Whenever possible, I love to buy drugstore products, since so much of the beauty industry is a scam bent at separating us from our hard-earned bucks. I’ve gradually shifted more and more toward high-end skincare as I’ve come to prioritize that and explored that world more and more, but as far as makeup goes, there’s certain products there’s no need to ever spend more than $10-$15 on. Primers are one of these.
This unassumingly packaged primer is gold in a bottle. After ignoring L’Oreal for literally years, I’m starting to fall in love with them more and more – their Color Riche lipsticks are extraordinarily high quality. Product description is: “instantly boosts skin’s natural radiance with a light infusing luminizers. Skin texture is smoothed and toned to provide perfect canvas.”
This comes out in a white, faintly gold-flecked liquid that is incredibly lightweight and blends into skin like a DREAM. Most primers leave my skin feeling at the worst clogged and at the best as though I just applied a first layer of makeup. This feels almost like skincare instead, it sinks in so quickly and delightfully. Yet the payoff in texture and hold power is there – all makeup looks better applied on top of this, noticeably smoother and brighter, and it sets makeup all day long. I haven’t tested this yet in high heat or in water, so I can’t speak to that, but it has very good holding power and gives skin a smooth, airbrushed look. It works especially well for dry skin because it’s so lightweight and won’t irritate. This is a Holy Grail product for me and ever since buying it I’ve experienced no temptation to search for other primers because this does the job so perfectly. $13 at Ulta.
Best for: dry to normal skin
I used this primer for years before even trying others, because it is so damn effective. (And cheap!). Product description: “A lightweight formula that minimizes skin imperfections and improves the ease of foundation application while leaving skin feeling velvety smooth.” Hands-down my favorite thing about this product, and the aspect I still miss, is how SILKY it makes your skin. I’m serious, I had difficulty not touching my face after applying this, because your skin feels like it just got a bath in silk while unicorns and rainbows danced nearby. It leaves skin impossibly soft. It’s also wildly effective – I’ve used this under heavy bridesmaid makeup and I’m telling you, stuff does not. budge. It’s also an unbeatable $8. This has more of a thicker, foam texture than the lighter, more liquid Magic Lumi, and you can feel it on your skin after applying it, which is why I’ve switched to the Lumi. But I recommend the Hard Candy for anyone with oily skin. Forget high-end stuff, guys. This little baby has everything you need in a primer.
Best for: oily skin