Saturday, June 19th, 2010

NARS Pro Prime Skin Smoothing Face Prep

How Pore-less Can You Be?

NARS Skin Smoothing Face Prep ($30.00 for 0.26 oz.) is a skin prepping product, not quite a primer, that’s supposed to minimize the appearance of fine lines and pores to give skin a smoother look.

Get closer to an Immaculate Complexion with NARS Skin Smoothing Face Prep. With one application, skin is smoother and the appearance of fine lines and pores is minimized. A truly multi-use product, it may be used before primer to create a flawlessly matte finish or used throughout the day to combat shine and rejuvenate the complexion. Apply to fine lines, large pores or rough spots for an instant smoothing effect. For all skin types.

I’ve seen some mentions about the product size being small for a primer–but it’s not meant to be used like a primer–perhaps a targeted primer, but even NARS describes it as being used before primer or as a blotting agent during the day. It still feels like it’s on the small size based on packaging, but I don’t see using too much per usage either. However, it does very much the same thing as MAC’s Prep + Prime Line Filler ($19.50 for 0.5 fl. oz.) (review here, swatches here), though Line Filler is listed as a primer.

NARS has a better consistency for on-the-go, since it’s almost like the consistency of a candle (yes, a candle!)–it’s thick and solid–but melts a bit when you apply it to the face or use your fingers to apply. It smooths out well against the skin, and it does minimize the appearance of the lines and imperfections on the back of my hand. It can be applied over or under foundation, but I think it may make a nice blot powder alternative, because of the silicone and silica in it, which both will help to give skin a softer, smoother appearance. The whole effect is very much a diffused, soft focus kind of look.

Because this is loaded with silicones, I didn’t (and won’t be) testing it fully on my face any time soon, so this is only a partial review (and why there is no rating) based on testing it on my hand and playing around for consistency and the like. I did notice that my hand slowly but surely made its way back to its usual state of more visible lines and the like after about two to three hours.

I also applied it on top of my cheeks and around my nose to see how it handled pores (I think mine are getting bigger… I never obsessed over them before, but now I feel like they’re about to become black holes and suck all life into them!).  Even though I didn’t test it for wear over time, the improvement in my fine lines and pores really just wasn’t significant.  It did, however, give my skin a very soft, silky feel when I ran my fingertip over the areas I used the product on, and it had a softer look.  Like as if someone blurred the skin there a bit, but the fine lines underneath my eyes were still as noticeable as ever, even if slightly diffused.

If you have the most minute fine lines and just the beginnings of the slightest wrinkle, this may fade those into oblivion, as it does an impressive job on the back of my hand.  It just didn’t show up to the party so much on my fine lines.  When it came to my pores, the side with the Face Prep looked softer and smoother, but the pores were still there.  It worked (hey, NARS doesn’t say it will erase all, just “minimize”), but it’s just not as effective as I’d want it to be in order to justify adding the product into my routine.

Recommendation:  This might be a nice product for those with more oily skin or for those with oilier and drier areas where a full-on primer may be too much on drier patches of skin.  It’s a product that can be applied both under and over makeup, which is nice, and it could definitely work to help keep the oilies at bay throughout the day.  It might be nice if NARS included a little sponge that fit inside the jar for those afternoon touch-ups, though.  If you’re looking for something to miraculously fill in your fine lines and shrink your pores to nothing, I think you may be disappointed.

Availability: NARS,

See more photos & swatches!

NARS Pro Prime Skin Smoothing Face Prep

NARS Pro Prime Skin Smoothing Face Prep

NARS Pro Prime Skin Smoothing Face Prep
Back of my hand, normally — no hand cream used yet — magnified

NARS Pro Prime Skin Smoothing Face Prep
Skin Smoothing Face Prep applied

NARS Pro Prime Skin Smoothing Face Prep
Old lady hand / New hand

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21 thoughts on “NARS Skin Smoothing Face Prep Review, Photos, Swatches

  1. “Because this is loaded with silicones, I didn’t (and won’t be) testing it fully on my face any time soon”

    Interesting thing you say here, I’m curious to know why you think silicones are bad all over the face. Is there some side effect or something?

    • Nope, I don’t think they’re bad, but they’re bad for *my* skin – if I load up on too many products with silicone in ’em, my skin breaks out in large, painful pimples. So for me, I have to be careful which ones I use and how much of them I use (e.g. not a moisturizer, primer, AND foundation with silicone as a high-up ingredient).

  2. Hend

    im not familiar with primers and these things .. but im loving the result of this , and I sound like a person who needs it since I have pores and shine on my t-zone

  3. THANK YOU for your honest review!

  4. Katie

    It’s kind of like Benefit’s Dr. Feelgood, I think!

    • I was tempted to write that as a comparison, lol! Dr. Feelgood seemed like it was a lil’ creamier in texture!

      • baby in a corner

        thats what i was thinking. i hate Dr feelgood, cause my foundation wouldn’t sit right over it. i think its in the bottom of a drawer somewhere.

    • Mirna

      Those were my first thoughts when i started reading this review. I love Dr Feelgood, this product is definitely enticing me!

  5. Cindy

    I haven’t tried this product, but I’ve tried Gosh’s, which has a virtually identical ingredient list. I’m not sensitive to silicones, and most face primers contain some anyway, so I tried it all over my face as a primer. While I found that it didn’t do much for reducing the appearance of any lines, it is, hands down, the best primer that I’ve ever used. It dries down so silky and matte, and my foundation just clings to it, in a good way, giving me incredible wear. This is likely the first time that a product didn’t do what it said and I was so happy anyway!

  6. LNU

    Well I wouldn’t buy it, but the bottle sure is cute! :)
    I’m looking more towards getting Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Light or MAC Skin Refined Zone!

  7. Rowan

    I used my primers (this one included) actually UNDER my foundation, and they work magnificently. Isn’t that how they’re supposed to be used after all? They prime the base for foundation and powder

  8. I feel these kind of prodcts never work on the face, only on the hand >_<

  9. Kathy

    Is it similar to Benefit Dr. Feelgood??

  10. It totally filled in the lines on your hands but I don’t think it’ll make TOO much of a difference on the face! I like the packaging though!

  11. Claudia

    A pre-primer ? no, thanks !

  12. Lolly

    Wow! The effect on your hand is amazing. Although I agree the ingredient list is not very attractive. This would probably good for no foundation days.

  13. Meredith

    I’m a primer addict, and having tried this at Sephora, I am not impressed. I think it’s exactly like Dr. Feel Good by Benefit. It’s pricey for the small amount you get. I passed on it.

  14. cat

    seems like dr. feelgood by benefit