I’ve started to use Guerlain cosmetics early of this year after hooking up in collecting their all-time make-up icon Meteorites especially those limited editions packaging (will be doing reviews on my collection soon). But today I will be talking about their primer instead L’Essentiel Pore Minimizer Shine-Control Primer, before the peak of pandemic somewhere around March where retailers are still operating, I’ve managed to get my hand on this primer. This is mostly a splurge or impulse buying as my initial intention was only to get Meteorites and the Lingerie De Peau Aqua Nude Foundation (I’m head over heel on this foundation now, will be doing a separate review on this in a future post).
Guerlain being the oldest fragrance house in the world is well known for having fragrances in their cosmetics and skincare product as well. So for those not liking for their product to have fragrances or sensitive to fragrances, this might turn them off.
Coming back to L’Essentiel, it’s a cosmetic range that focuses on naturally-derived ingredients which also beneficially to the skin. I’m not sure but seems like higher-end brands nowadays started to incorporate skincare ingredients into their cosmetics line that are beneficial to the skin. Who doesn’t like having makeup that comes with actual skincare benefits? I start noticing this from the Gongjinhyang Mi Luxury Golden Cushion by The History of WHOO where oriental herbs are being infused in a cushion as well.
✵✵ Notable Ingredients ✵✵
Looking through the list of ingredients since it mentioned 97% naturally derived ingredient. I’ve been studying the list one by one to make sure it is what they claimed to be. To my surprised, they did uses a lot of skincare beneficial ingredients for just a primer. Most highlighted ingredients are Avocado Extract, White Cocoa Bean Extract, and Yacon Juice. But there’re other worth mentioning ingredients as well. I’ve done the due diligence (hard part LOL), make sure you read through so that you may weigh in whether this primer worth the price or not.
Avocado Extract or BUTYL AVOCADATE reduces excessive secretions of sebum from the skin and controlling excess sebum to keep skin appearing matte all day long. Similar to Decorté Prime Latté where their main ingredient is also from Avocado, which also helps in improving the balance between oil and hydration. This is because Avocado is packed with essential fatty acids that are able to help produce the skin’s natural oil barrier thus leading to smooth skin with less visible pores.
White Cocoa Bean Extract or THEOBROMA CACAO (COCOA) SEED EXTRACT helps to refine the look of pores as it’s effective at preserving the skin’s moisture balance. This is being done by slowing down the loss of water from the skin by forming a barrier on the skin’s surface.
The next 3 ingredients are also prebiotics and probiotics used in Lancôme Advanced Génifique, so can you imagine for just a primer it has all these skincare benefits. One of them is POLYMNIA SONCHIFOLIA ROOT JUICE, it contained prebiotic derived from Yacon Juice. Prebiotics can support the skin’s natural balance and strengthening the skin barrier. It does so by increasing the healthy bacteria on our skin while decreasing the bad bacteria. Another ingredient listed (also available in Lancôme Advanced Génifique), ALPHA-GLUCAN OLIGOSACCHARIDE which derived from natural sugars sucrose and maltose also rich in prebiotics.
Another worth mentioning ingredient is LACTOBACILLUS (also in Lancôme Advanced Génifique), a species of probiotics, similar to prebiotics it has a similar function of strengthening skin’s barrier by acting as a shield to safeguard our skin from bad bacteria. With prebiotics and probiotics in skincare and now even in cosmetics, this has been a game-changer in the beauty industry. In the recent years, to the like of Lancôme in their improved formula to integrate prebiotic and probiotic in Advanced Génifique, Clinique in 2019, last year also launched Clinique iD™: Active Cartridge Concentrate™ for Irritation with probiotic in it. Even Forbes also made an article about probiotics in skincare in 2019.
Another notable ingredient, COCO-CAPRYLATE/CAPRATE derived from coconut fatty acids, acts as an emollient which able to leave a light, non-oily smooth, and velvet skin sensation thus having a mattifying effect.
But please do note that the green color, doesn’t help in color correct your skin tone immediately as they do not neutralize redness on the skin. As I saw many people are disappointed by this however I did not see Guerlain marketed this primer as the regular green colored primer that helps in color correcting. On a side note, since it’s the hybrid of skincare and cosmetics, the probiotics LACTOBACILLUS is able to calm and comfort skin and with prolonged use, it can reduce redness on the skin.
✵✵ Product ✵✵
The bottle is really beautiful and it’s in a frosted glass pebbled-lookalike bottle. The downside is it’s quite heavy not travel friendly.
In terms of application, you use the dropper to dispense 2 drops onto your fingers, rub it to warm it up, and activate the formula. For maximized efficacy, Guerlain also recommended performing “Piano Touch”, by gently tapping with your fingertips across the face to awaken and energies skin while it absorbs the skin-caring formula.
However, I would agree with most reviewers that the dropper doesn’t really work, it does feel nice at first but when you’re rushing you may tend to spill some especially when you’re putting the dropper back to its bottle. Unless they improve the mechanism similar to the dropper in Lancôme Advanced Génifique
Basically, I’ve been using it for almost a month, and since you only need 2 drops so it does go a long way for a 30ml. The texture lightweight and doesn’t feel tacky upon application as it absorbs effortlessly into your skin. The scent is quite subtly but one’s can surely notice the fragrance, quite difficult for me to put in words on how does the fragrance smell like, for me, it’s very pleasant to sort of refreshing and natural.
✵✵ Result ✵✵
From my observation, it really does what is said. And I’m really liking on how it able to regulate my sebum secretion and mattify my skin. My foundation stays longer, fresher, and doesn’t crease or become cakey easily. I’ve tried the primer with MAC Mineralize Foundations, Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Serum Foundation as well as my current lover from Guerlain Lingerie De Peau Aqua Nude Foundation.
Using it with MAC and Bobbi Brown foundation I can see that it still gets oilier at my T-zone especially the nose area but only after 6 to 8 hours but it’s still less oily than previous and basically, the whole face except my nose area still felt matte. But using with Guerlain Lingerie De Peau Aqua Nude Foundation, OMG it stays matte and fresh even until 12 hours, my T-zone only started to get oily on the 14th hour. Some reviewers said the best combo is to use it with the L’Essentiel Natural Glow Foundation. I did not get the foundation from the L’Essentiel range as the Guerlain Beauty Advisor told me that this foundation is very thick and heavy compared to the Lingerie De Peau range as I wanted a foundation that has a second-to-skin effect and feels. Plus I can’t really try it on the spot due to the pandemic situation where cosmetic and skincare products are not allowed to be tested by consumers to avoid cross contamination. The BA of Guerlain also advised me that instead, I can use the L’Essentiel Foundation as a concealer since the formulation and coverage are very thick and high coverage. But I did manage to get a few samples of the L’Essentiel Natural Glow Foundation in sachet forms but I’ve yet got the chance to try it.
Another thing to note is it doesn’t really immediately minimize your pores especially those with really big pores. It has a function like blurring out the pores, you may think of something like a filter. But you’re sure to feel skin texture is smoothed and refined thus creating a perfect base of a primed face.
The Primer goes beyond controlling excess shine to balance skin, reinforce the skin barrier, and protect against pollution with all the skincare ingredients mentioned earlier.
There’re reviewer that mentioned they don’t understand how this primer able to protect against pollution. This as I’ve explained in the ingredients list is due to the probiotics that able to act as a protective shield against bad bacteria as pollutants promote the growth of bad bacteria on our skins.
✵✵ Overall Rating ✵✵
All in all this primer has gone the extra mile by infusing naturally derived ingredients that are rich with skincare benefits. Thus having a cosmetic that able to promote healthier skin at the same time is a great feat ever done in the beauty industry especially it’s already made of 97% natural ingredient with the balance made up of chemical composition to stabilize, prolong and preserve the product, to bind the ingredients together, and not to forget fragrance. As there’re a number of cosmetic products that come with skincare benefits in it but none has done the way Guerlain did, with almost all the ingredients are naturally derived.
Would I re-purchase it again? Yes, but due to the high price, I would wait till there is a further discount as this primer would also last for quite some time.