Friday 4 March 2016

Battle of the Primers

Honestly, up until a couple of years ago I didn't even really know what primer was - I was more familiar with the stuff you slap on the walls as a sort of base coat before you paint them. And in a way, I guess that's what a make-up primer does too so my knowledge has really come full circle. I first tried a primer when my mum bought two minis of the Smash Box Photo Finish Primer on a plane home from Greece. I was hooked and have since spent my life trying to find one that matches up/outdoes it ('cos I really don't wanna have to spend the price of a weekly shop on a tube of primer…) So, how's it been going?

The Nip + Fab Sheer Make Up Fix was, honestly, a let down. It was really nothing more than a moisturiser - it smells nice and leaves my face feeling quite smooth, but that's where it's usefulness seems to end. My make up doesn't actually look any better, nor does it last any longer. Le sigh.

Nikkie Tutorials sent the beauty corner of the internet into a frenzy when she announced that she was using the Nivea Men Sensitive Post-Shave Balm as a primer. It took me a while to get around to it, but I finally bought a (huge) bottle of the stuff when it was reduced in Morrisons. I can tell this is gonna last me forever, because you only need a tiny bit and it spreads right across your face. Most people say it goes tacky and that's when you should apply tour make-up but I've never experienced this; it does, however, ensure that my make-up looks banging and it does actually last longer with this underneath!

Benefit Porefessional is one of those coveted products, and I'd used a little sample of it and found myself liking it enough to splurge on the full size. And it's okay, but I've used better - and I find it quite drying, which I could really do without as it's the dryness of my skin that means I need primer in the first place as everything just goes patchy. Definitely a good one if you're after something mattifying, and it smells nice.

I'm really into Dermalogica, and I was lucky enough to get sent their Hydrablur Primer* to try out - it's the most expensive of all the primers I've tried but it's not the best. It's nice and my make up looks a lot smoother; my imperfections seem much less visible underneath, which is definitely a positive. I wouldn't say my make up lasts for ages when I've got this on, which was disappointing. But, if you have cash to spare (or a voucher) it's worth a try!

I had high hopes for the Photo Flawless Primer from Seventeen because it's a really similar texture to the Smashbox one - but it's crap, in all honesty. It makes my skin a bit more matte but it does nothing to elongate the wear of my make up which is frustrating!

My holy grail when it comes to primers lately is the W7 Prime Magic Face Primer which is, honestly, pretty much a dupe of the Smashbox offering. It looks and feels the same, and my make up applies like a dream. The best thing, though, is that I can get through near-enough a full day without red/dry patches emerging across my forehead and cheeks. It's truly changed my make up game and I'm thrilled because you can pick it up for a couple of quid, and they do it in other colours in case you want some colour-correcting too!

I've tried primers from MUA (okay) and The Body Shop (terrible) as well as a tiny sample from Urban Decay which I loved. So there are some good and bad primers out there; it depends on your skin (mine's super dry) and what you're actually looking for.

Which primers would you recommend?!

Wanna see some botanical bathroom goodies?


  1. It's a shame you found the Nip + Fab Sheer Make Up Fix so disappointing, I usually love their products. I've ran out of primer but I've been using my NYX finishing powder which helps to keep my makeup in place all day & get rid of shine.

    Roxie | The Beautiful Bluebird

  2. I can't use foundation without a primer now, it's a must have for me. I agree on the Nivea balm, it makes makeup really stick to your skin.
    You should get a sample of the Dior Forever Primer, it's my fave at the moment.
    Kathryn /Cherries in the Snow

  3. I'm selling my barely used Smashbox primer if you're interested - I'm open to offers! xx

  4. I've never use a primer, maybe is the time to start!!

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