Sunday, August 9, 2015

Perfectly Poreless: YSL Touche Éclat Blur Primer and Perfector*

For a person who's always been very ambivalent when it comes to make-up primers, I sure own and try quite a few on a regular basis. I was recently selected to receive the Influenster YSL VoxBox, which contained two new priming products from the YSL Touche Éclat range: the YSL Touche Éclat Blur Primer* ($52 for 1 oz, I was sent a deluxe 10ml sample) and the Touche Éclat Blur Perfector* ($55 for 0.33 oz).
Let's make this short and snappy and start with the Blur Primer*. The product comes in a beautiful clear glass bottle - my mini has a spatula applicator, but I believe the full size comes with a pump. The product itself is a clear, somewhat thick gel with suspended particles of gold microglitter, and a beautiful fresh, fruity fragrance. Yeah, I know what you're thinking - microGLITTER?! Those were my exact thoughts as well: when you spread the primer around on your face, you're left with little glittering specks here and there, and they even peek through any foundation that you layer over the top. Definitely not my idea of an illuminating effect, not unless you want to look like a Cullen (Sorry. I just had to go there).
Other than this drawback, it's a perfectly nice silicone primer. On my combination skin with enlarged pores, it spreads very easily (it thins out more on the skin than something like the Smashbox primer), fills out most of my pores nicely, and makes foundation blending much easier. I don't think it particularly extends the wear of my make-up, but it doesn't make me any more greasy by the end of the day either. Would I pay $52 for a full size? No ma'am, but then again, I'm not a huge fan of face primers and don't use them regularly in my make-up routine.
For me, the more exciting of the two is the YSL Touche Éclat Blur Perfector*, a 'balm to powder' formula which claims to 'soften the skin’s imperfections—creating a transparent yet subtle, rosy-glow effect' (from Sephora's website). Now, this is definitely not as innovative a product as YSL would like you to believe. It's a very similar concept to Mally's Evercolor Poreless Face Defender ($40) or the Covergirl TruMagic The Perfector ($10.50); essentially, a thicker silicone gel in a compact, and it can be used either alone to smooth and mattify the skin, or on top of foundation in lieu of powder to set and mattify the face, as well as throughout the day for touch-ups (here's a slightly creepy diagram explaining this on the back of the YSL box):
The YSL Blur Perfector* packaging is absolutely beautiful: a weighty powder pink and gold compact that comes with a standard high-end velour pouch and a little application sponge embossed with the YSL logo. In certain lights and under very, very close scrutiny, I was able to detect some miniscule opalescent particles in the balm, but I can't see them on my fingers or on my face, and they didn't even show up in the close-up photo.
I'm not lucky enough to be able to use the Blur Perfector on its own instead of foundation, but I tested it both as a foundation primer and to set my make-up instead of powder, and I like it a lot for both of these functions. For both applications, I get a little product on my fingers by swirling them in the compact, and then pat - not blend - onto my skin. It fills most pores and fine lines just as well as the Blur Primer, but looks more matte and feels more lightweight. I do feel that with the Perfector, my foundation doesn't get as shiny on the T-zone throughout the day; and where a little shine comes through, I don't even need to add any more product - I just pat my skin again with my fingers, and once again, it looks fresh, smooth and matte.
I don't see any brightening 'rosy glow' effect on my skin with the Blur Perfector, but I will say that as a mattifier, it trumps regular setting/ blotting powder because it's virtually undetectable on the skin - no cakiness in sight. So it gives a matte finish to the skin (it's so effective that even on my combo skin, I felt the need for a highlighter to bring more dimension to the face), but it still looks quite natural, which I think would make it a great option for drier skintypes. One thing I should mention on the topic of dry skin is that it exaggerates flakiness; you can see that around my nose in the close-up shot below:
In the face photos, I've used the Blur Primer under my foundation (Estee Lauder Double Wear Light) and the Blur Perfector on my T-zone to set the face. All in all, big thumbs up for the Blur Perfector, and somewhat of a half-hearted shrug for the Blur Primer - it's alright, but a bit... generic, if you know what I mean. I also don't really understand why these two products were released in the brightening Touche Éclat range, other than to profit on a cult name - they do not add any significant glow to the skin.
While I was happy to trial these two blurring products and ended up really loving the YSL Blur Perfector, but I have to admit that I remain unconvinced when it comes to primers. I feel that these days, probably 95% of foundations contain silicones anyway, making separate silicone primers a bit redundant - and while I would like to have my pores appear smaller, I don't think this additional step makes such a huge difference when used with an already smoothing/ pore-filling foundation formula. What do you guys think? Do you use primers on a regular basis, or is a step you're happy to skin in your everyday routine?

*Disclaimer: I received the two YSL products featured in this post complimentary for testing purposes from Influenster (anyone can sign up for free here, you don't need a blog or YouTube channel - just social media outlets). All opinions are 100% honest and unbiased, no matter if the products featured were purchased with my own monies or provided as free press samples. Thank you for reading!


  1. Poreless indeed! I don't think I've tried a balm type of primer, but I do use primer regularly just to make sure the foundation will stay put for longer. My problem, especially when it comes to my T-zone, is the oiliness. Oil-controlling primers help with that! For the moment I am on Dior Pore Minimizer, which I do like.

  2. On the opposite end of the price spectrum, I ordered the ELF HD mattifying balm on a whim and am blown away by how well it works. Similar to the Blur Perfector, it's primer in solid form -- which is just a great idea. Works under makeup, and for touchups also works over.

    Something no one talks about: I've been using vitamin C serum (Timeless) and because it's doing such a great job, my skin surface is almost glassy. This translates to shiny in certain light situations, even though it's not oil that's causing it. I use the mattifier to kill that, in addition to blurring pores and also to give my foundation something to hang onto.

    Try the ELF stuff for $6 and if the concept works for you, consider the YSL.

  3. Lol wait, a primer with glitter?! Hilarious!

  4. The primer w/ gold flecks -- that description reminds me of Guerlain L'Or Radiance Pure Gold Primer, have you tried this one, Monika? I think I tried this when I did a Guerlain makeover, the effect is exactly what you described: flecks of gold that can still be visible over foundation.

    You took words right out of my mouth when you mentioned about Mally and Covergirl. I remember watching Sali Hughes YouTube about this YSL product (must be a while back - like the beginning of this year) and immediately thought, anyone who has watched QVC would know that Mally has this type of product for a long time already. That said, I've never tried it in person -- in general I do not use much primer but I can see how it would mattify "better" than regular powder. Great descriptions and explanations of products. Thanks for the reviews!

  5. I was once a primer neglecter, but nowadays I love a bit of silicone primer on my most prominent 'pore areas' to create a smoother finish - but gold microglitter, what on earth were YSL thinking?! Sure, it looks beautiful suspended in the bottle like that but glitter in a primer just doesn't work. The compact sounds very intriguing though, and looks pretty too.

  6. Lovely....It looks natural, flawless and poreless. Love it!!!

  7. I'm not much of a primer girl, I guess I was "blessed" with dry skin and don't feel the need for any mattifying products. However, I have about 3-4 samples that I always feel like I SHOULD use, but somehow always forget to. It's funny how the beauty industry (especially youtube) has made primer (and now contouring/highlighting/strobing) a MUST in ones daily routine.

    Although I love the packaging for these products, I really couldn't help but think that Mally did it first YEARS ago so I don't really get the hype. YSL and Guerlain both have these weird primers with gold flecks in them, and I have never gotten the allure, it's not like our skin is going to absorb the gold, so where do they thing its going to go? sorry, i just don't get it.

    Love your honesty in this (and other) reviews.

  8. I generally don't bother with primers- I find the mattifying ones often seem to make me more oily. However, I just bought the YSL blur perfector and love it. I actually use it midday (tap it on my skin) and it refreshes my makeup, takes down the shine. Really like it.