Prime Suspects

For the longest time I didn’t believe in using a face primer.  None of them ever seemed to work, they didn’t seem to do anything. I can safely say I was just using the WRONG one.

MUFE Microperfecting HD Primer

A lightweight, oil-free complexion corrector that enhances the skin’s texture and primes the skin for makeup application.

I’m going to be totally honest and admit that I don’t think that this product did anything.  I had a sample of it in 0-Neutral and after I applied it noticed my face was shimmery. But then as I applied my foundation and powdered, you couldn’t tell anything was different.  My skin didn’t feel softer.  It didn’t look any different, although it seemed to get shinier then normal as the day wore  on.

After using what everyone was claiming was an amazing product I began to feel like maybe they just were not for me.

Price : 32$ for 1.01 ounces

Sephora Brand Smoothing Primer

A mattifying and smoothing primer to even out the skin while reducing shine.

I tried this one, thinking it wouldn’t make my face shiny, maybe that would be a help.  Over all it’s like a thin gel that when applied dries your skin to a matte finish.  However, it left my skin feeling tight and dry.

Applying my foundation over it it seemed to make it apply smoother, but as the day went on it was just too drying and I didn’t really notice any difference in the way my makeup looked.

Price : 18$ for .5 an ounce

Pixi Skin Brightening Primer

This primer is full of skin benefiting amino acids and will brighten & treat your skin with precious pearl powder.

I didn’t notice that this primer actually DID anything either.  By the time I put my foundation on it disappeared.  It reminds me a LOT of the other Pixi primer, just without the golden tone glow.  This product left a bit of opalescence.

Price : about 30$ for 1.06 ounces.

Pixi Flawless Beauty Primer

You can read my previous review of this product here.

Overall while I liked the sheen this product added, making it possible to use more matte foundations, I wasn’t very pleased with it.  It didn’t seem to do what I was looking for.  It left me feeling greasy, although my skin was softer.  I didn’t seem to notice it making any fine lines disappear or any of that.

Price : About 35$ for just over an ounce

Urban Decay Complexion Primer Potion – Pore Perfect

A foundation primer that minimizes the look of pores and fine lines to deliver a soft-matte, airbrushed complexions—without the heavy, greasy feel associated with face primers.

I started using this after Ana recommended it.  I’d gotten two fairly generous sized samples from Sephora with a couple of orders I’d placed.

The texture is hard to explain, it’s like a powdery gel, and it smooths over pores practically filling them in.  It’s white and thick, so you have to be careful because it will lighten your skin, but to me that’s only a bonus.  I used it for a really long time, until my samples ran out, and I was very happy with it.  It makes for a smooth airbrushed base and applying your foundation over it makes for a nice almost flawless look.

UD also has a second Primer Potion that brightens, however, I’ve never used it.

Price : 30$ an ounce

Avon’s MagicX Face Perfector with SPF 20

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.

This is almost EXACTLY like the Urban Decay primer, except this one boasts an SPF 20.  I’m always wearing at least one product with an SPF, this adds a second and makes me more confident I’m protected.

It’s the same texture as the Urban Decay and applies basically the same.  Wearing the two I can’t tell the difference.  I would say they perform the same, however MagicX has a light defuser in it that I don’t think the Urban Decay does.  Under a layer of foundation I’m not sure how that adds up, but when worn on it’s own with powder I do prefer the look of this over the UD.

I began using this exclusively after the UD samples ran out.

Price : 10$ an ounce.

Two Faced Primed and Poreless

What it is:
A makeup primer scientifically formulated to achieve the look of flawless skin without makeup.

What it does:
This one-of a-kind makeup primer was scientifically formulated to wear alone or under bronzers and foundation powders for a look of flawless skin without makeup. Vitamins A & C, Mulberry extract, and a powerful dose of Retinol virtually banish pores while tired skin is left hydrated, firmer, and detoxified. Primed & Poreless creates the perfect canvas to allow powders, bronzers, and foundations to slide seamlessly on the skin—delivering a flawless and perfectly blended look that stay in place all day. Skin appears brighter, fresher, and younger.

This is my Holy Grail primer! I’d been looking at add a Retinol to my routine, I felt the benefits would be amazing.  Although it’s not for everyone, I would recommend you read about the benefits and possible reactions before you start a Retinol product.  Reading through reviews I stumbled upon this primer and thought I’d give it a shot.  I used my Sephora 20$ Insider Gift Certificate on it and the day it arrived began wearing it.  It’s only been a few weeks but the difference is NOTICEABLE.  Without makeup my skin seems brighter and lighter.  A few of my odd sun spots from sun burns have faded.

It works just about the same as the Urban Decay.  That is the consistency is the same, it fills in pores and glides on to create an airbrush like finish.  Although the TF product is tinted and won’t lighten your skin if you apply too much.

I wear it everyday, even if I’m not going out because it has so many other benefits to it, it’s like a moisturizer and toner in one.

Price : 30$ for 1 ounce


19 Responses to “Prime Suspects”

  1. Have you tried the Too Faced primer over sunblock? I’m still looking for a primer that works well with my beloved Neutrogena SPF 85 or 100.

    • I always use a moisturizer with sunblock on my face under everything, but nothing thick. I have no idea if Neutrogena is thick, but if it leaves like a film or some sort of oil, but it might not work as well if it does.

  2. Oooh! Thanks so much for this ❤ I'm glad you liked the UD one, and you've found better alternatives! I'll definitely try those once my UDPP runs out.

    I have a jar of retinol cream somewhere, so I may try that before I get the Two Faced one, to check I'm not sensitive to it. Retinol can be hell to sensitive skin.

    • I’ve been using retinol on and off since I was in high school, and I always see a great improvement when I do, so it was awesome to run across this primer.

      It was a rough choice, though, between this and the UD.

  3. I wish there were some sort of at-home kit you could use to test the amount of retinol in a product. It’s not the stablest compound, so if you have older products, it may have degraded. Even worse, just because a company throws a bit of retinol into the vat doesn’t mean it’s an effective dose… gotta love “story” ingredients! If I have time after baking cookies I’ll see if I can find info somewhere on dosage and report back. To the oven!

  4. P.S. I use Hard Candy’s primer. $8 for a relatively large tube, has an SPF, and makes mineral foundation last longer. It doesn’t have any added benefits like the Too Faced, but at least it does what I want it to.

    • My friend Krys was using that when she visited. She seemed to like it, but I’m not big on mineral foundation 😦

  5. I will definitely have to look into that MagicX primer from Avon. My mother sells the stuff, so I can get it relatively easily, if I just ask her to order some. The fact that there’s extra SPF in there is definitely an excellent bonus as well. ❤

    Right now I'm using Fyrinnae's Velvet Gel Silica primer, which I really like. Though it doesn't fill my pores well as I'd like it to, it keeps my makeup from getting all shiny by the end of the day, which is a big bonus for me, since my skin is moderately oily.

  6. But is retinol no supposed to be used only at night? I mean, it makes your skin more vulnerable to light, or is there a sunscreen in the product as well?

    • I’ve been using a retinol on and off since high school when I was prescribed Retin A. I’ve never been told not to wear it during the day, just to stay out of the sun, which is good advice anyway.

  7. hmm. i’ve used smashbox’s “photo finish light” for years, and i love it. the two faced primer sounds good though, and i do like two faced’s other stuff (i have their eyeshadow transformer stuff and a travel kabuki brush). i might try it. haha, i’m just one of those people that is super reluctant to try something new when i’ve already found something that i love.

    • I tried the Smashbox, I had a few little samples, but honestly, I couldn’t even tell if it was doing anything!

      I’m really sort of a makeup nomad. I wander in and out of using stuff…

      • woo! i got a $100 gc to sephora for xmas, so i got too faced primed and poreless (along with lots of other stuff! and the cashier was such a sweetheart, that she gave me my birthday present that i forgot to grab back in october). i just woke up from a nap an hour ago, and my makeup still looks the way it did when i put it on this morning 😀 when i was using the photo finish stuff, i was resorting to oil absorbing sheets throughout the day, even though it says it’s water based.

        i’d tell you to stop making me spend $$$, but it was a gc, so i’ve got no qualms 🙂

  8. awww, all the lil monsters are gone 😦

    • I reset some of the commenting functions cause I was getting a LOT of spam. I’ll see what I did and try to get them back 🙂

  9. woohoo! The monsters were adorable 😀


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