Do we really need a primer to stay flawless?
A month or so ago I was sent Benefit’s latest primer – ‘Stay Flawless‘ – to play with and review.
I wasn’t being asked to review it here on the blog but to review it back to Benefit. Automatically, Benefit get a thumbs up from me for doing this sort of outreach activity – I didn’t get on with the product immediately and I really welcomed being able to feed that back to the brand.
But since my initial misgivings, I seem to have found myself using Stay Flawless most days…so clearly there’s something I like about it.
In my ‘but I have good skin’ smugness, I didn’t consider myself the target market for this product. I don’t generally worry about foundation, as long as I have a base tan I’m very happy to go without it and when I do wear foundation I wear Chanel’s ‘long wear’ Perfection Lumière set with Mat Lumière powder - and these products really do give great long lasting coverage. I don’t have problem skin, I don’t touch my face a lot and I’m not bothered if my ‘real skin’ is on show…so I didn’t really see the appeal of putting yet another product on my face, especially when I think part of the reason I have good skin is the very fact that I don’t overload it with products.
Obviously I was going to give it a fair try though, so I ripped open the parcel like a maniac and headed to the bathroom.
My initial reaction was “oh I’ve been sent something from Topshop Make Up by mistake”…
…and I missed the quirks and punnery that usually decorate a Benefit product. But this wasn’t about packaging of course, THIS WAS ABOUT PRIMING.
The primer is like a make-up pritt stick with a twist up function and a double cap to keep it from drying out…
It has a colour to it as you can see above, but it goes on completely sheer and doesn’t colour your skin. You’re supposed to apply it to clean skin in circular motions BEFORE putting on any other make-up, if you’re not familiar with primers you’re ‘priming’ the skin for foundation basically.
Stay Flawless claims to act like a ‘magnet’, locking your foundation in for 15 hours. But did it?
The first thing I noticed was that it felt tacky, it’s not a nice feeling to put the product on your skin. I didn’t feel like I had to use very much at all to cover my face (I think the stick will last a decent amount of time – always a good thing!) but when it came to putting my foundation over it it felt very odd indeed. It was kinda draggy, like my fingers were stuck to my face. “Must be the magnet effect” I presumed, simultaneously grumbling that I didn’t want to wear an extra product on my boiling hot face during the insane humid period I was trialling it in.
But whilst it didn’t feel particularly nice to apply, it did give me confidence that the product was going to do something. I applied my powder on top of my foundation and went about my bizzyness.
The tacky feeling went away almost instantly – and this was my main concern – so that was a relief.
But what blew me away? The number of people closest to me who commented on my ‘youthful’ and ‘dewy’ skin – specifically asking if I’d changed my make-up. The only change was the addition of the primer, so that has to be saying something.
I didn’t get a great deal of opportunities to try out the supposed 15 hour longevity in the beginning, mainly because I tend to only put foundation on late in the day (for going out in the eve etc) or if I do have it on earlier in the day I usually end up in a swimming pool destroying all my beautifying hard work.
BUT THEN CAME V FEST.
V Fest was definitely where this product came into its own. You don’t get to dick around with make-up at festivals (not unless you want to be ‘that high maintenance girl’ who annoys all her mates) so I really relied on using Stay Flawless first thing in the morn and it locking my foundation in ALL day. And it bloody well worked. I was really, really pleased with how my make-up lasted – espesh given that it was hot and humid.
And now I find I’ve incorporated Hello Flawless into my make-up routine and my pre-primer days feel a long time go. I don’t wear it every day, but if I’m bothering to wear foundation and powder then I bother to put this on first.
Of course, Benefit say it works best with their Hello Flawless range but I’m happy with how it works with my Chanel bits – and again, I think this is important because we don’t live in a homogenised world where we only wear cosmetics from one brand.
If you’d asked me when I first tried it if I’d recommend Stay Flawless I probably would have said I didn’t see the appeal, but a month in I’ve found myself converted. I suspect it’s a much more appealing product to girls who have concerns about their skin/foundation, but even as someone who didn’t feel their foundation needed any extra ‘help’ I’ve found myself impressed with it.
It doesn’t quite have the wow factor of some other Benefit products (read my love letter to Boi-ing here) but it’s staying firmly in my make-up bag.