Matte, Shimmer, or Glow: Three new BYS face primers to keep an eye out for

Until a couple of years ago, I didn’t believe in using face primers. It seemed like an unnecessary step and additional expense, until finally trying one made me do a complete 180! Once addicted, I ended up collecting  different kinds of primers: pore-filling, oil-controlling, moisturizing, brightening, color-correcting, and even ones with SPF. You see, I have sensitive combination skin so I cycle through these primers according to how my skin looks and feels like when I wake up. Sometimes, I even end up using different primers on targeted areas of my face!

So I was excited to discover that BYS had three new face primers in rather interesting variants: one for oily skin, one with hydrating pearls, and yet another with gold flakes. The pearls and gold flakes are particularly unique in my perspective, so I was very curious to give these a try.


BYS Face Primer for Oily Skin (P799)

Out of the three, I was the most wary of this variant. Like Liz, I've found that I much prefer hydrating primers over oil-control formulas as the latter tend to dry up my skin. I was pleasantly surprised when I tried this though. It has a gel-serum texture, went on smoothly on my hand, absorbed quickly, and mattified while moisturizing my skin. I was so used to silicone-filled oil-control primers that just bunch up and pill upon application!

A quick look at the ingredients list explains the seamless application: it’s water-based, but has dimethicone like most other oil-control primers. I was also surprised to find ingredients like aloe vera extract (known for its soothing and skin-healing properties) and witch hazel extract (known for minimizing pores and oil production). It does list some fragrance elements, but my nose only detected it when I sniffed my hand after swatching (not while applying it on my face). 


BYS Face Primer with Hydrating Pearls (P799)

If I only had product photos to go by, I’d very likely pick this as my first choice among the three. I found that my skin has been more on the dry side lately, and hydrating primers have become my jam. Plus, look at those pearls! They look like little PV pink balloons suspended in a magic elixir. The water-based formula contains arginine, a nutrient-rich antioxidant with soothing properties. It also apparently has actual pearl extract, giving skin that subtle glow. The crushed pearl particles were obvious with a single pump, and I had to massage it into my skin; simply swiping it on left some pearly fragments. Sodium hyaluronate also plumps the skin with moisture - great for those with fine lines like me. Unsurprisingly, my skin felt hydrated, but not overly moist. It also took on an subtle sheen!


BYS Face Primer with Gold Flakes (P799)

Undeniably the most fancy-looking of them all, this primer has gorgeous gold flakes suspended in its formula. Although housed in an acrylic pump bottle, it has a luxe feel thanks to the elegant sparkles. Like the other two, this gel primer feels hydrating and absorbs quickly. I made sure to massage this in thoroughly, otherwise the gold flake particles won’t dissolve into a fine shimmer before sinking in completely into the skin. Aside from giving a subtly warm glow, I love that it contains niacinamide, allantoin, and vitamin B3 - all ingredients common in many anti-aging serums. Like the pearl primer, this has sodium hyaluronate, as well.

Overall, these primers gave me great first impressions. I could see how the ingredients in each formula would work for oily skin, dry skin, and dull/aging skin, respectively. The skin on the back of my hand also felt so smooth and hydrated after all my swatching! I was also really happy that even though my skin is sensitive to perfume, the fragrances in these primers didn’t trigger adverse reactions.

But how did these primers fare on my face? Do they live up to the claims printed on the bottles? Do they enhance makeup application and extend makeup wear time? 

Left side is primed with BYS Face Primer for Oily Skin; right side is foundation applied to bare skin

Left side is primed with BYS Face Primer for Oily Skin; right side is foundation applied to bare skin

Left side is primed with BYS Face Primer for Oily Skin; right side is foundation applied to bare skin

Left side is primed with BYS Face Primer for Oily Skin; right side is foundation applied to bare skin

To test it out, I braved a full day with only half of my face primed! I used a foundation that I like but doesn’t last for more than 4 hours on my face. The foundation shade is also slightly darker than my actual skin tone so I'm able to easily see when it fades or rubs off. I also used a face palette with a beautiful color story but is difficult to blend and doesn’t have much staying power. I set everything with powder (no setting spray) and managed to keep myself from retouching with powder throughout the day. This kind of sacrifice is only borne out of love).

Off the bat, the first thing I noticed is that my foundation went on smoother on the side with the oil control primer. My blush, bronzer, and highlighter also blended so much easier! I also used much less product to get the same pigmentation as the unprimed side. The undereye area also looks dramatically different with primer - my concealer didn’t crease! Finally, even my larger pores seemed to disappear on the primer side.

After 8 hours, both sides of my face had oiled up but I was impressed to see my foundation and concealer still hanging on with the help of the primer! I'm blown away with how much this primer helped with texture on my face, and even going so far as to keep my undereye concealer from creasing. How is it possible that an oil-control primer actually moisturized and filled other lines on my face? What is this sorcery???

Left side is primed with BYS Face Primer with Gold Flakes while right is primed with BYS Face Primer with Hydrating Pearls

Left side is primed with BYS Face Primer with Gold Flakes while right is primed with BYS Face Primer with Hydrating Pearls

For the next test, I used the gold primer on the left, and the pearl primer on the right. I used the same foundation and face palette to keep variables constant. The two primers felt similar on my face - hydrating, but absorbed quickly into the skin. I did notice, though, that the left side with gold primer was just the teensiest bit warmer than the right. I had wondered about its claim of being able to correct uneven skin tone as it was transparent, and the added warmth may be proof of that. As I had expected, my makeup went on smoothly, and I was really happy that I had to use less blush, bronzer, and highlight. Plus it all blended out so much faster! While the primer seemed to fill the fine lines under my eyes, it didn’t blur the large pores on the sides of my nose, unlike the first primer.

At the 8-hour mark, my foundation and concealer were both still alive and kicking! There was no creasing, either. The face color also faded, but it did so evenly so I was not left with weird streaks. Surprisingly, I also didn’t oil up as much as I normally do; perhaps because my skin had additional hydration on top of my usual skincare routine?

All three BYS primers undeniably surpassed my expectations. I find it difficult to choose a favorite, since all three did what a good primer does: prep the skin for makeup and extend makeup wear. They all had skin-caring benefits, too! 

Picking out which one to try would all come down to personal preference, skin type, and skin concern. For me, it’s a toss-up between the hydrating pearls and the gold flakes. These two worked well for my combination skin, which is admittedly more on the dry side these days. While the face primer for oily skin would probably be a runaway fave for those who need oil control and pore-filling magic, I appreciated how it instantly mattified and smoothened my face without being overly drying!

Have you tried the new BYS primers? Which formula is the absolute best in your book?

BYS is available in SM Beauty and select Watsons outlets.

BYS Face Primer for Oily Skin

Aqua, Cyclopentasiloxane, Diglycerin, Isononyl Isononanoate, Alcohol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Divinyldimethicone/Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Propanediol, Silica, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Polyacrylate, Hamamelis Virginiana Leaf Extract, Sodium Acrylates Copolymer, PPG-26-Buteth-26, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Lecithin, C12-14 Pareth-12, Ethylhexylglycerin, Butylene Glycol, Polyphosphorylcholine Glycol Acrylate, Disodium EDTA, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Parfum, Butylpheryl Methylpropional, Isoeugonol, Citral, Benzyl Alcohol, Amyl Cinnamal, Hexyl Cinnamal, Benzyl Benzoate, Benzyl Salicylate, Citronellol, Geraniol

BYS Face Primer with Hydrating Pearls

Aqua, Glycerin, Jojoba Esters, Trehalose, Butylene Glycol, Mica, Agar, 1,2-Hexanedol, Hydroxyacetophenone, Carbomer, Arginine, PPG-26-Buteth-26, Pearl Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Sodium Hyaluronate, Parfum, Butylpheryl Methylpropional, Isoeugenol, Citral, Benzyl Alcohol, Amyl Cinnamal, Hexyl Cinnamal, Benzyl Benzoate, Benzyl Salicylate, Citronellol, Geraniol, CI 12490, CI 77891

BYS Face Primer with Gold Flakes

Aqua, Glycerin, Diglycerin, Butylene Glycol, Niacinamide, Phenoxyethanol, Betaine, Tinethanolamine, Carbomer, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Allantoin, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Disodium EDTA, Glyceryl Polymethacrylate, Propylene Glycol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Parfum, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Butylphenyl Methylpropional Limonene, CI 77480