Thursday, July 21st, 2011

The Hit List

What’s the Worst Face Primer…?

What brand/products win this category? What makes it so bad?

Thanks to Jenny for today’s topic!

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103 thoughts on “Hit List: Worst Face Primer

  1. brandi

    hard candy sheer envy..its so greasy to me and it doesn’t do anything to help my foundation apply better orlast

    • Sarah

      agreed. it is gross and cheap. feels oily.

    • I actually have had success with it. The trick is to put it a few minutes after moisturizer and to let it soak in a few minutes after applying it. Also, you only want to use a pea sized amount (even that is a lot).

      • Gillian (AKA Munchy)

        see, i hated the hard candy sheer envy too, and when I tried to let it soak in like that i broke out everywhere!

        • Shanaye

          I broke out REALLY bad from this too and my skin is perfect! I never break out and I’ve used several different primers!! DO NOT USE THIS!! TOO OILY!!!

      • I agree with Renee, it’s a good primer for people with dry skin IMO. My skin is extremely dry and I love this primer because it seems to moisturize too and “less is more” w/primers. I also like Laura Geller “spackle”(cute name!)primers for eye & face. Most primers are too drying for me and bring out flaws instead of covering them! Same with shimmery products in general, not so great for dry skin! I also don’t like the beloved UD eye primer for the same reasons, it dries out the delicate eye lid skin and that does not work! I use Too Faced instead because it’s so much better for my lids that are so dry the eyeshadow ends up looking crepey (?) Whenever I look at reviews on MA I always look at the one’s done by older and dryer skinned/fair women. Another sad fact of aging girls, just always remember to be EXTRA gentle with the fragile skin around your eyes. The skin is so tender that any pulling/stretching will cause wrinkles etc when you get older! There are plenty of good primers out there, you just have to find one’s that work best w/your skin type.

    • Courtney

      i agree that you need to let your moisturizer soak in, and use just a little bit of Sheer Envy. if your face feels oily, you put too much of the product.

  2. Hepcat288

    Mac prep and prime skin base visage

  3. vasiliki

    I think mac prep+prime skin is by far the worst face primer

  4. Jamie Rebecca

    lancomes. i forgot the name. i’ve never loved the clarins one either.

    • Christine

      Lancome’s La Base Pro! It was just terrible, like rubbing oil onto my face & then it just sat there. It was sad too, cause I usually love Lancome :(.

  5. Dana

    Philosophy’s The Present, I don’t know if this is officially marketed as a primer or not, but their description sounds like one. Anyways, this was so thick my skin felt suffocated and made me break out. I also didn’t like the L’oreal Magic Perfecting Base. This was also too thick and made me break out.

  6. Jillian

    Urban decay deslick in a tube! it does absolutely nothing to help control oil, and makes foundation look really cakey, even if you put barely on. Also, its difficult to work with because it leaves chalky white marks all over.

  7. Beth

    Laura Mercier primer. It simply does NOTHING for my face, good or bad.

    • Avatar of Carolina Lilastar

      I’ll second that! I was pretty sure I was going crazy since everyone else seems to love it.

    • Alex

      I’ve tried Laura Mercier and it made me break out, mac’s primer also made me break out. I’ve been using Nars primer with SPF for close to a month and so far I haven’t gotten any usual breakdouts

  8. snm

    Laura mercier,epic failure for me.

  9. Avatar of Mariella Mariella

    Smashbox original and Smashbox green. The “original” colourless one did nothing for me at all, except leave me feeling greasy and the tinted green one was even worse – did nothing to neutralize my red “problem areas” and balled up and was just weird.

    • Agreed. I haaaaaaate the original one.

    • I agree! This primer (and Sephora’s brand primer) pills on me like crazy!

    • Meg

      Oh my gosh, Smashbox primers ball up on me too! I thought I was the only one. Glad to know I’m not alone.

      • Avatar of April April

        I LOVE the original Smashbox Photo Finish primer (the clear one). As soon as I started using it, my foundation looked sooo good, and just about every time I’m wearing it, I get compliments on how good and healthy my skin looks.

    • Amanda

      I never hear that about the green one! But I tried it because I received a sample and I had the same problems :(

    • S.A.

      The original one made my skin look nice, and feel smooth… but my make-up just melted off my face and I looked so ~*~SHINY~*~. It was pointless. I had absolutely no use for it.

    • Kim

      I was totally gonna say that if it hadn’t already been said lol. The photofinish is bad, but the targeted pore and line primer is even worse about balling up for me.

    • Rosie

      I totally agree with this one too!!!!! Ands its pricey!!!!

  10. Lateisha

    I have to say that E.L.Fs Mineral face primer was the worse for me it looked as if I added shine to my face.

  11. Sharlene

    All of the ones that were listed in the comments below are on my hit list! haha I have had terrible luck with most primers. They all feel slick or gooey, and made me break out. I disliked Smashbox and MAC Prep/Prime the most. They made my oily face look way greasier and my makeup was gone in like 2 hours. I switched to a matte primer powder called Mattify Powder – that is working a lot better and doesn’t feel all sticky and nasty like all the liquid primers I tried. At least with this my makeup stays on for most of the day.

  12. Brandi G.

    Smashbox photo finish primer. I know lots of people love it, but I feel like it makes any product I put on my face slide right off.

    • so true! ugh! i thought i was also the only one who hated smashbox’s original primer. im testing out the oil free/light version now and it’s a bit better… but not totally sure yet.

  13. Erica

    Mac Prep+Prime. My mom used it and swore by it, but it really just doesn’t work. I couldn’t tell any difference between when I used it and when I didn’t, and at $30 an ounce…I expect a difference.

  14. Élise

    Bare Minerals Prime Time Oil Control foundation primer. This stuff is TERRIBLE. If you apply a thin layer of facial sunscreen (I use Neutrogena’s dry touch sunscreen) and let it set for 5 minutes, then apply this stuff on top, it will STILL create chunks and combine with the sunscreen and create this awful peeling look on your face. Makes me look like a zombie. Even if you wear it with just moisturizer (giving it time to sink and set in) it’ll still do that if you’re not careful. If you manage to get an even layer, then this stuff tightens your skin to the point it feels dry and flakey. Doesn’t do anything to control my oil (oil still breaks it up), but it keeps my face from sweating, thus making it feel clogged. Also, it smells terrible!

    • amarch

      I agree with you, Elise. I had no luck with the Bare Minerals Oil Control. It did not control oil but made my face feel tight, and even using the bare minerals powder on top caused it to pill.

    • Sara

      Totally with you!! I loved the original formula, and figured since I have oily somewhat acne prone skin I would try the oil control formula. It was awful!!! I missed the silicone finish of the original and it really didn’t help at all

  15. M

    Philosophy’s ‘the present’ and NARS’. The former made my foundation slide all over and built up dead skin + makeup in clumps. The latter just doesn’t do anything that a regular moisturizer wouldn’t, waste of money.

    • emily

      Did you let the NARS primer sit for a few mins? At first I hated the NARS primer and started using it as a moisturizer but I realised that it acts like a PERFECT primer for their Sheer Glow Foundation after letting it sit and “set” prior to foundation application. I didn’t appreciate how the foundation fades so quick, but after finding out that trick my Sheer Glow lasts *all day* and doesn’t settle into my fine lines or pores as much (like an 80% improvement). It’s amazing!

  16. Too Faced Primed and Poreless =[ It feels so nice, and looks nice for two seconds, but then I end up so oily it’s ridiculous.

  17. Stephanie

    I’ve never had luck with any primer I’ve EVER tried, high end or drugstore :( My skin is like face product kryptonite, the oils just break down everything I put on it.

    • Avatar of Theresa Reese

      I’ve not had any luck with ANY face primers either. They all make my face an oil slick…even though I’m not really that oily to begin with! So I do without….one less product to spend my cash on! :)

      • Anjee

        Cargo’s primers are AMAZING. I’ve had great success with the Face Activating Primer (dry/combo skin, easily clogged t-zone, some texture issues) and I have friends that swear by the mattifier. I’d say they’re worth a shot.

  18. Avatar of Janis summerblue

    Can’t say if it’s the worst as I’m still in the experimenting stage to find my HG, but UD’s Brightening Complexion Primer Potion
    has to be one of the worst. Very sheer, very dry to the point of being pasty & the whitening effect looks just like having used white sunscreen. I can get a richer, smoother (more moisture) primer effect & whitening/brightening effect from a sunscreen like MD Formulations.

  19. Sara

    Anything with silicones, unfortunately that’s almost all, just because it breaks me out like crazy. Every single time I put a product with silicones in it on my face, the breakouts appear at least one day later. The last time I used a silicone primer my whole face was covered in bumps two days later. Even exfoliation can’t keep it from happening. :(

    • ellyp

      For some reason these days, companies put silicones in practically EVERY product they sell! I try so hard to avoid them and this can sometimes drive me nuts.

    • Avatar of Cathy Angelcat47

      Tarte’s and Lorac’s primers are silicone free.

  20. thalia

    victorias secret pro primer. it didnt make look at all “aribrushed” like it said it would and it did nothing for me. it just made me feel greasy and made my foundation slide of instead of last. its horrable

    • mina

      i’m with you on this one! it doesn’t do anything for me!! i even tried putting on a lil bit and spreading it out but nothing. my skin is shiny and greasy after 1 hour, hate it!!!

  21. Maya

    I really dislike the Laura Mercier oil free primer. It does nothing for me at all. I don’t feel it smoothing out lines or pores, it doesn’t keep my makeup on any longer, it’s just an added layer of stuff.

  22. Jennifer

    The MakeupForever HD green color correcting primer… holy C R A P. It made my foundation look all separated and weird on my skin and caused me to break out in what was almost like cystic acne… it also made my skin itchy, it was gross!

    • Oh no, I am so bummed to hear this, it works wonders for me! This is my HG primer.

    • Élise

      This also made me break out in cystic acne (which isn’t uncommon on my skin regardless). I also hated the smell – it smelled like wine to me. Very chemically.

      • Avatar of artemis artemis

        i never used a primer but guess i never will :( my face already sux..srry for your bad experiences

    • Saffy

      I 2nd this… I gave my green MUFE primer to my mom. I’m not sure she uses it either, though.

    • Jennifer

      I tried the orange version of the MUFE primer, and the smell was awful, and it made my skin itch, and getting it too close to my eyes made me want to claw my eyes out the itch was so bad.

  23. jenni

    the avon magix one, doest do anything for me.

    • Canadianpetite

      Ya, tried that too. No matter how thin a paste I put on, it always feels like lard.

  24. Smashbox Photo Finish Primer!!! I don’t know what all the hype is about, I bought two different bottles of this and both reacted the same; terrible pilling and my foundation was extremely uneven. Horrible product!

    • Sara

      I don’t like the smashbox one either. However that’s like ALL my Ulta will push people towards. Blech!

  25. Maura

    the rimmel fix and perfect….ew! its orange and leaves my skin with an odd color. SOOO not a fan!

    • Kristen

      Aww, I’m sad to hear it didn’t work for you. I can’t say it’s great, but it hasn’t worked horribly for me either. You have to use a little bit and pat it out. It blended it nicely that way for me, but that might also be because I have yellow undertones already.

    • Cindy

      I can’t stand rimmel fix and perfect. I had absolutely no luck with it, I tossed it in the trash :(

  26. Natasha

    The Illamasqua ones, I love the brand but the primers are bloody awful.

  27. meme

    Rarely use a primer because I tried so many bad ones. I have a Dr. Denese product that is really a Vit C product that works like a primer because of a feel like a silicone that holds the product in but it’s without silicone. I do like that one. So if I had to make a list of worst primers it would be a mile long…most all I have tried have been horrible. Maybe top of the list is BE – face and eye…they are terrible and do nothing. My all time fav eye primer is made by Garden Botanika (on line sales now only). I used it long before anyone else even heard or came out with eye primers. A sales person sold me on it when they still had brick and mortar retail spots. I buy about 5 pots of it per year and often give it as a gift (I don’t go through 5 pots a year myself). Never met anyone who did not think it was to die for!

  28. Teresa

    GOSH Velvet Touch Primer – ugh it’s horrible, does nothing but make me feel oily when it’s supposed to control the oil!

  29. I only tried 2, one i like (17 face primer) the other i don’t like (elf primer – it makes me even more oily).

  30. Avatar of Danielle Dee Dee

    Benefit’s That Gal……it primes nothing…

    • Harleigh

      I tried That Gal and did not see it brighten any part of my face, or make my make up last longer. Right now, I’m trying Hourglass’s Mineral Veil primer, and while I don’t see any colour correction like the SA told me, it has helped my skin appear smoother and my make up last longer.

  31. I’ve used Benefit’s That Gal and it did absolutely nothing but make my skin pinker, I’ve used Smashbox’s primer, and it pilled on me, Sephora brand pilled on me, too… I’ve been using MUFE’s primer in the green tint, and it’s awesome! I use just a little bit and it helps counteract redness, helps my foundation last longer, and holds up all day!

  32. Swimsalot

    I agree. E.L.Fs Mineral face primer was the worse for me.

  33. alison

    i have such bad luck with face primers… i actually returned MUFE’s (and i never return anything). it made my foundation super.. patchy. weird. i didn’t like the original smashbox, and i hated benefit’s that gal (pilled like CRAZY). i don’t feel like VS does anything good or bad.

    the only primer i’ve found that i like is smashbox photofinish LIGHT. for some reason, that one works awesome on me.

    • Lauryn

      I agree. The PhotoFinish Light works for me too. Everything else creates this massive red bump break out. I hate it. I used to get Sue Devitt’s primer at Ulta, but the plain one, not the blue one. And i loved that stuff. No breakouts, no greasey oil slick. But I can’t find it anymore..

    • I love PhotoFinish Light. I have super oily skin thanks to being half Italian and the only thing that seems to help keep everything in check is to prep my face with Milk of Magnesia followed by MAC’s Oil Control Lotion. I finish with PhotoFinish Light on top. This is the only combination of products that I’ve found to keep my foundation on for more than a couple of hours.

  34. Quita

    The absolute worst was from DDF, it felt nice & smelled nice but both times I used it I got cystic pimples the next day, the worst, most swollen ones I have ever had. Horrible.

  35. Avatar of Michaela Michaela

    There could be a primer that works for one person and it may not work the same for another. It all depends on how properly we use that product and what our skin is like. We all have different skin types that react in different ways, so once again, a certain face primer make work for one, but perhaps not another :)

  36. Krista

    Oh my, L’Oreal Studio Secrets, hands down! I doesn’t mix with my moisturizer, and my foundation. I doesn’t stay on my skin at all and it does NOTHING. Always so frustrated whenever I try to use this. Plus the packaging is the most inconvenient of all. It comes in a jar and I hate having to scoop out the product with my fingers everytime.

  37. Avatar of Elle Kelsie Rose

    MAC Prep and Prime did NOT work for me and I haven’t tried another since.

  38. shusheshe

    Body Shop’s matte it face primer. Oily, greasy mess.

  39. Noelle

    I’m with Krista on this one. The L’Oreal Studio Secrets primer makes me feel like I’m wearing a mask! Hate it!

  40. Elva

    Dr.Feelgood, Benefit. Such a waste of money. Oily.

  41. Kris

    MUFE blue primer, it costs a bomb, made my foundation look patchy and flakey! Arrrgh!

    • Amy

      I completely agree with this! It didn’t make my foundation look patchy, but it didn’t do ANYTHING as far as keeping makeup on longer and if I rubbed any area of my face, especially around my lips, during the day, it pilled up all funny. I love the MUFE foundation, but the primer gets a “no” from me, after that I switched back to my Tarte Clean Slate.

  42. Anjee

    All of the gel-based Smashbox primers. Total crap and insanely overpriced. Anti-Shine is a total disaster, too. However, the light version and the new hydrating one seem pretty nice. I’ve only tried both on my hand, though.

    Other bad ones: UD’s brightening primer, Hard Candy’s Sheer Envy and all of the Benefit priming products. The POREfessional made my skin look incredible, but it also made me break out in cystic acne. I never break out! All their face products are sooo comedogenic.

    • Anjee

      Oh! And the Bare Essentials primers, especially the oil control one. I used to work somewhere that BE was sold and it ALWAYS balled up on clients. Ick.

  43. Smashbox (Clear) Photo Finish primer! UGH.
    I hate this with a passion! It broke me out so bad, I’d have AT LEAST 5 pimples a week until I finally
    read other bad reviews about it and figured out it contained silicon, which was the main culprit for my acne.

  44. Adelita

    Drugstore: Hard Candy Sheer Envy
    High End: Benefit That Gal

  45. Brooke

    ……The MAC prep+prime was SO awful that I applied it *very* minimally near cheekbones, and I worked out moderately without washing it off (time pressed), & I broke out in a way that was shocking– never happened to me in my life. It would not reduce over a week, was getting worse, and I had to get a gel treatment from the dermatologist. ….My only makeup horror story.

  46. Shalimar

    Practically all of the ones I have tried. So many of them break me out.

  47. lee

    Mac Prep + Prime is awful. Doesn’t absorb and just creates a greasy layer, upon which your foundation slides around.

  48. Corinne

    Lorac Aquaprime cannot even be considered a primer. It literally looks like water and does nothing whatsoever.

  49. Vanilla

    Worst) Bare Escentuals Prime Time Oil Control = pills and flakes like crazy. Looks like the skin is peeling off my face… Pretty much unusable (on the other hand, original Prime Time works well for me)

    2nd Worst) Philosophy The Present Clear Make Up = really thick (like glue) and hard to work with. It’s like a plastic layer on the face that is hard to remove. Instead of keeping my face clear, it broke me out like crazy. I even tried washing my face twice and using a scrub, but nope… this stuff is determined to clog my pores.

    3rd Worst) Laura Mercier Oil Free Foundation Primer = Really runny, comes out uncontrollably out of the squeeze tube and runs down my fingers. It applies like water on my skin and does nothing to help reduce pores, fine lines, or give a base for my foundation to hold onto.

  50. Taylor

    I’m bummed to say that Laura Mercier’s primers are the WORST! So many people love them but I’ve bought two of the formulas hoping they would work and returned them both :( Also not a fan of Sephora brand of MUFE primers.

    On the other hand I love Too Faced Prime and Poreless. Makes my MUFE Mat Velvet+ go on like a dream!

  51. Cyndi

    I dislike these:

    Laura Mercier – For some reason mine had a weird smell and stings my face when I use it. Not sure if anyone has the same problem.

    Smashbox Photo Finish (original)- Talk about making my skin look OILY and it peels as I’m applying it on my face. What a waste of money!

    Loreal Studio Secret – This one leaves my skin looking greasy all day too. It’s worse than the Smashbox Photo Finish. Plus the packaging is stupid.

    I think I’m going to skip face primers as they are a complete waste of $$$!

  52. TITI

    mac prep+prime skin is the worst face primer

  53. Pinky's Brain

    Wait…is there a primer that won’t make you breakout? I need to find me some! Every primer I’ve used has either “fallen apart”, oxidized or caused me mental anguish by breaking me out. So sad….

  54. la hyphy from sinaloa mexico

    the worst primer iv ever had is tha Mary Kay timewise foundation primer…..it makes my skin a really slippry and shinny look and it looks too light…its smells weird…and its to oily to wash off…i now use a use a Mary Kay SPF 30 sunscreen face lotion and it feels and smell great and it protects my face from sun’s rays and it look sheer under my Mary Kay timewise matte foundation.

    Im 18 years old and i use Mary Kay products….yes Mary Kay is used for old poeple makeup but its good for any ages and it last longer……and expansive too $$$$$

  55. Avatar of Aeri Eisdamme

    BeneFit ‘That Gal’ & ‘Dr. Feelgood’.

  56. Mya

    I personally think Smashbox Photo Finish is disgusting lol ….I have tried samples in the past kinda hoping that I would like it it was freaking terrible !! ……I felt really weird on top of my skin almost
    like wearing a mask of vaseline …Yuck !!! ….andd it broke me out something terrible my friend also said the same :(