A few years ago when I was just starting to get into makeup, the Smashbox Photoready primers were huge. Everyone was talking about them, nearly every girl had one, and of course I wanted one, too. At the time it sold for around 950 pesos and I really saved up for it, only to find that I didn’t get on with it at all. I had purchased the most basic of the options (there’s a green one, purple one, and various other ones for different skin concerns) and I felt like I was slapping pure silicone on to my face. To me, it was the most uncomfortable experience ever. Others loved the velvety feel, but my skin felt starved for air! As a consequence, I don’t buy Smashbox products (also because they are grossly overpriced!) and since then I have only ever purchased two other primers: the Laura Mercier radiance primer, which I like to use as a highlighter, and the Bare Escentuals bareMinerals Prime Time foundation primer (900.00 Php at Bon Marche and listed at $23 on the Bare Escentuals website), which I’ll be talking about today.
Sorry about the little rant, it’s just annoying that bad experiences can put you off from trying out other things that could potentially be great. And great is exactly what Prime Time is!
Although it does have silicone in the ingredients list, I thought it would be worth a try because bareMinerals is an awesome brand. If they had stores in the Philippines, it would definitely be a brand I’d dedicate time (and money) into exploring. I did have one of their starter kits at one point and I loved it, but I’ve forgotten my foundation shade and I also don’t want to stress about running out. So until the day when I can get matched to the proper shade again and buy their foundations easily, I’m sticking to products I can buy without having to colour-match. A primer is obviously one of those.
I ordered this from Bon Marche maybe two months ago now and it is currently out of stock, but keep an eye on the page or bug them about restocking. Hehe.
If you’re not familiar with bareMinerals, you’ll need to know one thing before reading more about this primer: they only sell powder foundations, the traditional form that mineral foundations take. There are liquid mineral foundations on the market these days but they are not really the norm. Mineral foundations in powder form are usually loose powders in pots but recently more pressed mineral powders have been popping up too. That being said, the Prime Time foundation primer was formulated with mineral makeup in mind. It provides a “base” for the powder to adhere to. I did try using this underneath liquid foundation just for the sake of giving it a go, but it didn’t have any discernable effect when it came to making the foundation last longer. So in this review, I will be talking about the primer as a base for my powder foundations, because that’s the way it works best for me.
What you see in the photo is one full pump of Prime Time, and that is enough for my entire face and my neck. It spreads easily and doesn’t feel overly silicone-y. If you give it five minutes to set, it will sink into the skin a little, unlike the Smashbox primer which really just sat on top of my skin. It actually reminds me of theBalm’s Put A Lid On It! primer, which is for the eyes and also contains a bit of silicone.
Once I let it sit on my face a bit, I buff my powder foundation on. I have used my MAC Mineral Skinfinish Natural, HHN Perfect Coverage Mineral foundation, and a Shu Uemura powder foundation with this. The effect is a more even and smooth application, as the powder really sticks to the primer, but never in unflattering patches. Before using this primer, I would just use a tiny bit of moisturizer on my face to give the powder foundation something to cling to. That worked okay, but definitely not as well as Prime Time, which extended wear and kept fading at bay by a couple of hours at least. It did work best with the two mineral powders. My Shu Uemura powder can stand on its own. Hehe
I have the original variant of this, but there is also an option for oily skin as well as brightening and neutralizing formulations.
I was impressed by this primer because it works very well for its intended use. I do think it is limited by that, though, as I really didn’t see any effect on my liquid foundations. Still, I’m happy to own this now because I use my mineral powders a lot more often. Mineral foundations and powders do allow your skin to breathe more and I like using them when I have the time to buff the product in and really work on perfecting my skin.
I do still want to find a good regular primer to use with my liquid foundations. I really, really want the Hourglass Mineral Veil primer, but I’ll have to be patient and wait until I can get my hands on it. Can you guys recommend any good primers? Preferably silicone-free! :)