face primer

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Face Primer Dupes for Your Skin!

Not all face primers are created equal, but some have great, affordable dupes!  Primer is a topic of conversation that I always see in my inbox, whether it’s a dupe request or simply needing to know what primer will work best for your skin concern.  Here I’ve gathered a list of fourteen excellent face primers with an average cost difference of $31!  That’s THIRTY ONE DOLLARS you could be saving. Or about ten Starbucks drinks you could get FREE.  mmmm

For a synopsis and comparison of all of these primers, and which I think is the best ever, click through!

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UNDER HYPED: Smashbox Photo Finish Hydrating Under Eye Primer

Smashbox is my favourite brand when it comes to primers, they’ve got everything from colour correcting to oily controlling and line reducing versions  and even one for the under eye area. An under-eye primer may seem like just “another” product to buy and another unnecessary product to add into your beauty routine, but the results are oh so worth it. Smashbox Photo Finish Hydrating Under Eye Primer has been a favourite product of mine for many years now and it really doesn’t get enough hype or recognition. Whether you’re someone who doesn’t wear a lot of makeup (or someone who wears a lot) has severe dark circles or just a little discoloration underneath the eyes this product works a full on treat and is well worth the price. It’s super hydrating, but thanks to the silicone like texture it doesn’t cause concealer to crease, in fact it actually helps improve its staying power so you don’t have to worry about your concealer slipping around all over the place. It’s also packed with light reflecting pigments and has a peachy pink base to it, meaning that it helps counteract darkness and blue tones in the skin which in turn makes dark circles appear less obvious and reduces the need for a large amount of concealer. All in all I love this product. If you’re someone with severe dark circles or has problems with concealer creasing it’s definitely worth checking this product out. It’s also great for wearing alone on no-makeup days and for mixing in with concealer to make it more blendable.

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Milani Prime Shield Face Primer Review

Mattifying + Pore Minimizing

As of lately I have been trying face primers and setting sprays. I saw Milani had a primer and I figure why not. This is, I think the second Milani product I have tried and I’m happy I picked this up. This is one of the best primers I have tried so far. It controls my oils so well without having me look so dry. I have oily combination skin and I try different mattifying primers. My nose is the first thing to get shiny. This primer kept the shine on my nose to a minimum to the point I feel like I barely need to blot. My face has such a smooth radiant finish with this primer. I know it’s suppose to mattify but I like that my skin is not so matte to the point I look powdery. It controls my oils and balances out my face. I highly recommend this primer. They also have a Hydrating + Pore-Minimizing primer for dry skin types. I love that this primer is affordable as well. This primer works great with my drugstore and high-end foundations.

Rate: 5/5
Recommend: Yes

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Don't apply concealer directly onto any lines around your eyes or crows feet, it will just crease. Use a smoothing, resurfacing primer before you apply your makeup instead.

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water Review

Pretty much most people especially if you are in the beauty community, you know about this product. It was raved about on YouTube which made me skeptical. Sometimes when a product is raved about, I feel people just into it for the hype. I first used this product at my friend’s wedding. I was doing her makeup and the bridesmaids. My other friend who am was assisting me let me used hers to set their makeup. Their makeup stayed flawless all night. Their makeup stayed in place and I received many compliments on their makeup. So this made me purchase mine. I got the travel size to test out and I really like this product. If you are looking for a high-end setting spray try this one out. I feel like this is good for all skin types. I have oily combination skin, this gave me a radiant glow but controlled my oils. I don’t really care for it as a primer but to set my makeup I do like it. For me the big con is the sprayer. It doesn’t spray evenly or consistently. It could just be my bottle but other than that I have nothing bad to say about this product. From a makeup artist stand point I feel like it is worth a try.

Rate: 4/5
Recommend: Yes

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Nivea Men Sensitive Post Shave Balm Review

  Unless you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t tuned into the YouTube beauty community within the past couple months, you’ll probably know that the new primer craze has hit, and plot twist - this time it’s a men’s aftershave balm.
  Having extremely oily skin and always being on the search for a primer that will actually keep my makeup in tact throughout the school day (and bonus points if it lasts even longer), I knew I would be on board to try this out after hearing so many beauty gurus on YouTube rave about it. The Nivea Men Sensitive Post Shave Balm claims to “Sooth and improve skin’s defense over time.” although that claim is pretty irrelevant for the use we’re going to be talking about but hey, it’s a nice claim for its intended use. It contains glycerin, a primary ingredient in most face primers, which is what drew people to it. But beside that, it also has Vitamin E, Chamomile, and Witch Hazel Extracts. There is no alcohol in this product, and it is lightly fragranced.
The product can be found at any drugstore, as well as on Amazon. I believe price varies per location and drugstore, but I purchase my bottle at CVS for around $8.99 if I remember correctly, but I do know that other drugstores carry it for much cheaper.  
  For any other drugstore face primer, I probably wouldn’t be willing to spend that much (even though in reality, $8.99 isn’t that steep of a price compared to some primers we see on the high end market), but for this price, you’re getting 3.3 oz of product in a very heavy, stable, and expensive feeling glass bottle. The quality of the packaging alone impressed me, especially upon picking up the box, I didn’t really know what to expect. But once I got home and opened the box, before even trying out the product, I was already impressed.
  I tried it the next morning as a primer. I knew from what other gurus had said, to rub it in until it got tacky and was unable to be blended in anymore. The consistency of this is very thin, almost gel-like. Like Nivea has claimed (as well as other YouTube gurus had vouched for), there was a light fragrance, but it wasn’t overbearing or intolerable. Perhaps that’s just because I enjoy men’s fragrance (oddly enough), but even if you don’t, I believe the scent won’t be a problem. Once you really rub it in, then apply foundation over top, the scent is undetectable.
  It felt really comfortable on my skin, that was the first thing I noticed. Almost cooling. I didn’t have any irritation or reaction, which was something I was concerned about because I didn’t know how well my skin would fair with this. But after initially having no bad reaction, I realized I was in the clear. Once I applied my foundation over top (I believe I first used it with my Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Foundation), I noticed how much of a good grip it had. The stickiness that occurs once you rub it in totally does come in handy, because foundation adheres to it perfectly, which for me, was very impressive. Especially once I used it with my Bare Minerals Matte Foundation, I was blown away by how much more foundation I was able to get on my face. Normally I struggle with losing product, it being a loose powder foundation, and then annoyance at the specks of foundation I’ll find on myself afterward, or the cloud I seem to choke on as I buff and press it into my skin. But with the Nivea as a base, the Bare Minerals stuck to my skin with very minimal fall out onto my clothing, which was a huge relief.
  As for the wear time, my foundation did wear a bit better than it normally would. As someone whose skin often resembles that of an oil spill, especially after eight hours of wear, longer wear time and shine control are two musts that I search for in a primer. I always have very low expectations for either of these though, because I have realized by now there most likely is never going to be a single product that can perfectly mask my oily skin. It’s just something I’ve come to accept (unfortunately).
  I’m not going to lie - this product did not keep me completely, 100% shine free for a whole 8 hours of wear on a school day. But however, I did notice that I was significantly less shiny than I normally would be while just wearing my usual, NYX Angel Veil Primer. The key spots where I notice oil and foundation beginning to melt off easily, are right around my nose, the center of my forehead, and my chin. There is usually a tiny bit of oily on the center of my cheeks too, which is also where my blush and highlighter will begin to fade. While wearing this though, there was less oil around the sides of my nose, which I was happy about. My blush, contour, and highlight, also was hanging in there and hadn’t disappeared!
  Normally throughout the school day it’s become a running joke for my friends and I (the ones that wear makeup at least) to do a little “test” where we touch our face and see how much residue will come off on a piece of paper. Nine times out of ten, there’s usually a pretty noticeable mark coming from my face. While wearing this and doing a little test, I found there wasn’t that much residue coming off, so along with the less oil shining through, there also wasn’t much melt. Initially I was disappointed that there was still some coming off, but upon realizing that at least it wasn’t as bad as usual, I was a bit more impressed with the Aftershave Balm.
  For how much YouTube has raved about this stuff, I have I hand it to the gurus that preached about it being amazing - because they were partially right. It is a very good product to use as a primer, nice for improving makeup longevity, and lessening oil control. But it isn’t a miracle product by any means. If you are super oily, like myself, beware that this most likely won’t keep you 100% matte for an entire day. If you’re less oily, more combination, normal, or even dry, you may like this as a primer. I think it’s worth a try for any/all skin types to see how you like it.
  Although I wasn’t completely knocked off my chair by its performance, I am going to continue to happily use it as my everyday (and even special occasion) face primer. Because for such a cheap price (especially finding out that I can get it at different locations for cheaper than my regular NYX primer) you really can’t beat it; the packaging is that of a high end face primer, it smells amazing, and after testing it for a few days - I don’t break out from it. So really, what more can I want? 
  Overall rating: ★★★★