I have oily/combo skin and have been battling the shine since I started wearing makeup back in the 90’s (!). Oily skins tend to come hand-in-hand with open pores, so a good primer that lightly mattifies the skin will also smooth and refine any open pores and uneven skintone. I’m also a professional makeup artist (if you didn’t know) and creating a camera-ready skin will often use a multitude of products and pretty much always a great base that will not only keep the skin looking shine-free, particulary in TV/Film & Red Carpet, but it also helps the foundation adhere to the skin better and enhances longevity of the makeup. That makes a makeup artist’s life a LOT easier and the less touch-ups and re-applications you have to do during a day, the better for you. Here are my current top picks for skin-perfecting primers.
Benefit POREfessional. The FIRST mattifying beauty product I ever used was Benefit’s Dr Feelgood. Do they even still do that? I just had a quick ganders at the Benefit website and YES they do and it’s bringing me all kind of nostalgia. It’s kind of been put on the back-burner over the last few years and they have launched quite a few new and innovative products which do similar such as my current favourite POREFessional. This was launched a while back and is a cream formula that instantly smooths the skin and gives an airbrush finish. It has a light tint to it but that vanishes so can be applied on all skintones. I’m currently down to my weeny sample size in my pro kit, but will be re-purchasing this weekend. I use this one A LOT also on male clients and models to create perfect skin without anything else on top.
La Roche Posay Effaclar Blur. This is a new launch and has been EveryWhuuuuuur on the beauty blogs. It does sit in the ‘BB’ category but this can be used as an effective primer and a 1st step to perfectly smooth skin. It’s like a skin primer with a perfecting tint, similar the Dr brandt Pores No More. This is the one that gives the most matte finish and the thickest texture ; it is a slight mousse-like texture that blends into the skin easily and you only need a small amount to target the areas most in need. Has a clever technology to absorb oil throughout the day and a few other skincare ingredients so is not only has an instant effect, but longterm. Currently just 2 shades which are fair/light & light/medium so they need to bring out a couple of darker tones. Not suitable for a dry skin.
NYX Shine Killer. A clear gel that is probably the most simple in formulas (lots of silicone) but does the job effectively of prepping the skin and gives a lovely smooth finish on the skin. The clear formula works on all skin tones and blends in easily and actually doesn’t feel like your typical mattifying primer, as it has quite a lot of slip to it. It doesn’t leave your skin instantly matte which is the beauty of it I think, as some people still like that blendability of your base over the primer and you get that with this. No stiff or dry feeling and foundation applies really well over the top. This is one that I would suggest for special occasions as opposed to daily wear as like I said it , it is very silicone-heavy.
Dermalogica Hydrablur Primer. This is brand spanking new from Dermalogica and I use so much of their skincare etc in my kit already along with the Redness Relief Primer which I love. This new Hydrablur formula is quite unique as it lightly mattifies the skin AND hydrates at the same time so doesn’t leave your skin too cakey or dry looking which can be the neggy side effect of some primers. I think this is one maybe for slightly mature skin/normal-dry skin as it’s great for not only smoothing pores, but fine lines and wrinkles. It is a white cream formula that has micro-pigments that burst on application to give a hint of colour & coverage. A bit more pimped up in terms of ingredients too (hence the price £38) as it not only contains silicone but a H20 release complex & Abyssinian Oil for hydration, mushroom extract to refine pores and Whu-Zu-Yu fruit extract to enhance radiance.