I think this is a primer worth trying if you have oily or acne prone skin. It's supposed to be best under powder makeup but I wear it over Estee Lauder's Doublewear (which I also often mix with Illuminare's liquid mineral foundation), and I've still gotten a good finish with it.
If you've got big pores or even shallow acne scars, this stuff is REALLY good at smoothing over those little crevices. In fact, a couple of months ago I had this awful little depression in my face that I just could not cover, but I'd dip a toothpick in this stuff and I'd fill it in with that, then after it dried I'd layer on the makeup and it actually worked (this was the deepest acne scar I've ever had, but it was probably still considered shallow, and when I tried this technique with the real shallow ones it didn't work so well). Also, I don't wear powder, so this stuff gives my makeup way longer staying power and it definitely seems to keep the shine from overwhelming my face.
One thing I noticed though, is that this stuff dried out and irritated my skin when I was on accutane, so I would definitely test it first if you have sensitive or dry skin (lavender is a known irritant).
I use this as a primer under liquid foundation. I often have long days where I want my foundation to look fresh as long as possible. I find using this product keeps my under eye concealer and liquid foundation in place longer. It has never been cakey on me. I love all of Philosophy's products but most of them seem overpriced to me. This one is worth the $20.00 for the tube, especially if you compare to the cost of other primers.
It doesn't do miracles, it's just a good primer.
This is the perfect primer to use before using any mineral based powder makeup. However, when used before any liquid, stick, or pot makeup, beware!!! The makeup turns cakey on the face and does not smooth out. But this is primer works very well before using mineral makeup (bare minerals, sheer cover, etc.). It evens and smooths out your skin's texture. It also helps keep the mineral makeup on throughout the day. When I was using sheer cover, I used this product. It toned down my redness on my face also. It made my face very light in color, not very alive looking. You will need a highlighter or luminator to brighten up your face after using. It serves a purpose, but is not multi-purpose. I would buy this again if I went back to using mineral makeup.
Oct 2011: I'm so glad I used my initiative & asked for a sample of this at Boots instead of just taking the plunge and buying on a whim. This is a mediocre product to me. It provides somewhat of a smooth surface but only helps my foundation look matte for about 45mins or so before oil breakthrough (by the time i've left home & arrived at work I'm already passed 'dewy' territory.)
Admittedly I have oil prone skin & it has been hot in the UK over the past week but in my mind those a the ultimate test drive conditions to see if such a product lives up to it's mattifying claims & this failed for me.
On the upside I'd say the presentation, packaging & size are decent for the RRP it's going for at £22.
I've ordered Pop Beauty's Face Magnet as another reviewer suggested it instead & I've since read numerous raves. Here's hoping it lives up to the claims for me. I'll be sure to do a review on that once I own it & have test driven.
I have been using this for a week, even with the mixed reviews I bought this. This does not work for my oily skin, nothing with the pores and fine lines. I am just not impressed with the product. The price is great. I am still looking for the best primer for my very, very oily skin with visible pores. I have tried smashbox, be, sephora, lg, hourglass, etc. This did not though break me out, but I was oily 2 hrs after putting this on.
I've been using this for well over 2 years now, and it suits me very well.
I have combination skin that tends towards dryness in winter, and find this product stands up well against a hot Australian summer. I am extremely pale, and wear Make Up Store's matte formula foundation over the top, which needs hydrated skin and a good primer base for a flawless finish.
I used Laura Mercier oil free primer, and while I still like it I find this one much better - some days I don't use foundation over the top because it makes my skin feel soft and smooth.
One thing I will say - the packaging does need a review as it can be messy, however the 2oz bottle lasts for ages as you only need a little bit for the entire face.
Yes, you do need to wait a few mins for it to really settle on your skin, but it's not that big a deal, just do your eyes while you wait. About to buy my 3rd bottle, highly recommend it.
I'd also like to point out that while this product does contain Lavender Oil, which has been proved to be toxic to human skin cells, it isn't toxic until levels of 0.25% have been reached - that would mean 141 milligrams of this product would need to be pure lavender oil for any damage to be done. I highly doubt there is that much Lavender Oil in it.
Been using this for about two months and I don't like it. I don't find it does anything for pores, or make my make up look any better or last any longer.
The product has now split, meaning the tube is filled with stuff that looks like cottage cheese and some water.
Complete waste of money.
This is a pretty good product. I have never used a primer before so I really have nothing to compare it to but I do like it. It makes my skin smoother and my foundation stays on longer. My blush goes on nicer also. It fills in my fine lines and helps make my pores look smaller. I have not had any breakouts and I have been using daily for 4 weeks. The only thing I don't like is how messy around the opening and inside the lid gets. But that is the only thing I dislike about this product.
Did give a smooth base to apply my foundation but I didn't notice any longer coverage than without it. Waiting the two minutes for it to dry got kinda old after having to do the same with my moisturizer before it. It didn't have an offending smell and I felt like I got a large amount for the price vs philosophy's other primer hence why I bought it. I haven't tried the tinted primer so I can't compare the two. Its a large tube and it should last me a while but I'll be trying something different next time.
I dont see how this could work as a "barrier" between my face and my make up. I dont see any difference at all. THis is quite cooling to the skin and I guess this could work as a moisturizer, but beyond that I dont see the point of keeping this. Back it goes!