I love applying a good primer before I slap on makeup on my face. I’ve tried tons. Most of the Smashbox range, Dior, Urban Decay. Most I’ve enjoyed but I wanted to start using a makeup primer that would not only blur my pores and help my makeup go on smoothly, but provide real skin care benefits as well. Lucky me, my two favourite skin care brands have great primers with skin care benefits. Score! So, let’s take a look at each of their claims, how well they held their ground with my makeup, and whether I saw any visible improvements from using them.
Hylamide HA Blur (Hyluronic-Based Prismatic Blurring Surface Finisher)
Whew! Long-ass name for a hyluronic based primer! The HA Blur is part of Hylamide’s Finisher Series. After one uses their Core Series products and any of their Booster Series’ products, Deciem recommends using one of their Finishers. So, I chose the Ha Blur because of my skin’s affinity for hyluronic acid.
Hylamide HA Blur promises to blur and minimize pores while hydrating and plumping the skin. It uses a new form of powder based hyluronic acid which is supposed to provide blurring properties to your skin. It also claims to be compatible with all makeup and all skin types. In fact, Deciem states that “…it’s so compatible with makeup that you can apply under or over foundation, or mix it with any liquid foundation for an ultra-high-definition skin finish.” (Hylamide, 2018)
caprylyl methicone, aqua (water), peg-12 dimethicone/ppg-20 crosspolymer, hexamethyldisiloxane, polysilicone-11, cyclopentasiloxane, isodecyl neopentanoate, vinyl dimethicone/methicone silsesquioxane crosspolymer, cyclomethicone, peg-10 dimethicone, sodium hyaluronate, pseudoalteromonas exopolysaccharides, sodium salicylate, adipic acid/neopentyl glycol crosspolymer, methyl methacrylate/peg/ppg-4/3 methacrylate crosspolymer, tocopherol, acrylamide/sodium acryloyldimethyl taurate copolymer, silica dimethyl silylate, laureth-12, polyacrylate crosspolymer-6, isohexadecane, polysorbate-80, dimethicone, cyclohexasiloxane, cetearyl dimethicone crosspolymer, vp/va copolymer, cyclotetrasiloxane, amodimethicone, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, citric acid, butylene glycol, hexylene glycol, caprylyl glycol¸ ethylhexylglycerin, phenoxyethanol, chlorphenesin.
Looking at the ingredients, HA Blur uses a heck of a lot of crosspolymers to formulate their primer. Crosspolymers basically do the same job as silicones in skin care; they work as film-formers (hence the blurring claims) and work as aesthetic enhancers, helping your makeup glide on smoothly and stay put longer. It also contains sodium hyluronate, which is a salt form of the skin-replenishing ingredient hyaluronic acid, and it’s supposed to be more effective for skin than pure hyaluronic acid due to its greater compatibility with your skin.
I’ve used HA Blur since last October. I first tried using a pea-sized amount alone and as a layer before my foundation. No bueno. My experience using the primer this way goes against Deciem’s promise that this will work under foundation. It pilled and made my foundation patchy. I had to rub the foundation around my face for quite a while before the patchiness went away along with most of my foundation. The next time, I tried mixing it with my foundation and this worked beautifully. No pilling and no patchiness. Definitely blurs and minimizes pores. Did it hydrated my skin? My skin is well-hydrated since I use a healthy amount of hyluronic acid already, so I didn’t feel any significant difference in the hydration level of my skin. Did it plump my skin? Nope. Again, I use a shit ton of hyluronic acid already. Would I repurchase? Yes. It looks great in pictures and it definitely blurs my pores.
Paula’s Choice Resist Smoothing Primer Serum SPF 30
This primer serum is part of PC’s RESIST line of skin care, which is specifically targeting anti-aging (I really don’t like this term. We need to come up with a better alternative) concerns. It’s both a primer and a serum in one. Let’s get straight to the claims.
Paula’s Choice primer serum promises to target fine lines and wrinkles, protect against sun damage, protect skin from environmental damage, and prevent early signs of aging. It preps the skin for a perfect makeup application and has a lightweight silky texture. All claims are right up my alley.
Other Ingredients: Isododecane (texture enhancer), Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer (texture enhancer/skin-softening), Butyloctyl Salicylate (skin-softening),Polysilicone-11 (texture enhancer), Bisabolol (skin soothing), Coffea Arabica (Coffee) Seed Extract (antioxidant), Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract (antioxidant/skin soothing), Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract (antioxidant/skin soothing), Retinyl Palmitate (antioxidant), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract (hydration), Calluna Vulgaris Flower Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract (antioxidants), Chlorella Vulgaris Extract (antioxidant), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (skin-replenishing), Physalis Angulata Extract (skin soothing), Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract (skin-restoring), Diethylhexyl Syringylidenemalonate (antioxidant).
The ingredient list makes the skin care nerd in me drool. Ya know I love me some antioxidants and this primer serum has a very decent selection. Licorice root extract helps fight discoloration, fades age spots, fights free radical damage, and helps reduce oil production. Coffee seed extract helps skin retain moisture and smooth the skin’s texture. Matricaria Flower Extract calms sensitive skin and fights inflammation. Retinyl Palmate is the ester of retinol and is a gentle form of vitamin A. It’s gentle enough for sensitive skin and a great antioxidant for us acne prone skin types. Chlorella Vulagaris Extract is derived from seaweed and prevents the breakdown of collagen and elasticity. Apple fruit extract is rich in antioxidants and helps reduce the look of pores. Pretty Impressive!
The PC primer serum contains a blend of chemical sunscreens and as always, layering sunscreen is a great idea and helps keep your skin protect from the sun’s rays longer. Definitely a plus.
I’ve been using this primer for over a year. It definitely has a silky texture and goes on smoothly and leaves a velvety feel to my skin. Yes, it does blur my pores and also works great as an eyelid primer. My foundation lasts all day and I don’t end up looking like an oil slick by mid-afternoon. Looks good in pictures but not as much of a blurring effect as the Hylamide HA Blur. You only need a pea-size amount to cover your face. Would I repurchase? I already have a backup stashed in my vanity.
I’ve used both of these primers together. I layer the PC primer first and then mix the HA blur with my foundation. Do you have a special night coming up and you want your skin to look flawless? Try this method. Works like a charm.
I would recommend both of these primers. Both are great to use with makeup. Both have skin care benefits. I’ll continue to use them both. What are your favourite primers? Have you used either or both of the above? Leave a comment below or come by the Deciem and The Ordinary Chatroom and discuss your favs with other skin care addicts like yours truly.
Much love XX