Wednesday, 10 July 2013
Source: personal image price: £24.50
I picked this primer up whilst browsing the Benefit counter in Manchester a weak ago, well attempting to anyway. After being hounded by the sales person and bombarded with phrases like: very creamy, stays on all day, good for dry skin, will make your make up go on more radiant etc, etc, and having obscure swatches placed across my hand (I really did not know what I was meant to be looking for) I gave in and purchased the little critter. At £24.50 it does not come cheap and on walking out of the store, I was really hoping I hadn't purchased another flop.

I have never really been impressed by primers or their out-of-this-world claims. The likes of MAC and Smashbox are still sitting quite as they were when I first got them in my make up collection - rarely used. If I am to be strictly honest with you, after having smoothed either of the products mentioned onto my face I am left doubting whether there really is anything on there. Should I add more? But aren't I only supposed to use a pea sized amount? Is it working? Is it not?
Nope, not in the least bit convinced.
I was however musing over Benefit's Porefessional (my reason for walking over to the counter in the first place), I do have large pores and something that could reduce or tighten them would be beneficial for me. However, after receiving not too warm responses from friends and other bloggers, I was once again left sceptical.
Having been informed by the SA that the Stay Flawless primer would be better for my dry-to-combination skin, I had seriously concerns for my oily T zone and wondered whether it may not be too mad to use two different primers on my face for different areas. Good thing I kept walking.
The facts:
This primer is unique in that it comes in a wind up stick form. Although it appears to have colour, it actually applies translucent. It comes in the most adorable packaging, a matte black case with a white plastic tube and a clear plastic lid covered in black polka-dots. It is also small and conveniently compact.
You get 15.5g of product for your £24.50. In comparison you get 30ml (which equates to 30g) of MAC Prep + Prime Skin Base Visage for £20.50 and 30ml of Smashbox Photoready Primer for £28. So that means:
Stay Flawless 1g = £1.58
Prep + Prime 1g = £0.68
Photoready 1g = £0.93
In other words, gram for gram, Stay Flawless is almost twice the price of the other two primers. Ouch!
Another point I should mention, before I got all mathematical I thought I would determine the amount of product I had received by winding it all the way up. And what happened? A great chunk of it fell off! Literally, just like that. Considering this was just after I had purchased it, I was pretty ticked off. So if you are going out to buy this, it might be worthwhile that you check it in store that it is not broken in the tube before making your payment. 
The review:
Okay, so I was determined to put this primer through a rigorous test. I wanted to be able to give it a clear cut yay-or-no, all obscurities aside. And along came the perfect opportunity, a nice hot day, the perspiration provoking; foundation melting type of day.
I applied a good measure of the primer, swiping across my cheeks, nose chin and forehead. It does say that makeup can be applied directly to it as it is but I felt the need to smooth it out with my fingertips. The primer has that thick creamy consistently that is evident on touch; it also leaves a slightly tacky finish, very unlike the smooth finish of common silica based primers. I know this may be a con for many people who do not want to feel as though they have another layer on the face but personally, I was relieved that I can be certain that it is there. 
To really push it, I opted for my BB cream instead of foundation, a creamy light base that would probably slip away in a matter of hours in this kind of heat. As I like to apply my BB cream with my fingers, I noticed immediately that it was much harder to blend out as the product dragged across my skin, quite literally as though the primer was acting like a 'magnet', or so Benefit likes to describe it. In one way this is a pro, it showed me that the primer was really holding onto my BB Cream on the downside, I did feel I needed a little more product to cover the whole surface of my face as I couldn't blend the cream out far enough.
Makeup set and finished, my afternoon was spent at a crowded talk in a classroom insufficient to fit everyone in comfortable and lacking Air Con followed by a stroll in the park. All the while the sun was beating down like it was Africa.
Throughout the day I was hot, flustered, perspiring and exhausted. I had to repeatedly dab away the beads of sweat that crept onto my upper lip (pleasant, I know) and having had no opportunity to check my reflection I was certain I would return home an utter mess.
A tentative peak into my mirror and phew - all was well. On closer inspection I could still make out my BB Cream sitting just as I had left it that morning and there was not a streak of uneven skin to be found. My t zone had not turned into an oil slick either.
My verdict:
What can I stay? I am truly impressed. My make up stayed put and I was neither too dry nor too oily, for once a primer that does as it promises. I have been wearing this primer more often now, especially having switched from foundation to BB Cream and I adore it. It has very deservedly made it to my list of top favourites. For the biggest downside, it would have to be the amount of product we are getting and the amount that we are using. Each application deposits a great deal more product than that in a single pump of gel primer, at this rate it is not going to last very long so it may not be the most economical of choices. The application issue is not a big problem either as the makeup it sits well once applied. As for their claim that it makes your makeup more radiant, or the SA's anyway, I did not really see a difference there, again I didn't mind as I didn't buy it for that purpose.
If anything, I feel that you definitely get quality for your money, I don't feel that it was £24.50 wasted. Rather that money spent on a product your going to use than one that is going to sit in a draw, neglected.

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