Like many, I always seem to be preoccupied with something or other about my appearance. Lately, I’ve moved away from fretting about my teeth and been overly fixated on my forehead wrinkles: going back over old photographs to work out how long ago they started to appear, researching lotions and potions to improve their appearance, getting in way too deep with all kinds of facial massage, and trying out various primers to stop my makeup settling into them.
In case anyone out there is looking for something similar, I want to save you some time and talk about three budget primers (because as you know I am ALWAYS on a budget) that were not only recommended to me for my specific concerns, but that I also saw recommended the most often in my online research. I have been trialling them recently, using a different one on rotation every time I put my face on, and the results were… underwhelming.
The green NYX Studio Perfect Photo-Loving Primer [affiliate link] was the first of the budget primers that I tried. As with a lot of NYX products, this is meant to be a close-but-not-quite-exact dupe of something else; in this case the clue is in the name, as this Photo-Loving range is incredibly similar to the Smashbox Photo Finish primer range. My holy grail primer is the Smashbox Photo Finish Colour Correcting Primer [affiliate link], so something along the same lines sounded like as good a starting point as any.
Unfortunately for me, the name is where the similarities end. Although silicone based, the primer is incredibly watery and needs A LOT of shaking up before every use. However I applied it – whether using a patting motion or not – no difference was made to my wrinkles and pores. I don’t feel that the primer worked to correct the redness in my face, and the oiliness in my skin broke through in a couple of hours which never happens with the Smashbox primers; overall a very big disappointment.
Okay bear with me on this one. There’s a school of thought amongst make up gurus online that a great product to use on wrinkles and lines to prevent foundation creasing is eyeshadow primer, because eyeshadow primer is specifically designed to prevent the creasing of other products on the skin. See, it makes sense right?
The Milani Eyeshadow Primer came highly recommended. In a lot of cases it was recommended more so than the Urban Decay one that everyone likes and at £8 (a fraction of the cost of the UD one) I thought I’d give it a whirl. First up, the consistency is a little bit like an extra gritty polyfilla – which I weirdly found to be quite promising – and after applying it to my face, before foundation is put on over it, it works A TREAT.
However, after applying foundation it went very much to shit: the wrinkles on my forehead looked dried out, flakey, and much deeper than they really are. I looked knackered! This was by far the worst of the three budget primers that I tried.
Last but not least is the next one I picked up: NYX Pore Filler [affiliate link]. I’m not sure which one this is meant to be a dupe for, but there’s talk of it being similar to Benefit Porefessional [affiliate link].
This is another silicone based, gritty, polyfilla-esque primer with a very slight apricot colour to it. It feels a lot thinner than the Smashbox consistency that I’m used to, and I feel like it was difficult to pat into pores and wrinkles. I think it improved the appearance of my deeper wrinkles, but it did absolutely nothing for colour correction and the oil control isn’t up to much.
Shop the Post [affiliate links]
This NYX Pore Filler one was probably my favourite out of the three overall, but the bar is very low as none of them were any good for me really! I’m going to have to use them up as I can’t afford to just bin and replace them with something else, but when they run out I’m absolutely switching back to my Smashbox fave[affiliate link] which doesn’tspecifically tackle wrinkles, but at least evens out my complexion and controls my oil factory of a mug like nothing else. Hopefully by then I’ll have moved on from obsessing over my forehead wrinkles and on to something else anyway.