When essence released their new foundation I was so busy getting it that I didn’t even notice they had also released a primer to go with it. Weeks later I’m at the drugstore and I go, hey, what’s that thing with the “new” sticker on? Why, it is the Fresh & Fit Awake Primer that promises you a healthy glow and a pore minimizing effect.
Like the foundation, it actually does contain all those promised vitamins and in fact, more than that. Like the foundation, the back of the packaging (not pictured) promised you “vitamin b3, vitamin e, provitamin b5 & cranberry water”. Looking at the ingredients there is also retinol in and vitamin c, but vitamin c is the lowest on the list, so there’s probably not all that much. Neither the foundation nor the primer promise SPF, but both contain some iron oxides and titanium oxide, so it might give a little bit of SPF. Still, personally I also put on my normal sun protection when using this, especially since retinol makes you sensitive to light.
Unlike the foundation the primer does not contain alcohol, so if that was a no-go for you for the foundation or the foundation color didn’t work for you, you might get happy with the primer. So, seriously, even though this is sold only as a makeup item, it packs more skin care punch than most of the regular skin care in the drugstore! If you have trouble finding a good cream you might as well just use this.
But for now, on to the makeup part:
The product comes out like this, a little peachy and shimmery.
But when you blend it out, it is colorless so it will work for every skintone. In this pic, the top half is covered in primer and the bottom half isn’t. So one half is all glowy and the other is just dry skin. So yes, it delivery on the promised glow, but keep in mind this isn’t a liquid highlighter. Five years ago you might have called it a highlighter, but today it really isn’t. And to be quite honest when you put foundation on top you won’t see much of the glow anymore. Combining it with the Fresh & Fit foundation will give you a “glowy” face but that’s because the foundation has such a “glowy” finish. I put that word in scare quotes because one person’s glow is another one’s oil slick.
Anyway you can use this primer with whatever foundation you want but with a full coverage you won’t see much of the shine anymore. Which personally I prefer (see oil slick).
I super love the texture of this it feels like you’re putting on a much more expensive thing! It just glides on. This is a silicone primer, but feels less siliconey than my other silicone primers. Being silicone based helps it minimize the appearance of pores, as promised on the packaging. However, this will only work if you then put foundation on top. Because the primer makes your face smoother physically, but it will not cover your pores optically, especially with that glow going on. So keep that in mind if you want to use it alone.
As a primer it worked well for me aka it was easy to apply makeup on top and it made makeup last longer (compared to using no primer). It did not last any better than my usual primers and it did not keep me shine free on my T-zone at all (well, it IS called a glow primer).
Let’s go back to the skin care properties. This isn’t sold as such and isn’t making any promises, but I think that using this for a while did help my skin. In the long run it was a bit annyoing to use as a primer because I always had to put on extra sun protection as well. So sometimes I’d just use it on normal, no makeup days as well.
Note that this product includes both niacinamide and vitamin c, which many blogs will tell you not to mix. There’s an interesting thread on reddit about it here, if you want to read up more on that. You will also find advice not to mix retinol with vitamin c. This cream obviously does not care, it just throws all of it together. Here‘s a link to Paula’s Choice talking about retinol myths. I just wanna mention it in case that’s something you personally don’t wanna combine on your face.
Me, I’ve been using a vitamin c toner with a niacinamide serum for six months now and I had no problems with that. They don’t seem to cancel each other out. Worst thing that happens is that my face flushes for a few minutes (less than five) but that happens whenever I apply niacinamide and is normal.
Word of caution if your skin is not used to niacinamide or retinol you might get some redness or small pimples at first, but this is normal and should stop soon. If you have any worse reactions or if it doesn’t stop after two weeks, stop using product.
Whoa this post eneded up longer than I thought. So long in fact, that this is posting on a thursday instead of wednesday. I guess I was very happy to find a good quality primer in the drugstore. I hope you enjoyed this post. Tomorrow there’ll be another perfume review up. Next week there might be some more lipsticks (highly probable).