1) Coastalscents Diva Defense Primer
price: 8 grams for $14.95; 1/2 tsp. for $2.00
I really, really, really am enjoying this primer. I bought a sample on a whim while I was in the process of replenishing my shea butter supply (they have great shea butter too), and I am very glad I did. This primer is in powder form, and I thought I would mostly use it under my EDM foundation, but then I decided to try it with liquid foundation. I have so many bottles of liquid foundation, and I want to make a dent in the collection. The thing with some of the liquid foundations I have is that they don't always hold up to oily skin. However, this face primer has breathed new life into the foundations that couldn't go the extra mile. I have tried other powder primers, and they either aren't smooth enough, don't let the liquid foundation glide on well, or they break me out. Diva Defense is perfect.
Diva Defense is a white powder, but it goes on absolutely transparent. The powder has a little iridescence, but once on the skin it really can't be seen. After the powder is buffed in, my face looks even and very slightly poreless; you can still see that I have human skin, but it just looks better. Then, I apply my foundation of choice (right now, I am gravitating towards mark. face xpert, which without the primer is good, but doesn't quite hold up to the oilies. However, with diva defense, it's GREAT.). It's interesting because as I am applying the foundation, I can feel the primer really grab onto the foundation without hindering the blendability. The foundation feels more substantial, without feeling heavy or overbearing. In addition to the primer preparing a wonderful canvas, the primer also seems to seal the foundation. After applying the foundation, my "made up" face holds up for the entire day, and there are some days that are super long. In addition, I tend to rub my face during moments of stress, which teaching definitely induces, and when I do so, I expect my face to feel oily, but amazingly my face feels fresh and dry. Let's see, what else...Oh, a little goes a long way. I have a sample size, and it will last me a long time even with daily use.
This primer really is like putting on an excellent paint primer on. You don't need a lot of coats; you can see the paint just gliding on and the finished product looks smooth and even.
A friggin' A+
Rating: 5 out of 5 happy wallets
2) mark. Matte Chance mattifying lotion
Hmm...this primer is...I guess I just have a love/hate relationship with this primer. I want to love it, but the lotion just isn't trying hard enough. First of all, I really don't like the packaging. I love mark., but sometimes they pick the worst packaging available. The gimmicky contraption is a airless, strawless pump. I don't even know if I can explain how this thing dispenses lotion, but I will try. So, there is this lid, take off the lid. Then you see the the top of the jar, in the middle of the top there is a covered opening. (still with me?) To gain access to the lotion without unscrewing the top and dipping your finger in the jar, you press down on the top of the jar. As you press down, the opening in the center is unveiled--you see, the top is flush with the covered opening when the top isn't pressed down--and the lotion is supposed to come squirting out. Note I said "supposed to"; as it turns out, the lotion doesn't always want to squish out, and the top doesn't always want to function, so there are times when I have to unscrew the top and dip my finger in the jar. This action of last resort defeats the contraption's purpose. There are other times when I finally get the mechanism to work, and too much lotion squirts out, which I just leave on the top for later use. Blah, I think I might have gotten a defective jar, but seriously, they could have just put the lotion in a nice little squeeze tube.
Alright, after fighting with the jar and the airless pump and finally getting the lotion, I put some lotion on my nose, cheeks, and chin. These sections are the oiliest on my face. I put the lotion on after my moisturizer because this lotion does not have spf. The lotion is thickish, creamy with a touch of airiness, white, and pleasant smelling. I make sure to smooth in the lotion as best as possible because if I don't, the foundation application could be problematic. Once the lotion dries, my face feels really smooth and even. The effects remind me of the effects the Monistat Anti-Chafe silicone-based gel. Then I glide on my foundation, also face xpert, and the foundation does not struggle with the primer. However, unlike the Diva Defense, my face still looks a little too dewy for my taste. Throughout the day, my foundation stays on my face, but I get a touch of oil breakthrough on my nose and cheeks. Sometimes, I even notice pooling. So, it feels like I am back at square one.
To tell you the truth, I think this lotion just can't handle the foundation and the moisturizer. After I started considering what this primer could handle, I decided to try the lotion without moisturizer first. Instead, I applied this lotion, then I applied a tinted moisturizer (mark. c-thru). The primer performed much, much better without the moisturizer under it. The next test will be the lotion and just foundation, but I will have to try that at night because of the lack of spf. As of now, I have relegated this primer to quick days or night events. I will use this up, but I will not rebuy. This just might work for normal/combo skin, but proceed with caution if you have overactive oil glands. In addition, I think mark. is asking too much money for this jar.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 happy wallets (I really hate the packaging, and I really don't care for the price.)