Face Files: The plight of Makeup


The Plight.

A note on Sephora samples. Sephora is known for their samples. It’s part of their business model. They WANT YOU TO get samples. So…yes, this is the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation in a SAMPLE form. I am no longer buying expensive products without trying them first. So yes, here is a picture of my sample of the product. Try before you buy people!

Makeup is a tricky, tricky, tricky thing. There are so many options and it seems like they are all never-ending. Every month there is a new release. A new product that will just be the answer to your beauty concerns. Or a new colour that you just need to try on your face. It’s the trickster that fools us into thinking that its needed. On top of the overwhelming amount of products on the market, you always hear rumours on how one high end product is the exact same thing to a drugstore one. Likely when you look into it, low and behold, both products are similar to each other.

So why does this happen? Why do high end and low end products seem to have the same ingredients and perform the same way among the sea of products out there? And why is one product way more expensive than the other? I have my speculations.

The first thing to know when buying any makeup is that all makeup brands are owned by parent companies. A lot of companies are connected to each other. For example L’Oréal owns the following beauty companies:

  • NYX Cosmetics
  • Essie
  • Lancome
  • YSL
  • Armani Cosmetics
  • Khiel’s
  • Giorgio Armani
  • Biotherm
  • and many, many more

So when this happens, they can all share their secrets, procedures and ingredients without any legal trouble. Take for example the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk foundation and L’Oreal’s Pro-Glow Foundation. Both of them are owned by the parent company of L’Oreal. I’ve heard rumours that they both are the same thing but obviously one lives in a $50 glass bottle while the other lives in a $1 plastic container.

I’v decided to investigate if these two products are indeed the same or not.

The one thing that is a distinction between something like the Giorgio Armani foundation and the L’Oreal Pro-glow foundation (which have the similar ingredients) is the grade of their ingredients. Yes. Similar ingredients, different quality. That will always be a difference when one company uses a higher grade of ingredients, the performance will be different and there might be an allergic reaction. I’ve listed the ingredients of both products below:


Luminous Silkwatercyclopentasiloxaneglycerin, isododecane, alcohol, polyglyceryl-4 isostearate, aluminum starch octenylsuccinate, cetyl peg/ppg-10/1 dimethicone, hexyl laurate, disteardimonium hectorite, phenoxyethanol, acetylated glycol stearate, magnesium sulfate, ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate, tristearin, cellulose gum, nylon-12, limonene, benzyl salicylate, linalool, diphenyl dimethicone, acrylates copolymer, fragrance, disodium stearoyl glutamate, methylparaben, butylparaben, butylphenyl methylpropional, aluminum hydroxide, hexyl cinnamal. May contain: CI 77891/titanium dioxide, CI 77492, CI 77499, CI 77491/iron oxides, CI 77007/ultramarines, mica. <— MICA (EEEWWWW)

Pro-Glow: Octinoxate 3.01%. Inactive: Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Alcohol Denat., Phenyl Trimethicone, Glycerin, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Bis-PEG / PPG-14 / 14 Dimethicone, Dimethicone, Magnesium Sulfate, Ethylhexyl Hydroxystearate, Talc, Silica, PEG / PPG / Polybutylene Glycol-8 / 5 / 3 Glycerin, Disodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Dimethicone / Polyglycerin-3 Crosspolymer, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Aluminum Hydroxide, Magnesium Stearate, Silica Silylate, Dipropylene Glycol, Alumina, BHT, Sodium Citrate, Tocopherol, Isopropyl Alcohol. May Contain: Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Bismuth Oxychloride.

Alright, so obviously the bolded ones are the same ingredients. About 30% are the same for both foundations. A lot of the ingredients are skin conditioners. But when I compared each of them Luminous Silk contained ingredients that were less concerning. Many ingredients listed came up with a low to moderate warning in both foundations, Pro-Glow had a little bit more warnings. Regardless it was a little concerning.

I just want to know to what degree we should be taking these warnings. If it’s been scientifically tested, then it should be reasonably safe? But then again, how regulated is the beauty industry? What laws are in place to protect consumers? These are questions that have come up while writing this post. And believe me, I will likely be spending some time looking into it and reporting back. So stay tuned as I cross-reference and read-up and just educate myself a little more on this topic.

Another thing I noticed was Pro-Glow has a lot of Dimethicon and derivatives of Dimethicone in it while Luminous Silk only has one ingredient derived from Dimethicon.   This to me indicates that Luminous Silk has one ingredients that does the same thing that the many ingredients do for Pro-Glow. But that’s speculation. Again, I need to look more deeply into it since I want to discuss wear time and how it actually feels on the skin, I’ll have to leave it for another post (stay tuned).

Might be the Devil but does it wear well?

Okay, so we’ve gone over ingredients, kinda. And although I don’t think I’ve proved that Luminous Silk is the higher grade of Pro-Glow, necessarily; I will say that scratching the surface of what makes up this foundation is frightening. On that alone, I would invest in Luminous Silk rather than continually just buy the Pro-Glow. But I also don’t believe in waste so I’ll continue to use it…with mixed feelings. Also, I feel like I need to state that I am speculating right now. Perhaps the ingredients have been deemed safe and their risks are a really low ratio. Low ratios are key since that’s how medicine becomes approved. Nothing is every 100% safe. At this point everything is food for thought.


Both foundations I will admit feel the same and give off the same effect. The thing that most beauty bloggers/makeup artist/beauty guru will say about Luminous Silk is that the foundation sinks into your skin and creates a perfecting veil WHILE keeping the integrity of your skin. It doesn’t create a mask like effect like some high-coverage foundations might do. Instead it blurs out imperfection while still looking like your real skin. Does that make sense? The Pro-Glow does the same damn thing as Luminous Silk does.  Just look for yourself:

Wearing both foundations, can you tell the difference?
Luminous Silk


I’ve been playing with both foundations for a couple weeks now and I’ll say this. They both wear beautifully. I have textured skin. Nothing will ever mask that and I don’t expect a foundation to mask it. What I do expect from a foundation is to even out my skin toneminimize pores and cover-up imperfections. I have a couple of spots on my nose from an eczema patch, a cut and a raised area from my glasses that I need covered up. Can you see them? Barely. So this foundation does the trick in doing what I require a foundation to do.

Next, I need other products to go on them effortlessly. If a product doesn’t apply well it can be because of the foundation or the product itself. For this look, I used blush, bronzer and highlight that is of good quality and I know performs well. They all went on beautifully without getting patchy. I didn’t really powder much of my face in these photos because I wanted the foundation to speak for itself. Even without powdering my face other powdered products went on smoothly.

Wear time. This is where the foundation would likely require some powdering. I would say these foundations wears well for 6 hours without help from other products. For foundation, that’s amazing. I usually never touch up my face. By the time I go and wipe it off, it’s usually mostly all gone. But that’s with 100% of all of my foundations.

Overall, I do really like both foundations. I reach for them often. The ingredients worry me but all makeup products ingredients worry me. So stay tuned for further thoughts on this topic.

Have you read on how I remove my foundation in my last post? Click here to read up on my daily cleansers.



Face Files: the daily routine, Cleansers

Just mascara since all my makeup had rubbed off by this point.

Okay so before I get into the meat of this post I want to state a word of caution: what may work for me, may not work for you. Skin care products are a fickle thing. They can improve your skin or really mess it up. Humans are all complex beings and no company will ever be able to cater to all of our needs. What someone swears by, may break-out another.

What I am about to describe are products that have worked really well for me. The one thing readers should take from this is post is the importance of an established routine. The skincare routine is everything. A well established one will leave your skin clear, bright and will help fight the signs of aging. The Bare bones routine includes: two cleansers (one to remove your makeup at night and one to really cleanse your skin in the morning and during the second cleanse), an acid toner, a moisturizing toner, serum (day/night or day and night), eye cream and a moisturizer. Yes….that’s a giant product list to add into a routine. And many of us are too tired by nightfall and simply don’t wanna. But my skin has never been clearer, brighter and well moisturized ever since the routine was implemented. And my skin has suffered through Acne. I swear by the routine.


I stand by my conviction of a double cleanse at night makes a happy and clear skinned criavolver. Let’s start at night since this is likely the most important routine you’ll need to establish. I start out with an oil to remove my makeup. The first oil based-cleanser I ever used was from the Body Shop. At that point I was using foaming cleansers still and had never had a cleanser leave my skin so soft. Mind blown, I became addicted to oil cleansers and I never turned back.


Erborian, Solid Cleansing Oil: This Korean solid cleansing oil is one of my favourite makeup removers. When it ran out on me, I scrapped the sides until I was basically touching plastic. It melts makeup off the skin like fire does to wax (let’s be real, if you have your full makeup on…that’s what our faces look like during this process, haha). This oil is so legit that it will remove that one “waterproof” mascara (I don’t wear waterproof mascara…this mascara isn’t suppose to be waterproof) that I own. None of my other makeup removers remove that mascara as “easily” as this one. (The mascara is a bitch to remove so it does require a little bit of extra elbow grease). The one little thing that sucks about this cleansing oil is that it stings a little if you get it in your eyes. I’ve used oils before that you can open your eyes mid-wash to make sure your toddler hasn’t stuck their hands in the toilet or something whacky like that. This on stings when you need to open those peepers. A quick rinse and the sting is gone though.

Ingredients: Coconut oil, Sunflower oil, tea tree, licorice, Japanese Knotweed, Skullcap, Rosemary, Chamomile and Centella Asiatica along with low-hazard emulsifying and cleansing agents. We all know that coconut oil and sunflower oil are bomb oils. Tea tree is the essential oil we all grew up using for clearer skin (thank-you body shop). Licorice root is great for anti-inflammatory purposes. Japanese knotweed is an anti-aging ingredient. Skullcap is another anti-inflammatory herb that also has calming benefits. Rosemary and Chamomile are both two calming agents. Centella Asiatica also has healing properties so it’s great for pigmentation. The cleanser is loaded with calming ingredients. Perfect for sensitive skin and amazing for removing your makeup. Love.

Side note: a lot of the herbs used in this product, if ingested, have really great benefits that I am thinking of experiment with in the near future.

Rodial, Stemcell Super-Food Cleanser: I knew I was going to love this cleanser the moment I opened the box. It came with a muslin wash-cloth. Although I don’t use muslin wash clothes (towel wash clothes all the way), I really appreciated the message they were laying down. Using a wash cloth to remove your cleansers is a great way to physically exfoliate your skin. It also helps control black heads (to a certain extend and if you have minimal black heads). Beyond the packaging and message the product itself is fantastic. It’s a beautiful cream cleanser that doesn’t strip your face of precious oils (we need them to keep our skin healthy). It removes any remaining makeup (if I’ve caked it on that day) and just cleanses and soothes the skin.

Ingredients: Marula Oil, PhytoCellTec Alp Rose Flower, Coconut Oil and Coco Butter along with other low-concerning ingredients that are used as skin conditioners and emollients. Marula oil is a powerful oil that comes from South Africa. It’s an oil that can help fight wrinkles, radicals and moisturize the skin. Since this cleanser can be used as a face mask, you can get the benefits of the marula oil it has to offer. The “stem cell” part of this cleanser comes from the PhytoCellTec Alp Rose flower which is an ingredient that is derived from wild Swiss flowers that grow in high altitudes. This ingredient is used to maintain skin cells and help fight off UV-stress. This is exactly the type of ingredient you want on your skin. Again, because you can leave it on your skin for a period of time, you get more of a benefit from it than just a regular cleanser.

Alright. I’ll stop gushing here and move on to Toners but in the next post! Until next time. Interested in more beauty and cannot wait until the next post? Click here for my last post on skincare products.






Face Files: Eyeshadow Palettes


Products worth mentioning: Eyes: Kat Von D Pastel Goth Palette and Viseart Dark Matte Palette and Lips: NYX Butter Lipstick in BLS16 and Mac Satin lipstick in SNOB.


It has been a minute. I know.  I know. I’ve been thinking about this little corner of my life and been missing it. But so much has happened in the last little bit that I had to keep it in thought rather than in action. In saying that, I must admit that posting here will not be a frequent thing anymore. I want to keep giving readers quality over quantity so instead of posting on a weekly basis, there will be sporadic posts – here and there. My beauty purchases have also slowed down, now that I am putting my money into other things – a journey I want to document too. So please check back! I am in transition and I hope those of you who read this blog will stay with me and come on the journey as well. I promise it will be fun. With that being said, let us get to it. Eyeshadow palettes. THE THING THAT WILL NEVER STOP CONSUMING OUR THOUGHTS.


You know that meme where there is a girl purchasing the latest eyeshadow palette and she says to herself, “There! My collection is complete, I don’t need to buy another eyeshadow palette” and then like 10 minutes later the internet alerts her that a new and way more badass palette is available to purchase AND IT IS LIMITED EDITION, so she’s back on the computer buying the palette. Yeah. That’s me. I literally need to try them all. Well, almost all.


Huda Beauty, Rose Gold Limited Edition Palette: This palette has been released twice. It was when it was first released, I remember watching Huda Kattan’s snapchat and her being a sack of nerves over her website not being able to take all the traffic from the interest in this palette. Then it launched in North America, and it started to receive SOME negative reviews. I held out the first time and then obviously, after the negative reviews were overridden by the positive, I jumped at the chance to buy it when it was announced for a second release.

Now. I don’t hate this palette. I reach for it most days. It can make really pretty soft eye looks but it can also make dark smokey eyes with a hint of colour, it’s very versatile. The eyeshadows are top quality – they are made in Italy after all. I haven’t experience much fallout and they are easy to work with.  BUT I will say this: that top row of shimmer isn’t anything to sing praises about. If you want a pigment that offers a lot of shimmer, an intense eye look, turn your eye towards Pat McGrath. Kattan has been marketing the top row to be something unlike anything on the market…ummm, nope. These are a nice, creamy, soft shimmery, eyeshadows, end of story. The intense eye looks that you’ve been seeing Beauty Gurus create with this palette are because they’ve added actual eye glitter as a topper. The palette is sold out again. If you have it, enjoy it. If you don’t have it then…ummm look for the next release or just opt for anything else that I am about to talk about.


Urban Decay, Gwen Stefani Palette: This is the palette that finally gave me the colours that allowed for me to perfect the naked smokey eye look. You know the look I am talking about. The one that looks so bomb with a red lip. I’ve had this palette for a really long time. I think 2 years? At least. It doesn’t smell so I am still using it. It’s a great neutral palette which is something Urban Decay is known for. I never touch the pink or gold in it (not very pigmented) but often reach for the palette when I need my lid to be neutral. I think this one was limited but never sold-out, so it’s on sale.


Anastasia Beverly Hills, Maestro Palette by Mario: Okay, this one is also no longer available AND I’ve already gushed about it. It can provide you with a neutral look but ALSO with a killer smokey eye. The shadows are dusty though, they kick up a lot of shadow when you dip your brush into them, so naturally there is a bit of fall-out when you apply them. But the way they blend and look, I can look past it.


Urban Decay, Moondust Palette: I thought I would use this palette more often. I thought this palette was literally going to change the way I apply makeup. Nope. None of those two thoughts came to be. First of all, these are not eyeshadows that you use first or solely. These are eyeshadows that you put on when your eye look needs a little something, something. These eyeshadows are what you end the look with. I will admit, that when these go on the lid (as that something, something) I am very pleased with how the look ends up. You will need to either apply them with a WET brush or with your digits. Since I don’t have fake nails, my digits are usually what I use. Even though they didn’t change my life, I am glad I have them in my collection to provided the dimension that they give when it comes to creating different eye looks.


Morphe, 35T: I mostly hate this palette. When I first got it, all I could smell was CHEMICALS. The smell is mostly gone now but it kinda worried me and still does. Most of these shades look ALMOST the same on the lid. Even though I really hate this product, I still use it. I am not sure why…maybe because I hate waste or because deep down they do give my eye looks a little, something, something. I do hate to admit it because I want to despise this palette but that would be being dishonest. I pull this one out when I want to deepen my crease with mauves and browns. It allows for me to go deeper a shade one shade at a time…even though these are pretty much all the same colour they do have a difference in shade, does that make sense? Most importantly, they layer nicely with other eyeshadows. I just can’t get over the smell.


Viseart, Dark Matte Palette: Can I just put heart eyes emoticons all over this section? 😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍

Okay seriously. The PIGMENT is unlike anything I’ve ever used. One tiny little dip into ANY shade in this palette and I am blending for at least 2 minutes. This is not a 10 minute look palette…I mean it can be, by why would you do a 10 minute look with this palette? This is the type of palette where you layer and blend, layer and blend, layer and blend colour onto your lid for at least 30 minutes. This palette is the object of makeup ritual. A necessity if you love staring at yourself in the mirror for at least 2 hours to apply your makeup. Get if eyeshadow is a true passion of yours. It will nourish your soul. Seriously.


Urban Decay, Naked Palette: This one is hella old but a goodie. Naked, Buck, Half-Baked, Smog and SIDECAR – my hommies, my bitches. This palette is what started the love affair. I am sure most of us have a Naked palette in our collection. They are what I would call the palette that graduates you into a serious beauty collector. This palette is the one that starts it all…well at least this one was the one that had me looking to try new things. I’ve had it for many, many years and it’s still going strong (still no rank smell). Sadly, I stepped on it within the first year of owning and broke the mirror (thank goodness it was opened when the incident happened) but even through this experience, it’s still kept my eyes on point.



Kat Von D, Pastel Goth Palette: This palette has TREND written all over it. Currently there is a giant rage right now on pastel eye looks. Perhaps its our collective subconscious just wanting winter to be over and we are all just anticipating spring? Regardless, this is a fun palette. The eye look in the #selflove photo above was brought to you by this palette (and a mixture of viseart too). ALL OF THESE COLOURS have pigment. The blue, no joke stained my eyes…which was kinda a nightmare to remove but I was so impressed with how well it pigmented it was and the vibrancy it gave all day. It even lasted through bootcamp…which was why I had so much party going on in my eyes since I participated in their 70s tight and bright event.

Does anyone want to master blue eyeshadow? Or just even how to blend eyeshadow colours together to create an eye look? If so, stay tuned for some announcements, especially if you live in Southern Alberta :).

Face Files: Pat McGrath



Base is the same full face ritual  (primer, foundation, under eye concealer); eyeshadow: Viseart: dark neutrals palette, Makeup Geek: sparkler in Constellation , Urban Decay: moon dust palette; Blush & Bronzer & Highlight: Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick Palette; Eyebrows: Urban Decay: The Brow Box & a Benefit 3D BROWtones Instant Colour Highlights

Preparing for this blog, I realized that I was missing quite a few of items from my Pat McGrath collection and didn’t even realize it. I actually even forgot that I owned the items I was missing. A couple of them are still missing: lost to a vortex that is the ever-changing purse game or the tomb that can be the little hands of a child. I did have half-a-mind to search and find a couple products: two glitters, meant for the lips, and the jumbo double ended eye liner…I feel like I should just quickly take a moment of grievance, for a lost lipstick ..and possibly two glitter pots. *Moment of silence* Okay moment over, now let’s talk Pat MGrath and her fucking editorial products.


Pat McGrath is a hot-ass makeup artist that has been delivering editorial looks since the 1990s. She is behind the scenes of every, noteable, fashion couture show and has painted the face of every supermodel known to men. Of course her make-up is going to be bomb. And it is. But is it revolutionary? Mmmmmm, not really. It’s on trend, and everything you need to continue looking like your bomb-ass self.

Let’s start with the lipsticks cause it was what I was introduced to. It pains me. Ails me. I am so saddened that I started paying attention to her makeup releases. So much money given. And to top the list, I missed out on Phantom 002 and Skin Fetish 003. Jesus sacramento, thank-god, she decided to put out more pressed pigments. I am getting sidetracked here, let’s chat lipstick.


Lust 004: The formula of these lipsticks is matte but it isn’t stiff. If you’ve ever used a Melt Cosmetics lipsticks, you’ll know what I am talking about. Those motherfuckers are STIIIIIFFFFFF. These lipsticks, on the other hand, have the consistency of a creamy lipstick but have zero lustre to them. This means they are easy to apply and can hold their own through a messy meal. I mean, you’ll still need to reapply throughout the day but you can get away with maybe just one or two applications…all depending on how careful you are when eating. They also make your lips look juicy and not like a dried out prune. If I am wearing a traditional lipstick, I gravitate towards these.

A note on packaging. I hate and love it all in one silly string ball. The packaging is designed to look as though they are testing samples and we are approving them or not. I like the idea of it. It’s simple and removes getting caught in the trap of buying something just for its packaging. That being said. Look at them. The printing has partially rubbed off and they just look cheap. This is not a cheap product. Also while I appreciate the size and shape of the tube of lipstick (it makes for precise application) the actual tube it comes in is disastrous! The lids keep popping off whenever I travel with them and let me tell you, my purse is not a place I want an unopened lipstick floating around…yeeesh. So my hope is that when they choose to release another set of lipsticks that they improve on the quality of the packaging cause the product is all aces. Re-test, please.


Metalmorphosis 005: The lure of this kit were the eyeshadows. Coming in two formulas, a trendy and classy: a pressed pigment and cream formula, they are exactly what you expect from them. Both packed with glitter. Sophisticated enough that you can  wear it during your v-card dinner. Depending on how applied, it could give you a complete rocker-chic look or a royal duchess of York vibe. Applies with no patchiness. It does however require that you use your fingertips if you’re using it dry. It WILL NOT pick up with a brush when dry. Only when wet can you use a brush, so if you hate that…you may hate these pigments. I am a big fan of using them over the whole lid or using it in the inner portion of my eyes to give any eye look a POP. The cream is pretty nice and if you lay the pressed pigment over top it just makes the whole thing come together.


The extras: Each kits will come with some extras and to be honest, I kinda don’t use the extras (remember how I lost a couple without even remembering they even existed?). I haven’t really played with the glitters since I am kinda not into the whole metallic lipstick look and I don’t think these are safe for the eye. I am kinda paranoid about using unsafe for the eye glitter since I seriously like my eyes to stay firmly in my eye socket. To be completely honest…I kinda feel like the whole metallic lipstick look can easily put you in the grandma category rather than in the edgy runway super model category. I mean, I eventually will play with it…just not right now. The eyeliner on the other hand, I love. It’s great for when you want your liquid liner to CUT A BITCH. So I am into it and although it takes some time to get used to; once you do,  it make’s application 10% easier….cause let’s be real, liquid liner is no walk in the park.  The lip gloss? Another standard lip gloss, not too sticky but not moisturizing either. It is meant to go with the gold loose pigment. I haven’t tried that either, mostly because I just don’t want to bother in the morning. The mephron mixing liquid is pretty cool. You use it with your pressed pigments and it does make them more metallic. Great product and I want to experiment with it more.

So there you have it. The intro on the great Pat McGrath and some of her coveted products. Everything is currently sold out, so you can’t get your hands on anything. But I am sure she will soon be releasing something. I saw her hanging out with Kim Kardashian on her snapchat, last week. So I am sure she’s brewing some more interesting products. Let’s watch and see what else she puts out. More lipsticks? (Will they be better?) An actual 3-D eyeshadow? I am waiting.



Tell me your favourite makeup artist story. I am going tomorrow to get my makeup done for the first time. Will I finally get chiseled cheeks? How long will it take?

Don’t forget to check out my other blog post on brands: the rivals. It’s kinda gossipy but still a good intro to the dynamics between rival companies and their beauty lines.


Face Files: the base


Primer: Burberry Luminous Fluid Base; Foundation: Chanel Les Beige Healthy Glow Foundation; Mascara: Diorshow Iconic Overcurl Mascara; Eyeshadow: Master Palette (Anastasia Beverly Hills); Highlight: Laura Mercier radiance baked highlight;  Blush: Lanôme Subtle Sheer Blush; Contour: Benefit Hoola Bronzer; Eyebrow: Lancôme Le Crayon Poudre

Work days, school days, lazy days. We all have those days when you simply do not have time nor energy to do full glam. On these days a great primer is ESSENTIAL. A primer has a couple uses: it allows for your foundation to go on smoother, it can control oil, it minimizes pores and it can give you a glow. I’ve been on the hunt to find a primer that does all of theses things. It is illusive. But I will settle for a primer that allows for smoother application, works to keep my foundation in place and minimizes my pores. Getting the glow can happen with a highlighter and oil control is sometimes a tricky beast (more on why later).


Let’s start with the one that is empty and go clockwise from there.

Hourglass, Veil Mineral Primer: This was the first primer I ever used. I bought it about 4 years ago and it fully ran out a year and a half ago and I’ve been scrapping it’s sides ever since. This primer has a silicone texture but it doesn’t pill when you work it into the skin. It is extremely pricey but considering the amount of time it lasted it became cost effective. I felt it reduced redness, minimized pores and worked it’s little butt off for my foundation. But I haven’t repurchased. Why haven’t I? I can’t get over the silicone feel. It is one of the best primers I’ve ever used but touching it just gives me the ick factor that I just can’t overcome. So the hunt started.


Mac, Painterly Pro Longwear Paint Pot: I wasn’t sure if I wanted to include an eye primer since I am mostly focusing on face primers but I just cannot do a post on primers and not mention the Mac Paint Pot. I’ve used a couple eye primers and perhaps one day I will focus on them solely but I’ll just quickly say: this one is the best. It dries down quickly so you do not need to set it. It makes your eyeshadow last until the moment you remove it. But above all else it can be the base to your eyeshadows or part of your eye look. They have a full range of colours so you can play around with how you want to use it. It’s good. It’s really good.


Burberry, Luminous Fluid Base in No. 1: I’ve been using this product for a couple weeks now. It gives a great glow and helps to minimize pores, somewhat. I would say it helps with making my foundation last longer than without a primer. It does give the face a radiant glow that makes me feel very sophisticated. It does what it is marketed to do. It makes your foundation last hours and illuminates you from underneath it. It does not exaggerate any imperfections either as some luminating primers sometimes do. But what I truly enjoy about this primer is that it not only gives your face a nice glow, I feel like it adds a little moisture as well. During the winter months, in Southern Alberta, that helps. I will take all the moisture I can get this time of year. I would rate this my second favourite primer. It doesn’t help calm down the redness but it helps with combatting flakiness around my forehead and nose. Also, it’s not the best at minimizing pores but I can still see a difference against unprimed skin.I would recommend and may re-purchase it once it runs out.


Dr. Brandt, Pores No More Pore Refiner Primer: Dr. Brandt has a wide range in the Pores No More line. My pores are large, it’s a gene thing, there is not much I can do about it but I will never stop trying. So this line has always been intriguing to me. The line ranges from cleansers, serums, moisturizers and primers. This primer is the first and only product that has ever given me an allergic reaction. My skin isn’t sensitive. If it weren’t for my skin reacting to it, I would seriously be in love with this primer. It minimized the pores really well and controls oil like a dream. I feel primers make your foundations last longer when they can control your oil production better. Sadly, there was something else in this formula that just made my skin tingle and actually broke some skin on my nose. So I used up my little overpriced bottle and put it on the never purchase list in my brain.


Cover FX, Custome Blot Drops: This product isn’t exactly a primer but it has primer properties and it is something you put on before foundation (but you can re-apply it over top foundation as well) so I’ve included it in this post. It does not smooth out the skin. It does not minimize pores. What it does is eradicate oil and therefore keeps your foundation and concealer in place ALL. DAY. LONG. It virtually eliminates oil production throughout the day. It’s incredible. A little too incredible. I used this product with the Pores No More primer and it accelerated the reaction I got from it but I find if I use it every day it over dries my skin. I don’t think this product is necessary for everyday use but I tend to use it when I need my makeup to be bulletproof from dawn to dusk.  If you have oily skin, I would recommend checking it out.


Those are a few of the primers I’ve used. Believe it or not, that’s just scratching the surface of the world of primers. There are primers for every skin type since I am more on the oily side I’ve tended to stick to primers that have oil controlling properties. I think now that I am maturing and winter is giving my skin a run for my money, I will be checking out some moisturizing primers next and maybe some that claim to act like serums and help protect the skin against aging? Maybe. So stay tuned!


What have you tried? Let me know in the comments. Don’t forget to check-out Face Files: the stapes  and let me know what you reach for on a daily basis!