Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Foundation Primers Reviews and Comparisons: Urban Decay, Fyrinnae, Black Radiance, and Too Faced

I've been trying a few different face primers recently, and rather than doing individual posts on each of them, I figured I'd save myself some trouble and just do one bigger post. There's no real rhyme or reason to the order, except that I put my favorite at the end, so feel free to read only that, or all, or none. You know, the usual!

I discovered over the course of testing these primers that MAC Matchmaster does not play well with primer, so I ended up just wearing them all with Revlon ColorStay, which can benefit greatly from use of a primer (though, as you'll see, it doesn't always!). I haven't tried any of these with MMU, but if/when I do, I'll update this post.

Urban Decay Complexion Primer Potion – Pore Perfecting
$31 for 1 oz, available from Sephora and Urban Decay
I got a little sample tube of this from Sephora awhile ago, and have used it a few times. There's not a whole lot I can say about it; it doesn't really diminish my pores any, and it does absolutely nothing to control my oilies or make my foundation last longer––in fact, I think it makes my oiliness worse. The only good things about it for me is that you barely need any product to cover your face, since it's silicone-y and spreads really easily, but that hardly makes up for the fact that it sucks as a primer. Verdict: Be off with you!
Fyrinnae Velvet Gel Silica Primer
$1.50 for small sample, $7 for 1 oz, available from Fyrinnae
Phyrra said this was her favorite face primer, so when I placed my Fyrinnae order, I got a sample of this. It's very liquidy and feels cool and refreshing going on, but that's about all it does for me. It doesn't minimize my oil or make my foundation last longer or minimize my pores. Not a success. But it's so cheap, and it's worked for other people, so it's definitely worth getting a sample when you order from them if you're looking for a primer! Verdict: Foist it on a friend

Black Radiance Complexion Perfection Shine Control Primer
~$6 for 0.84 oz, available from some CVS and Walgreens
Another beauty blogger recommended product, this is Nouveau Cheap's favorite primer. I picked it up when I was in DC in September (yes, it's actually been 6 months, because I am so slow) and have worn it a few times since then. The fact I've had it for so long and not reviewed it until now should tell you something! It's a white liquidy paste (more appealing in texture than it sounds), and you have to be sure to blend thoroughly to get rid of the white cast it tends to want to leave (which, since this line is aimed at African Americans, seems to be rather unnecessary! If it shows up on my ghostly skin, I can't imagine it would play that well with darker skin). It doesn't make my oiliness worse or interact badly with my foundation, but it also doesn't aid in any significant way, and I find the need to blend to be more annoying than I generally want to put up with. Ah well! I'm glad I tried it, anyways. Verdict: Pass on to a willing recipient

Too Faced Primed and Poreless Primer
$30 for 1 oz, available from Sephora and Too Faced
This was a freebie I got when I ordered Too Faced Shadow Insurance (which I still have to review, I know, I'm terrible). This was the primer that really made me realize that MAC doesn't like primers, since it applied patchy and uneven and made my skin look dry (yeah, what the f?!), but using it with Revlon just blew my socks off. It makes the Revlon an A-level foundation. It lasts all day (seriously, all day), controls my oil (like, 6+ hours without needing to blot, what the what!), offers great coverage, and did I mention it lasts all day?? The primer itself is silicone-based, but quite thin (though not liquidy! God, I suck at this), so it doesn't leave my skin feeling coated at all. It's a light beige color, but it completely disappears upon blending, and I'm pretty sure it would work on any skin tone (since my pale skin tends to show anything that doesn't match really easily!). I only need a small bit, about the size of a baby pea, to cover my whole face, and it spreads and applies really easily. I just dot it on with my finger and blend after letting my moisturizer soak in, and then apply my foundation as normal. While the name includes "poreless," it doesn't give the usual silicone smooth mask look, though it does help minimize my pores. I love it most for its oil control and how long it makes my foundation last (and how good it looks doing so!), but if you're looking for something to really minimize your pores, something else may be preferable. Out of all the primers I've tried (including the one by Amazing Cosmetics), this is the only one I've really loved. I still have Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer to try out before making any big purchases, but unless the Hourglass is just un-frickin-believable, I'll be snagging a full size of P&P once I run out of my sample. Verdict: Tentatively true love

Do you use foundation primer? What's your favorite? Have you tried any of these? 
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