Saturday, November 24, 2012

Primer Pragmatics: Murad Skin Perfecting Primer Matte Finish

For reasons unknown to me, I've accumulated a fair number of primer samples in the past couple of months - so what better time to start posting a little round-up series which I decided to call 'Primer Pragmatics'. In linguistics, pragmatics are the rules of social language, or a study of 'the ways in which context contributes to meaning'; I feel that applies very well to make-up primers where context is key to finding your perfect product (can you guess the language geek in me here?). Anyways, let's get cracking!
If you know me and my make-up habits, I'm not a big fan of make-up primers at all. My combination skin doesn't agree with most primers in the slightest and even though I have a lot of shine coming through during the day, a primer usually doesn't mattify my oily zones for more than an hour or so. However, today's contestant is a very pleasant surprise: Murad Hybrids Skin Perfecting Primer Matte Finish* ($35 for 1 fl. oz.) does in fact do what it says on the bottle!
Murad Hybrids Skin Perfecting Primer Matte Finish is an 'oil-free primer [which] creates a delicate powder finish that is shine-free'. It's supposed to 'balance oil production while a universal shade provides the perfect skin tone match. Minimize the appearance of pores'. The product is housed in a hygienic bottle with a controllable pump and comes out as a creamy tinted lotion. I would say that the tint is the only aspect of this primer I don't really understand; contrary to Murad's claims, the pigmentation is not enough to even out my skintone but because the shade is not a good match for my skin, it throws of my coloring a bit. I spoke to a dark-skinned friend who's testing it as well at the moment, and she said it made her look ashy; so I wish they just skipped the tint altogether. I've yet to encounter a tinted product that comes in one shade only where the color is truly universal.
L-R: Murad Hybrids Skin Perfecting Primer Matte Finish unblended then blended, Murad Hybrids Skin Perfecting Primer Acne and Shine Control unblended and blended. They're the same shade, bluntly speaking.
Other than this one qualm though, the Skin Perfecting Primer Matte Finish really delivers on its claims. It spreads out quite easily on the skin (but can have a tendency to roll on top of more gel-based moisturizers), providing an instant matte effect that blurrs out my pores and uneven skin texture. Most importantly, it really stays put - on top of a more matte foundation, it lasts a good 5-6 hours without any shine coming through. My more luminous bases last a bit shorter than that, which is to be expected, but is also stops the base from breaking down; a lot of the times my dehydrated patches just end up eating my foundation and I haven't observed it that much with this primer. I also like how the product doesn't feel too silicony and slippery, it's more of a soft powder/dry finish. It looks absolutely beautiful as a base for mineral foundation. If your skin is combination like mine, I recommend using just a little bit on the T-zone as it can look very flat all over, or adding a bit of highlighter on the high points of your face.
Compared to Murad Hybrids Skin Perfecting Primer Acne and Shine Control, a sample of which I received in my Sample Society beauty box, I much prefer the Matte Finish version. For me, the Acne and Shine primer 1) doesn't help my acne, 2) doesn't stop the shine. It feels a lot drier on the skin to the point where it's uncomfortable; so if you're debating between the two, I would definitely go for the Matte Finish. You can see it in all its glory on my skin below - not too bad compared to my normal porous self!
All in all, I've been really enjoying using this primer for the past week and I'm feeling a bit sad to have to leave it behind due to the necessary testing of other primers for this series. Who knows, maybe I'll grow to love make-up primers and will start using them every day? Do you use make-up primers? What is your Holy Grail?

*Manufacturer's sample received free of charge as part of my employment for participating in a Murad training session. All opinions are my own, as always.


  1. Thanks for the review! Can't wait to see more of these!
    My favorite primer is the Estée Lauder Idealist (green bottle). It's fantastic but I use it only for special occasions or when it's really hot because it's quite expensive...

    Have a lovely Sunday! ;-)


  2. Ooh this one sounds good--I really want to try it now! I usually NEVER wear primers. I do own some but I am always too lazy and I don't always see the point. Some are good for blurring my imperfections and minimizing my gigantuous pores, but like you, none have ever kept me matte longer than an hour. I have been searching for a new one for pictures and for days when I'm out-of-control-oily (which seems to be happening more and more lately :/), so I will def give this a shot!

  3. I think this one might work on me, in terms of colouring - it looks like the dark foundations I can use in the summer. But I have my doubts on the shine-controlling factor since very few primers work well in that regard.

    What are you wearing on your lips in the last post? So pretty!

    1. I know what you mean about the mattifying effect; this isn't miraculous but it does work quite well. Oh, the lip color is NYX lip liner in Plush Red with Milani Berry Rich on top, one of my favorite reds :)

  4. I actually don't have one yet, but you made me really want to try this one now :)