Primer SchmimerI’ve written in an eye primer post before that I’m not at all fond of face primers, reserving it for special occasions or days I would need my makeup to last the whole day and night. I thought of it as an extra step that doesn’t really do anything except make you think your makeup is lasting longer than the usual. I mean, what are setting powders and all-nighter sprays for, right? Also, I really dislike the super silicone-y feel of most primers. I’ve tried the Smashbox ones (from my mom), Hourglass Mineral Veil (recently) and despite my strongest efforts to like it enough to use it when I need it, I couldn’t. The strong silicone texture that turns velvety slightly matte at the end of application (for both products) wasn’t for me (nor my skin). I was officially inveigled into the world of primers when I tried this on the Guerlain counter last year, specifically this version which is called the Meteorites Perles Light Diffusing Perfecting Primer. There is another version of this – one without Perfecting in its name and is only called Light Diffusing Primer which comes in beige pearls. This one has pinky pearls. There’s another range of primers with a warmer, more golden finish called the L’Ors. First off, this Light Diffusing Perfecting Primer also has silicones but the texture and feel differ greatly from the Hourglass and Smashbox ones I’ve tried because this feels more watery and gel-like. The primer itself is a clear liquid with pearlescent pink pearls that dissipate when you pump out the product. I get a lit-from-within glow from this primer that sometimes, especially on good skin days, I can get away with just this and a generous amount of the Meteorites Pearls in Teint Rose. Like other primers, foundation goes on a lot smoother, lasts longer (although I can’t really tell FOR SURE because of the primer because when I set my makeup properly, it generally tends to stay on the whole day). Edit: I remember my mom using this for their renewal of vows and it made her makeup stay as fresh as possible the whole afternoon till 10pm. As for oil controlling properties, I can’t vouch for that because I’m not one to oil up easily even when I’ve had my makeup on the whole day. I really wish this does that job though because for a $70 bottle of primer, it has to at least cover that aspect. If anyone who’s oily/combination who’s used this can share their experiences, I’d love to hear about it below.
But What Exactly Does This Do?Okay, so for this thing (a $70 bottle of primer!!!), I have to really enumerate and point out some stuff because it’s not exactly a cheap product you can buy on a whim if you feel like trying it. You have to know if it’s for you or if it’ll work for you (and your expectations!). Below, I’ll list down some observations I’ve found after using up almost half of the bottle (yes, I’ve used up half already, it just looks ‘full’ because I’ve laid it down flat in the photos).
+ It gives a beautiful base for foundation – smooth, satiny/semi-matte, with a hint of a glow + No overt shimmer, no heavy silicone feeling + Slightly minimizes huge pores and fills in fine lines and wrinkles – my mom vouches for this. She’s actually already on her 2nd bottle! She used this for their 25th wedding anniversary celebration and her makeup looked as if it were airbrushed (and she swears it’s cos of this primer!). + That leads me to my final stand that yes, it does help to keep makeup on longer. She applied her makeup at 12 in the afternoon and it stayed on until 10PM with just a blot here and there with some oil control films. + It hydrates slightly, removes flakies and all without being overly moisturizing so for those with oily/combi skin, this could also work for you. + I also love the smell, candy-like without being too overpowering. So, if you’re not into scented stuff, heads up.
— It’s a radiance primer that gives off a nice glow so if you’re into opaque and heavy coverage bases, all that radiance I’ve babbled on and on about will dissipate into oblivion after foundation application. Kinda disappointing if you bought this primer for that hint of radiance and then finding out it disappears after foundation application. So for those after that glow, heads up. — Thus, this is then better reserved for light to medium coverage foundations that let your skin still peek through underneath. Which is why when I’m having a not-so-good skin day, I use this with my Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer to even out my skintone as well as get the radiance benefits of the primer, too. — Heard some foundations (mostly cream ones) react badly with this primer as it tends to ball up after foundation application. Maybe too much product? You only need very little of this primer (because 1 pump can cover the whole face as it’s very runny). Edit: Reader Rae below points out that water-silicone emulsions don’t mix well with wax.
The VerdictFirst, I don’t know if the photo above contributes in any way to the review but if you can see the difference, then snaps for you! The very subtle radiance and glow this primer gives off does not translate (at all!!) to the exorbitant amount it costs so I will not go out on a limb and say you should have this. I would say that this would suit more mature, dry skin (like my mom’s! which is why this worked wonderfully for her) so I wouldn’t exactly recommend it to just anyone, although I am confident it would generally meld well with any skin type. I’ve listed down the pros and cons I’ve encountered with this primer above and while I’m currently loving it, I would love to find something cheaper and as effective in giving that beautiful light-diffusing glow (I swear, Guerlain, your Meteorites products are seriously addicting. UGH). I’m eyeing the Burberry Fresh Glow Luminous Fluid Base next, I’m just kinda scared of its intense shimmer (compared to this one which does NOT have visible specks or bits of shimmer at all). Ultimately, I love this, and if I can’t find any replacement, I’ll be broke but at least I’ll be glowing and radiant while I’m at it.
Have you tried this Guerlain primer? Do you even use primer? What’s your go-to primer, if any?