Friday, January 7, 2011

Product Review: NARS Makeup Primer with SPF

I've never been crazy about makeup primers.
I've always had oily skin and to me, those silicone-based concoctions (*cough* Smashbox, I'm talking to you!) always seemed to make my face feel extra greasy and did absolutely nothing to help make my foundation apply easier or last longer.
So, naturally, when I received this "deluxe sample" of the NARS Makeup Primer with SPF several months ago (one of those Sephora 100 point perks), I tossed it in my box of samples, never to be looked at again... until recently.

Throughout December my skin went from overall Grease-ville to a strange extra dry/extra oily combination. The areas that are prone to breakouts on my face (generally the chin area) became rather dry and flaky - and my nose as well - while my forehead and cheeks remained the usual oil slicks. This made my foundation application a nightmare.
I'm currently using Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk, and while it's a dream to apply, you really do need an overall even hydrated base since it clings terribly to any dry patches or slides off any excessively oily areas.

I dug deep in the box of samples and pulled out the NARS makeup primer. I have been using it quite steadily for the past 4 weeks and I really like it. It contains broad-spectrum sun protection, SPF 20, which is great for daytime especially if your foundation - like the Giorgio Armani - doesn't contain SPF. It's not silicone based and it has a light creamy consistency... similar to a light moisturizer.
It has a faint vanilla-lemon scent and isn't greasy at all. I apply a small amount with my fingers and let it sink into the skin for about 5 minutes before applying my foundation.

The full size product contains 50 mL and costs $33 on the NARS website. The little 8 mL sample lasted an entire month with regular use, so it's quite good value for money since the full size is bound to last you about 5 months.
I noticed a big difference in how my foundation applies after using this primer. The flaky patches are well-hydrated underneath so the makeup applies smoothly on top, and it doesn't feel heavy or overbearing on the skin at all.

While it doesn't do anything to combat oiliness, it doesn't add to it, and that's fine with me!
It's a great winter primer for us oily/combination girls or a great all-around primer if you're struggling with dry patches year-round!

I'd repurchase this during the cold winter months, definitely :)

Since I'm diving into the world of primers, any recommendations of some interesting silicone-free ones? (I've tried the MAC ones and I didn't like them)

Have a fantastic weekend,


  1. The Laura Mercier one is fantastic:)

  2. i'm currently using the smashbox primer and i feel like it's doing nothing for my skin and foundation. :( i want to try another primer and would probably get a sample of this when i go to sephora.. :)

  3. The smashbox primer (just the original, clear one) has no silicone, but instead another ingredient that is better for priming I hear.

  4. I really like the Smashbox one! I love that silicone-y feeling! :)

    Currently, I don't use a primer though, but this was interesting!

    Sephora never has good products when I can get my perks! Blah!

  5. I use the Laura Mercier hydrating one and the Shiseido one. I got two samples of them and really like them!

  6. I'm not sure if it's silicone free but I have very oily skin and MUFE HD primer is amazing. I use the blue one, but I figure all of them work pretty much the same.

  7. thanks for this review..My skins been behaving like this too - oily/combo for as long as I can remember but now I have dry patches that seem to have popped up overnight! Definately want to try this now!

  8. the laura mercier one is has silicone and silicone derivatives in it. i have drier skin so i though a silicone base would help, but this one felt heavy. i've been using the nars oil-free pore refining primer for a few weeks now. it's light and feels fresh when you apply it.


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