If you read my blogpost on Thursday then you will know I tested the brand new Essence Fresh and Fit Awake Primer and Makeup. If you missed the foundation review, then be sure to click here. It’s a goody and definitely worth a read! There is also an update on the limited shade range. As mentioned in yesterday’s post I had some difficulties with this primer and foundation as a pair and in today’s post I will elaborate more on the primer and what exactly I struggled with. This new primer and foundation is already available in South African from the beginning of October.
Essence Fresh and Fit Awake Primer
Product: The Essence Fresh and Fit Awake Primer can be used on it’s own or underneath foundation to minimize pores, give your skin a healthy glow and extend the wear of your makeup. The formula is enriched with vitamin B3, B5, E and cranberry water.
Packaging: The product is packaged in a practical squeezy plastic tube to minimise product wastage and make it suitable for travelling.
Formula: The formula of the Essence Fresh and Fit Awake Primer took me a bit by surprise. I was expecting something in the order of the Catrice liquid beautifying primers, but instead it has quite a thick, very glowy paste formula that has a light peachy pink tone. The product is not too ‘slippy’ but it is not difficult to distribute evenly on the skin. When applied it doesn’t feel particularly tacky or sticky, but it also doesn’t ‘dry down’ properly. Despite the product being slightly tinted, I expected that it will blend to my skintone or to be neutral at least. However, it left my skin with a similar appearance as when you applied a white-ish sunscreen – there is definitely a bit of a color residue. With that in mind, I really don’t think this primer is all that suitable for solo wear unless it matches your skintone perfectly.
Finish: This primer has an INTENSE glow! Hot damn! Maybe a bit too much, if there is such a thing. In my personal opinion I am not entirely sure that the Essence Fresh and Fit Awake Primer is suitable for wearing on its own as there is nothing ‘natural’ about this level of glow. I know I sound ungrateful, but there is also a balance to keep in my opinion. If you are looking for a more natural beautifying primer to enhance your skin when not wearing foundation, may I suggest reading my Catrice Beautifying and Nude Glow primer reviews. You can click here and here.
Pore Reduction: I honestly had zero expectations when I saw ‘pore reduction’ on the packaging – I must admit I was wrong as it does actually make a difference. Don’t expect Benefit Porefessional-level pore reduction, but I was pleasantly surprised that the Essence Fresh and Fit Awake Primer does a pretty good job at reducing the visibility of pores and fine lines. It doesn’t ‘fill’ in the pores and lines like Professional does, but it definitely reduces the visual appearance and how obvious they are.
Does it work well underneath foundation? Unfortunately not. Or not on my skin or with the foundations I have used at least. Let’s start at the beginning. Initially when I applied my foundation on top of this primer I was blown away by how incredibly beautiful and healthy-looking it made my skin, even with matte and full coverage foundations. Blended with the foundation it definitely gives your skin a healthy glow and you will simply look radiant. Unfortunately this honeymoon phase lasts for about 30-minutes before my skin turned into an oil slick. This is very unusual for me taking into consideration that I have very dry skin. All the foundations I have tried didn’t set well on top of this primer, to the point where everything will come off if you hold your phone to your ear, blow your nose or even accidentally touch your skin for example. The foundations looked extremely patchy after a few minutes, even when set with powder (something I never have to do). I tested it with an array of foundations: from Estée Lauder Double Wear (that has never, ever, ever let me down), L’Oréal Total Cover, L’Oréal Infallible Matte, Revlon Colorstay, Chanel Perfection Lumiére, Clarins Everlasting Foundation and these are all foundations that I love and have never given me any problems. Sorry Essence Fresh and Fit Awake Primer, I tried to like you but it is just not working out.
What did I think? Look, I suppose you can make it work and I am sure there are going to be readers that will love this primer. I really loved how beautiful and glowy my foundation looked for the first 30-minutes after application, if only it lasted as well as it started. I definitely did not like how oily my skin became and how even my ultimate favourite foundation couldn’t handle it. This oiliness is especially concerning if you take into consideration that I have dry skin. I cannot imagine that this will work well for readers with combination or oily skin. I think there was a lot of potential with the Essence Fresh and Fit Awake Primer, but it’s a ‘no’ from me. Please bear in mind that we are all different and if this is your favourite primer then that is totally fine. It just didn’t work for me personally.
Will I buy this product again? No