This product dates from my days as a Clarins SA but has stayed with me. Ironically, I hate an overly made up look (on me! I love the eyes some of you gals do!), but this extra step makes my 'look' happen.
At Clarins, they suggest this as a primer. After moisturizer, before foundation. To that end, this is a little red pot for $27 CAD. The product is a siliconey pink paste with very little smell. It glides on with your fingertips and the less you use the better. Heavily applied it can ball up when you layer your makeup on. It was one of our most popular products and I frequently had customers return to rave about the lasting power of their makeup. I always recommended it to brides, or anyone who likes full maquillage. Used regularly, it should last about 3 months. Any more than that and you may be putting too much on. I have had pots hang around for a year with no noticeable change in the product, but 12 months should be the max.
Now my secret. I have terrible skin; acne scars, freckles, sun spots. And foundation always looks cakey and fake on me. Even my free Clarins foundations, colour matched by the company. But I was working at Clarins and needed to look 'done' - sigh, the tough life of an SA. My routine was moisturizer (Clarins Face sunscreen SPF 30, let sink in for 5 min), this primer, then blush/powder/concealer. And I constantly got complimented on my skin. I would happily sell them the foundation they thought I was wearing - that was my job - but I was rocking this primer and some powder products.
Now, years later, my routine has changed a bit. Sunscreen and primer for day. If I am not working, that is it for makeup. This mattifies, smooths and makes my skin look healthy without looking made up. It takes the shiny and white out of my sunscreen. If I am working, I add the powder/blush and it lasts all day. And my days can be crazy long.
Yes, it is expensive. I have tried the L'Oreal version (too spongy and balled up on me), and Lancome (too pink) and keep coming back to Clarins. It does have silicones. I am acne prone but this doesn't break me out.
Secret: I know this isn't it's purpose but...I use this as an extra layer when I am outside in rough weather. Both in my military life and civvie side, I add this over sunscreen to buffer the wind if I'm going to be outside all day. It seems to work and keep my skin a little less raw...
Am on my 3rd pot of this already. Love this stuff! Glides on so smoothly, and creates a great base for my foundation to go on. I feel that it really does minimize my pores. Also think it makes my makeup last longer too! Only minimal oil shine at the end of the day... Makes my makeup stay put and does not crease or anything. Well, that's on me at least. The only complaint that I have is that I got through these jars like crazy! They don't last very long for me, compared to other primers I have used - i.e. Illamasqua hydra veil. Spoke to the MA and she suggested that I only apply to areas that need to be evened out, so gonna try that for now and see how much longer it will last! I've tried the L'Oreal version of this (true secrets or something??) but made me look too pale and white, so I really prefer this instead.
It does even out the skintone and makes a pretty decent job at making the red spots disappear.
Softens my skin.
The jar is small but you only need to apply a little so it lasts for a long time.
It's really not a necessarily product.
About Me: 29 yrs old with a few very fine lines under the eye area (and no where else). Combination skin (horribly dry/flaky cheeks, normal forehead and chin, and somewhat oily nose area with visible pores).
Applied Over: A light moisturizer. It was allowed to try completely before applying the primer.
Applied Under: MAC's Face & Body Foundation (water based, oil free), setting powder, and finishing spray. When that didn't go so well, I then tried MUFE's Face & Body (silicone based, oil free) with the same setting powder and finishing spray. The primer was allowed to dry completely before applying foundation. Both were applied with a beauty blender sponge (rolling/stippling technique) so as to disturb the primer as little as possible.
Application of Primer: Tried two ways.... both with the same results. The first time I used a reasonable amount, the second time I used very little. I applied with my fingers. It glided on easily, didn't seam to emphasize the terribly dry areas on my cheeks, and didn't ball up as a lot of silicone primers tend to do. However, I noticed absolutely no difference in my pores or fine lines (as some people have mentioned it helping even without foundation over top) and it took FOREVER to dry (think 10 minutes at least... I don't have that kind of time in the morning).
Wear of Foundations with Clarins' Primer:
When first applied....
It made both foundations I tried it with much more matte than they normally are (which isn't a huge issue, but it's not something I was wanting). That effect only lasts about a 1/2 hour though. There was no difference in pore visibility.
After about an hour....
It became apparent very quickly that Clarins' claim regarding less noticeable fine lines was absolute garbage. This primer made both foundations gunk up in my fine lines (and I say again.... I only have a few very fine lines under my eyes... can't even imagine how bad this would have looked if I had more pronounced lines). As a result, it made my fine lines much MORE noticeable and I looked at least 5 years older because of it. MAC's F&B does settle into fine lines some on it's own, but not nearly as bad as it did when using this primer. MUFE's F&B doesn't settle into fine lines at all without the primer.
After about two hours....
The rest of my face looked just as bad or worse. This primer made both foundations look cakey and obvious. It also made them wear away very strangely, breaking up in a very odd and extremely unattractive way. Without the primer, they both look natural throughout the day and wear off evenly.
After about four hours...
Without this primer, MAC's F&B lasts 6 solid hours on me, fading between hours 7 and 9. MUFE's F&B lasts 8 solid hours on me, fading between hours 9 and 11. This primer shortened the wear length of both foundations considerably, leaving me bare faced or close to it in 4 hours or less.
Bottom Line: My skin spans the gamut from insanely dry to somewhat oily and it caused my foundations to look terrible on every area of my face, so I can't imagine that my skin type is the culprit. I tried it with a water based foundation and a silicone based foundation, so.... all I can think is that perhaps it would work better with an oil based foundation, which I do not have. Honestly though, I doubt it. From my experience, this primer is absolute junk and I would not recommend it to anyone, at any time, for any reason.
Clarins Instant Smooth brought my skin out in a Rash!!!Looked at the ingredients and
seen that there are Chemicals in there. In this day & age this is not healthy.
I have been surprised lately at the amount of products Clarins have which do
have a lot of chemicals in their products. I am thinking of changing to Origins, think this is
Gonna come crawling back to youuuuuuu!!!
So this is the first primer I used and truly loved, but being the little product ho that I am, I went and tried other stuff after using it all up.
Too Faced Primed and Poreless: not too bad, but felt heavy and a little greasy to me... I liked, didn't love.
Korres Anti-Aging Oak Primer: like the smell, texture is nice and light.... but made me break out like I haven't since I was a teenager! Too bad.. I really wanted to like it. :(
I've also used NARS and while I truly like the SPF in it, it felt kinda greasy and I didn't really notice a difference. So as soon as the Korres emits its last little drop, I'm running back to Clarins!
I've used three primers, Georgio Armani fluid master primer (which feels like silicone), Benefit the pore fessional, and this product by Clarins. I have to say this is by far my favorite. I love the way it glides on my skin without feeling like its leaving a film on my face or sitting on the surface. My foundation seamlessly glides over this product and leaves a less wrinkled smoother looking face than when I go sans primer. A must in my daily beauty regime.
This is the best primer ever! Well, I cannot say the best because I rarely use primer due to the belief that primers cause break-outs and clog your pores. However, this Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch does not cause any of them.
When I first applied it, my pores instantly and magically looked so tiny, and my light lines on my forehead disappeared. So I tried on my under eyes and the lines also disappeared! I was so amazed and decided to use it all day for my base primer under the concealer. It stayed all day and when I got home at 9, the concealer was still covering perfectly.
The great thing about this product apart from mattifying your skin is that it does feel light and it does not clog your pores. I like to feel effortlessly beautiful with minimum amount of makeup usage, so it really helps! I will surely repurchase when I run out of this.
This is a good little undercover. I would never use it as a primer on my whole face, as I would break out, but it's a good little base for the nose, before concealer or foundation on the nose. The creme is smooth and velvety, and pleasing to the eye, a pale pink peachy shade. You get a lot - it lasts a long time. If you wash your hands before dipping into it each and every time, sanitary concerns should not be a problem. Clarins makes quality products, and this one is sure to stay around for a while. Belongs in every girl's makeup bag!
I've been using this primer after trying the smashbox photofinish primer. I don't wear makeup everyday so its lasted a pretty long time, plus I don't apply too much. I have somewhat large open pores and this does a good job of camouflaging that. As for covering wrinkles I do feel that it helps lessen its appearance. Mine aren't too deep yet so I'm happy with the job it does. I love the matte look it gives me because I have an oily nose and cheeks and it calms the shine. People have said that it looks like I'm wearing foundation, which I don't, so that gives you an idea of what this does. The only down part of this product is its price but if you don't wear too much it will last a long time and it won't hurt your pocket that much.