Sample then Splurge? Laura Mercier Foundation Primer – Radiance

Breakouts, breakouts, breakouts. I’m trapped in the never-ending cycle of ‘I shouldn’t wear make-up because I’m breaking out’ but ‘I need to wear make-up because I’m breaking out’. I’ve been trying to methodically deal with the root cause of these chin blemishes but I’m concerned that I’m also making my life more difficult and disrupting the healing process by using the wrong products on my skin. If you’ve been following me on this blog, you might notice that I will splurge on anything that helps to conceal, cover, and stay. But I also detest being taken advantage of by ‘luxury brands’.

So, I got out my samples and started testing. I have recently had full size products of Smashbox, Hourglass, and Stila. My face kept getting worse so I figured it was time to pull out the Laura Mercier Foundation Primer – Radiance sample and it proved worth the spurge.  At $26 for one measly ounce it better be! This lightweight, creamy gel creates an invisible barrier between skin and makeup to prime your face for color. I find my foundation spreads easier, lasts longer and feels better on my skin. Since I typically use very matte products on my face, I like that the radiance adds a youthful pearlescent tint that stops my make-up from looking too mask-like. It is also dermatologist-tested and non-comedogenic with all sorts of vitamins, etc. to keep my face healing but looking healthy. I highly recommend this primer.

Fun fact, on the Sephora site Laura Mercier touts that she was the first to invent foundation primers!

Are there any other primers I should try?





Sample Then Splurge? Smashbox Photo Finish Primer

I’m excited about this post series. It’s going to allow me to take more make-up risks as well as help me use up or give away the vast array of samples I’ve accumulated. The first product I’m excited to share with you is the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer.


Something interesting about this primer is it was the first product created at Smashbox photo studios in L.A. Smashbox is all about making your make-up look good for photos and last under hot lights and hot California weather! It’s their bestselling product and Smashbox says, “the best way to start your makeup every day!”

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The $10 Weekly – Hard Candy Shimmer Shadow Primer


I want to buy and try the Too Faced Champagne Eyeshadow Primer. I saw Ingrid Nilson use it and thought it looked really versatile and easy. It’s $24 though and I’m not 100% certain I will like it. Then I found this primer which looks like a potential dupe! The Hard Candy Shimmer Shadow Primer retails for $4.98 at Walmart and is a steal compared to the Too Faced version! The packaging describes it as a “…shimmering champagne eye shadow primer that increases vibrancy and lasting power of your eye shadow.”

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Pur Minerals Hydrate & Balance Primer – A Review


Since I had such great success with the Pur Minerals Redness Reducer primer I wanted to try more primers from them. The next one I had been eyeing was the Hydrate and Balance primer. A personal skin challenge that I have is irritability and dryness resulting in late day oil. I don’t have oily skin so when I use products that are intended for oily skin they tend to dry me out. What I need to do is hydrate my skin and not make it angry at me! Sometimes oil based products can be too much. This primer is nice because it’s oil free and silicone free yet hydrating!

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Pur Minerals Correcting Primer Redness Reducer – A Review


The Pur Minerals Redness Correcting Priming retails for $32 on their website or at Shoppers Drugmart. It’s vegan, paraben-free, gluten-free and of course, cruelty-free. It’s intended to lengthen the wear of your foundation, cancel out the  redness in your skin with its green tones and improve the look and feel of your skin. I’ve been on the hunt for a good primer for quite a while. I used to use (and still love) the Hourglass Mineral Veil primer however at $60+ a bottle… I just can’t bring myself to keep buying it. Pur Minerals primers have a similar texture so I thought for half the price, let’s give it a shot! Here’s a run down of my thoughts:

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Yay or Nay Sunday – Julep Blank Canvas Plumping Lip Primer

Of all my subscriptions, I cannot break up with Julep. They are branching out into more and more makeup and I love it. I am in for the ride and happy to try out these new products as they come out. I find that their makeup can be hit or miss but the stuff that I like from them, I really like (like my obsession with their lipglosses and their brushes). This week however, on Yay or Nay we are talking about Julep’s Blank Canvas Plumping Lip Primer, and this is not one of my likes. It is unfortunately a Nay. It is not even a product that I will pass along to someone else. It was that bad.

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Yay or Nay Sunday – Kat Von D High Voltage Eye Primer

It’s prime-time on Yay or Nay this week! We are looking at the Kat Von D High Voltage Eye Primer. What do we think??

There are things that I look for in a primer. I have very red lids, therefore I love a colour-correcting primer that will neutralize my lids.  Little back story alert! When I got married (in 2008) I was not really into makeup and I didn’t even know what contouring was, let alone primer! A friend’s girlfriend at the time worked for Visage (a small salon in the mall where they sale Caryl Baker cosmetics), and she decided to do my makeup for the wedding and bought me, as a wedding gift, all the makeup that she was going to use on me the day of. She ended up getting me one product that I used for the longest time, the Caryl Baker Shadow Magnet. SHADOW MAGNET - NaturalI had no idea that it was a primer for eyeshadow but I used it because it would make the colour of my eyeshadow just pop! What I didn’t like was that it was creasing my eyeshadow. I had no idea what a primer was and I just thought it was meant to make my shadow last longuer (especially with the name…). Now that I am older and wiser and know what makeup is (lol), I know what is wrong with this product and what I loved about it. I loved that it neutralized my lids, made the colour pop and felt great on my lids. I hated that it creased and I now know that it is because it is an oily formula. Seeing how the only part of my face that is not dry are my eyelids, adding an oily product spells disaster and creasy-ness! lol

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Let’s Talk About Swatching! Face Primer Edition

Alright Sheena I have heard your call out and I am ready to talk about swatching. As we’ve said before, we are not pros, however after years of wearing make-up, comparing, brands, and spending waaaaaay too much money I’m beginning to have a good idea how to tell if a make-up product is worth it’s value and if it will deliver what it claims. I’m going to walk you through how I decide whether a product is worth spending my money on and hopefully you can apply these tips to your next purchase.

Face Primer:
Face primers should be applied to the back of your hand and you should perform 3 tests before investing in one.
1) Choose a part of your hand that’s particularly red, rough, or veiny and then see how the application of the primer changes/blurs the imperfections. If the primer does nothing, put it back. If it improves the texture, blurs imperfections, or makes your skin look pearly (depending what your end goal is) then you can start thinking about the overall feel of the product.

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The $10 Weekly – NYX Eyeshadow Base

I’m on a hunt. I’m searching for a good eyeshadow primer that is available at the drugstore and hopefully less than $10. NYX is my favourite drugstore brand so they were the first company that I wanted to check out. They had 3 options; the Pearl Eyeshadow Base, White Eyeshadow Base and Skintone Eyeshadow Base. I chose the Pearl Eyeshadow base since I have a good primer for long wearing purposes. I’m looking for primers to add a little something to my look. A little “umf” if you will… Did it deliver?

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NYX Pearl Eyeshadow Base

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