Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Primers and Potions and More, Oh My! Korres Face Primer Review and Smashbox Photo Finish Lid Primer Review

I know my posts have been few and far between lately, but as my wedding gets closer and closer, I am getting busier and busier. My wedding is less than a month away, and I know things are just going to get more chaotic, but I promise I will return to my regularly scheduled posting by June, after the honeymoon and after I have settled in to living with a boy (kinda scary...eeeks)!

Since I am having a traditional Indian wedding, the week leading up to the wedding day will be full of lots of religious and cultural events. For the big events, I am having my makeup done by another professional I really admire. For the smaller events, I am doing my own makeup. I have been test driving various face and eye primers, and there are two in particular I will NOT be using for my wedding.

The first is the Korres Face Primer. This is actually a really popular product since it is one of the few primers that are all natural. I bought the smaller, travel size tube:

Overall, this is not a bad primer, but I don't think it is suitable for special events. I do like that this primer has lots of great vitamins and minerals, like Vitamin E, that are good for your skin. I also like that it is silicone free, so you don't feel like you have a mask on your face. It also provides the skin with a smooth surface for foundation and other makeup, so it does do part of its job. I think this is a good primer for everyday use, but I do wish it had an SPF. What I didn't like was that I feel like it gives the skin a bit of a whitish appearance. Check out the swatches below:

On the left is the primer alone, in the middle is the primer with my foundation on top, and on the left is the foundation on its own. As you can see, the primer and foundation swatch is a bit lighter than the foundation only swatch. A good primer shouldn't alter the color of your makeup, and this is really not good for photography, so I would not use it for special occasions. On the other hand, the primer and foundation swatch is smoother than the foundation alone, so it does a good job of prepping the skin for makeup. In terms of lasting power, I didn't notice any dramatic change, but my makeup was definitely there at the end of the day, so perhaps it does work well for that. 

Kajal Couture Overall Rating: B-

Kajal Couture Overall Opinion: If you prefer all natural products, then this is a good one for you. If you are looking for just a basic primer for everyday use, to make your skin smoother and allow an easier makeup application, then this might fit the bill. If you want something that really makes your makeup last and will work for photography, then look elsewhere, this won't meet your needs.

The other product I recently tried is the Smashbox Photo Finish Lid Primer:

I really hoped this would be the same or similar to the Urban Decay Primer Potion, but this doesn't even get close to how great that is! This product did not make my makeup last at all! I feel like I could have used the shadow on its own and gotten better results. Check out my pic below. 

This was after about 5 hours of wear. Can you believe that! This primer didn't even work for 5 hours! The shadow was coming off, the shadow was creasing, and it was just a whole big mess. Ladies, stay away from this primer.

Kajal Couture Overall Rating: D- (I feel bad giving it an F, so a D- is as low as I will go)

Kajal Couture Overall Opinion: This primer did not work for me, and I don't even have oily lids. I am sure it works on some people, as they are still making and selling the product, but I wouldn't recommend this. There are others available that are much more effective.

What are your favorite primers?


  1. I like the MAC prep and prime with SPF for daily use. I've have been wanting to try the Smashbox photo finish primer for awhile. For the eyes I like UDPP and MAC paint pots.

  2. Hi Kajal
    This has nothing to do with your blog post, but I was wondering what your opinion is of Neutrogen Healthy Skin makeup? I am South Asian (desi), with very dry skin as well as hyperpigmentation. I usually have a very hard time finding the right foundation. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks!

  3. Great reviews, very helpful post!


  4. Hey Kajal,

    Thanks for the reviews. My fave face primers are Laura Mercier Oil Free Foundation Primer (for everyday use) and Smashbox Photo Finish (for special occassions). For lids its UDPP hands down - it's da best! Good luck with your wedding and more importantly - don't get stressed and enjoy every bit of it!


  5. @Neena We have the same taste... =)

    @Anonymous I haven't used that Neutrogena foundation, but I know it is a little thin and I would recommend a foundation compact for you. One's like the MAC Moistureblend Compact(soon to be discontinued and replaced by the Mineralize Foundation Compact) and the Bobbi Brown Moisturizing Foundation Compact. Both have ingredients to help add moisture to the skin, and are a little thicker in formula so they will help to cover hyperpigmentation issues. Send me an email at and I can give you more info!

    @tina_mbc Thanks hun!

    @K I hear great things about both those primers but haven't tried them yet...will add to my list! Thanks for the wedding advice!

  6. Hi Kajal,

    Was just browsing and came across to your blog..

    Really liked it .Keep blogging:)



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