Time was you when you bought a foundation and expected it to do it’s job, i.e. look good, stay put and feel comfortable. Now you also need a primer to hydrate, blur, highlight or generally solve any number of other “problem areas” the cosmetic giants come up with.
But is this really just another way to get you to part with your cash – or are we at 50 Sense turning cynical with our years? The Mumster tested out a few to see if they really do make any difference…
Boots No7 Skin Illuminator £12.50 (30ml): On first application, the illuminator looks very shiny and I had my doubts. However, once you put your make-up on it gives you a nice glow – although I felt adding a strobing highlighter would be one step too far.
Clarins Instant Light – sorry SOS Primer in 01 Rose £26.50 (30ml): Don’t get me started on the need to rename and repackage products – I only bought this last summer and now it’s called something new entirely! Anyway, this is more of a subtle pearly-pink glow than gold and I don’t think I could get away with wearing this without foundation or a tinted moisturiser as I looked a bit ghostly without. However, it’s not hyper sparkly and it gave a lovely inner glow with foundation over it.
Becca Back Light Filter £32 (30ml): I got this is as a gift-with-purchase as a travel size. It’s not OTT shiny sparkles, but more of a golden glow. Apply a light layer and you could get away without foundation.
Estée Lauder EE Enlighten Cream Even Effect Skintone Corrector Spf30 £36 (30ml): This has the added benefit of an Spf but it is very sparkly – the glitter particles are quite large in comparison to other illuminating primers and it is quite shiny. It does have a bit of cover in it so in theory you could wear it without foundation. I wouldn’t.
Boots No7 Airbrush Away Pore Minimising Primer £16.50 (30ml): I know some people say this has a slippery silicone feel that they find unpleasant, but I don’t mind that as your foundation almost slides on over the top. It doesn’t stop your base settling into creases, however, but it doesn’t exaggerate them neither. I like it and for the price, it’s a bargain.
Kiko Matte Face Base £9.90 (30ml): if you want a very matte base then this is the one. For me, however, I felt like it sucked the moisture out of my skin and gave my foundation a flat, dull and chalky appearance. It also made creases look bigger and all my make-up got sucked into my pores.
Laura Mercier Foundation Primer – Oil Free £30 (50ml): This also gives a matte effect to foundation but I did get oily shine later in the day. And – and it’s a big and – it turned a wrinkle on my forehead into a furrow so deep I could have planted potatoes in it. I was not impressed.
Despite liking some, I was left feeling rather ambivalent about primers – after all, if I want a glow I could apply a highlighting powder to my cheekbones, chin, nose, forehead and cupid’s bow.
But then I tried the Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter in 02 Light £30 (30ml) and I fell in love.
It makes me look healthy and and glowing but not shiny nd even when applied alone, it’s like walking around with the best Instagram filter on your face, blurring out the lines and making you look radiant.
In the summer (whenever that comes!) I’m going to buy the slightly darker shade in 03 Light/Medium for when I’ve used a little fake tan.
I’m primed for your thoughts (sorry!)…
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