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Fashion Friday: Makeup Primers

by Courtney on July 6, 2012

Can you even believe it? I actually have a Fashion Friday post for you today. It’s only been, ohhh I don’t know, forever since my last one. Whoops.

Today’s Fashion Friday Topic: Makeup Primers

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About a month and a half ago, I had the opportunity to participate as a product tester for the 2012 Fitness Magazine Beauty Awards. How cool, right?

The product category I was given to test out was makeup primers, which was great since this is a product that I already use anyways (you can see which one I used to wear in my skin care vlog). Makeup primer can really make a big difference in the look and wear of your makeup because it essentially preps your skin for makeup and creates a nice, smooth base.

So I was sent five different primers to test out and and rank based on texture, scent, ease of use, packaging, and effectiveness, and here’s how they ranked for me – starting with my least favorite and working up to my top pick.

5th place: SimplyVera Vera Wang Skin Brightening Primer

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I was surprised at how much I really did not like this primer. The packaging was fine, the scent was fine, and it was easy enough to use, but the texture of it on my skin was horrible. It was very flaky and did not blend in very easily at all. I actually washed my face and threw it away after the first use. For it being the most expensive primer out of the group, it just goes to show ya…pricy doesn’t always mean better!

4th place: Korres Mattifying Primer

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This primer really didn’t have too much wrong with it except for the scent. I felt like it was the only thing I could smell for at least an hour after applying it to my face. I also didn’t really care for it being tinted – I like my primers to go on clear. It’s also a bit more expensive, coming it at $33.00.

3rd place: Loreal Paris Magic Lumi

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This was a pretty good primer and, from what I’ve seen, can also be purchased for a fairly decent price ($10.99 at Target). I liked the pump rather than the squeeze tube, but it comes out of the pump somewhat messy. The primer was oily and separated, although it does end up blending smoothly with a nice luminosity to it.

2nd place: Sonia Kashuk Perfecting Transparent Mattifier

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Also at an affordable price ($14.99 at Target) this is an excellent choice. It went on to my skin with ease, didn’t have an overpowering scent, and had an easy to use pump for application. I noticed some slight flaking the first time I used it but no other times after that. For those who have oily skin and are looking to reduce shine, this would be an excellent choice.

1st place WINNER: Sephora Foundation Primer

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Out of all the products I tested, the Sephora Foundation Primer ($15.00) was definitely top notch for everything. The packaging was easy, there was no overwhelming scent, and it literally felt like it glided onto my skin like butter. I’ve been using it ever since I received it.

So now, hopefully, if you were in the market for a new makeup primer, you have some ideas on what to look for the next time you’re walking down the cosmetic isle!

Question for the Afternoon:

Do you use a makeup primer? What brand(s) is your favorite?

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{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Stacey July 6, 2012 at 1:21 pm

It will sound weird, but you can use anti-chafing cream as primer – it works just as well and has the same ingredients! (and is a lot cheaper!)

http://www.makeupalley.com/product/showreview.asp/ItemId=109516

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2 Alexandria @ Brain, Body, Because July 6, 2012 at 1:31 pm

It’s true! While its price is on par with the cheaper options you mentioned, Monistat works really well as a primer. Who would’ve guessed?
Alexandria @ Brain, Body, Because recently posted..Nutrition Bars

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3 Claire @ Live and Love to Eat July 6, 2012 at 1:24 pm

I like Victoria’s Secret’s primers, and the bottle looks identical to the Sephora brand.
Claire @ Live and Love to Eat recently posted..Breakfast Food Friday (Week 5)

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4 Lindsey July 6, 2012 at 1:29 pm

I use Smashbox and love it, but it is pricey. I love many Sephora branded products so might try that one next time to save money. I like something that goes on smooth but not oily.
Lindsey recently posted..Foodie Friday

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5 Carolyn July 6, 2012 at 1:31 pm

Lol Stacey – I use the same thing, only Monistat brand anti-chafing! It works so well, and I refuse to pay over $5 for something that goes under my makeup and can’t see. =)

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6 Amanda July 6, 2012 at 1:49 pm

I really only use a primer on my eyelids to prevent eyeshadow from creasing and help the color pop a bit more. I’ve got pretty good skin to begin with, so I don’t like to put too much product on my face. I’ve used the Sephora brand eye primer (not the same as you used), tarte and Urban Decay. I think I like Urban Decay the best!
Amanda recently posted..Happy Birthday, Nuts!

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7 Yellow Haired Girl July 6, 2012 at 1:51 pm

Love the reviews! I don’t use a primer … but have been thinking about adding one to my collection. I use Smashbox makeup, and it’s a little pricey. Might have to look at some of these cheaper options!
Yellow Haired Girl recently posted..Simple List, Important Loves

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8 Erica @ For the Sake of Cake July 6, 2012 at 1:54 pm

I’ve never used makeup primer before, but I may have to give it a try!
Erica @ For the Sake of Cake recently posted..Sweet ‘n’ Sour Turkey Meatloaf

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9 Caroline @ After Dinner Dance July 6, 2012 at 2:09 pm

I used primer a couple times but I never really noticed that it did anything, so I went back to just using my mineral powder. I don’t know if I’ll ever try it again, I don’t like to put too many things on my face!
Caroline @ After Dinner Dance recently posted..Asian Turkey Burgers

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10 Kate July 6, 2012 at 2:09 pm

I have never used a primer… but I get such oily skin- yuck! I may have to look in at trying a few as well!

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11 Erica { EricaDHouse.com } July 6, 2012 at 2:21 pm

Foundation primer is one of those things I always *mean* to start using but never get around to buying!
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12 Michelle @ Blogitness July 6, 2012 at 2:23 pm

Smashbox Photo Finish!
Michelle @ Blogitness recently posted..Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bites and a NeoCell Protein Powder Review

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13 Jennifer @ Healthy Wifestyles July 6, 2012 at 2:23 pm

Laura Mercier makes my favorite foundation primer. The scent is mild, it goes on easily, and it doesn’t make my face look oily (though most of the time, I stick with Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer or Garnier BB Cream instead of foundation). It’s a bit on the pricier side but a little goes a long way! You can also blend a small dab into the last little bits of foundation if you’re almost empty, and it extends the life of the product (perfect if you use a more expensive foundation and want to get the most for your money).
Jennifer @ Healthy Wifestyles recently posted..Marvelous In My Monday {Weekend Family Love}

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14 Annie @ What's Annie Making? July 6, 2012 at 2:24 pm

I had never used a primer before until about a month ago for my wedding. I did my own makeup so I made sure to do a ton of research and trials to get the look down before my big day. I used Stila 10 in 1 Beauty Balm http://www.stilacosmetics.com/product_detail.asp?PMID=1129&dept=1&cat=2 which was highly recommended to keep my makeup on all day long. I was hesitant to fork out the money for it, but I got it and absolutely loved it. I’m totally a primer believer now. My makeup stayed all day and night at my wedding, and it’s light enough for every day use too.
Annie @ What’s Annie Making? recently posted..Strawberry Pie

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15 Lisa July 6, 2012 at 2:25 pm

My favourite brand of primer is bare minerals primer, its the only one that doesn’t really irritate my skin since I have really pale and sensitive skin.
Lisa recently posted..Fit Friday 4

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16 Desiree July 6, 2012 at 2:33 pm

I use the make up primer from Arbonne. By far it’s been my favorite. I also like knowing that all the ingredients are plant based and natural. What goes on our skin gets into our system. Plus this is the only one that has not bothered my skin. A little pricey but a little goes a long way.

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17 Jen M. July 9, 2012 at 2:44 pm

I use the Arbonne primer too, LOVE it!

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18 Emily @ I'd Rather Walk July 6, 2012 at 2:43 pm

I’ve only just started experimenting with primers. Good thing to know that I can hit up Sephora in the future!
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19 Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers July 6, 2012 at 2:46 pm

I like Laura Merci primer, but I found any primer I use, still makes my eye make-up smear,so I don’t bother anymore! Great post! Nice to see Sephora at #1!
Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers recently posted..Stuffed Peppers

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20 Ellie@Fit for the Soul July 6, 2012 at 2:50 pm

No wonder~you seem to have such pretty makeup and complexion whenever I see your pictures! But it’s probably genetics too ;) I don’t really wear much makeup except for mascara and powder above my lips (I don’t like it when it gets dark from the sun), but when/if I ever need to wear “stuff” I’ll try to remember this post!
Ellie@Fit for the Soul recently posted..Back on Track Workout Routine

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21 Nicole July 6, 2012 at 3:10 pm

I’m totally curious about this whole anti-chafing cream/primer ordeal – it kinds weirds me out, but now I want to try it!

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22 Laura July 6, 2012 at 3:31 pm

I’m with you!!

I have SUPER oily skin and it breaks out daily so I generally only put Neutrogena anything on my face and def no lotion or anything. I have been leery of putting something else on my face but I might give primer a go…especially now I know which one works best!
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23 Marie July 6, 2012 at 3:13 pm

I just started using primer and it makes a huge difference. I have only used Arbonne, so I have nothing to compare.

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24 Suzanne @ Fit Minded Mom July 6, 2012 at 3:24 pm

I don’t always use a primer but when I do I like the brand Sheer Cover. They also have the best mineral makeup of any I have tried! It goes on super easy and leaved my skin feeling like a babies butt!!! I tend to have dry skin and this also smooths any skin flakiness I have. Good stuff!!
Suzanne @ Fit Minded Mom recently posted..Headache of a Day + Pulled Pork

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25 erica July 6, 2012 at 3:37 pm

i used to use makeup forever primer, but now i’m lazy and just use origins vitazing! lol.
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26 Kristen @ notsodomesticated July 6, 2012 at 3:51 pm

I’ve never used primer. I wear very little make-up, and I’m pretty clueless about how to wear make-up properly. I’d like to be better with it … maybe you need to come teach me your skills! ;)
Kristen @ notsodomesticated recently posted..Friday Fun.

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27 Colleen @ The Lunchbox Diaries July 6, 2012 at 4:14 pm

You’ve read my mind! I don’t use primer (because I’m a make-up-wearing failure) but the girl who did my makeup last weekend for the wedding I was in used it on me and I LOVED it! I’m so glad I have a new reason to go to Target ;)
Colleen @ The Lunchbox Diaries recently posted..Friday Fitness: My Fitness Pal

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28 Linz @ Itz Linz July 6, 2012 at 5:19 pm

Hmm I do need a new one.. especially in this heat!! I’ll definitely try your #1 or #2! Thanks!
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29 Karen July 6, 2012 at 7:17 pm

Thanks for the tip! I’m a fellow Upstate New Yorker (in Ithaca). It’s even more fun to read from a blog that is somewhat close to home. Keep it up, I love checking in with your site daily.

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30 Julie H. of Spinach and Sprinkles July 6, 2012 at 8:29 pm

LUCKY DUCK! You got to try all of those! :)
I have used primer- I used to wear the Bare Minerals primer with the makeup but have stopped using it for $$$ pourpses and it was an extra step. Can you say l.a.z.y. ????
Julie H. of Spinach and Sprinkles recently posted..Exercise + Pregnancy = Confusion

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31 Julie H. of Spinach and Sprinkles July 6, 2012 at 8:31 pm

Did I really just spell purposes that way?! Oops!
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32 Kim July 6, 2012 at 9:29 pm

I’ve used that Loreal primer and really liked it, the first 2 or 3 uses… but after that it just seemed “watery” I think I even threw it away, before it was gone. I totally want to try the Sephora one, now… and the price doesn’t make me wince!!! YAY!!! :)
Kim recently posted..Life after Kids…

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33 Brenda July 7, 2012 at 5:49 am

Yay! Fashion Friday!

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34 Kim @ The Family Practice July 7, 2012 at 10:43 am

I use bare escentuals foundation primer when I actually wear makeup. Now that it’s summer I’ve switched up my makeup routine entirely – I am only wearing tinted sunscreen – no moisturizer, no primer, no foundation etc. Sometimes I throw a little blush on just to brighten up my face a bit but nothing much. My skin is clearer and I’m saving a ton of money. We’ll see if I go back to makeup after the summer…
Kim @ The Family Practice recently posted..Love is a Delicious Thing + Recipe for Antipasto Pasta Salad

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35 Lauren July 7, 2012 at 11:56 am

Arbonne make-up primer is by FAR the best I’ve ever tried! No scent too which is nice, as many of the primers I tried in the past have been scented- yuck.

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36 Meghan @ After the Ivy League July 7, 2012 at 5:33 pm

I am in the market for makeup primer, and I’m not surprised Sephora won! I love their products, I think I’ll go pick this up today!
Meghan @ After the Ivy League recently posted..Oatmeal Raisin Carrot Cake Bites

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37 Jen M. July 9, 2012 at 2:50 pm

I use the Arbonne make-up primer – it is reasonably priced when compared to other facial skin-care lines of similar quality, it feels like satin (seriously, I want to put it on my entire body, it’s SOOOOOOO soft), and there is no smell to speak of. Pump container, with fusion packaging, so zero waste, and it’s loaded with vitamins and is botanically based, and anti-aging (prevention, baby!!). I’ve also heard that the Arbonne products are safe for pregnant women, women going through fertility treatments, and cancer patients. I love it!

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38 Sophie July 9, 2012 at 9:05 pm

I use Napoleon Perdis’ makeup primer. I love it, it’s smooth, smells good and really works. In the words of Napoleon Perdis “not to prime is a crime”. :)

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39 Jen N. July 11, 2012 at 10:56 am

I just started using primer and chose to go with the Arbonne primer. Like Jen M said, it feels like satin, has absolutely no smell and you only need a tiny amount. I might try the Sephora brand though, next time, since it’s less expensive. :)

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40 Vanessa Moore July 13, 2012 at 6:10 am

Makeup Primers are great products. Indeed, I used these makeup stuff because the products are suit to my skin and it can really add gleam on my face. I just love these products. Congratulations to all the winners.
Vanessa Moore recently posted..Eliminate That Yellow Grin And Get A Bright White Smile

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