4.16.2013

Primers for Combination Skin.

I typically view foundation primers more as a nice-to-have kind of product, but for oily and many combination skin types, they can often be a necessity. These are the two I rely on to combat my oily t-zone and help my foundation last throughout the day.
Laura Mercier Oil Free Foundation Primer and Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer


Laura Mercier claims: "Perfect for all skin types. Laura Mercier Oil Free Foundation Primer creates a smooth and invisible layer to prepare and protect the skin. Your foundation will stay fresh all day." 
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The Laura Mercier Oil Free Foundation Primer has the consistency of a lotion and smells like sunscreen (in a bad way, not the tropical coconut kind of way). It absorbs quickly into the skin and does not leave behind any residue. I don't notice that my foundation applies any more smoothly on top of it, but I do find that it lasts about 3 or so hours longer on my skin than it would without primer before starting to show signs of breaking down due to the oils on my face. It also extends the time to my first blot, as well as prolongs the time between blots.


Smashbox claims: "Increases the longevity of foundation while reducing the appearance of fine lines and pores."
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The original Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer is an oil-free, clear gel that has a powder/velvet-like finish due to the silicone content. It also smells a bit funny, but I can't quite put my finger on it. Silicone does not tend to irritate my skin (I know it can for others), and I love that it fills in my pores and makes my skin look and feel ridiculously smooth. My foundation applies noticeably more smoothly over it. I find that my foundation lasts much longer on the skin, often not showing any signs of breakdown at all, even by the end of the night when I take my makeup off. It also does a fantastic job at keeping the oil on my t-zone at bay for several hours, and I tend to need to blot even less when I use this primer than I do when I use the Laura Mercier one.


Overall, I much prefer the Smashbox primer to the Laura Mercier one for my particular needs, although those who are sensitive to silicones may want to steer clear. I love how smooth my foundation looks and feels on top of it, and I was impressed by how much longer my foundation stays shine-free and fresh when I use it. Both Laura Mercier and Smashbox make several different primers for various purposes and skin types, although I think I've found my match in the original Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer.

The Laura Mercier primer retails for $32 for 1.7 oz., while the Smashbox primer retails for $36 for 1 oz.

Do you find primer to be a necessity? Which one do you use?


38 comments:

  1. I have never tried any face primer before! I want to but then I feel like I don't really need it? I almost bought the Revlon version but backed out. I heard the Smashbox ones are either really loved for being amazing or really hated because it breaks them out. Glad to hear it works for you!

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  2. I love the Laura Mercier Primers. I really want to try the radiant one actually. Hmmm-THAT'S what I should get for the VIB sale! :)

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  3. glad to hear that the smashbox is working for you! i really did not like the texture at all or with the foundations that i as using at the time. becca primer was nice, and now i'm trying to get through tons of primer samples to see if any of them are really impressive! :)

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  4. I use Velvet Slin by DHC, it is a great primer!

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  5. OK, I have to try this Smashbox one. I've been hearing so many good things about it! I used up my MUFE HD primer in a little over a year, and I'm now onto my Dior. I have to get this when I'm done with my Dior base!

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  6. I like the bodyography primer, but Ive recently started using the news nutrimetics beauty balm as a primer

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  7. I use primer almost everyday...I've used a couple over the years. Realized that I don't really like ones with a lot of silicone in them, so I really try to stay away from those..However, I was using Hourglass Mineral Veil for a while..then I switched to their serum primer. I actually skip moisturizer and just put that primer on instead..at the end of the day, when I take my makeup off, my skin actually looks pretty good and not haggard looking like a went to fight a battle (p/s: I even wear my tinted sunscreen over the primer). I got a sample of the Becca primer, and that seems pretty good as well. May pick it up on the next round of Sephora VIB sales. I'm itching to actually try the CDP one though...makeup is expensive!!!! LOL.

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  8. Ugh, tell me about it! It's definitely not a cheap hobby ;) I used to use the Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer back in the day, but once I finished it up, I just stopped using primers altogether for some reason. I actually have a sample of their serum primer but I've only used it once. It made my skin feel kind of greasy, but maybe I should try it again! Seems like you really like it :)

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  9. Oooh, I've never heard of either of those! Which do you prefer?

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  10. How is the Dior one, by the way?? And yes, you should definitely give the Smashbox one a try, especially if you like or don't mind silicone. People either seem to love it or hate it, but there's no denying it has a cult following :)

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  11. I've never heard of that brand, but I'm glad you like it so much, Anne! Is it good for oily/combination skin too?

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  12. Aww, that's too bad you didn't like it :-/ So did you not like the Becca enough to buy it, though? I sometimes find that I like certain samples I'm using but if it came down to buying it, I probably wouldn't. It was just nice while the sample lasted. haha

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  13. I actually have a deluxe sample of that one and I think I've only used it once or twice. I can't remember if I like it or not! You should get it!! I like enabling :D

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  14. Yup, I've heard that too about the Smashbox primers - I guess I'm lucky that products don't tend to break me out that easily! You should get some samples of some primers at Sephora and just try them...it might be one of those things you don't know you're missing out on ;) The Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer is nice too.

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  15. Thanks for this Tifanny! I'm still on the hunt for a perfect primer for my oily skin and it's not easy. Most do help with the appearance of the skin but they don't really have a lot of effect on the wear time. Too bad Smashbox is not available here but if I'm ever near a counter I'll definitely check that one out! ^^

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  16. Lately I have found primer to be a necessity because my mineral foundation was disappearing from my skin! I'm using a local silicone-based product from Australian brand SHE and it's working like a dream for me. The Smashbox product sounds like it might just be a good fit for combo-skinned me too!

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  17. I don't systematically use a primer, but when I want to look flawless for longer I do! I've been using Becca Resurfacing Primer, and I recently laid my hands on two mini Hourglass ones. Can't wait to give those a road test!

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  18. ya. lol i thought it was nice but i haven't really gotten into the habit of using primers, so i didn't think it would be worth buying! lol. i have a deluxe sample of the laura mercier radiance one and i tried it a few days ago and liked it actually! and now i also remember liking a nars primer with their TM and i found deluxe samples that i had the other day that i need to try! exciting lol.

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  19. I've been using Laura Mercier's Hydrating Primer as I have dry skin. I don't really feel like the foundation goes on any smoother. Any suggestions on primers for dry skin?

    Thanks!

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  20. i use mineral makeup and have found primer to be a must - I'll definitely try the Smashbox product.

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  21. Which ones have you tried already, Teri? Do you have access to Hourglass? Their Veil Mineral Primer is also a silicone-based one, so it makes foundation apply really smoothly, and if I recall correctly, it also helped a lot with wear time too. It's definitely a really nice primer. Sorry I can't be more specific - I used up my bottle about 3 years ago :-/

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  22. I definitely think the Smashbox one would be a good fit for your skin too, especially since you seem to have had good experiences with silicone-based primers like me :) SHE sounds like a great brand!

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  23. Haha, I don't blame you! I like to try new things too, even when I'm using a product that I like. Curiousity often gets the best of us beauty bloggers! ;)

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  24. How do you like the Becca one, Sunny? I've heard good things :) I can definitely vouch for the Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer and say it's amazing. I used to own a bottle and used it up completely. I had a deluxe sample of their serum primer, but I only used it once or twice I think, and I used it as a night serum, not a primer. I'd love to know what you think of them once you've tried them!

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  25. Hmm...have you tried either the Hourglass No.28 Primer Serum or the Smashbox Hydrating Primer? I've tried the Hourglass one once (I had a sample) but I used it as a night serum because it's a multi-purpose product, and I found it pretty hydrating if I recall correctly. Not sure how foundation would apply on top of it, but it's worth a try if you can get a sample. And I've never tried the Smashbox one, but again, maybe it's worth a try if you can get a sample?


    Sorry I can't be of more help....my skin type has never been classified as true dry skin, so I typically don't buy or try makeup products geared towards dry skin :-/


    Good luck!

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  26. Let me know what you think of it! :) What primer(s) do you currently use under your mineral makeup?

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  27. Yeah, I know the Smashbox is kind of a love it or hate it kind of product. I had low expectations to be honest, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I love it! I'm intrigued by the Whip Hand Cosmetics one...where can you buy that brand?

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  28. Oooh, I wonder if I might have samples of the NARS primer too somewhere. I've accumulated so many samples that I don't even know what I have in there. Hahaha

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  29. Hey Tiffany, I like it a lot! It definitely helps keep my T-zone under control without drying my cheeks out! I'd love to check out their new ones as well. I think they're silicone-free! But for the moment I have way too many primers. Need to use some up first :)

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  30. I have heard tons and tons of good things about the Laura Mercier primer. I recently got a sample but have not tried it yet. Fingers crossed though! I would like for a primer to smooth out my skin and fill in my gigantor pores but honestly, my skin is just so oily that I'll settle for something that just keeps me matte for longer. Definitely excited to give it a try! I also got a sample of the Mineral Primer too and was so surprised that it kept my skin so matte for hours! I don't hear very many people raving about that one--they're always talking about the Oil-Free Primer so I was pleasantly surprised! I've only used it once though and am hoping it won't break me out. If it doesn't (and if the Oil-Free Primer can't beat it) I'm definitely grabbing a full-size!

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  31. Pur Color Correcting Primer, neutral. But I'm a natural makeup whore, so I'll try anything paraben-free, like the Smashbox.

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  32. yup, same here. but at the very least i have mine organized by product type lol

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  33. I really would like to try the Laura Mercier Oil-free primer, I have read lots of excellent reviews about it! At the moment I'll try the Radiance primer, because I ordered for my mum last week and... of course, I'll have to give it a try! :P

    From the primers I've used, the best for my skin is Bioderma Pore Refiner, it helps me a lot for my long days :)

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  34. Ohhh, you're right, not many people talk about the Mineral Primer, but I definitely want to give it a try now after you've seen such good results with it! Let me know what you think of the Oil-Free one once you try your sample :)

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  35. Hahah, I won't hold it against you for trying out your mom's sample ;) I have a sample of the Radiance Primer too, and I should really start using it more! I'm so jealous you have access to Bioderma over there. It seems like such a great brand. Glad their Pore Refiner works so well for you, Maria!

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  36. Oh, having access to most of French pharmacy products is the only "makeup benefit" of living here! You can't imagine how I would like to buy lots and lots of products I see in American and British blogs!

    By the way, I'm still impatient waiting for the Laura Mercier Primer to arrive! hahaha

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  37. Hullo from a new follower! :D I love my smashbox primer! Ive tried both the original and the light version and think they both did a great job. Preferred the un-silicon-y smell and texture of the light style though. Now I'm swaying on trying the green colour correcting version next... ALSO I love that you can buy the half sized bottles :) Great if you can't manage to get a hold of any samples!

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  38. Hi, Abigail! Welcome! :) I swatched the light version on my hand in store once or twice, but I think I'm a silicone primer girl at heart! I just love how they feel, but I agree that the smell is just terrible -_- Let me know how the green color correcting one works for you. I'm interested in giving that one a go too!

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