This lightweight, water-based primer slips over the skin and sets to a matte finish that does a good job keeping excess shine in check, at least for a few hours. As with any mattifying product, whether labeled "primer" or something else, how long the effect lasts depends on how oily your skin is and the other products you apply, both skin care and makeup.
Although we'd love to recommend this affordable primer, it contains several natural ingredients known to be irritating—and irritation makes oily skin worse, not better (see More Info for details). This also contains fragrance, while most foundation primers are fragrance-free, which is always better for skin.
- Works well to absorb excess oil, keeping skin fresh and matte.
- Lightweight texture and silky finish.
- Does little to minimize enlarged pores.
- Contains some plant-based irritants that can make oily skin worse.
Applying irritating ingredients to oily skin stimulates excess oil production at the base of the pores, so skin ends up being more oily and pores become (or stay) enlarged. If you want to see improvements in oily skin, the best approach is to treat your skin gently with effective products designed to absorb excess oil, exfoliate inside the pore, and help normalize pore function (Sources: Clinical Dermatology, September-October 2004, pages 360–366; and Dermatology, January 2003, pages 17–23).
Prevents oil breakthrough. Minimizes large pores.
Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone/Divinyl Dimethicone/Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer, Butylene Glycol, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Glycerin, DMDM Hydantoin, Phytic Acid, Polysorbate 60, Squalane, Xanthan Gum, Cinnamomum Zeylanicum Bark Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra Root Extract (Licorice), Poterium Officinale Root Extract, Rumex Occidentalis Extract, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Extract, Fragrance, Acer Saccharum (Sugar Maple) Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract , Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract, Vaccinium Myrtillus Extract (Bilberry), Achillea Millefolium (Yarrow) Extract, Alchemilla Vulgaris (Lady's Mantle) Extract, Malva Sylvestris (Mallow) Flower Extract, Melissa Officinalis (Lemon Balm) Extract, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Leaf Extract, Primula Veris Extract, Veronica Officinalis Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Cucumis Sativa Fruit Extract (Cucumber), Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis) Leaf Powder, Ascorbyl Methylsilanol Pectinate.
The skin-care collection from Iman isn't nearly as comprehensive or helpful as the makeup. It is clear from the inconsistencies that Iman (or the people who created her line) is not up to speed on several key skin-care issues, not the least of which is sun protection. There are a few winners in the skin-care selection, but far more disappointments than there should be, and that weakens things overall.
For more information about Iman, call (877) 367-4626 or visit www.imanbeauty.com.
Iman's makeup debuted in 1994 and at the time was a formidable collection of products built around the needs of women of color, whether of African-American, Asian, or Latina descent. Although that is still the backbone of the line, the products haven't received much attention since the previous edition of this book. As a result, many of them have fallen behind by not keeping pace with formulary advancements, including newer pigment technology.
The foundation shade range remains decent, but the formulas are severely out of date, especially noticeable in the area of inadequate sun protection. Reasons to shop this line (if you can find it, but we'll get to that in a minute) are the silky-smooth face powders and the densely pigmented eyeshadows and lipsticks (though the lipsticks aren't for anyone prone to feathering, and the lip liner is too creamy to anchor lipstick).
Distribution-wise, Iman is no longer sold in department stores. Once a mainstay at JCPenney, the line was left looking for a home when this retailer disbanded its cosmetics department. Where is Iman sold now? In the south and in California you'll find it at select Walgreens, Wal-Mart, and Target stores. On the East Coast it's available at Walgreens and Duane Reade. Several states do not offer the product line at all, including Arizona, the Dakotas, Hawaii, Kansas, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. It is occasionally carried in select Ulta boutiques. This uneven distribution isn't all that bad, however, because most of the major cosmetics players are ably serving women of color in the way Iman originally intended but for whatever reason didn't maintain.
Note: The products below are representative of what was advertised on Iman's Web site. Other Web sites, such as www.walgreens.com, offer additional Iman makeup items, but they are old stock and are no longer promoted on Iman's namesake site. In other words, buyer beware, because who knows how old those products really are.