Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Beauty Bonus: NARS Pro-Prime Pore Refining Primer

I've had a few reader questions lately about my makeup routine, so I thought I'd start a little extra series about my favorite products--the ones that fall into the failsafe, can't-live-without-it, worth-every-penny, Holy-Grail-of-Beauty-Products category. (Bonus: seldom-seen close-ups of my face--who doesn't want that?)

First up is an unlikely superstar: foundation primer (specifically NARS Pro-Prime Pore Refining Primer). Although I'd read about it in magazines and noticed it as I browsed through the aisles at Sephora, I have to admit that I wasn't really into the idea of primer. I didn't like the concept of adding another layer of goo to my face, thinking I was just upping the potential for my oily, sensitive, breakout-prone skin to have a complete meltdown by the end of the day.

My first experience with primer wasn't a happy one, unfortunately. A sales associate convinced me I should give it a try, and I haplessly spread a thick layer of a the non-oil-free (oil-ful?) variety over my skin and caked a layer of foundation over it. By the end of the day, the predicted oily meltdown and subsequent breakout were a reality. I swore off primer forever.

Against my better judgment, I gave it another try when I got a big sample of the oil-free formula in a NARS gift bag. I use bareMinerals READY foundation (likely the subject of a future Beauty Bonus), and I noticed immediately that the powder went on much more easily and smoothly. It had the same effect as buffing extensively with a kabuki brush, leaving the powder evenly spread over my skin. The finished look was smoother and more dewy-looking, which I loved, but I wasn't sure it was going to last. When I looked in the mirror at lunchtime, I was pleasantly surprised that it looked about the same as it did when I left the house. Later that evening, I was thrilled to discover that, barring some excess oil, my makeup was still holding strong, blush and all.

I kept using the Pro-Prime over several days (the true test), and my skin seemed to tolerate it really well--no extra breakouts, redness, or sensitivity. I was hooked. At $34 a tube, this new addition was not an inexpensive addition to the repertoire, but it was a great one that has continued to perform really well (it's my Photoshop for real life).

Do you have any amazing products you think I should try? Let me know--I love experimenting!

P.S. Make sure you stop by here tomorrow--I have a very exciting collaboration and contest I can't wait to share with you!

Note: I was not compensated in any way for this product review--I just love this primer that much.



  1. I have never tried a NARS primer, maybe I'll test it or try it;) Thanks love!

  2. Thanks for sharing your make up favourites with us! Looking forward to read more in the future!

  3. I've been eyeing MDSolarSciences Mineral Tinted Creme SPF 30. Reviews indicate that it feels like a primer. I haven't tried it yet, though.

  4. i love your eyes here! i don't use a primer out of pure laziness. but your skin looks amazing. i'm excited to see what other products you use

    1. Thanks, Amber! I think I've been doing my eye makeup the same way since high school. I'll share my (wallet-friendly!) HG eyeliner soon.

  5. Oh my gosh, this post was for me. I have very oily skin and large pores and I've been endlessly searching for a good primer. I will promptly be going to get a sample of this asap!!


    1. I would have never guessed you had oily skin! Your makeup always looks absolutely flawless on your blog. You do glam makeup so well!

  6. I agree no two primers are the same!! Lately I been using BB cream that has primer since it is summer...but it does get oily. I used to use Nars primer back in the day...but this pore refining must be new.


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