Sunday, September 12, 2010

Primer Mini Reviews: NARS, LORAC, and Make Up Forever

Continuing on yesterday's theme, I've got three foundation primer reviews for everyone; 2 silicone-free ones, and one with silicone. I wanted to include a silicone one because I know silicone isn't an ingredient that affects everyone negatively. That said, let's start with that one:

1) Make Up Forever HD Microperfecting Primer- A gel, oil-free primer said to reduce the look of pores, soften skin, create a glowing effect and lengthen the wear time of foundation.
Shade 5- Blue, suppose to add radiance to fair skin and cover minor imperfections

- smells good (to me at least!)
- evens skin tone for every skin colour or problem (7 different shades, personally I loved the blue one as it brightened my fair skin as well as toned down the redness and took away any sallowness. My recommendation is to get samples in a bunch of the shades and try them all, I honestly was surprised at what colours made my skin look better and which didn't work.)
- moisturizes (I wouldn't have to use moisturizer on most days when I used this!)
- noticeably reduces look of pores (as in much better than other primers I've tried!)
- makes foundation last longer
- doesn't make you feel oily like other silicone primers can
- this completely soaks into the skin (or at least feels that way), and it does so quickly so it doesn't feel like you're wearing anything extra on your face at all
- the packaging is amazing, the bottle feels nice, the pump is great and it looks nice. Not to mention the pump is designed to pretty much vacuum all of the product out of the bottle.

Neutral: The cap doesn't stay on too well for travel, but it doesn't have a tendency to leak so it's just a minor annoyance possibly.

- Price. At $32 USD for  1.01 oz ($3.17 per 0.1 oz) its an expensive purchase (but the air tight packaging ensures it's not going to go back before you finish it at least)--it's even worse if you're in Canada as the price jumps at least $7.00 *sigh*
- The 'glowing effect' really depends on which shade you use and what skin tone you are, and really it goes away once you apply liquid foundation over top (though if you've got great skin you could wear this alone to make it look even nicer I suppose)
- If you pump out too much you can't place more of the product back in the container due to the sealing
- The Silicone might break you out (but if it doesn't I'm so jealous of you, because I want to use this again without the skin issues!)

Rating: 8/10

2) Nars Primer (the one without SPF!): A botanical gel primer said to sooth irritated skin, and make foundation and other make-up easier to apply and longer lasting.

- Silicone-Free
- Has ingredients to reduce redness caused by inflammation ( I don't have a bunch of inflammation, but I think it may have helped a bit, but it may differ for others)
- Reduces the look of pores
- Absorbs into the skin/ dries quickly
- Helps foundation last
- It's surprisingly less expensive than some other primers on the market, though $33 USD seems like a lot to spend all at once, per weight it's not bad at $1.94 per 0.1 oz of product (where most average around $3.00 per 0.1 oz).

Neutral: It's very easy to pick-up the wrong primer from Nars! The Black packaging (not shown) has an SPF and very different ingredients, including silicones so take note!

- The smell is strongly herbal (which may not be a con for you, I'm neutral about it, and it does fade fairly quickly).
- squeeze tube packaging (I prefer pumps as I tend to squeeze to hard and waste product, and this way the top can get more easily contaminated with bacteria if that is a worry for you)

Rating: 7/10

3) Lorac Aqua Prime Make-up Primer: Water based gel primer that is said to hydrate skin as well as prepare it for better make-up application and increased make-up duration.
- Reduces the amount of oil on skin through-out the day
- Helped my foundation last
- It's less expensive than some other primers on the market ($30 USD for 1.35 oz or $2.22 per 0.1 oz, most average around $3.00 for 0.1 oz).
- Silicone-free, oil-free
- Paraben-free, sulfate-free, synthetic fragrance and dye-free, petro-chemical free and phthalate free

- Reduces look of pores--- ONLY if you use it BENEATH a moisturizer, otherwise it doesn't seem to do anything
- didn't notice an increase nor decrease in hydration of my skin

- takes slightly longer to dry on face than other primers
- If the primer is exposed to air it will evaporate over time (found this out from my disappearing sample)
- the packaging cannot stand up on a flat surface, thus making it difficult to get all the product out with the pump when the amount starts to go down (I've also heard pump complaints, but I've not used the pump myself so I can't say this from experience- but it looks awkward to me).

Rating: 6/10

What do you think? Do any of these primers sound right for you? Let me know! (I'm still debating whether I want to take the plunge and buy a full size one of these silicone-free ones or try another I haven't sampled yet. I'm just so hopeful to try and find something even better you know? Anyone have any recommendations?

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