Perfecting Primers to Make Your Pores Perfect?

Winter is brutal on my skin.  I have very dry skin and in the winter it becomes a disaster!  I have tried everything from Aveeno Eczema to Johnson’s Baby Lotion to fix the disaster that is my skin.  The major downside to winter skin is my pores are much more noticeable.  Ugly skin if awful y’all.  Awful!  I put three “pore minimizing” primers to the test hoping they could help my dry skin with huge pore issues.

For this round of testing I grabbed “prestige” brand pore minimizing primers and gave them each at least a three day trial run.   The three are: Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer Pore Minimizing, Benefit Professional Face Primer and Makeup Forever Skin Equalizer Primer – Smoothing.   Good luck remember the names of those three… they’re all super long and wordy!

Perfecting Primer Review

Makeup Forever Skin Equalizer Primer – Smoothing:
Best smelling!  Matte finish for the oily skin ladies!

MUFE was my first prestige cosmetic brand love affair.  I fell in love with their original formula HD Foundation in the mid 2000’s.  Despite their foundation issue, I have faith in their brand which made me very hopeful this primer would be my new ride or die for smoothing/pore perfecting.  The first thing that stood out from the other two primers was the scent.  This one has a very citrus scent.  It reminded me slightly of Pledge or another cleaning product.  Thankfully once you apply it and it dries the scent disappears.  If I had oily skin I believe this would have been my go-to pore primer but I don’t.  I have very dry skin.  The mattifying effect it had on my skin made every line and dry skin flake much more noticeable.  I would strongly suggest thing one to someone like Autumn who has oily skin, but this leathery skinned gal is going to pass on using it unless I miraculously wake up tomorrow with brand new skin!

Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer Pore Minimizing:
Meh, buy the original!

My ride or die “regular” primer is Smashbox Photo Finish primer.  I love their original formula so much that I really convinced myself this would be the winner of these three primers.  I wanted it so badly to be the winner.  It disappointed me.  I have used this primer daily for almost a month because I purchased the travel size which is larger than the other “deluxe samples” I used.  In my heart I truly believe if I kept using it we’d fall in love with one another.  I do not hate this one.  It doesn’t make my skin look horrible but it also doesn’t improve the texture like advertised.  I don’t notice my makeup looking better or it lasting longer as I do when I use the original formula.  Overall, I would skip this one and purchase the original if you’re wanting a truly superior formula.

Benefit Porefessional Face Primer:
Ride or die pore minimizing primer.  You MUST own!

Let’s chat about my ride or die.  The one I always grab off the shelf when my skin isn’t as smooth and beautiful as I wish it would be.  My true love that I really thought might let me down against the other two but proved it’s my pore prime soul mate… Benefit’s Porefessional Primer.  I adore this primer.  It’s my go to if I don’t grab Smashbox Photo Finish (the original; not the pore smoothing!)  This seems to be the only one I tried that doesn’t make my skin very matte.  They do make a matte version for everyone with oily skin.  My skin continues to feel moisturized vs moisture zapped.  It also does a fantastic job of filling in  my pores and toning down the leather situation I have going on.  If you’re new to primers or don’t like the silicone fill of many makeup primers this is your holy grail!  I cannot praise it any more.  Benefit produces a fabulous product.

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Play! by Sephora | October 2016 Box Review

I’m not going to lie to you, I have been waiting on this box to arrive for almost a year.  I (Kelly) am a subscription box addict and also their biggest critic.  I signed up for Birchbox back in 2011/12ish when subscription boxes were becoming all the rage.  I then bounced back and forth between Ipsy & Birchbox.  Both boxes disappointed me because they weren’t fulfilling my needs.  I didn’t want to receive drugstore products in my box.  I could buy those as Ulta or CVS for $6 if I wanted to try them.  I wanted to receive the products that I would never try unless I had a chance to sample them prior to dropping $40+.  I wanted my prestige brands!

When Sephora announced their new Play! boxes I was immediately in lust.  Sadly they were limited to larger cities and I live in small city.  I waited… and waited… and waited some more until finally the email arrived (almost a year later!) that I was chosen!  It was my turn!!!

My first box arrived and it was fabulous!


Play! by Sephora is a monthly subscription box featuring deluxe sample sized products.  The box costs $10 a month and includes a handful of prestige brand cosmetic and beauty product samples.

Cost: $10 a month in the US

Shipping: Included in your monthly fee.

What’s Inside: The October box included an adorable satchel (is that what you’d call that?) that said: Lipstix & Chill.  Plus FIVE deluxe samples of prestige products.

play-by-sephora-october-2016

Flash Photo GlossThe Estee Edit:
I absolutely love a good lip gloss.  The shinier the better!  Estee Edit’s new Flash Photo Gloss does not disappoint!  This stuff is very shiny.  The product boasts that it has blue micro pearls which give your teeth a more white appearance.  I didn’t see a magical change in my teeth color when I put it on, but I also wasn’t on set with a professional camera and lighting.  That could definitely make a difference!  This gloss is very thick and tacky.  If you’re not a fan of sticky gloss I would definitely steer clear.  It’s not my favorite gloss in the world and I don’t think I would buy it again.  If you’re in front of the camera for a living this could be worth adding to your makeup collection!

Skin Dew Hydrating Essence Mist & Setting SprayFarmacy:
I’m not going to lie: I haven’t used this sample yet.  I absolutely love setting spray but I don’t use it enough to purchase full size bottles.  When I get my hands on a sample sized bottle I save it for my night time makeup or special events.  I did spray a bit on my face to smell/feel it and the first impression was fabulous.  I think Urban Decay Up All Night setting spray will always be my ride or die setting spray but if you are a fan of the Farmacy brand this one could be a great alternative.

Bamboo Creme Frappe Skin Reviving Fresh GelErborian:
Say that name three times fast.  Really, do it!  If you could do it then you’re better at speaking than I am because that’s one very long name.  When I received this sample Autumn instantly commented how much she loves this brand.  I cannot remember having ever used their products in the past but her positive input excited me.  This product does not disappoint!  It does exactly what it promises: moisturizes, absorbs quickly and has a light feel to it.  I really love this one enough that I have put it on my list of possible moisturizers to purchase in the future.

Side note on moisturizers: I have found that once you find what type of moisturizer works/you love that it makes your life much easier when hunting for the perfect moisturizer.  I love a glycerin based moisturizer.  Almost every moisturizer I try and instantly love has glycerin as one of its top 3 ingredients.  Alicia taught me to pay attention to the ingredients in the products you love/hate and beauty product shopping will become simple.

Always on Matte Liquid LipstickSmashbox:
I am not a fan of lipstick or anything matte.  I feel like most matte makeup makes me look more washed out and pale than I am but I didn’t hate this one!  The applicator has a little bowl built into it to ensure you receive the perfect application and it stays much better than most lipstick.  I still have to pile on some gloss to give it some shine.  Chances are pretty much zero that I would purchase a matte lipstick but if you love matte this is probably the best one I have tried recently.  Maybe someday I’ll grow up and learn to love lipstick, until then I’ll stick with my Nars gloss.

Regenerating Mask with Rare Prickly Pear Seed OilChristophe Robin:
This stuff is amazing y’all!  I am on a quest to have healthy hair after a unfortunate event in July 2015 with my hair and a lot of bleach.  Recently I have been using Living Proof hair care and I decided to throw this little gem into the mix.  Every time I use this on my hair it smells amazing throughout the day, it styles better and looks healthier.  The price makes me want to cry a bit but I may actually purchase a full size of this item if I keep loving it as much as I do right now.

Mon ParisYves Saint Laurent:
I am without a doubt the worst person to ask for perfume recommendations.  My nose couldn’t decipher between apple and strawberry scents if it had to and my idea of whether a perfume is good is if I like how it smells.  I don’t hate this one which is a huge plus.  I tend to hate most perfume.  I wore it for a day and the scent stayed with me.  I will most likely use the rest of the sample and move on.  It has a bit of a musk scent to it and I’m a fan of light and airy fragrances.  I give it a A+ for staying power.  If only I loved the scent a but more.

Review:  I’m pretty sure you’ve already gathered that I absolutely loved this box.  It is by far the best box I’ve received from a subscription box service thus far.  The products are all items that I will definitely give the samples a try!  There was nothing in the box that I immediately re-gifted to another of the mom’s to try which usually happens with my subscription boxes.  This is a definite win for me!

Box Value: Approximately $44!  It’s a bit tricky on some of the products to figure out the retail value of them but the value was enough that I felt it was $10 well spent.

Want to Try?  Due to high demand Play! is currently on a waitlist status.  Hop on over to get your name on the list.  It’s absolutely worth the wait!

Disclosure: The opinions expressed in this review are my own.  I do not receive compensation for reviews.  This post may contain external affiliate or review links.  Kelly paid for this subscription.

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