Battle of the face primers

Battle of the face primers

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Ever wondered what face primer is best for your skin type? or what they even do? Do we really need to use them? Well I want to talk to you about the face primers I have tried and tested on my skin and what worked and what didn’t. Keep on reading for my review. Be warned most of my primers are for dry skin and I also love dewy primers.


what is the point of a face primer you might ask? well they are used to prime the skin before applying makeup for a smooth and even base, think of it as priming a canvas or a wall before painting! if you want your makeup to look good and last all day I would recommend using a primer. I must be honest I few years ago I never used to use one I just used a good moisturiser and foundation, but now I am regularly using a primer and  I have noticed a huge difference on how my makeup applies, looks and how long it lasts throughout the day!

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Nivea post shave balm

yes you are seeing that correctly its Nivea for men ha ha,  I would hope a lot of people have heard about this but if you haven’t it all started months ago when a few youtubers were raving about this being an amazing face primer. I had watched so many videos on this and actually picked it up when it was on offer for £3 and I’ve been using it every day since I’m in love with it.  Even when I read the back of this product and the benefits It had I wanted it for that reason alone I didn’t even care if it didn’t work as a primer it claims to, calm the skin, combats irritation, perfect for sensitive skin that lacks moisture, It also contains chamomile and vitamin E.  This literally is everything I want in a moisturiser so I couldn’t wait to try this it also contains Glycerin which is why this works so well as a primer as it leaves the face slightly tacky which is great for foundation to stick to, I love the finish it gives my makeup and I find it lasts longer when using this.  I haven’t experienced any problems using this but I have read that it caused people to break out but luckily its been ok for me, I love it as face primer and will continue to use it and buy more.


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BECCA backlight priming filter

this is another one of my favourites and a must have if you love dewy and Radiant looking skin. This is like heaven in a bottle for me, I will go more in-depth with this soon as I have another BECCA cosmetics post coming soon but this claims to create a filter for the skin and blurs imperfections, which I would have to agree with as soon as you put it all over the skin it makes you look really luminous and my skin actually looked really smooth, when I first swatched It I couldn’t believe how shimmery it was, I knew I would love this instantly.  Its recommend for all skin types but if you are dry you will love it and I cant wait to use this more now that summer is nearly here. Its a must have! Available from cult beauty and space NK at £32

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Nip + Fab Dragons blood serum


Although this doesn’t necessary say its a face primer, kylie Jenner the brand ambassador for nip fab likes to use this before applying her foundation, which is always how I like to use it, I sometimes only use this if I’m having more of a natural looking makeup day, or I use this with my skin care routine in the mornings.  As its a serum its perfect for giving me moisture that my skin needs, nothing worse then dry patches on the face. I wouldn’t say this helps keep my makeup in place but it does help prep my skin.  Available from£19.95


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Laura Mercier Hydrating primer

I love this one and its a staple in my makeup bag, perfect for dry skin and helps hydrate the skin before foundation, it really soaks into my skin which I like, it also contains vitamins A, C and E which is an added bonus we all know how good vitamins are for the skin. I love Laura Mericier products and I really want to try the radiance primer next as I’ve heard good things about that one. Available to buy from space NK, house of Fraser and John Lewis   price  from £26



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NYX honey dew me up

I picked this up in America and actually forgot about it but I’ve been using it loads the last few months, I love the fact it’s multipurpose it has honey which is a natural antiseptic, gold fakes that increase skin radiance and collagen which helps skin look and feel  smoother. This has mixed reviews it is a little expensive for NYX and a lot of people say it’s doesn’t actually do anything. I like it but I don’t know if I love it or have seen any actually results from using it. It has the consistency of honey but thinner. I think I only got it for the fact it contained honey and it’s meant to be good for blemishes and helps reduce redness. If I’m being honest I haven’t seen enough results from using this so not sure I would repurchase. This can be purchased from £14.00


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Too faced hangover RX

I wish I could say I loved this one, I had been wanting to try this for ages everyone raved about this being a miracle for dry skin, so I picked this up but the first time I used it my skin felt very tingly. I didn’t think anything of it I thought maybe it was meant to do that but I came up in little lumps, so I put it away and didn’t use it again for a while, it did make my skin feel nice in the fact it was moisturised but again I wasn’t amazed by it, I pulled it out again recently to try again and the same thing happened, I’ve now come to the conclusion that my skin just doesn’t agree with coconut oil or water 🙁 I had a reaction one time with a coconut hair mask so I think coconut is a no no for me. Lots of people rave about this though so it could just be a miss for me. I will list some of the benefits it claims, hydrate, brighten, soothe and smooth the skin, (although it didn’t soothe my skin haha)  this can be purchased from for £27


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Loreal lumi 

Now on to one of my drugstore favourites, the loreal lumi Magique primer, this is basically a dupe for the Mac strobe cream. This is another one that is great for luminous dewy looking skin. When this first came out I literally used it every day. Writing this has reminded me how much I loved it. For £9.99 I would say this is a must have especially if you have ever wanted to try the Mac strobe cream.



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NYX Angel Veil

I believe this primer is more for oily girls as it minimizes shine, and is oil free and creates a smooth canvas for makeup application. Everyone seemed to be raving about this and saying it was a dupe for the famous hourglass primer so I wanted to try it for that reason alone. This is pure white so not your typical clear cream or gel primer although when you blend it in the skin it doesn’t leave any white cast  for me luckily, the fact I’m dry and this is recommended for oily skin types as its meant to have a  Matte finish I actually didn’t have any issues with this surprisingly It didn’t make my dry patches worse and didn’t leave me completely matte, I wasn’t In love with how my foundation looked that day and it also didn’t last particularly well so for that reason I doubt I will repurchase this product,  so it doesn’t get wasted I will probably give it to a friend.  I have the 30ml which starts at £12 available from boots, feel unique and Selfridges.


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Smashbox Photo Finish

lastly I have the famous smashbox primer that I think everyone used back in the day I started using this in 2012 and got through three tubes of this stuff I loved it, although it has been a bit neglected as of late, a makeup artist actually recommend me this when she did my makeup for my sisters wedding as she said it makes foundation look good for when you are having pictures taken. Again like they all say its meant to smooth the skin, reduce the appearance of fine lines and pores and leaves a velvety smooth finish. I agree that this primer makes your skin look smother and blurs imperfections, Its a thick formula which I think is one of the reasons I stopped using it, It just started to feel a little heavy on my skin personally although I know its loved by many.  It contains Vitamins A & E and has won loads of beauty awards for years so its definitely still a favourite in the beauty industry. Available from boots or smashbox uk priced at £22.50



That pretty much rounds up my face primer collection, nowadays you can buy so many primers for different skin types and the drugstore brands are really stepping up their game so you don’t even have to purchase high end products, whether  you need a primer for dry, oily or combination skin, or a mate or dewy finish, even if you have problem skin with pores, redness and texture the list is endless  you can literally find a primer for everything now.  These ones I have are just what I picked up for me and my skin type. I wanted to review these and let you know which ones I loved and would repurchase again, and what I wouldn’t waste my money on. Now I use primers I don’t think I could ever go back to just using a moisturiser or face cream before applying foundation, I think if you want good results you have to put in the time, money and also have the right tools to get the best results, don’t get me wrong some days if I’m being lazy or having more of a natural  makeup day I wont bother with primers, setting sprays etc., but they are definitely a staple in my makeup collection now.

I hope it’s been helpful to some, let me know below what primer you are loving?? 🙂





  1. 26th May 2016 / 2:30 pm

    Love this post! Now I want to get that Nip+Fab fab one :O

    • xkassx
      26th May 2016 / 3:35 pm

      Thank you:) I love the dragons blood range and this serum is amazing plus it’s always on offer at the moment in superdrug, best time to get it 🙂

  2. 26th May 2016 / 9:43 pm

    I got a sample of the smash box primer and loved it. Really tempted to try the Nip+Fab product xx

    • xkassx
      27th May 2016 / 1:17 pm

      Love nip fab and the dragons blood range is my favourite, best time to try it is when it’s on offer they seem to be having loads of offers on lately. X

  3. 27th May 2016 / 7:54 pm

    I don’t usually use a primer, I use it only if I am going out or to an event, and I don’t own many, but this post is really helpful for future reference to help me choose a good one! 🙂


    • xkassx
      27th May 2016 / 8:55 pm

      Aw thank you, I’m so glad it’s been helpful, I’m with you on that I never used to use them often but I love using the Nivea one for everyday use now 🙂

  4. 31st May 2016 / 6:01 pm

    I love primers! I feel like it’s such an important step in the makeup process. I have to try the Becca primer you mentioned. I love Laura mercier primers. I think I have all of them except the one with sunscreen!


    • xkassx
      31st May 2016 / 8:59 pm

      it really is, couldn’t live without a primer now! becca primer is a must for summer maybe see if you can get a sample from space nk if you have one near you? 🙂 x

  5. 4th June 2016 / 2:01 pm

    I love the L’Oreal Lumi primer too, such good value I think! Have been wanting to try the Two Faced primer for ages, it’s a shame you seemed to react badly with it, my skin’s fairly sensitive so I wonder if it might be a similar outcome with me.. Loved reading nevertheless!


    • xkassx
      4th June 2016 / 7:03 pm

      Thanks Jennifer 🙂 I know I’m so gutted my skin doesn’t agree with the too faced primer as Every one raves about it 🙁 It’s a shame we can’t get testers first! If you are normally ok with coconut oil or water I’m sure your be fine xo

  6. 19th September 2016 / 5:55 pm

    You’ve featured some of my favorites! I’m sad to see the NYX Honey one didn’t do it for you but I hope it at least keeps my face moisturized. I have oily but dehydrated skin so I have to keep the flakes away but also combat the oil, gah. I tend to slather on my moisturizer + a hydrating primer and then a dewy foundation because an oily face is better than a Saharan-dry face, haha.

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