Hiya guys, today I’m reviewing the Guerlain L’Essentiel Pore Minimizer Shine Control Primer. Try saying that 5 times over!
Now, I’ve had the Guerlain L’Essentiel foundation for a while now and I love it, so when I saw that Guerlain had added a primer to the range, I knew I had to try it!
It’s an odd looking, gloopy green product that smells exactly the same as the foundation. So if you’re sensitive to fragrance you might want to pass on this. Although, you’ll probably want to pass on everything Guerlain as every product I’ve tried has fragrance!
Let’s get into the full review!
DISCLAIMER: JOHN LEWIS LINKS ARE AFFILIATE, PRODUCTS PURCHASED BY ME
The Guerlain L’Essentiel Pore Minimizer Shine Control Primer is £38 for 30ml of product.
This works out to be £1.20 per ml. You don’t need very much product to cover your face, so this will last ages!
This primer comes in a pebble shaped frosted glass bottle with a dropper. It feels weighty and luxurious, but is definitely not travel friendly!
The dropper isn’t great at picking product up either. I’ve tried and tried to suck the product up, but you get a tiny bit, so I end up wiping the dropper onto my hands to get product! You also have to be very careful putting the dropper back in the bottle as if not, the primer comes up over the side of the bottle. Not great when you’re paying almost £40 for a primer. I wish this had come with a pump like the foundation, but it does look smart.
- Light texture that forms a barrier between your skin and foundation
- Pore minimizing and blurring
- Keeps your skin matte all day
- Skin texture is refined with continued use
- Protects against pollution
- Complexion smoothing
I am loving that brands are now marrying together makeup and skincare. Why can’t we have it all when it comes to makeup? There’s no need to have makeup that is bad for your skin anymore and I am all for 2 birds, 1 stone. Wear makeup and still be helping your skin. Of course, it is going to take time to see whether or not the skincare elements do work, but I’m happy that brands are adding in skincare to makeup products.
OK, let’s get into the claims properly. This primer definitely has a light texture, it’s not particularly sticky, it feels cooling and is very easy to spread on the skin. You don’t need much at all and it does feel like the perfect base between your skin and makeup.
The primer sinks in fast and does make your skin feel really smooth and ready for foundation. I wouldn’t say it minimises pores per se, but I do notice they look slightly blurred – almost like a filter over your face.
The Guerlain L’Essentiel primer claims it will keep your skin matte all day, but I don’t find that. I have combo skin that gets oily through the t-zone. This primer does keep my skin matte for about 6 hours, but then I could do with some powder. After 8 hours I’m super shiny.
It does keep your foundation looking fresh, I don’t notice it breaking down or going cakey, which is great, but I do have other primers that do this and keep my skin looking matte for longer.
I can’t speak to the long term claims of it refining your pores as I’ve only been using it for 2 or 3 weeks. However, as I said above, I do like the fact there are ingredients beneficial to your skin in there, such as avocado extract, white cocoa bean and probiotics. I can’t see it having a negative effect on your skin and it doesn’t break me out.
I also can’t prove that it protects against pollution, kind of have to take them at their word as what does pollution look like? And I might not see for years whether or not pollution has had an effect on my skin.
APPLICATION AND WEAR TEST
This primer is quite runny, but thick. It’s easy to apply and you only need a couple of drops to cover your whole face.
I’ve worn this with a few different foundations now and I’ve had differing results. I always use Armani Luminous Silk as my control foundation as I know how well it wears on my skin and it looks gorgeous on top of any primer… normally.
The Guerlain L’Essentiel Primer underneath Luminous Silk was interesting… my makeup definitely didn’t last as long as usual and I looked very shiny. However, with the Guerlain L’Essentiel foundation it looked amazing all day. I still got shiny after 6 hours, but it didn’t separate or look heavy on my skin until hour 14. It also looked good with my Lancome Teint Idole Ultra foundation.
Here’s how my makeup looked straight after application (this was the Guerlain foundation):
After 8 hours of wear: definitely shiny!
I have to say, I kind of expected more of this primer because I love the foundation so much. It was a bit of a let down. I do like it and it does feel lovely on the skin, but I am the kind of person who wants a “one and done” product. I want a primer that will work under every foundation I have, not to have to test every single foundation I own and work out which ones work and don’t work.
It definitely looks the best under the Guerlain L’Essentiel foundation, which you would expect, it’s part of the same range, however, I have other primers that are part of a range and they work under every foundation.
I do think this primer makes your skin look healthy and smooth and I don’t have any trouble with it pilling or making my foundation patchy. For me, the biggest disappointment is the wear time. It does look beautiful under foundation, but I want at least 8 hours of wear without looking like an oil slick.
SO, this is a mixed review! I will continue to use this primer and test it with more foundations as I do like it. However, I don’t love it. I think another reason I feel a bit mixed is because I just reviewed the Urban Decay All Nighter Primer and that is fantastic, so I had even higher expectations for this primer!