So happy I found this in time for British 'summer'! It's so hard to find products here marketed as sunscreen which can also be worn under makeup & not cause a sticky, oily mess, since 9 months out of the year we just don't have the weather for it. However after getting sunburn on my very pale face several times after the last few years, I realised I had to hunt one down, however much it cost.
While visiting Space.NK with my mum (somewhere I never normally go for makeup as it's too expensive for me), I hunted down a couple of high SPF products with help from the sales assistant. First I tried a Laura Mercier one, though this turned out to be a bit too thick and sticky to use on my occasionally oily skin. The NARS product applied much lighter and dried completely smooth and non-sticky. It definitely doesn't give the flawless smooth finish of a specialist smoothing primer, but leaves a good base to apply foundation or BB cream on top. I've recently noticed it has a slight citrus-y smell which I didn't notice before, but thought it could be due to me leaving it in a warm room - this isn't a product which is super-scented at all. The packaging isn't rubberised like their compacts, just a small matte black squeezy tube which still looks high-end on the dressing table. Costing Â£25, I would have hesitated to spend that much on one & would normally save up for it, though as my mum was visiting she insisted on buying it for me - so sweet.
I've worn this primer for several weeks and I couldn't be happier with the results. It doubles as a primer as well as a sunscreen so I don't have to incorporate yet another product into my routine (got to love multi-use items) and I've been outside in the sun for hours most days without a trace of sunburn. Although many foundations & creams already contain SPF, it's really important to use a sunscreen product as well for safety, especially if you're pale like me - I've found that out the hard way more than enough. I'm so relieved to have found this before our current summer heatwave so my makeup still looks smooth & flawless in the summer heat whilst protecting my skin - I'll be sure to repurchase once it's used up!
Love the SPF and how it didn't pill while applying bb cream over it. Seriously, for a glorious day, I thought that fortune had finally smiled upon me. But I broke out as early as the next morning AND saw that it had exacerbated some of the drier areas of my face. This is going back. Proceed with caution, if you have combination/dry skin.
I use this everyday whether or not I wear makeup
I honestly don't understand the hype surrounding this product. Don't get me wrong, I love NARS. I loved the light texture and citrusy scent of this primer, but it honestly did nothing. I've been using it for a week now and I've just given up. Definitely returning. I wanted a primer that would make my make up last all day. I applied this in the morning (8am) with no moisturiser underneath so as not to double-up, and when I looked at my face on my lunch break (1pm) my face was a complete grease ball and the foundation on my nose had all but disappeared. This cost me nearly $60 here in Australia, and it's only 30mL! I am so disappointed because as I said, I love NARS and swear by a lot of their products. I'm going to try the Hourglass Veil primer next, wish me luck... *SIGH*
I love this primer. It's holy grail for my normal but sensitive skin. It has a light moisturizer consistency with the a citrus almost orange like fragrance. This primer keeps my makeup looking fresh all day. I can wear it under any foundation from liquid to Creme to powder without ever having to touch up. I use this everyday even when I'm not wearing makeup because of the SPF in it.
I bought this based on recommendations from Capitol Hill Style. I really wanted it to work, since I was trying to find a long wearing solution for a slightly more humid environment.
This primer *was* longer wearing than my usual Laura Mercier stuff. Unfortunately, it didn't react well with my skin at all. I started breaking out within 2-3 days. Because I simultaneously changed my foundation, it took a few weeks of experimentation to (sadly) clear up my skin and confirm this was the breakout culprit (I had similar issues w/ Smashbox, but their primer didn't actually work for me). Thankfully I bought at Sephora, and was able to return it.
I do think it works well. If you have sensitive or breakout-prone skin, I highly suggest buying somewhere with a flexible return policy, in case it causes irritation.
This is a fantastic product!! It's the first spf product I've found that - smells beautiful, leaves my skin soft and matte throughout the day and keeps my makeup flawless! I used to touch-up throughout the day (at least once) and now I don't need to. Fabulous! Love that it's spf 30 too.
Pros: High spf, non-greasy, foundation stays on longer.
Cons: It does not conform to your skin's natural color and even the skin tone BEAUTIFULLY unlike their now discontinued version from about a year ago and alleviate the need for foundation/tinted moisturizer altogether on good skin days. This makes me sad. Nars, why one earth would you discontinue a winner product. And I did not appreciate your surly, blotchy- skinned SA looking at me like I had 3 heads when I inquired about the discontinued primer.
NC25 Chinese, large pores, acne prone and oily skin.
On and off with primers b/c heavy silicone ones increase my acne and the water based ones I've reviewed didn't do any magical primer activities. So I went w/ the wear a a heavier moisturizer or SPF in the morning and screw-you-primer-attitude.
I came across this one in swap, was surprised it was not uber silicone (all the big brands seem to be). Lightweight but effective, has SPF, and my skin isn't oily/shiny as my std morning SPF normally would.
I'm almost breathing quietly under my breath... mircacle.
I hate silicone-based primers. I feel like my face and pores are stifled under that thick nasty coating of 'cones. This water-based primer is a refreshing alternative. It looks great, feels great, and works impressively.
The product resembles a somewhat sticky white lotion. You only need to use about as much as you would use of a regular primer. It doesn't take too long to dry. It has a nice fresh scent, and the packaging is elegant as is typical of NARS.
It makes makeup go on smoothly and flawlessly and makes it cover better. Because of this product, I have been able to use some very thin silicone-based foundations that were otherwise impossible to get coverage/longevity from (Ellis Faas Skin Veil, in particular). This primer has turned my response to the Ellis Faas foundation from buyer's remorse into joy, to the point where that product is now my HG. But this primer also works with all my other foundations. In particular, it steps up Sheer Glow from being a very good foundation to a truly world-class one. Basically, if you have a foundation where water is the first ingredient, this primer will make it perform noticeably better--look better, apply better, and stay better.
This truly does improve the staying power of makeup. My skin is not oily, but I do have texture issues. I rarely use powder, and I go long days without touching up. This primer has given me at least a few extra hours of good foundation wear per day. It allows me to apply foundation and concealer over areas with weird texture (breakouts, peeling from retinoid) and actually cover them. It will make foundation application a breeze and a joy, and you will look both more flawless and more natural.
This has not caused any irritation/breakouts/other problems for my dry-combo skin. It contains some nice antioxidants and has a very elegant, skin-friendly texture. It is neither greasy, nor stifling, nor drying. I was told by the SA at Sephora that it was good for breakout-prone skin; I can also confirm that it works well (over moisturizer) when my skin is dry. (It does contain dimethicone but it's not as high on the list as with most primers.)
The sunscreen is a very interesting aspect of this primer and definitely a selling point. *However,* it is complicated. A primer really shouldn't be your only sunscreen source because you apply such a small amount of it. That means you need another sunscreen either underneath or on top. Unfortunately, this product contains octinoxate, which is the ingredient notorious for destabilizing avobenzone, so you can't use it with sunscreens that contain avobenzone. This is a problem for me as I only use chemical sunscreens, most of which do contain avobenzone. Anyway, that is the only drawback I can find with this product. It's a fantastic primer, the seemingly-high price actually turns out to be pretty average, and it's worth it!