Beauty, Face, Reviews

Sephora Primer Wars: A Competitive Review

primerwars1

Over the past several months, I have sampled and tried 5 different primers. All of them are from brands carried by Sephora. My sample collection kept growing from online orders and I’ve been seriously trying these to determine which one is the best! Primer is meant to smooth your skin’s texture and give you a flawless base to apply your makeup on, while making it last all day. A primer purchase can often be a tough and pricey decision, so here’s my competitive review on these five from Cover FX, Benefit, Julep, and Bare Minerals.

primers

For this review, I’ll be rating the primers in terms of Staying Power (do they make my makeup last longer?), Easiness (do they require lots of blending?), Texture (does it feel nice on my skin?), and Setting Time (how long until they are ready for makeup?)

Bare Minerals Prime Time:

This liquid-gel primer is transparent and goes on extremely smoothly. At first upon using it, I noticed a chemical smell that was a bit off-putting, but it went away. This is also a silicon-based primer.

STAYING POWER: 4/5

EASE OF USE: 5/5

TEXTURE: 4.5/5

SETTING TIME: 4/5

Cover FX Calming Primer:

This acts and looks just like a lotion which I’m not used to for a primer. I did notice some “calming” on days when I had woken up with redness. Because of its formula, I find it needs extra setting time before applying your makeup if you are working with powders. The tube also has a pointy spout which is a bit awkward.

STAYING POWER: 3/5

EASE OF USE: 4/5

TEXTURE: 4/5

SETTING TIME: 3/5

Benefit POREfessional:

This is a pore-filler for the face that can be applied alone or under makeup. It is beige-tinted but blends out perfectly and the formula feels like it just melts into the skin.

STAYING POWER: 4.5/5

EASE OF USE: 5/5

TEXTURE: 5/5

SETTING TIME: 5/5

Julep Blank Canvas Mattifying Face Primer:

This primer can also be worn alone or under makeup and is meant to mattify the face from oiliness. It’s quite thick, but if you’re “bringing out the big guns” for a night out, this primer is what I’ve been reaching for. Blending it out is a bit annoying and I feel like it tugs on my skin.

STAYING POWER: 5/5

EASE OF USE: 3/5

TEXTURE: 3.5/5

SETTING TIME: 4/5

Benefit Stay Flawless 15-Hour Primer:

This primer comes in stick form, so you’re meant to swipe it all over your face in just a few seconds. I always feel like I can’t get every part of my face with this, and while the formula is invisible (see the photo!), it’s too thick in feel to blend. If you don’t feel OCD about potentially not covering your full face with this primer, this is a good one.

STAYING POWER: 4/5

EASE OF USE: 3/5

TEXTURE: 4/5

SETTING TIME: 5/5

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RESULTS:

Bare Minerals Prime Time: 17.5/20

Cover FX Calming Primer: 14/20

Benefit POREfessional: 19.5/20 – WINNER!

Julep Blank Canvas Mattifying Face Primer: 15.5

Benefit Stay Flawless 15-Hour Primer: 16/20

OVERALL: The results in! Benefit’s POREfessional is a lovely perfecting primer that’s easy to use, doesn’t feel sticky, and just plain works. I don’t even have a problem with large pores (thank god), but I would buy this for it perfecting power! Bare Minerals Prime Time is a worthy runner up but it needs a little longer to set on the face, and it doesn’t have the same silkiness. The Julep Blank Canvas and Benefit 15-Hour primers mainly lost due to their lack of blendability- I hate when a product makes me tug on my skin! Julep’s primer does give me makeup great staying power however. The Cover FX, while it did have some calming, was just unusual as a primer and made my skin feel like it had a layer of lotion on instead of silkiness.

xo J

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