We all know how crucial a primer is when it comes to makeup application. Be it a foundation primer or eye primer [ the two types of primers I’m aware of ]. If you don’t know, the right primer can give you a flawless base, better application in terms of blending and also help with products adhering to the skin better and prolonging the wear of your makeup. Choose/Use the wrong primer and well….. Primers come in different types. Some addresses skin issues such as Hydration [ Dry Skin ], Mattifying [ Combo/Oil Skin ], Pore Minimising [ Large Pores ], Blurring Effect [ Textures ], Colour Correcting [ Pigmentation ], Radiance [ Dull Skin ]… the list goes on. Some brands recommend using the same primer and foundation from the same line, this can be true but who has time and money to buy matching primers and foundations all the time? For this very reason, I alternate between 3 primers, all from different brands with different textures and formulas. I am on the quest to find which one out of the three could be THE ONE size fits all, so I did a little experiment and wore them with my top three foundations over a week to see which one won the battle of the primers.
The Primers Line Up:
H&M Mattifying Primer [ Balck Tube – white thick gel ]
Benefit POREfessional Primer [ Green Tube – Brown silicone cream ]
Fenty Pro Filt’r Primer [ Pink Bottle- pink cream ]
The FOUNDATIONS Line Up:
Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Foundation : Lightweight, Medium – Full buildable coverage, Skin-Like, soft matte finish | post here
NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation – Full coverage but with a watery consistency, matte finish | full review here
Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay in Place Makeup – Full coverage with thick consistency, matte finish | full review here
Let The Battle Begin…….
– H&M Mattifying Face Primer – Combination Skin – Mattyfying – [ full review here ] | £7.99
Texture: Thick gel, Tacky on application, Dries to a matte finish
Applies like a gel and dries super fast to a matte finish
H&M x FENTY:
The foundation was too light for this heavy duty primer. I had to pat in to my skin as its not easily spreadable. It dries super fast and leaves white cast on the areas applied. This combo was a mess for me as I made the mistake of applying with a sponge at first. BIG MISTAKE!!!! It was a struggle with the brush too trying to cover up the lines. It left patches of foundation all over. Enlarged my pores and gave me an uneven texture. I had to remove everything and started all over again with a different primer.
Results: 0/5 – Not Compatible. Avoid at all costs
H&M x NARS ADLW:
Learning from the previous disaster with the Fenty Foundation, I approached this with caution. I did a patch test before spreading this all over and the results were the same. It has slightly thicken up so I had the idea to mix in with a teeny tiny drop of squalane oil and I had discovered something awesome. This was easy to spread and buff into the skin. It gave me a natural glow finish. I was pleasantly surprised I got up to 5hr of wear before needing to blot the excess oil away. I didn’t need to powder after as my face was instantly mattified with no patches. The foundation stayed put all day, didn’t break up.
Results: 3/5 – Workable. It required a different technique/approach
H&M x ESTEE LAUDER:
These two were made for each other. Again, I started off with another swatch test. Starting off in small sections, I stippled the foundation on the primer before it completely dried out. This gave me a full coverage and an even look that was easy to blend. I didn’t need to use too much of the foundation or powder after. My face was very matte with a powdery look after blending. I used a dampened sponge to remove excess product as I was looking too cakey. A fixing spray is a must after to remove the powdery look and give a dewy finish. This combo proved to be long-wearing with little to no shine even after 5-6hrs of wear. However, my skin felt very dry and tight throughout the day but not oily which was surprising. Excess oil production is usually due to dry or dehydrated skin. I wish I had a mist with me to rehydrate the skin though. I donned on a moisturising mask the moment I got home.
Results: 3/5 – Compatible but extremely drying. Perfect for shoots or events.
Additional Notes: – DO NOT USE WITH A SPONGE unless you want the patchy look.
– MOISTURISE, MOISTURISE, MOISTURISE
– WORK in SMALL SECTIONS and FAST
– TRY Different Techniques
– BEST with HEAVY FOUNDATIONS
– Benefit POREfessional Primer – All Skin Types – Pore Minimising / Blurring Effect – [ post here ] | £27.50
Texture: Silicone based, blurs and minimises pores instantly
This primer goes on smooth and gives a blurring effect but leaves a white cast on skin although its brown in colour.
BENEFIT x FENTY :
I used a dampen sponge to stipple the foundation as it tends to move and slip with a brush. I didn’t like the finish this gave as my pores were then enlarged as soon as the foundation touched my skin. It was neither matte nor dewy. I ended up using more foundation as the sponge soaked up most of it. I had to wait in between coats to build to a full coverage. Became very oily and foundation separated around my mouth. Face felt heavy and needed to apply powder all over to fix the patches after blotting.
Results: 3/5 – Neither Good nor Bad. Wearable for couple of hours.
BENEFIT x NARS ADLW:
Prior to this experiment, I don’t remember /think I had ever worn this foundation with any other primer except this one. I got the same results with a brush or sponge. The silicone texture made the foundation easy to spread, buff and blend with no streaks at all. My pores were minimised and blurred out giving me a flawless base. This combo made my makeup lasts longer. However, I had to apply powder for a fresh matte look after blotting.
Results: 4/5 – Great for everyday wear.
BENEFIT x ESTEE LAUDER:
This combo was similar to NARS above, blended easily with a sponge or brush – no issues. I found this more matte and drying due to the formula of the foundation. It did give a blurred effect but didn’t last once oil started to seep through. It stayed matte for a little longer. I didn’t need to powder upon application as it would have made me look too made up and didn’t need to powder after blotting either.
Results: 4.5/5 – Excellent for long days and photo-shoots
Additional Notes: – Doesn’t CLOG Pores
– Feels WEIGHTLESS
– NOT sticky or Tacky
– COMPATABLE with LIGHT and HEAVY Foundations
– Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Primer – All Skin Types – Hydrating [ moisturiser ], Shine-Stopping, Pore Diffusing – [ post here ] | £24.00
Texture: Water based and feels hydrating on skin
Feels like a moisturiser and sinks into the skin leaving no residue but soft skin.
FENTY x FENTY:
It’s not always a marketing ploy when brands tells us to use products from the same line. These two work very well together even though they’re are of different formulas. The foundation is matte but the primer isn’t. I guess so your skin doesn’t dry out. The primer feels hydrating and dries to a satin finish creating a smooth base for application. Foundation just glides on and blends to perfection with no streaks or lines. Flawless. I prefer to use a damp sponge and stipple to build the foundation to full coverage as its very light in texture. Skin still feels breathable and pores are minimised. As for shine-stopping, it’s a myth. I need to blot and powder at least once.
Results: 4/5 – Natural Beauty. Almost perfect, shame about oil- control
FENTY x NARS ADLW:
The finish of this really took me by surprise as I thought they wouldn’t be compatible. It gave me a flawless blend but once the foundation settled onto my skin, pores and textures became prominent throwing the ‘pore-diffusing’ claim out of the window. My skin had never felt lighter with this foundation but this primer made it possible. It was a beautiful relationship leading to marriage until I got GREASY within the first hour. I was filming a YouTube the day I wore this and had to powder up 3 times within an hour.
Results: 3/5 – Grease is the word.
FENTY x ESTEE LAUDER:
This combo right here deserves an Oscar. I applied this with a brush and it blended so beautifully and flawlessly. My pores, what Pores? I got the true definition of pore-diffusing with this. You know that air brushed look? My dream came true for an hour and then …. greasy again. This was better than NARS though, it stayed a little matte before getting shiny again. What a shame . I feel my base had never looked this flawless with any foundation so I can overlook the shine. I actually prefer the finish and look of this to Fenty’s own foundation. There I said it. Sue me [ LOL ]
Results: 4.5/5 – Gahhh…..So close to perfection.
ADDITIONAL NOTES:– Let DRY completely for best application and longetivity
– Primer & Moisturiser COMBO
What A Battle!
I’m amazed by the results and the performance against each Primer paired with the different Foundations. So which one won? It’s tie between Benefit + Estee Lauder [ stays matte but textures shows through ] and Fenty + Estee Lauder [ flawless, pore-less but super greasy]. The H&M one is a complete write off for me now. At this rate, I’m beginning to doubt myself and believe its all down to the foundation but I know deep down, Primers play a huge role and I don’t see myself without one. I’m glad the Benefit fought through and won a spot at the top since its the priciest out of the bunch. If I had to choose just one, I’d go for Benefit POREFESSIONAL Primer as its seems compatible most formulas and addresses my number one skin concern and keeps me matte and also works best with my Holy Grail foundation. I can deal with textures and large pores but no one ever looked good with a face ready fry plantain…lol. Sorry Fenty Primer, you might be my favourite but you got to do better. Maybe my next experiment should be how to stay matte with this and the Estee Lauder foundation. Challenge accepted. Will report back soon.
What did you think of this? Have you found a one-size-fits-all Primer? I’d love to know so please share or if you have any recommendations below.
Verse of The Day:
7 He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with blood of his Son and forgave our sins.
– Ephesians 1: 7 NLT