Primers… I used to think they weren’t truly necessary until recently. In the past I’ve used primers that were just another step in my makeup routine and not much else. Primers that promised to keep makeup from melting off or disappearing after a full day of wear. Or even primers that promised to perform like facial fillers without the in-office visit or hefty price.
All this to say that I gave up on them and then my skin type changed… I went from being desert dry to now being a slick mess within mere hours of applying makeup.
I had finally gotten used to the dry skin I had for most of my life, then had to overhaul my entire skin and makeup routine by swapping out all of the products my skin used to love. So I said goodbye to heavy creams, balms, liquid foundations, and products with loads of oil in them. Then I said hello to powders, gels, blotting papers, and now primer.
Finding a good primer seemed hard enough but an effective primer with clean ingredients seemed almost impossible, so I was pretty excited to see that one of my favorite brands released one.
ILIA Beauty’s True Skin Radiant Priming Serum (30ml, $52) is described as a primer that “does more than create a perfect base for makeup application. Utilizing ingredients like hibiscus extract, aloe and beta-glucan, this silicone-free primer helps to firm, moisturize and soothe skin, while protecting it from harmful environmental factors that cause aging. Upon application, the serum has a tightening effect that diminishes the look of pores and fine lines, while improving skin texture on dry down for a silky and soft-to-the-touch feel. Skin is left with a radiant glow and prepped for effortless makeup application that lasts.”
My experience with this product has been pretty good…
And most of the claims made by ILIA Beauty for this priming serum proved to be true for me, BUT it was only when I used this product in a specific way. I was able to receive the maximum benefits associated with this primer when I would literally cleanse my face and then apply the product right after and then makeup.
I came to this conclusion early on because I wanted to truly test it out on its own, so I literally would wash my face, apply the priming serum and then my makeup and be out the door. I would use this in place of my moisturizer (and sunscreen, yikes!) and when I used the product this way my makeup would cling to the primer for dear life resulting in makeup that appeared a lot smoother, non- cakey, and long lasting.
This product performed the best on a totally bare canvas but wearing it this way isn’t really realistic for me. Although I initially used it this way in the beginning I experimented with using this primer layered with other products and I noticed that the products I used had to be lightweight and completely absorbed or it would just be a waste of product and time. I am currently using a “serum-like” moisturizer and matte sunscreen that have given me the closest results to what I received when using the primer alone.
The formula dries down to a slightly tacky finish and sinks into the skin within minutes. Its consistency is like that of a serum but I wouldn’t describe it as a full blown gel or liquid but a hybrid. It is clear with tiny gold flecks in it.
It is a light formula and because I have oily skin this product was enough for me to both moisturize and prime, but I don’t believe this would be the case for someone with dry skin. It also filled in the fine lines I have right under my lower lash line and the “tightening effect” that ILIA Beauty refers to on its website happened when I applied the product directly to my fine lines and the tackiness of the product literally sealed up my fine lines by causing them to cling together thus making them appear as though they’ve disappeared or were diminished.
It also reduced the amount of oil my skin produced by mid-day but it was not a total solution. I still had to blot my face but not as early as I am used to.
I’d love to hear others experience with this product so please sound off in the comments if you have tried this or even if you plan to try it in the future.
Ingredients: Aloe barbadensis leaf juice*, maltose*, gluconolactone, glycerin, caprylyl/capryl glucoside, propanediol, sodium benzoate, caprylic/capric triglyceride, agave tequilana leaf extract*, xanthan gum, chondrus crispus extract*, pistacia lentiscus (mastic) gum*, hydrogenated lecithin, mica*, calcium gluconate, benzyl alcohol, ethylhexylglycerin, lithothamnion calcareum extract*, beta- glucan*, caprylyl glycol, 1,2-hexanediol, citric acid, sodium hydroxide, benzoic acid, phenethyl alcohol, dehydroacetic acid, hibiscus sabdariffa flower extract*, potassium sorbate, titanium dioxide (ci 77891)*