Primer Hacks: Which ones actually work?

WHAT IS A PRIMER HACK?

A Primer hack involves using a non-makeup product with similar ingredients to a primer to get the same benefits of a primer.

Makeshift primers typically contain these two ingredients: Cyclomethicone ( clear, odorless and leaves skins silky)  and Dimethicone ( a smoothing silicone). The claims are that these products make the foundation stick better to the skin and they are of course cheaper than regular primers.

Many of you must have seen the Instagram posts and videos showing stretch mark cream, men’s shaving gel and some other products used as a primer. So, I got to thinking. Do these primer hacks really work? Can you actually see a difference? Is it worth not using my Smashbox Photo Finish Primer, just so I can save roughly $30? In my search, I choose three products that people claim are the best to be used as primers:

 I applied each product on my arm first and let sit for 24 hours. That is how I do all of my testing to make sure I won’t break out from any product

1. NIVEA POST SHAVE BALM

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The first one I tried is the Nivea Men Cooling Post Shave Balm. This went on very smoothly because of the glycerin that is in it. It didn’t contain the ingredients that are commonly found in primers, or the most popular ones I should say. But it does have Chamomile Recutita Matricaria which helps heal the skin and softens it. For me I didn’t feel any tackiness, it let it sit for a few minutes, 3 to be exact before I touched my hand again and it was dry. When I applied foundation to that area, it went on very easy. It seemed to help it dry to a powdery finish, which is fine with me I love my foundation very matte.

2. MILK OF MAGNESIA

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Next was the Milk of Magnesia, and I accidentally got the Wild Cherry. But that didn’t stop me, I still tested it. So this does dry white as you know (because of the acids in it), but it took around 5 minutes to actually dry. It was tacky and sticky (probably because of it being wild cherry), but dried smooth like the Nivea Balm because it to contains glycerin. Not bad. So that was a plus. When I applied foundation to it though it seemed to brighten the color of the foundation which I found cool. It feels tacky to the touch but not in a bad way. You know your powder will stick when you go to set your face.

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3. MONISTAT COMPLETE CARE

Lastly, was not my favorite but I heard it so I had to try it. Monistat 7 Chaffing Gel. Now this has the Dimethicone in it. No, I am not one to put anything of the sorts like this on my face, but it actually wasn’t bad when I applied it to my hand. It took a few minutes to even out, and when I applied my foundation it glided on smoothly. The feeling wasn’t as gross as I thought it would be!

THE VERDICT

I wore the milk in my T-zone and the balm everywhere else. After a slight tingling with the balm my makeup went on smoothly. It even lasted in this burst of heat here in the Nation’s Capital. All in all, the Milk of Magnesia was great for a matte finish while the Nivea Balm also helped my makeup stay on. Although I tested the Monistat Gel on my hands, there is no way I was putting that on my face!