Face Primers Review and Swatches

So I had an idea a while ago to do a post comparing and reviewing some face primers (note – I will refer to them as just primers in this post though I know there are other types of primers). I mostly was interested in finding a lower cost alternative to my favorite primer.  I have spent the last few months using these so I could do a well informed review and I’m finally ready to post my findings.

So what is a face primer and is it necessary?  I think of a face primer like I do of underwear. It’s not necessary and you can certainly leave home without it. But a lot of what you got is gonna be showing up through your clothes or makeup!  When I was younger I often went without one (primer not underwear!:)) but as I’ve aged I find it’s a pretty important step. For me a good primer blurs imperfections, evens skin tone and minimizes pores. I also like one that leaves a velvety and soft complexion and helps keep my makeup in place over my long work day. I’ve chosen 6 different primers for this experiment from both the Korean beauty world and more mainstream ones available in the U.S. 

MIGUHARA BP CREAM.  First up is Miguhara BP Cream which I first tried in Memebox. This is a mixture of a BB cream and a primer. 

Full size – 30ml. For the metric system challenged like me 1oz is approximately 30ml. 

Dispenser type – squeeze tube

Price – $38.10 or $1.27/ml. 

Where to Buy – TesterKorea and Ebay. You can also use a buying service like Avecko or 11st to import directly from Korea. 

Color – very lightly tinted with a beige undertone. Although I have a pink undertone to my skin it works well for me as a primer. 

Pros –
Leaves my skin silky smooth 
A light coverage primer
Great base for the skin and long lasting
No adverse skin reactions after several weeks of continuous use. 
Does not clog my pores and evens skin tone. 

Cons – 
Expensive
Hard to find
I have heard some people with dry skin find this to be very cakey. 
Could have a bit heavier coverage, I will not grab this if I have trouble spots to cover up. 
No SPF

ETUDE HOUSE BEAUTY SHOT FACE BLUR.  This came out with a lot hype so I was really curious to try it out.  I got this from TesterKorea. 

Full size – 1.23oz or about 36ml. 

Dispenser type – pump

Price – $13.33 or $.36/ml. 

Where to Buy – this is pretty widely available anywhere that sells Etude House products including the Etude House online global shop. The cheapest place I found it was through various sellers on eBay. 

Color – pink 

Pros –
Inexpensive
Widely available
Nice coverage
Really does achieve a blur on the skin and gives the appearance of even and smooth skin. 
Silky smooth finish 
SPF15

Cons – 
Really thick so makes it hard to work with and difficult to blend. 
After a few days it really clogs my pores. I tried this several different times with the same effect. So I can only use it sporadically.



THE FACE SHOP FACE IT VELVET SKIN PRIMER. I got this from Tester Korea but had not read any reviews about it. 


Full size – 30g/30ml

Dispenser type – pump

Price – $13.48 or $.45/ml. 

Where to Buy – TesterKorea, Amazon, eBay. The cheapest place I found it was through various sellers on eBay. 

Color – clear 

Pros –
Inexpensive
Widely available

Cons – 
This really didn’t work for me at all unfortunately.
Didn’t hide pores, create a smooth base or make my skin feel velvety. 
Left my skin slightly greasy feeling. I did use this continuously for a week and then tried it for a couple more days a few weeks later with the same result. 
No SPF


MISSHA RADIANCE PORE PRIMER. I got this from TesterKorea. This was probably the most surprising primer I tested!

Full size – 35ml

Dispenser type – pump

Price – $17.72 or $.51/ml. 

Where to Buy – TesterKorea, Missha US shop, eBay. The cheapest place I found it was through RubyRubyShop on eBay. 

Color – milky white

Pros –
Fairly inexpensive
Widely available
I really didn’t have high hopes for this but it worked surprisingly well. 
Hides pores
Leaves my skin as silky as the Miguhara
Creates a smooth base 
Very easy to apply due to the milky white nature of the product, very forgiving.  

Cons – 
The glass bottle can be costly to ship depending on where you purchase it. 
Could have a light tint
No SPF


DR BRANDT PORES NO MORE. I got this from Sephora but I originally tried it in Birchbox. 

Full size – 1oz/approx 30ml

Dispenser type – squeeze tube

Price – $45 or $1.50 ml. You can get this on sale sometimes for cheaper. 

Where to Buy – Sephora, Birchbox, HSN, Amazon and more!

Color – beige

Pros –
Widely available
Creates a smooth base 
Mattifies the skin and covers pores
Leaves my skin silky smooth
This is the primer I reach for often. 
My skin loves this and it contains tea tree, which I like to use. 

Cons – 
Crazy expensive
Not the most natural ingredients 
Needs to dry a bit before you apply BB cream or foundation or it will roll off your face. 
No SPF

NAPOLEON PERDIS AUTO PILOT PRE-FOUNDATION SKIN PRIMER. I got this from the Bergdorf Goodman Glossybox collaboration. I have actually never bought this as I traded for a bunch more.  

Full size – 1.7oz/50ml

Dispenser type – squeeze tube

Price – $50 or $1.00/ml. 

Where to Buy – Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus

Color – milky white

Pros –
Creates a smooth base 
Is quite moisturizing so I don’t need as much moisturizer 
Easy to use

Cons – 
Expensive 
Didn’t leave my face silky 
Didn’t really work well to cover my pores 
Could have a light tint
No SPF


Ok so after extensive testing the following are the 6 primers placed in my order of preference:


1 – Miguhara BP Cream comes out the winner!  This was the one I was hoping to replace since it’s difficult to find and the second priciest at $1.27 a ml. I recently just purchased a new tube from a great lady on the Memebox Addicts Facebook page so I am covered for a while longer.
2- Dr Brandt’s Pores No More – the most expensive at $1.50 a ml – ouch!  But still a favorite!

3- Missha Radiance Pore Primer – I’m really happy with the addiction of this to my favorites list!  It’s fairly easy to obtain and at .51 a ml a lower cost alternative. 

4 – Etude House Beauty Shot Face Blur – I do like this but since it clogs my pores I can only use it occasionally so I will not repurchase. Too bad as its only $.36 a ml!

5 – Napoleon Perdis Auto Pilot Pre-Foundation Skin Primer – this really doesn’t meet all things I’m looking for so I will use up what I have but not repurchase. $1 a ml. 

6 – The Face Shop Face It Primer Velvet Skin – this didn’t do anything for me. I will be pitching it and not a even using what’s left. 

I really enjoyed this experiment although I really didn’t find a good replacement for my beloved Miguhara.  I’ll just have to keep looking! 🙂







Author: had4567

www.mylittleboxblog.com

One thought on “Face Primers Review and Swatches”

  1. I don't really use primer. I bought the Too Faced one because I LOVE their eye shadow primer, but it doesn't seem to do much for me… I would love to get samples to try in some of my beauty box subs bc I don't want to buy full size unless I know it's worth it.

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