfect for anyone who want to look naturally flawless and beautiful without looking like you’re wearing any makeup. It’s universally flattering and a secret weapon in your makeup bag.”
— Jillian Dempsey, Avon’s Global Creative Color Director

Targets pores: visibly minimizes pores with patent-pending Optix Light-Diffusing Technology.

Banishes Shine: holds back shine for up to 10 hours

Smoothes Skin: reduces the look of fine lines…skin feels softer than ever.

Rimmel London’s Fix & Perfect Foundation Primer is described on Rimmel London’s website as:

Create a perfect canvas for foundation application. – Skin Perfecting primer smoothes and evens out your complexion – prolongs the wear of your foundation – Minimizes Pores

Here are my own personal opinions (the following comments only reflect how the product applied and wore on my combination to oily on the t-zone face, which of course will be different from others and their skin types!) on the Avon MagiX Face Perfecter SPF 20 primer:

PROS–

  • has light reflecting particles which imparts a slight shimmery glow to my skin
  • has SPF 20 which is fantastic to protect my skin from the sum
  • feels lightweight on my skin
  • the product comes out of the tube like a thick gel-cream and transforms to a powdery texture almost immediately when rubbed onto my face
  • my makeup held on well throughout the day with maybe 1-2 touch-ups on my t-zone with an oil-blotting paper to reduce shine
  • great price point and easy to purchase online or I guess through an Avon consultant if you’d prefer

CONS–

  • since the product is the consistency of a thick gel-cream, I found it difficult to squeeze out of the tube (kind of like old toothpaste??); I either squeezed to lightly and barely got anything out or squeezed with too much force getting way too much product than needed for one application to my face
  • the primer’s powdery texture once on the skin makes it hard to spread around evenly so my drier areas on my face like my cheeks got either too little or too much primer
  • the shimmery light reflecting particles might have made my t-zone shinier than needed as the day went on
  • moisturizer really is necessary underneath the primer to hydrate those drier areas, even though I prefer to use only a makeup primer in place of a daytime facial moisturizer since my skin is not excessively dry

THE FINAL WORD ON REPURCHASING–Yes, if on sale which Avon does quite frequently and to use especially during the summer season when my face is oilier and needs the extra SPF 20 protection.

Here are my own personal opinions (the following comments only reflect how the product applied and wore on my combination to oily on the t-zone face, which of course will be different from others and their skin types!) on the Rimmel London’s Fix & Perfect Primer:

PROS–

  • has a really nice, light, creamy fluid-like consistency that feels moisturizing enough to replace a daytime facial moisturizer for my skin
  • spreads on evenly and smoothly
  • absorbs in quickly, but not as fast as Avon’s primer
  • eventually dries leaving behind a smooth canvas without a powdery feeling like Avon’s primer which is good for my drier areas on my face like my cheeks
  • my makeup held on well throughout the day with maybe 1-2 touch-ups on my t-zone with an oil-blotting paper to reduce shine
  • great price point and easy to find in most drugstores and general variety type stores like Target and Fred Meyer

CONS–

  • no SPF protection included so either my foundation will have to include one or I must also wear a  separate product with SPF or use only for the evening
  • primer is tinted with a sheer apricot color that seems to blend into my skin tone, but may be a problem for others
  • a couple of minutes is needed to fully absorb into my skin
  • squeezes out a bit too excessively since the primer is more fluid-like than Avon’s so care must be taken to not waste product

THE FINAL WORD ON REPURCHASING– Yes, I will repurchase if I happen to see it on sale because I like the consistency of Rimmel London’s primer more than Avon’s and I will have to make sure my foundation has SPF protection and/or not plan to be out in the sun for a prolonged period of time.

Both of these budget-friendly makeup primers do what they say and each has its definite advantages for use and wear.  However, neither of these two are my ultimate, Holy Grail worthy makeup prime rand therefore, the quest continues.

Anyone out there have a good makeup primer that can replace my daily facial moisturizer, has SPF protection, and won’t break the bank?  If so, please do share with all of us!  What is your favorite makeup primer regardless of the features I’m specifically looking for in a primer?  Does anyone think primers are an absolute unnecessary product that companies have promoted just to make more money?  All thoughts are welcome!

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