Urban Decay have always been known for their amazing eyeshadow primers; ensuring your eye makeup stayed put the whole day (and night) and looked as good as when you first applied it. I have stayed loyal to their primer potions for nine years and I have never found an eyeshadow primer that worked as well for me. So I’m sure you can imagine my excitement when I discovered that in 2017 Urban Decay were launching four face primers. This year they have brought out four primers, each specifically made to target problem areas of the skin. All four primers contain 28ml of product and are £23, which I thought was quite reasonable for a brand like Urban Decay.
There is the most popular of the four, Optical Illusion – the pore perfecting primer- which is great for all skin types and minimises the appearance of pores and fine lines whilst creating a blur effect and mattifying your skin.
There is Self Adjusting – the soft-focus effect complexion primer – which features encapsulated pigments to even out skin tone and minimise the appearance of blemishes. The Self Adjusting primer also promises to control shine, minimise pores and fine lines.
The Urban Defence – environmental protection complexion primer with SPF 30 – is described as a clear sunscrean that works with your makeup to ensure your skin is protected whilst looking flawless. This clear gel formula is lightweight and smooths out your complexion for easier makeup application.
I opted for the fourth primer, De-Slick – the shine control complexion primer – which is the primer specifically for oily skin. This primer promises to absorb oil, smooth out the appearance of your skin and minimise pores. This primer seemed to tick all my boxes so I was excited to get it home and try it.
The sales assistant in the store advised me to not rub in the primer like you normally would, but instead pat it onto the skin. This was also reiterated on the box. At first I found it slightly harder to cover my whole face evenly when applying it this way, but I have now gooten used to it. For other primers I like to dot them around my face then massage them in, however dotting this primer around your face does not work well with the dabbing. It works best when you dispense it into your finger tips – one and a half pumps is the best amount for me – and apply it straight to your face. The primer dries in very fast and feels velvety soft. One thing I first noticed which I wasn’t a fan of was the smell; it initially smells of liquorice, which I really dislike the smell of, but thankfully, the scent disappears once it absorbs into your skin.
I have been using this primer for two weeks now, and on the first application I wasn’t impressed. It felt lovely on my skin so I thought I would love it, but when I applied my foundation, it was patchy and the foundation would barely apply on areas on my nose and forehead. I had to apply a lot of product to those areas before I achieved a normal coverage. After that I washed my foundation brushes and tried the primer again the following day. It worked a million times better and applied smoothly and there wasn’t a patch in sight. I have read that some brushes don’t seem to work well with this primer, and after trying have found that my stippling brush applies better than my flat foundation brush. Many people have stated however that a beauty blender works great with this primer, so if that is your go to foundation applicator then you’re all good!
Despite this primer not being compatible with all applicators, I still really like this primer and it really does keep oil and shine at bay. I have used this when going to work, and when I return home at night my foundation still looks great with no shine in sight. It says you can top up with the primer on top of your makeup if needed, but even after wearing makeup for over 12 hours, there has been no touch up required. Even when I have been to gigs which usually means my makeup melting off within a hour, my makeup has stayed perfect and matte.
One thing some people may not like however, is that this primer doesn’t really produce a natural finish. It isn’t cakey or heavy, but it definitely isn’t a natural, ‘no makeup makeup’ look. This doesn’t bother me as I rarely wear natural makeup, but for someone who is just looking for a very minimal look, this may not be the primer for them.
Aside from that, this primer is pretty perfect. It is well worth switching up which brush or sponge you use to apply your foundation for because when it works, it works amazingly.