I don’t like silicones. Silicones don’t like my skin. They clog up my large pores on my normal-oily combination face and cause breakouts if I’m not careful about double cleansing. Because of aforementioned large pores, I’ve dabbled with silicone primers in the past, but gave up quickly when the innumerable clogged pores won the battle over a nice, diffused almost pore-less finish.
Here’s where the Fyrinnae Velvet-Gel Silica Primer makes an entrance…
This is what Fyrinnae says about their primer in a 1 oz tube that retails at USD$7:
Our Silica Gel Primer comes in a plastic bottle with flip-top cap, which contains 1 fl oz (prior to September 2010, the primer was .5oz in a jar at $5.50).
Ingredients: Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Silica (silicon dioxide), Purified Water, Acrylates/C-10 Alkyl Acrylates(this makes it into a gel – very,very small amount), Polyaminopropyl Biguanide, Sodium Benzoate
To apply, smooth on a very, very small (much less than pea-size) amount with fingertips after applying moisturizer (& sunscreen). If it feels tight or looks flaky/streaky when dry, too much was applied or it was not rubbed in well enough over a good moisturizer. Or, mix in a drop of water while applying. Can also be mixed with moisturizer and worn alone for a “soft focus” look.
Like the rest of Fyrinnae’s products, the packaging and labelling is basic and items do not arrive shrinkwrapped. I keep my tube in the fridge because there’s really no telling what the Singapore climate can do to your products. I miss the days of leaving out the milk on the kitchen table for a few hours and having it still drinkable at room temperature (no, that’s an 11 – 13 hour plane ride away). In Singapore, it’s hello, rancid city!
I’m also one of the Fyrinnae customers that bought their earlier version of the primer (before September 2010 – has it been that long???) when it was first released in a jar. That particular version (let’s call it V1) was quel horror to use. Even with the tiniest bit, V1 still streaked badly with white flakes and let’s face it. How much time do you have to spend on your foundation PRIMER in the mornings when you’re rushing to beat or join the morning human jam to get to work? I’d only used it a few times before leaving in at the back of the drawer, lid tightly screwed on. When I was spring cleaning sometime last year, I re-discovered it again, all dried up. While it was by no means expensive, a wasted purchase is still wasted money.
The current version (V2) is a much better improvement over V1. I suspect it has to do with the silica used. While both V1 and V2 do nothing to hide or diffuse my large pores, they both create a slightly smoother and more evened out surface for my foundation to adhere to. This is especially good for powder/mineral foundations. I also notice that my face is less shiny while using this. V2 is definitely a silicone-free alternative worth considering for people with oily/normal-oily skin or if you’re just plain silicone-averse like me (and that translates to boob implants too).
The texture is indeed very light and has a soothing feel on the face (since aloe leaf juice is listed as the first ingredient). While this does not have the easy spread of silicones, it does spread out evenly if and I stress if you use small blobs. Less is more for this primer.
I don’t really think this helps to extend the life of the foundation on your face and touch-ups are still necessary. But it works to help with an easier application and does pretty well to control the shinies, an unexpected boon. Fyrinnae also has a version for dry skin, which I’ve tried a sample of. I might just purchase that version next, as working in an air-conditioned environment doesn’t help your skin at all.
Ease of usage: 8
Overall score: 8.4