Name of Product:
L'Oréal Studio Secrets Professional Magic Perfecting Base
According to L'Oréal: "Get the perfect skin texture, instantly and all day. The silky, lightweight formula glides onto skin and minimizes the look of pores and fine lines. Skin looks and feels smoothed and resurfaced. The result--a unified matte finish that's flawless."
While it is labeled as a "face primer" I haven't gotten it to function like a "make-up primer" for me - this is a sneaky marketing trick, if you ask me. This is disappointing I was looking for a replacement, and its texture seemed very promising. (I use GOSH Velvet Touch foundation primer normally for photo-shoots since it works well, but that stuff feels really kinda gross to me.)
As far as L'Oréal's base goes, foundation *can* be applied over it just fine - and it *does* make (liquid-styles, but not mousse-styles so much) foundation easier to go on. However…it doesn't seem to extend the wear-time of said foundation. So if you have make-up that only lasts a few hours without a normal primer before getting shiny, smudgy or creased…it still pretty much will be exactly that same time frame even with this base on underneath, so you'll still need to do touch-ups to the make-up later on in the day just like normal.
What MPB *does* do exceptionally well however is mattfying bare skin - it really is just a "face" primer, as opposed to a make-up primer! Thus, if you have perfect skin tone or for whatever other reason don't want to wear make-up in a certain area (like above your eyelids) this will get rid of the shine and also small (dimensional) imperfections. Despite the paste's slight pink tint, it goes on invisibly however, so it will *not* cover up any miscolorations on your face - that is: it *will* even out the way light refracts on the skin's surface, but it does *not* conceal anything deviant like acne, bruises, birthmarks, under-eye circles, rosy cheeks, freckles, etc. It is not a concealer or foundation in and of itself.
This stuff makes skin deadly matte for a really long time though - in person and in photos - and doesn't dust off, so it's a great alternative to those who only use powder with no other make-up. I'd recommend against a separate moisturizer prior to use, though. A moisturizing cleanser (like Yes to Carrots or Blueberries) is more than enough - since in even if you wait 30-60 minutes *after* using a separate moisturizer, MPB in that case never appears quite pure-matte, and instead ends up more like a dull sheen - and there will be an obvious visual division between the moisturized areas and those that weren't. (For those that don't have combo skin, and moisturize evenly across their face anyway, this isn't such a big deal - but for anyone who only normally moisturizes spot areas, you'll be able to tell those areas after using MPB over them.)
Other items of note is that is does, actually, make your skin feel nice and smooth. It's so light-weight, it doesn't feel like anything at all, unlike conventional primers. Also, it doesn't clog pores or cause break-outs = 100% oil and fragrance free. No wait is needed for drying either. And from an obsessive recycler's stand-point, the little glass and plastic jar can be used til the very end and recycled easily.
In the end, it's a little expensive I feel, especially because it really only has a single trick it can do. However, the little 0.5 oz. bottle might last just about forever - since you seriously need only a tiny dot of it in whatever area you are using it. The texture is a smooth, soft whipped mousse-like paste rather than a liquid-gel, so it is easy to only dab a tiny bit at a time without over-doing it.
For its solitary but great function, amount needed per application and the ease of use, I think this product isn't completely worthless, despite its price and not being as functional as a real foundation primer.
I won't repurchase it and could live without it, but I'll continue to use up what I have. (As if I'll ever run out….)