Update: Be sure to check out my more recent Battle of the Drugstore Primers here.
This is the battle of the drugstore primers, where we see how some popular foundation primers compare with each other. The three covered here are all meant to smooth skin and extend the life of your makeup. I am not choosing to cover color-correcting primers in this post because they are designed to do a completely different thing. If you have never used a foundation primer, you apply it over your moisturizer and under your foundation and concealer. A foundation primer is supposed to help your makeup apply more smoothly, and evenly. It’s also supposed to lengthen the wear time of your foundation so that it looks good all day. My opinion of these primers is based solely on my experience with them as someone who has dry skin and who likes to use a variety of foundations day to day. The three primers that I am covering today are: Rimmel Fix & Perfect Foundation Primer, Hard Candy Sheer Envy Primer, and Revlon Beyond Natural Smoothing Primer. Let the battle begin.
Rimmel Fix & Perfect Foundation Primer is the consistency of liquid foundation and is a salmon orange color out of the tube. The color does blend out, though fair skin may still see a peachy tinge. I do not find this primer very moisturizing, but it does make my skin feel slightly smoother when first applied. It dries down immediately, so you do not have to wait to apply foundation. Fix & Perfect is best for normal to oily skin because it leaves a matte, almost powdery finish. I don’t think that it is a good primer for dry skin at all. I find that it clings to dry patches, making them even more evident. The performance of Fix & Perfect varies wildly depending on what foundation I use. Some foundations apply decently, but many foundations apply unevenly and get “stuck” in some spots (Revlon Colostay, for example). Again, I believe that if I had oily skin I would have better luck with this primer, but as someone with dry skin, all I can say is that I hate Fix & Perfect. It smells like baby wipes to me, and makes my makeup look patchy. It does extend the life of my foundation a little bit, but when it does fade, it fades unevenly. I know many people really like this primer, so if you have oily skin and don’t mind fragrance, go ahead and check it out for yourself. I’d love to hear if someone uses it and likes it, but it’s not for me. I will not repurchase Rimmel Fix & Perfect Foundation Primer.
Hard Candy Sheer Envy Primer is a milky silicone based primer. It is prone to separating, so it needs to be shaken well before use. It is extremely moisturizing and smooth, and literally feels like silk when rubbed between your fingers. Perhaps it’s a bit too silky. A little goes a really long way, and it’s easy to use too much. The primer still feels “wet” even when it’s fully blended and it takes several minutes before it feels like it’s drying down at all. I love how moisturizing it is, but I feel like it has too much slip. If I don’t wait for it to dry down completely, my foundation glides too much and doesn’t blend in properly. However, if I am patient and wait for it to do it’s thing, Sheer Envy is a great primer. It locks moisture in fantastically, and keeps my foundation looking good for hours. There is no noticeable scent, which is a blessed relief. I would warn those with oily skin to be cautious because I could see this primer making the skin feel even more oily and may cause breakouts. Those with normal to dry skin will probably have better luck. Another issue is that Hard Candy is exclusive to Walmart, so if you do not live near a Walmart, or think it’s the devil, you are out of luck. I am not sure if I will repurchase. Hard Candy Sheer Envy Primer has substantial pros and cons. I definitely think it is worth checking out, as long as you are prepared to put up with its’ flaws.
Revlon Beyond Natural Smoothing Primer is a clear silicone based gel primer. This is my favorite of the three. It feels smooth and silky to the touch, without too much slip. It dries down faster than the Hard Candy Sheer Envy Primer, so I don’t feel like I have to wait on my primer before I can continue on with my routine. I feel that it locks in moisture without making my face oily or too wet for foundation. My foundation glides on easily and blends like a dream. Revlon’s primer definitely extends the life of my foundation and if it does fade, it fades much more evenly than it otherwise would. It works equally well under a variety of foundations. The only complaint I have is that it does have a strong scent. I personally like the scent, but it would be better without it because it can smell a bit perfume-y. I do think that those with oily skin should proceed with caution since this primer is so moisture locking. It’s fantastic for normal to dry skin, though. I will absolutely repurchase Revlon Beyond Natural Smoothing Primer when I run out.
I hope this post helps you if you are wondering what drugstore primer to try. For me, the winner is Revlon Beyond Natural, but Hard Candy Sheer Envy is also pretty good. The best part is that all three of these primers are available for under ten dollars, which is wonderful.
Speed Read: Revlon Beyond Natural Smoothing Primer is my favorite foundation primer and wins the battle of the drugstore primers, IMO.
Best for: Revlon Beyond Natural Smoothing Primer is best for normal to dry skin.
Keep walking: Rimmel Fix & Perfect Foundation Primer was an epic fail for me. Those with dry skin will want to stay away.