collection cosmetics, freedom makeup, soap & glory, the body shop

I have to be honest, primers are something which I never really gave a lot of thought to until I started reading beauty blogs. I always felt like they were a bit of a gimicky product, and I can't really pin point when exactly they became a staple in my everyday routine but these days I really don't ever apply my foundation without using a primer first. I've tried a fair few over the years on my quest for the perfect base makeup, and there are some which I've loved, some which I've hated and some which are just a bit 'meh'...

Collection 'Primed & Ready' Pore Minimising Primer £4.99 - I heard so many rave reviews about this primer when Collection released their new 'Primed & Ready' primer range a couple of months ago. My initial thoughts on first application were that it felt just like the Benefit 'Porefessional', with that same silky, smooth feel and I got pretty darn excited thinking I'd found a right old bargain dupe. It made my skin feel lovely and my foundation applied very smoothly, but unfortunately that's where my praise for this primer ends. A couple of days after I'd used it I got hit with a horrendous group of breakouts and whilst obviously I don't know for certain that it was because of this primer, it was the only new product I'd introduced into my makeup and skincare, so it seems pretty likely. My skin has done a complete 180 recently and gone from oily/combination to extremely dehydrated with slight dryness, so I've realised that this primer isn't right for my skin type at all. I feel like this could be a good product if you have oily skin, but I would keep an eye on whether it increases breakouts. I'm debating giving the Collection Illuminating Rose Primer a try instead as I think that one would work better with my dehydrated skin (let me know if you've tried it and what you think <3)

Freedom Pro Studio Priming Water £6 - This is the primer I've been most disapointed with as I just don't think it does anything! James got it for me in my stocking at Christmas and I was so excited to try it, but it's been super underwhelming :( It smells and feels exactly the same as my Makeup Revolution Setting Spray and I think it's probably better used for that purpose tbh. It's one that's ok-ish to wear with a BB cream or if you just want a really light, natural finish for summer, but I wouldn't buy it again (especially as £6 isn't exactly the cheapest budget price tag!) and I don't think it helps much with increasing the longevity of foundation or reducing shine which is what I mainly look for from a primer.

Soap & Glory One Heck Of A Blot Instant-Perfecting Power Primer £10: This is 100% my all time favourite primer and seriously, I cannot recommend this little baby enough. It's a mattifying primer which reduces the appearance of pores and helps to keep shine at bay, but it isn't drying in the slightest (even on my severely dehydrated skin) thanks to it's added Vitamin E. It's got a silky soft, creamy consistency which is easy to blend and sinks invisibly into the skin and I find that it really does make a difference to the longevity of my foundation and concealer. You only need a small amount so it lasts for ages and Soap & Glory always score top points from me for their beautiful packaging. Plus I always think makeup feels so much more exciting when it comes in a box, or is that just me?!

The Body Shop Tea Tree Pore Minimiser £8.50: This was my favourite primer a couple of years ago and I do still think it's amazing if you have oily, spot prone skin, but it's just not suitable for my skin at the moment at all. I tried to use it the other week and it made my skin feel so sore and tingly, so I definitely wouldn't recommend this if you suffer with sensitivity or dehydration/dryness. When my skin was oily this really helped to keep shine at bay though, whilst also minimising the appearance of my pores and helping to control my spots a little too.

What's your favourite budget primer? I'd love to know if you have any recommendations for me to try :)

Love Holly xo
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  1. I reallllyyyy want to try out that soap and gory one it sounds amazing and its so affordable! Loved this post, it was so helpful! Xx

    Kate// katerosexo1.blogspot.com

  2. I haven't tried any of these yet... I have to admit reading that your skin went from oily to dehydrated because of that Collection primer almost had me sold on it... except I don't want breakouts, so I will pass! I don't own a lot of primers, I like the Benefit Porefessional and I think it does a good job, but I would like a cheaper alternative once I run out of my sample size. I also use the L'oreal Infallible Matte or the Makeup Revolution Ultra Face Base (both very similar) :) x

  3. I really want to try out the soap and glory one. My favourite primer is benefit porefessional, it is amazing. Just wish it was a tad bit cheaper x


  4. I have used all of these, the Collection one i really like. I use the Freedom Priming Water after i have moisturised and then apply a primer over it and find it works really well. The S&G and Tea Tree ones didn't work for me. Im currently loving the L'Oreal Infallible Matte one but my holy grail is Rimmel's Stay Matte Primer.
    Emmy | Emmys Beauty Cave | GIVEAWAY | Win Makeup Geek, Morphe & More

  5. The one heck of a blot primer sounds so lovely - especially for my large pores and oily skin haha :)


  6. I have yet to try any of these out but they certainly look and sound interesting! I already love Body Shop products so I'm looking forward to trying out that Tea Tree primer!

  7. I loved this review! I have oily but really dehdrated skin at the minute so all of my primers are much more suited to dehydrated skin, which I'm finding is working a lot better for me and actually keeping my foundation in place. I really want to try Soap and Glory one heck of a blot

  8. I love the InstaBlur primer although it keeps getting more expensive everytime I buy it! I really want to try the One Heck Of A Blot primer though :) x


  9. That's a shame that the Collection Primed & Ready Pore Minimising Primer seemed to have broke you out, especially as it seemed like a Benefit Porefessional (which I adore for nights out) dupe, I was thinking about trying it but I can guarantee the same would happen to my rather sensitive skin. I do want to try the illuminating one though, that one sounds perfect for me! Gotta love glowy skin :)

    Glad to know the Soap & Glory primer is a goody too!

    Gemma x
    Gemma Means Jewel - A UK Beauty Blog

  10. I've tried The Body Shop Tea Tree on before and I actually really didn't like it, it didn't do anything for me! I really want to try the S&G one, it sounds really good.

    The Velvet Black | UK Style & Beauty Blog

  11. Ouuu I always passed The Body Shop's primer without a second glance but I might check it out now!