With face primers, things can be really good or really bad. Think about it - a good primer is the difference between “my face is photoshopped smooth and glowing” and “my face is spackled thick with foundation, is dotted with small discoloration patches, and overall melting off.” As an attorney, I was always taught to think in ‘grey’ and realize that some issues aren’t really black and white. Clearly, whoever created that doctrine hasn’t tried makeup primers - when I test a face primer it either ends up in the “love” or “loathe” pile (no room for discussion!). I’m paying a ridiculous amount of money for a product that is often times clear or invisible and goes under makeup (hence, my high expectations for primers).
When Maybelline released the Maybelline Baby Skin primer, I was ready to try it and I wasn’t going to let my adoration of Baby Lips balms get in the way. There have been several releases of drugstore primers, but if anyone could introduce an effective primer, it was Maybelline. Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser primer is meant to reduce pores, prolong the lasting finish of foundation, and create a matte skin effect.The Baby Skin primer ingredients include dimethicone and silica silylate - these two ingredients are what specifically create the smooth, non-shiny look. Several primers like the Pixi Flawless and Poreless caused spots immediately the next day - I’ve kept my routine the same so I know when a primer is the culprit for breakouts. First, the Maybelline Baby Skin primer did not break me out - this may not be true for everyone because of the dimethicone, but in my case, there were no breakouts even after prolonged use. Second, Baby Skin proclaims that it’s an instant pore eraser but I’d rather label this primer as a pore alleviator - yes, Baby Skin smoothed pores over but not as much as the Benefit The POREfessional. However, (and this is a big however), take a look at the primer comparison photo above - I took this photo within 3 minutes of creating the swatches and the Benefit Porefessional already had a big pool of oil around it (can’t argue with hard evidence!). For me, Benefit Porefessional is often too oily and cannot be worn for a full day. Lastly, Maybelline Baby Skin created a matte, smooth effect without being too dry - compared to the Smash Box Photo Finish Foundation Primer which highlights dry patches, Baby Skin provides a balanced mattefying effect. Baby Skin also helped my foundation last longer although I did notice some fading around the nose and forehead area.
Maybelline Baby Skin primer is affordably priced ($6.99 at Ulta) and its benefits outweigh the negatives. This primer does not cause breakouts, does prolong foundation staying power, does provide medium pore coverage, and does create a smooth finish with minimal shine - so, Baby Skin goes into the love pile (for now at least, until a cosmetic company releases ‘Photoshop in a Bottle’ for .99 cents).
If you’re still looking to learn more about potential primer products, the Brightest Bulb in the Box did a comprehensive review and comparison of sixteen face primers (plus, she’s a no-nonsense blogger with science knowledge to match so you should probably stop by her blog anyway).
Have you had any luck with other primers or do you have a favorite? I’ve read mixed reviews on Baby Skin so if you’ve tried it, let me know about your experience!