Primers for Combination Skin in the Summer: E.L.F Vs Too Faced review

What with the weather picking up the way it has been, I’ve been on the lookout for a makeup primer that will keep my base looking fresh all day.

My base of choice is more often than not a tinted moisturiser. As someone with combination skin this might be an odd choice, but I prefer light, natural coverage with a dewy finish. I hate the look of a matte, dry foundation. I wear Balm Shelter by The Balm which is a lovely light and medium coverage tinted moisturiser that also contains spf. I’ve been wearing it every day for a couple of years now, and it lasts all day and I’ve only had to repurchase once.

That being said, I also need to maintain my t-zone because as soon as the summer starts, I get more oily than usual. I’ve also noticed my skin changing as I get older, and I’ll be honest, I’ve also somewhat temporarily ruined my skin by using a face wash that’s dried it out so much (Garnier Micellar Cleansing Gel wash for sensitive skin – don’t buy it) I am having to totally overhaul my skincare routine until its back to normal.

I’d found a fantastic primer that appeared to really control my t-zone but I’d got it online from America, so when it ran out and I didn’t have anything else to buy from this brand, I decided to do some research and invest in a primer which was easier to get hold of. So here’s what I’m talking about:

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I actually received the e.l.f. Tone Adjusting Face Primer as part of a free gift with purchase when I made an order about a year ago (their website being the only place you used to be able to buy e.l.f.) If you’ve never bought on their site, I’d recommend it because they are always doing awesome free gifts with purchase, usually have a free delivery offer on, THEY cover customs charges AND it’s usually here from the US within a week or so. Anyway, I decided to try this primer when the one I’d been using ran out.

This primer is green in colour, so it’s supposed to correct redness and blotches on the skin, and I’ll be honest, I don’t find it does that.

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Don’t be alarmed by the colour, as you can see from the swatch the green blends away, which is probably why it doesn’t really cover much redness. But what I LOVE about this primer is that is silicone-y but not too silicone-y if you know what I mean. It makes my skin feel smooth but still like my skin. I always set my face with loose powder on my t-zone, and have done this with both the primers I’m talking about today. By the middle of my working day I can see this primer really works. If I tap my nose with my finger, a little oil comes off but my skin doesn’t look oily at all. My makeup hasn’t disappeared or started to break down, even on the hottest of days. I was really impressed! Thankfully I can now pick this up in Superdrug, as they have started to stock e.l.f Cosmetics. For £7.50 this is a total bargain and well worth the money.

As I said before, when this ran out and I didn’t have anything else to order from e.l.f, I didn’t want to make an order for just one thing, so I did some research. I wanted to see if there were any more primers, mid-range cost, that I could buy in the UK and were specifically designed for preventing oil. I’d bought the NYX Shine Killer primer before and was so disappointed that it actually made me shinier.

There were two primers that kept coming up as holy grail for oily skin, and one of which I knew I could pick up locally, so I went for that one!

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Too Faced Primed and Poreless Primer was being reviewed as one of the ultimate primers for oil control throughout the day. At £24 it’s not cheap, but it also claimed to smooth skin, hide pores and as it’s slightly tinted suggested that you could wear it on its own for a naturally flawless look.

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So, this is what it looks like when you pump it out. It’s SO smooth on the skin but doesn’t feel like silicone at all. It’s more like feeling silk! The tone of the product isn’t strong enough to allow me to wear just that if I want a flawless finish. And it would need setting if I was going to do that anyhow because it does leave you feeling like you have something on your face. I didn’t notice any change to the appearance of my pores. I will say it did hold up to the oil-control part on warm days, but as soon as the heatwave hit it failed. My nose was oily early on in the day, even with powder and for £24 I’d expect it to perform for longer. I was rather disappointed. You also don’t get a lot of product for the amount you need to put on so I noticed I was going through it rather fast.

In the end, and as soon as my Superdrug started to stock e.l.f. I went back and picked up my old faithful green primer.

If you’re looking for a primer to control your combination skin, I’d say give the green one  from e.l.f a try. Obviously everyone’s skin is different and it might not work for you, but for £7.50 it’s worth a try!

Do you suffer with combination skin that gets more oily in the Summer? I’d love to hear what products you use to keep it in check!

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara

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I’ve been a firm Lancome Hypnose mascara user for the past year. Having considered it my holy grail mascara (finally) I was happily living my life using it on my stubborn, fine, sporadic, straight lashes.

But it’s so darn expensive. Everyone was talking about Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara, so when my Lancome one started to flake and run out, I headed to the shop and picked this one up. This was £19 so slightly cheaper than Hypnose.

I’d never tried this mascara in a sample or anything but, having seen other people rave about it, I thought ‘what the heck’.

Let’s talk about the packaging first.

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Pretty in pink, this packaging of this mascara is really rather heavy. Matte metal, so it’s nice to touch, but really really rather heavy.

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The brush is a really similar hourglass shape to my Hypnose, so I knew it would work for my eye and lash shape.

On first application I was surprised at how clumpy the formula came out. One coat was all I needed to get the finish I wanted. Too Faced say you can do up to 3 coats for maximum drama. I did actually try two coats one morning, and had to take it all off and start again because it looked too spidery. Any clumps that come out on the lashes can be easily brushed back, and do seem to disappear once the lashes are dry. Still, I’d rather not have to work around clumps, thank you very much.

The formula does dry pretty quickly, maybe not as fast as the Lancome mascara I love. The colour is intense and it does hold a curl (after lash curlers) decently – or well, as much as my lashes will ever curl….. But I do find this will flake little bits of mascara onto my face sometimes throughout the day. This isn’t humidity proof and will drop if I do too much smiling – and I like to smile. I have high cheeks and squishy eyes and this will contribute to the drop. I have found that if I brush my lashes after each coat, with my Real Techniques brow and lash groomer, it seperates the lashes and takes out clumps. I like this comb because the prongs are metal not plastic so they glide through and are easily cleaned. The result of doing this is actually the closest to false lashes I’ve seen with a mascara. 

Overall I’m not sad I bought this, and I’m happy to use it until it runs out, but when it does I’ll most likely pick up another tube of Hypnose. Frustratingly, I found out that my September GlossyBox will contain a sample of either this or the Better Than Sex waterproof mascara. I hope I get the waterproof one, just so I can try out the alternative formula. But I kinda wish I’d had the chance to try this before I bought the full size.

This isn’t a bad mascara, but it’s definitely not my holy grail. What I’ve learned: if it aint broke, don’t fix it.