Over the past couple of years, I went from “sometimes putting eyeliner and lipstick on” to learning how to take care of your skin and how to do that with makeup. I just wanted to share the love for all things beauty and skin-care related. Let me know what you think!
Today I want to talk about one of the products I am passionate about: primer! I wasn’t that big a fan of primers until I was introduced to my favourite of all face/makeup/foundation primers: Smashbox Oil-Free Photo Finish Primer. I’ll include it on my list below, but hands-down, this is my favourite foundation primer. It makes my face feel silky smooth, helps keep my foundation on, and just makes me feel like a million bucks. I’ve tried other primers, but none like this one. That being said, here’s a list of all the primers I’ve tried, and down below, I have a small wishlist of primers I want to try!
Primers I’ve Owned and Tried
- bareMinerals Prime Time™ Foundation Primer – My first ever primer! This was a sample (I believe) that they bare escentuals employees gave me while in store. While I really liked it, it felt a little heavy on my skin, so instead, I got this next one… Bare Minerals is cruelty-free though! Bonus points.
- bareMinerals Prime Time™ Foundation Primer – Oil Control I wanted to link to the Bare Escentuals website, but it wasn’t on there and I’m afraid they might’ve discontinued the product! I bought this one when the one above felt too heavy on my skin. I did like this one too, but it didn’t “wow” me, for lack of a better word. Again, Bare Minerals is cruelty free!
- Smashbox Oil-Free Photo Finish Primer – I bought this from a recommendation from either a blog or a coworker, and wow did I love it. I won’t rehash what I stated in the introduction, but basically I love this primer so much, and I haven’t found or tried one I like better. I also got a sample of this in an Ipsy box and I was so excited, you have no idea. Unfortunately, Smashbox is not cruelty-free.
- Smashbox Color Correction Adjust Photo Finish Primer – I bought this on a whim (kind of) when I ran out of primer. I didn’t really like this one, to be frank. I have a lot of redness, and I don’t think it was opaque enough to color correct it, unless I was using the primer wrong. It was also kind of watery so I had to shake it up a bit as I feel like it would get separated often in the container. Again unfortunately, Smashbox is not cruelty-free.
- Benefit the POREfessional – I got a teeny tiny sample of this in a Birchbox, and I really, really liked it. I didn’t use it all over my face, just on my T-zone, because frankly I wanted to keep it around as long as I could, but I loved the silky feeling and the smell! It was a little fruit-y, if I remember correctly, and it was so nice. If I could never buy Smashbox again, I would go for this one. I might even get this to use on my T-zone and then use Smashbox on the rest of my face. Unfortunately, Benefit is not cruelty-free.
- IPKN Flash Cream Radiant Primer – I got this as a sample in a Birchbox I don’t like being dewy (Team Matte!) but this is a pretty nice primer for the summer. This is what I’ve been using on weekends and I like it! It’s a pretty watery formula, more watery than even the next primer on my list, and it has a nice, light fragrance as well, some floral notes I think. Unfortunately, IPKN is not cruelty-free.
- Smashbox Light Photo Finish Foundation Primer – I was running out of Smashbox primer and I went to Ulta to get more, and I found this where the normal oil-free primer usually was. In fact, there were no more “regular” oil-free primers, only this “light” one and I asked the associate if this was the new formula, and he said yes. Which, he was wrong. While I do like this, it is made of 60% water, so it’s also pretty watery (though it hasn’t separated like the green Color Correction one. It notes that it’s made for sensitive skin, and I do notice I break out less while using this one. Maybe I might switch over? Or maybe I’ll use the benefit/Smashbox combo I mentioned before. Again unfortunately, Smashbox is not cruelty-free.
I have again divided my wishlist into cruelty-free and non-cruelty-free brands, listed from most expensive to least expensive!
Wishlist: Cruelty-Free Brands
- Urban Decay B6 Vitamin-Infused Complexion Prep Spray – I love me some Urban Decay! I think this is technicalleThis is also vegan!
- The Body Shop Matte It Skin Primer – I love The Body Shop but haven’t tried any of their makeup, so I think this would be a good bridge between makeup and skin care. I’m also never buying a non-mattefying primer again, I need to soak those oils on my face! This is also vegan!
- e.l.f. Mineral Infused Face Primer – I’ve always wanted to try e.l.f. primers and I think this one (clear) or the green color correcting ones would be a good starting off point. This is also vegan, as all e.l.f. products are vegan!
Wishlist: Non-Cruelty-Free Brands
- Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water – I’m really intrigued by primer water, it’s not made with oils, so that’s good for me, but it’s super dewy and not mattefying. I’ve seen some makeup gurus spray it on their brushes before putting on makeup, so that’s a pretty different approach!
- Ulta Matte Prime – I like the idea of buying Ulta brand products again. They’re rated pretty highly (on Ulta, though) so that intrigues me!
- Rimmel London Stay Matte Primer – Again, a good drugstore brand that has mattefying properties in their primer. Awesome!