First off: a quick apology for my absence these past few weeks. I’ve recently migrated up the east coast to seek my fortune in the big apple and start up a new job. Thus far all I’ve been able to do with my minimal free time is shove my face full of whatever food is in reach and stumble up the stairs to my bed. Now that i’ve had a while to settle in, I’m back to spending too much money and time evaluating the contents of my makeup bag – normalcy returns.
What first caught my eye about the Benefit Stay Flawless primer wasn’t the lure of 15 hour makeup longevity or even the absurdly adorable packaging – what grabbed my attention was the stick form the product comes in. Reminiscent of a glue stick you’d find lying around a kindergarten classroom, the primer comes in a twist-up tube that can be swiped directly on the face – no hands needed. For some reason (most likely because I am incredibly lazy), converting this one step from a messy, hands-on formula to a clean, finger-free one was enough to persuade me to pick one up.
Here’s what Benefit has to say about their newest primer:
Flawless works overtime! Our instant PRO-long primer acts like a magnet to lock on your foundation for 15 fresh & flawless hours. This invisible stick primer glides directly onto skin for optimal wear and a natural-looking finish. Go longer. Stay flawless!
The key to this product, it seems, is application. The ideal way to apply it is to swipe it on your face in sections, immediately blending your foundation on top so the two are worked simultaneously into your skin. It’s best to work in sections because the primer is fast setting and letting it sit will decrease your chances for a smooth, even finish and you’ll have to work a bit harder to blend it all in.
Another key thing to remember when using this product is that less is more. When I was first testing this primer, I used it the same way I would a liquid one, applying all over the skin. That turned out to be quite the mistake. This primer becomes cakey and gluey when concentrated and I noticed patchiness in the final texture of my foundation (this can also happen if you let the primer sit too long prior to blending). It was so bad I ended up washing all my makeup off and starting from scratch, I even had to switch to a new buffing brush as the first one was all gummed up with product. Having learned my lesson, I now swipe a minimal amount on my face: across the cheekbones, down the nose, across the T-zone and finally across my chin. I don’t cover these areas, merely stripe across them and allow the blending process to spread the product across my face. I noticed I need a tad more foundation than usual as the primer seems to act as a magnet for makeup but the difference wasn’t significant.
So what did I think? The single best thing about this primer is the sheer ease of use. You just twirl the product up in the tube, swipe it across your face and then blend simultaneously with your foundation. No sticky fingers, no additional blending – nada. Applying primer has now become one of my favorite makeup steps as opposed to my least. The formula glides effortlessly onto the face with a wet feel that disappears as the product melts into your skin. I found the finish to be decently lightweight and smooth but not quite as light as my Smashbox Photo Finish Light.This primer does a good job of keeping my foundation on my face, though I don’t think it really holds up to its 15 hour claim (another product falls victim to my extremely oily skin). It does, however, help mitigate oil levels and shine throughout the day – an excellent side benefit (wink, wink).
Overall, I’m very pleased with this purchase. I love that it helps me wage the endless war against my oily face and my lazy self is thrilled with the quick, no-hands application style. That being said, based on other reviews online, this primer seems to be a true hit or miss product. You either love it or you hate it. The only way to find out is to give it a go – though I do think some of the problems arise from the unusual application process required rather than the product itself. P.s. this primer is paraben free – good for those who keep a close eye on their cosmetics ingredients!
At $32/.54oz it’s a bit of a splurge (as are most Benefit primers) but ultimately, if you love the product, it’s worth it. A good primer makes a world of difference – especially during lovely sweaty heat waves like we had in NYC last week. 100°? Honestly, pull yourself together New York.
Image credits: Elle.com, Sephora.com