What is it about makeup that looks too cheap to be true? I told myself I’d invest and spend more on less stuff going forwards, but browsing in my local Primark (and buying pyjamas, duh), I got sucked in by the “£3!” and “£1!” price stickers and went a bit mad.
Primark has always had their own makeup, for as long as I remember – it’s always been kinda questionable, and didn’t hold much draw for me (since it was all lipsticks and nail polishes). In recent times, they seem to be stepping the collection up, especially with the addition of the PS…PRO line. I only bothered picking up face and complexion products (obviously, because I’ll never be satisfied with my base – cheeky Hamilton reference there), and I don’t have the exact prices, due to my eagerness to rip the ugly price labels off. Everything was definitely under a fiver though, and some things were even £1. But, were they any good?
My Perfect Colour Moisturising Foundation Stick in Porcelain
This is actually the first stick foundation I’ve ever tried! Most of them (including this one) are formulated more for drier skin types – hence why I’ve steered clear so far. However, the low low price tag of about £3 made me want to try it regardless.
It applied surprisingly nicely – I swiped it on and then blended it out with my RT sponge, resulting in a solid medium coverage. There was a small amount of pilling, and the foundation sort of stuck to certain bits of texture on my face which I think is caused by the swiping motions I had to use to blend it out (as opposed to patting a liquid foundation in). As predicted, this foundation didn’t really stay put or manage to keep my oils at bay, breaking down a bit after a few hours of wear. On the good side, the shade was pretty damn perfect – maybe one of the only “Porcelain” shades I’ve used that’s actually pale enough to earn that name. I could see myself using this in a pinch when travelling or for touch-ups.
PS…PRO Longwear Mineralized Foundation SPF 15 in 00 Porcelain
Like with the stick foundation, Primark have absolutely nailed the uber-pale shade for their liquid foundation – unfortunately, the rest of the shade range is trash (there’s only five shades!). This liquid formula is the stand-out product of the PS..PRO range, aimed at being a little more serious and “luxe” than the regular Primark beauty. It’s housed in a frosted glass bottle, with a pump (!) providing 30ml of product for £5.
I’ve seen multiple comments and reviews suggesting that this could potentially be a dupe for Estée Lauder Double Wear (my all-time favourite) – I have to say, nothing I’ve ever tried has come close to that. This foundation is a little thicker in texture, staying as a sort of blob once pumped out rather than being runny. The coverage is also not quite as full, or natural looking – I found that this ended up clinging to weird places and looking quite dry. The formulation itself is way more matte than the stick, as the name might suggest, and definitely more matte than Double Wear (hence why you don’t get that seamless satin finish).
Alas, this fell down on that major point for which Double Wear excels at – longevity. While not the worst day of foundation wear I’ve ever had, by 5pm it had started to break down around my chin and nose, becoming extremely shiny and heavy-feeling. Overall: not awful, but definitely not a holy grail bargain.
Smashbox dupe alert! Just look at the packaging – the label is almost identical. The major difference here is obviously the cost – Primark’s version sits at around £2.50, nearly one-tenth of the original’s £22 price tag. I’m not completely sure what ”Primer Water” is supposed to do – I suppose it’s just another way of getting a layer under foundation for more grip and hold, but with a lightweight method of delivery.
The bottle sprays nicely, not the most amazingly fine mist, but not a horrible chunk-fest (like I experienced with L’Oreal’s setting spray). It smelled really nice, sort of like hair products, and left my skin with a good level of stickiness but I’m not sure if it made my base look any better or improved the longevity. Still, for that price I wasn’t expecting anything ground-breaking (though it is silicone, alcohol and oil-free – all pros!).
More sticks! I’m such a sucker. There’s loads of these kinds of primers on the market, although I always wonder how practical and hygienic they are (you are smearing it directly onto your face). This is like your classic pore-filling silicone primer (a la Smashbox), but in a stick form – clear, and slippery. I don’t really get on with those primers, and so I didn’t get on with this one, as it left me with what I can only describe as a greasy face.
I don’t think it’s hydrating per se, but perhaps drier skin types would fare better with this primer – and the low price isn’t anything to sniff at, of course. (No photos of this one because I promptly lost it as soon as photoshoot time came around – it has since been recovered).
PS…Glow Highlighter Stick in Blush Glow
Stick life. This is the kind of stick-product I can really get behind – a shimmery pink glow for highlighting and adding a bit more life to the face. I’m currently head-over-heels for cream colour products, and this one is no exception – it’s so blendable and subtle, best applied with a sponge or the fingertips (I find directly swiping disturbs the foundation and doesn’t look quite as diffused and natural). It’s not crazy pigmented or blingy, but I enjoy that! Not all of us want to look like a disco ball for a day in the office, and for £2 I’m more than happy to accept this level of glow, especially when it’s so pretty and lifelike.
PS…Pure Glow Highlighter in Rose Prosecco
Rose-gold tones really are irresistible, no matter how unwearable they might be. This shimmering powder caught my eye on the shelf, and I think it was about £3 – so why not? The other shade was more of a golden champagne, that looked a bit too dark for my colouring.
I would call this more of a blush-topper than a highlighter due to the richly pigmented and metallic finish it left behind, and the super-light hand required to apply it. This unfortunately came across sort of chunky and glittery on my cheekbones, but I’d like to try it out on the eyes because the champagne-pink tone is just so gorgeous.
I thought this would be a completely fruitless and unsuccessful venture – however, I’m pleasantly surprised by how some of the products worked out – particularly the primer water and the stick highlighter. I don’t know if high-street foundations will ever be able to compete with my beloved ELDW (that being said, the New Look foundation is superb), but I have to commend the accuracy of the “Porcelain” shade, even though the rest of their shade ranges majorly fall down. I reckon if you dig around a bit more, particularly in the PS…PRO line, there might be some hidden gems to be found.