Feb 16, 2016 | Blog

Dearest readers, apologies for the delay of this blog! But trust me, it’s going to be a good one. I’ve been road-testing Dermalogica’s new product hydrablur primer, and comparing it to other primers in their range. Looking through previous blogs it’s not hard to see my love of Dermalogica, so to make things fairer I’ve included one of the top selling primers in the UK, Benefit’s The POREfessional, to try and even the playing field.

What is a primer, and why should you use it? Think of primers as lingerie for your face; using the right products on your skin before applying make-up can make it look better, or worse. A bad skincare routine or the wrong make-up is as detrimental as a poorly fitting bra, or even worse, the dreaded VPL. On the flip side, the right products can be your facial equivalent to trusty Spanx.

In all of the pictures below the photo on the left is my skin after my every-day Dermalogica skin routine (essential cleansing solution > barrier repair > skin smoothing cream). The photo on the right is the same side of my face with the primer applied. I haven’t cheated and used any type of filter on any of the photos, and I’ve tried to stand in the same position with the same lighting/camera angle to minimise anomalies. Each photo has been taken on a different day, and the order of my reviews are the order in which I tested the products.

Benefit, ‘The POREfessional’

Claims: “Minimise the appearance of pores & fine lines.”


First impressions of this primer are that it feels great. It has a matte effect and has a really smoothing feeling, almost like an extra moisture barrier. However, I found that smoothness didn’t last all day; by the time I came to taking it off it had made my skin feel dry in some areas, and oily in others. Also, I didn’t find it sat under my foundation very well; the matte finish made it look like I was caked in foundation, even when I only put a small amount on.

My rating: 3/5


Dermalogica, ‘skinperfect primer’

Claims: “Smooth away fine lines, brighten and prime for flawless skin, and to prep for make-up application. Velvety silicones create an instantly smooth surface. Pearl powder and natural earth minerals provide a neutral tint to help balance tone and enhance luminosity.”


To be honest, I was sceptical about using this primer. Reading the description above I expected the brightness and “pearl powder” to be a marketing strategy to hide that it contains glitter, and facial glitter is something I would prefer to leave in the 90s. How wrong I was! I loved this primer; it really does give luminosity and does not, I repeat NOT, look like glitter. It felt really nourishing, sat beautifully under foundation, and gave me a really dewy glow that lasted all day. Being in the ‘AGE smart’ range it is formulated to be suitable for maturing skin, hence the added bonus of containing SPF30. Since finishing this product testing I have worn this primer without any foundation, and it gave me great coverage all day.

My rating: 4/5


Dermalogica, ‘redness relief primer’

Claims: “balance skin tone with this soothing, translucent primer tinted with natural green botanical extracts. Velvety silicones smooth the skin and strengthen barrier protection.”


I was really excited to try this primer; as you can see from the ‘natural’ photos I have a lot of redness on my cheeks, and seeing that the primer is green (yes, really!) hoped it would improve it. The theory of the primer being green is that green and red are opposite on the colour spectrum, ‘cancelling’ one another out. Another benefit I was looking forward to is that this product is part of the ‘ultracalming’ range, containing ingredients to help sensitive skin (like I get on my cheeks). The primer is really thick, and though provided a lot of coverage I found it was too much. By the end of the day my skin felt very clogged, and it took more effort to remove than the Benefit primer. However, it sat well under foundation and kept my redness at bay.

My rating: 3/5

Dermalogica, ‘hydrablur primer’

Claims: “Lightweight, non-greasy primer minimizes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, mattifies against oily shine and imparts a silky, luminous finish to skin.”


This brand new product was the whole reason for this product testing. Other claims are that it is “like an Instagram filter for your face;” sign me up!! This primer is stunning. It is white at first, and upon application seems to transform and match to your skin colour, making it perfect for anyone. I found it really did blur my complexion; it became matte where I had previous shine, and luminous where my skin was dull. Again, it sat wonderfully under foundation and left my skin feeling lightweight all day. I would happily wear it without foundation and feel like I had full coverage.

My rating: 4.5/5
(Because no one can get full marks!)


One perk I noticed through the four days of testing these primers was an improvement in my skin. Like I said at the start of this blog, good products are the foundations of good skin, and I definitely noticed a difference in using primers under my foundation rather than just applying it to moisturised skin. The primers seemed like an additional barrier, allowing my moisturiser to work on my skin and my make up to sit on the primer barrier, helping it stay looking fresher for longer.

All of the Dermalogica products I tested were generously provided by Randle and Randle, and they would love to offer you the same experience. Pop in for a chat; Amanda is an expert in Dermalogica recommendations and can give you helpful suggestions for what will work best for your skin. But go with an open mind; I never thought an ‘AGE smart’ product would be so flattering to my skin (I’m in my early 20s), and that an ‘ultracalming’ product would cause irritation. So test a couple until you find ‘the one’ and be sure to remove it properly to keep your skin as beautiful as possible.

Perfection takes priming!


(All quoted claims have been taken from the product brand’s official website from the product’s description)

Written by: Jenny Marshall

Edited by: Amanda Randle