Honestly, I don't see a huge difference in Primer Radiance's look and performance compared to LM Tinted Moisturizer Illuminating SPF 20. The formulations are a bit different, but both are lightweight, SLIGHTLY moisturizing cosmetics that leave a soft, sheer, luminous finish on the skin. While there's some color variances, the products are so sheer they could be used interchangably with little noticeable difference. Probably the biggest difference is TM Illuminating's SPF 20, BUT even this isn't that impressive because sufficient application of this product to benefit from sunscreen would look thick, oily, and unnatural.
I'm in my early 40's with decent normal/combination skin for my age (non-smoker, minor facial lines and redness). My favorite routine for Radiance is: 1) normal skin care routine; 2) generous application of matte finish sunscreen; 3) squeeze out a pea size amount of Radiance, rub briskly between fingers until all fingertips are evenly coated, 4) pat and LIGHTLY massage over the face, 5) stipple with foundation of choice (my personal faves: Bobbi Brown Skin and Laura Mercier Silk Creme) 6) LIGHTLY powder if necessary. My powder of choice: Too Faced Candlelight
This is a great technique to get a dewy, luminous, ethereal complexion with decent wear (6-8 hours) It's a great makeup look for making your skin the focal point and you need little or no additional cosmetics. A touch of blush, a little lip balm or gloss, and it's done.
The luminous effect "brightens" shadows and dark circles, so concealer is unneccessary.
I DON'T recommend this product for younger skin or for oily skin. Maturer and/or drier skins will get a lovely "lift" from this product if they don't overdo it. Anyone else simply doesn't need it unless they want to use it as a highlighting luminizer.
Overall, I love the effect of this product but I consider it overpriced. However, there is no comparable product in a more affordable price range. This is a cosmetic for people seeking a subtle, sophisticated, NATURAL pearl-like luster, not glitter galore. With the right foundation and a subtle hand, this is the kind of makeup that takes years off your complexion, gets you "double take" looks in public, and has your women friends asking about your skin care and makeup.
UPDATE 11/12/2013: I might be "drying out" more in cooler weather than I have in the past. I applied this primer under a very sheer tinted moisturizer (Paula's Choice Barely There SPF 30 mixed with Hydralight SPF 30) and it has disappeared in half a workday. Not a hint of lit-from-within glow. Honestly, I might need more primer -- I try to keep application very sparing.
If you are new to LM's primers, you'd be amazed by this. It goes on smoothly, reduces the amount of foundation you need to apply by half, and makes it last. As far as priming is concerned, you can't ask for more. But if you've tried LM's primers and are no stranger to how well they work, then this one is a superfluous permutation. Compared to other LM primers, it is denser, tinted (though it goes on clear and does not distort the color of foundation), and packed with shimmer to achieve the supposed radiant effect. The shimmer doesn't affect priming, but gives an all-over glistening, Edward-Cullen-under-sunlight effect if the coverage worn is light like tinted moisturizer. Not a flattering look. Glistening and greasy are but separated by a fine line. Once you step up the coverage slightly, like mixing foundation with tinted moisturizer, the shimmer disappears. The end result is no dewier or more radiant. In that case, why not go with other versions of LM primers?
I've gone through 2 bottles of this product because it's amazing. My favorite part is that my makeup lasts 12+ hours with this. I've used it under Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer and MAC Studio Fix and both look amazing after a long day of work and school. I have eczema, I used this when I was having horrible flare-ups and this didn't make it worse or anything, and it helped my skin look somewhat normal, I also have been using now that my eczema is gone. I also have acne-prone skin (once the eczema is under control, here comes the acne) and while it didn't cause any horrible break outs, I’ve never been had completely clear skin whist using this.
The bottle design is alright. It's sturdy, so my teenage sister can leave it on the floor, it gets kicked around a bit, it's still alright. The squirt is a bit unpredictable, so sometimes I would have to run the extra on my chest. It lasts a good, I want to say 6 months. Price is fair for such a great product.
Now, for the "radiance" part.... it’s nice...at first. After using this for about 1 year the radiance used to be fun, but now it's like, "please no more radiance!" I'm tired of it. It makes everything look a bit shimmery, not dewy, and I prefer dewy. You have to be careful where you apply it, because if applied all over face, the entire face will be shimmery, and in an odd twist leave it one-dimensional. I also think it darkens the foundations placed over it. So I'm over it. No more radiance for me. I'll miss your staying power radiance primer, but I can't do it anymore. I'm going to try the LM hydrating primer. I just hope it's as good as you.
Ive been switching back and forth between silicone ish Smashbox Photofinish and the original Laura Mercier Primer. I absolutely love how the original one felt, almost like a moisturizing emulsion that helps my moisturizer... But I am not sure about whether it lasted longer than photo finish/or if it was better. On nights I wanted to really get a glow I'd use LM and when I'd go to an event and wanted my makeup airbrushed ish once the light hit I'd use Photofinish (dunno if it makes sense, lol made sense to me).
But I hated the silicone heavy feeling and I almost hate knowing my skin can't breathe and I use my primer daily so boy was I EXCITED to find out Radiance came out!!! Who doesnt want to be radiant?!? Lol It was the "it" that pushed my decision to definitely go with LM. I'm all about the "flawless, airbrush-glow from within yet surprisingly natural looking " makeup. AND my radiance primer is AMAZZZZZING. So far, so good. Ive even been Given more compliments than usual, and all that's changed is my primer :) to get this same effect I used to have to use the MAC strobe primer and mix it with the LM hydrating and now Its in one tube!! (a trick a few makeup artists I know use).
This radiance primer Looks fantastic under any foundation, I personally use DiorSkin nude. It glides on light and has a tiny bit of tint and sparkle but not too much that it bothers you - I hate sparkles but this one just gives enough subtle "glow" and it's just barely shining through under the foundation. It's so subtle but it delivers what it promises- that RADIANCE from within that looks like we spent hours in bed with a lover and millions of dollars on skin care... Hahahahaha.
It's helped my foundation go the extra mile in terms of long wear but not really as much as a couple primers ive tried..though my foundation already stays put all day on its own, it's still a a good enough insurance that it won't look faded in the last hour.... As far as my pores- def minimizes mine and already gives that flawless tinted moisturizer look even before I put on the foundation. Great to wear on days I just want no makeup and a little glow :)
One lippy off because of price -even though reasonable for a primer this amazing is still a bit more, and also because on some days I still think maybe my silicone primer gives off a more "made up" feel and extra smooth finish. Nothing provides silk finish like silicone does, but i cant get over the silicone feel. Maybe just on special nights ill see how Using both may look. Lol!!! But even as I write this - im thinking thats so silly and it's all in my head because THIS stuff Is SO AMAZING, it's worth it. Get it for the radiance ( i mean, what are we wearing makeup for anyway right?!?) and Def a good highlighter too.
BUT IF YOUR SKIN is OILY - this Is not for you. Has no oil control, it won't make you a grease monkey or anything like that but there are other ones that can prime and control your oil better. Although a gf of mine has oily skin and she uses this as highlighter under her foundation and it looks great.
Holly cow this stuff is INCREDIBLE! A HG for sure!
The problem I have had with primers in the past is, because I have dry skin, most primers dry and flake my skin (as theyre silicone based). The ones that dont dry my skin out (the ones that aren't silicone based) dont have any benefits and I dont notice a difference with them at all. This product is completely different and a miracle worker!
A primer is supposed to minimize the appearance of pores, fine lines and wrinkles, make your makeup go on smoother and last longer. Some have other added benefits (like giving your skin a glow like this primer, adding hydration if its a hydrating primer, etc).
I don't really have a problem with my foundation lasting (as I have dry skin so oils don't break my foundation down), but I have HUGE pores around my nose, so much so that I was never able to wear highlighter as it just emphasized my pores so much and made them look huuugggeee.
After this product, my pores are reduced by about 95%. They are hardly visible at all. And I can finally wear highlighter without having to worry about my pore size.
I can tell you right off the bat that if you're looking for a primer to make your foundation last longer or one to minimise wrinkles, there will be better ones out there. This primer would be great for people who suffer with huge pores and love a nice glow to the face, but don't necessarily have a problem with their foundation lasting, like myself. This primer will help with both of those issues (wrinkles and making makeup last longer), but I don't think it will be the best for either.
This has a gel-cream like texture and has a golden pearlescent glow to it, so if you have extremely oily skin or don't like a glowy complexion then this is probably not for you. I don't notice the 'radiance' part too much. Especially after I apply foundation on top. It's NOT sparkly at all. It just adds a bit of a light glow to the skin. Nothing dramatic but makes you look healthy and fresh.
I apply this after letting my moisturiser sit on the skin for about 5 minutes, and then let this sit for another 5 minutes before I apply foundation. I recommend applying it with your fingers. It can get quite sticky/tacky if you apply with a brush.
Something to keep in mind with this primer is that right after i apply it, my pores actually look bigger than before. Do not be alarmed by this, and don't wash or rub it off because of that. once you apply your foundation on top, the pores just disappear.
Think of it this way. The fine shimmers in this product go in to your pores, and make them look bigger initially. But, they also fill them up, so your foundation glides over your pores without going in to them.
I've never had a problem with clogged pores with this primer.
This primer is not silicone based and isn't drying on my skin at all, like most other primers I have used.
You need about a pea sized amount (or even less) for your whole face, so it will last you a long time.
I initially bought the 50ml/1.7 fl.oz size, then straight away bought the 100ml/3.4 fl.oz size cause I was so in love.
This stuff is a little pricey, but well worth it for me. I paid about $47 for the 100ml/3.4 fl.oz size, and about $25 or the 50ml/1.7 fl.oz size off eBay (make sure its a reputable seller)
A staple in my makeup routine now. LOVE IT and can't go without it now. 100% recommend and would 100% repurchase. Good job Laura Mercier! Please never discontinue this amazing stuff!
I'll just start off by saying that if you're looking for a primer to control the oilies, fill pores, and make your makeup last longer...This isn't it. The sole function of this particular primer is to provide luminosity to the complexion...And it does it well.
I bought this because my skin was looking dry and lack luster thanks to the harsh Canadian Winter. I like it quite a bit.
The bad? I find that you have to use more of this than other primers since it does not seem to spread as nicely. I also noticed that this doesn't give you silky finish that most primers do. The texture is actually slightly sticky. And like I said, it does not control shine or make your makeup last longer at all.
So what do I like about this primer? It really does live up to its namesake and provide a natural looking radiance to the skin. It has a rose gold tinge, but it goes on quite sheer (allowing it to match all complexions). After I apply this, my skin has a dewy, glowing look (not glittery at all). The issue is that if you cake on a heavy coverage foundation, this effect will be diminished. This primer works best when used with a lighter foundation/powder.
This may not be the best for oily skinned girls (I have oily skin, but it gets dehydrated during the winter, hence why I bought this). The sheen that this provides, mixed with excessive oils from the skin may make for a greasy look. This primer is best for women who tend to have dry skin that often appears sallow or "dull" for lack of better words. It really will restore natural looking radiance to your complexion.
The effect of this is quite similar to MAC's strobe cream. It doesn't do much at all when it comes to prepping your skin for foundation, but it sure is nice if you want to look healthy and glowing. This even looks nice when worn alone with no foundation over top. I rate it 3.5/5.
If you're looking for a primer that's designed to make your makeup last throughout the day, this isn't the one I'm afraid. BUT - this radiance primer does what it says - it truly does leave a lovely, illuminating sheen to the face. Looks great under foundation. And for 50ml of product, it's lasted for quite a while!
The only let down for me = it's always made me break out, and I'm not usually prone to pimples and spots. Wouldn't buy again for this reason!
If you crushed up a disco ball and suspended it in a very light shade of tinted moisturizer-Laura Mercier Radiance Foundation Primer would be the result.
On the positive side, I kind of like this product, but only when worn with heavier foundations (such as MAC Studio Sculpt) and applied very very sparingly. The texture is nice and smooth. There is a slight tint - which I am not sure would be an issue for very pale folks (I am NW25-30ish for reference, so the tint disappeared under my foundation). It played well with my inherently dry skin.
I am not sure this primer did a whole lot for my skin texture or makeup application/longevity, but it did add a bit of a sparkle factor. I made the mistake once of following the Laura Mercier counter's advice that I could wear this product on its own without foundation as a "light tinted moisturizer". I shimmered sheened and sparkled from miles away - never did that again.
If you wear a heavier foundation and are looking for a glow-I would recommend this product in small doses. However, it is just a bit TOO radiant for my preference. My preferred primer for "glow" is Guerlain Meteorites Perles Light Diffusing Perfecting Primer-much much more subtle than Laura Mercier Radiance, and plays nicer with lighter coverage foundations.
Anyone else out there that hates using a primer that feels like another layer on their skin? I'm so glad I found this primer. I can't remember how I discovered it, but this is my second tube (the first one was the hydrating primer).
The primer was I think $40CAD with 50mL which is well priced, considering I only use about a pea sized amount. I only wished there was SPF of 20 or higher so I don't have to use a sunscreen prior to applying this.
There's a slight glow after applying the primer, but it doesn't really show through the foundation, unless you're using something that has a sheer coverage. The primer is great for the winter time when skin tends to look a bit more dull.
I love Laura Mercier and as much as I love the look of this product, it unfortunately made me break out. It gives you a dewy finish but if you have a t-zone like myself, it just doesnt work out.