Tried & Tested Primers | Murad, Kiko and More

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIf you read my last post, you’ll probably know I’m really into my base products right now. While I’ve been in a bit of a routine with my foundation lately, one product I’ve been switching is up my primer. Considering it’s an essential step of my morning routine, I’m remarkably unfussy when it comes to my primer and will give anything a bash. But whether I’d ever repurchase is a WHOLE other matter.

Of the primers I’ve tried out recently, some I’m a big fan of, and some left me doing a sassy head wiggle and singing ‘that don’t impress-ah me much‘ (yes, I just referenced Shania Twain in a blog in 2016. Deal with it.) As I’m a helpful little person, I’m now going to explain which are which. Thrilling, eh?!


I’m a girl who likes a matte finish (except on my cheekbones; then I’m all about #DatHighlightDoe), so a mattifying primer will always get a lot of intrigue from me. I picked up the Kiko Mat Base Corrector Primer a while ago and I’m sure you can tell from the squidginess of the packaging that I’ve used it a LOT. Why? Because I like it a lot, that’s why. While I’m not sure if everyone would like the tacky base it creates once applied, I trust it because I feel like my makeup is literally going to stick to it – and I really think it does. My foundation applies flawlessly and very matte where I want it to. At £8.90 I think this is super reasonable, and I’d definitely buy again.

Another mattifying primer I’ve tried out recently is the Kiss Light Reflecting Primer, which I couldn’t resist trying when I saw it in Wilkos for a mere £3. Yes, three English pounds. I was a bit confused by how something can be mattifying and light-reflecting – and to be honest, I still am. I found this to be much more on the mattifying end of things, though it doesn’t have that strong-hold sticky feeling of the Kiko one. In formula it reminded me a bit of a Clarins mousse primer I tried once, and applied velvetty on the skin. My makeup held up quite well with this underneath, but by the end of my working day I definitely felt like the magic had wore off. This is probably one for people who wear quite light bases (unlike I, who slaps it on like I’m on Ru Paul’s Drag Race).


A while back, I was kindly sent the Murad Invisblur Perfecting Shield*. This promises to blur imperfections, protect the skin with SPF 30, and also combat the signs of ageing. I’ve tried one or two Murad products in my time and liked them, so expected to fall head over heels in love with this. Unfortunately, that was not to be. While I think it’s groooovy that it does all of those things it claims, what I really wanted it to do is, you know, be a primer. Give me a great base for my foundation and make my makeup stay on, all that jazz. And it just did not do that for me.

On the contrary, this made my skin pretty slick to start with AND my makeup was sliding off my face by around 11am. Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield has won a lot of beauty awards, so obviously this must work for some people. But at £55, I’d recommend trying to get hold of a sample before trying.


One thing I always find about primers, is how many non-primers also claim to work well as primers. I’ve seen moisturisers, highlighters and BB creams all advertised as making great primers on top of serving their main purpose – and recently I’ve been trying two such products. Firstly, the Embryolisse Emulsion Hydra-Mat* (available at Boots) is a paraben-free mattifying moisturiser that claims to absorb excess sebum and reduce shine in the process. This is supposedly used by a lot of celebrities and makeup artists, and I really do like it. It leaves my skin feeling calmed, and definitely takes away oil instantly. My makeup also stays on nicely with this, though my nose needs a powdering throughout the day.

Finally, I’ve also tried out the Clean & Clear Hint of Tint* (also available at Boots), which is a tinted moisturiser with spot-fighting ingredients. I think that if I wore a lighter base, I would really like this product as it provides additional coverage and is also oil-free. At the moment I wear enough layers of makeup to want the extra colour, but for younger skin or those who like to go quite bare, I would recommend giving this cheap and cheerful product a go.

Have any of you tried these products? Let me know in the comments!


20 Responses

    • Claire May 18, 2016 / 1:14 pm

      One of my faves at the mo too! xx

  1. Pam May 16, 2016 / 4:38 pm

    I have not tried any of these but the kiko one and clean and clear sound great!
    Pam xo/ Pam Scalfi♥

    • Claire May 18, 2016 / 1:13 pm

      YES so much love for the Kiko one 🙂 xx

  2. Lindsey May 16, 2016 / 5:04 pm

    Dayum, I wish Kiko was available in Canada! I’ve heard so much about their brand and I’m itching to try it out! Too bad the Murad one didn’t work, it sounds really nice… but if it can’t live up to the claims then that kind of sucks!

    Lindsey Elyse | lindseyginge

    • Claire May 18, 2016 / 1:13 pm

      Ohhh that’s such a shame – can you order online? xx

    • Claire May 18, 2016 / 1:13 pm

      Let me know how you get on with it if you give it a go 🙂 xx

  3. Katya May 17, 2016 / 1:25 pm

    Well you can’t go wrong with a £3 primer! The Kiss primer sounds like a great option for wearing to the office everyday!

    Katya | The Beauty Harbour

    • Claire May 18, 2016 / 1:13 pm

      You really can’t, definitely worth trying out 🙂 xx

  4. Lauren May 17, 2016 / 8:52 pm

    I’ve never had a primer but got one from body shop in goody bag recently and it’s fab, my new favourite thing
    livinginaboxx | bloglovin

    • Claire May 18, 2016 / 1:12 pm

      Ahh which one was it? I had a Body Shop one that I loved but I lost it, sob sob xx

    • Claire May 29, 2016 / 1:14 pm

      Glad you enjoyed it! There are definitely some corkers in there 🙂 xx

  5. Daisy May 23, 2016 / 6:27 pm

    This post was so helpful! I really like wearing a light base in summer; the clean and clear hint of tint sounds perfect as a cheap day to day product. xx

    • Claire May 29, 2016 / 1:14 pm

      Definitely, if you like light bases then this will do the job 🙂 xx

  6. Francisca May 29, 2016 / 2:05 pm

    I didn’t get along with that KIKO primer sadly, but I’m glad to hear you did! I’m still on the hunt for the perfect primer for my oily skin 🙂

  7. Amy May 30, 2016 / 3:31 pm

    £3? What a bargain, I would never have thought to look in Wilkos but I’ll be raiding their beauty bits and bobs in future. I use MAC Prep & Prime illuminating primer and Benefit’s Porefessional mostly.

    Amy |

  8. Emily June 1, 2016 / 11:25 am

    I love Wilko’s Kiss primer, so much that I had 3 at one point in my collection but I need to find myself another Wilko to stock up again! I’ve never tried any of the other primers you’ve mentioned in this post, but I’m wanting to try Kiko’s primer now after reading this post 🙂

    Emily // Beauty and Lifestyle Blog


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