Laura Mercier Foundation Primers

Laura Mercier Foundation Primer, original formula

I have always wanted to try this legendary primer, so I was really pleased when a friend passed this tube on to me. Her sample was from a beauty subscription box and I would’ve been thrilled to have found this generous 14.7ml ‘deluxe’ sized sample in my monthly box if I had subscribed to them.

“Perfect for all skin types, Laura Mercier Hydrating Foundation Primer creates a smooth and invisible layer to prepare and protect the skin, your foundation will stay fresh all day.”

I bought L’Oreal Paris Studio Secrets Smoothing Primer once and not only did it do the opposite of what I bought for, ie emphasised my pores; foundation just sat bold as brass in these pores. The foundation was also incredibly hard to remove afterwards as well.


This is my holy grail primer! It is amazing. Controls shine throughout the day and makes my makeup last hours longer. A tube of this lasts ages and well worth the price tag.

I have found this primer doesn’t work with every foundation and I would recommend getting a sample before spending the money. If you aren’t liking this primer I would suggest trying it out with other foundations before giving up on it. I received this as a deluxe sample and have used it for about two weeks with MAC Face and Body foundation.

The texture is a medium gel-like but slightly creamy consistency, and once it’s rubbed in it disappears. It applies well over moisturiser and sunscreen, without balling up. For reference, I always wait until my sunscreen has absorbed before using primer.

At first I didn’t think this primer was doing anything. I rubbed it into my skin, and it disappeared, which is so unlike every other primer I’ve used. My foundation went on smoothly, but no different from any other primer I’ve used.

Only after a couple of hours did I realize that my foundation wasn’t creasing next to my nose. I forgot to apply it this morning, and within an hour my foundation had already creased. For that alone, I will purchase a full size.

My issues were twofold, firstly I found that it seemed to make no difference to the appearance or longevity of my foundation and I tried it with 3 different foundations (2 YSL and 1 Chanel).

Secondly, unfortunately it broke me out horribly with half a dozen or more angry red spots popping up within a couple of days of use, after I stopped using it my skin went back to normal so I’m quite sure this was to blame.

This is my favorite primer. I had a deluxe sample, at first, I hated it. I thought it made my skin feel tacky and full of residue, but after I let it settle, it eventually felt smooth and flawless. This was a great base to any foundation. I don’t know if it helped with longevity, but it really helped with the evenness of my skin.


I have the original version, there’s a fairly strong floral fragrance, although it’s not at all unpleasant. I hadn’t realised how thin (like a creamy gel) and ‘wet’ the fluid actually is. You need very little product, it spreads out really well.  The first couple of weeks I used it, it didn’t do anything at all. Absolutely no difference to my foundation Liz Earle Sheer Skin Tint or its texture or staying power.

I was ready to write a poor review, but then I thought that because so many women have praised it, calling it the ‘Holy Grail’ of primers, there must be something more to it. I gave it more time, literally, because I let it dry on my skin for about 10 minutes before applying foundation.

And thus I saw the light! Well – sort of.

The primer does not settle into pores, it DOES keep foundation in place and yes, it creates a smooth, long-lasting base for make up and keeps my skin shine free. BUT, it also made my face very pink, flushed actually and it’s pink enough as it is.

There’s plenty of product left, I’m going to rest it awhile in case my skin is ‘going through a phase’ although I don’t think so, my skin’s never been better. I spend two minutes every morning massaging my face and the resulting pinkness doesn’t last, so it HAS to be this primer.  I will trial it again though, I’d be really interested to hear from anyone who has used this product.

Laura Mercier have brought out a range of primers for specific skin types:

Laura Mercier Foundation Primers

  • Mineral – Under mineral or powder foundation *
  • Protect – SPF 30 sunscreen protection
  • Radiance – Pearl tint for a soft-focus effect *
  • Oil-Free – Oily, sensitive and acne prone skin *
  • Hydrating – Dehydrated and/or ageing skin

* Available in 30ml tubes for £18.50 (that price is a little less painful)

REVIEW – Hydrating

You only need a touch, so it lasts for ages, and you don’t need to wait for it to sink in, so it’s convenient to use in the morning. Foundation goes on really smoothly and easily over the top, and it really does make your make up last much better throughout the day (I work in an air-conditioned office and frequently suffer from make up meltdown, dry skin notwithstanding). The Hydrating version feels really comfortable on the skin without any heaviness or greasiness.

REVIEW – Radiance

I normally buy the Laura Mercier original primer but thought I would try the radiance version lured by the promise of a “youthful glow “. I found my make up did not stay put as well and feel even the slight shimmer does not suit older skin (I’m in my mid-forties ).

REVIEW – Mineral

It dries very quickly to a beautiful, velvety smooth finish. My make up goes on much smoother than before to all areas, minimizing lines, pores and wrinkles. even after several hours, and even sweating, my make up looks noticeably fresher and pretty much shine free. It does not settle into my lines nearly as much as before.

Like others have said, the cap leaks, even just sitting cap-down on my bathroom vanity. This product is far too expensive to have it be wasted like that. if you use mineral make up though, buy this product. it is fabulous!

GossMakeUpArtist loves the ‘Mineral’ primer too, although he also comments on the leaky fluid from the cap.

See the full range of Laura Mercier Primers at: Urban Retreat

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