I used to always think of people that wore Primers as ‘other’, well other to a lazy groomer like me at least. You know for those a bit more high maintenance, professional make up artists perhaps , celebrities who know they’ll be captured on cameras that deliver a scarily high res image, the make up addicts and beauty gurus. I just thought of it as a needless added part of the beautifying process, rather than a basic or essential element of the regime – in short, something I didn’t really have time for. It wasn’t until I tried a primer that I got on with (that was affordable so don’t make me begrudge it instantly)that I realised how much it can impact the overall finish of your make up look, but also it’s staying power. I couldn’t believe how much time I’d wasted existing with a face that would gather shine after a few hours and amplify my less than smooth canvas.
Since incorporating a primer into my everyday routine and elevating it’s status to ‘must have’ I’m always exciting to hear about new products that promise to deliver even more benefits that the one that has already up’d my face game considerably.
The Body Shop very kindly sent some skincare products over which I shared with the traditional #bloggermail hashtag over on my insta-stories. It wasn’t long till I received a message from my blogger pal Emma who said, ‘oh my god it’s amazing, but press it into your skin don’t rub it, gives the best effect when pressed.’ She knows her beauty, so I made a note of that application tip.
After my first use I was not at all surprised that it has become one of the brand’s best sellers. While I understand what Emma saying, the texture is one that isn’t wet enough to stick to the skin, so you may find you lose some product because it falls off, if applied correctly you could instantly appreciate it’s perfectly named insta-blurring effects.
I’ve found if I rub it in quickly enough after squeezing on to my finger and don’t give the product anytime to flake off, it goes into the skin fine, but patting in is probably the most effective technique to achieve optimum blur effect. First up you notice that it’s removed the shine, which if you are naturally oily and shiny you’ll love – naturally dry skinned perhaps this isn’t the main draw for you. The texture of your skin feels pleasingly smooth – it feels more velvety yet due to it’s weightlessness you can’t really detect that you have any product on your skin.
One of my biggest personal skin peeves and insecurities is my enlarged pores and all the visible dots on my cheeks in particular. I used to spend intensive sessions staring into magnifying mirrors squeezing black heads and those under the surface spots which would have probably disappeared if I hadn’t been so impatient and seeking out that spot-squeezing satisfaction. I used this the other day and before applying make up I showed my rather blunt boyfriend the results, and he said ‘wow it looks like those pits and been kinda filled in’. Well yes, that’s exactly it, although I much prefer The Body Shops more gentle turn of phrase, describing it as blurring the pores.
The next thing I noticed, although I still don’t know quite how it does this, is that my blemishes and redness somehow seemed reduced too. Perhaps it’s ability to mattify means there is less shine drawing attention to the difference in skin-tone and the texture inconsistency, or maybe because
Marula Oil is non-comedogenic and has anti-microbial properties which can help heal and reduce acne blemishes and scarring.
So what else does it’s intelligently and ethically curated ingredient do for your skin? You might notice in the list of ingredients that if features Sclerocarya birrea, commonly known as what I just referred to as marula, which is a medium-sized dioecious tree, indigenous to the miombo woodlands of Southern Africa, the Sudano-Sahelian range of West Africa, and Madagascar.The tree is a single stemmed tree with a wide spreading crown. It is characterized by a grey mottled bark. The tree grows up to 18 m tall mostly in low altitudes and open woodlands.The fruits, which ripen between December and March, have a light yellow skin, with white flesh that is rich in vitamin C— containing about eight times the amount found in an orange.. It is naturally soothing, fast-absorbing and suitable for all skin types including reactive and sensitive. Marula Oil is hand harvested by women in village collectives from the exotic fruit’s seed kernels of bio dynamic and drought resistant Marula trees, indigenous to Southern Africa and Madagascar. Marula leaves and bark have wonderful properties but the skin care properties of natural Marula Oil are perhaps the best of all. This healing oil is widely used for its medicinal benefits by Southern African women and men and has been part of numerous beauty rituals for centuries to protect the skin and hair from the harsh and dry weather conditions.Today’s scientific research confirms what has always been believed of Marula Oil too. This multipurpose oil contains powerful antioxidants, high concentrations of nutrients and essential fatty acids that protect against environmental damage. It also helps reverse photo-damage by boosting cellular activity and hydrate at deep down to repair the skin.
I feel like I’ve put my skin through the ringer over the years. Not only have I spent a lot of time commuting in polluted environments, I have sunbathed intensively on every summer holiday (or in my garden during brief heatwaves), so the reversing capabilities are a huge plus point to me. So if you have a sun damaged complexion like me this may be a fantastic purchase for you.
What I love about the good primers I’ve tried so far, is how they absorb into the skin minus any unpleasant texture or residue, and apparently Marula Oil is known for being fast absorbing and light on the skin. It’s fine molecular structure means it can be effective as a hydrate as well as a protector (from future damage) too.
There there’s the benefits of Vitamin E, which I’m sure you all know by now, but I’ll quickly refresh. It’s been something I’ve lathered on my face lots of the years, having been advised on it’s healing properties and ability to reduce the evidence of scarring. It also wards off sun damage, so it can reduce the signs of ageing and brown spots. Lastly it can promote the the production of collagen and elastin to boost skin firmness, density and volume. At my age anything that plumps the skin or at least appears to is going to be my new bessie mate.
Now I wish I could say that I’m someone that goes for the natural make up look – I wish – but at this stage of my life, and after frequent neglect or regular abuse, my face needs a bit more help. So let’s talk about how this works under a layer of reasonably thick make up. Once I’ve used my Body Shop brush to apply my favourite cruelty-free, high-coverage foundation I received another brutal but positive appraisal from the boyfriend ‘Wow, you can’t even tell you had bad skin!’….again, thanks a lot buddy for your sensitive touch! But I do know what he’s saying. It really did a great job of masking and adding a soft focus to the negative after effects of my acne. I wish I could say that I want to embrace my scarring and damage, as it’s part of my journey and doesn’t mean that I can’t be beautiful, but honestly I really feel a whole lot better about facing the world without using my hair as a distraction, if I get a helping and blurring hand from a primer like this.
At £15 it is good value, although a bit dearer than the primer type product I have been using till now. However, in terms of creating a smooth base it is unrivalled thus far. It also makes my make up last all day, looking pretty close to how it did when applied fresh, while maintaining that matte finish. Also… good work design and marketing department, very savvy branding/name considering the selfie culture we exist in.
The only warning I’ll give is that after regular use it can become a bit drying, although that could be just because I’ve been trialling while being attacked by the Beast from the East.
Have you tried this product? How did you get on?