05.13.2015
67
Pro-Prime Light Optimizing Primer Broad Spectrum SPF 15
1 fl. oz. for $34
Expert Rating
Community Rating (1)
Expert Reviews
Last Updated:05.13.2015
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:No

What distinguishes Pro-Prime Light Optimizing Primer Broad Spectrum SPF 15 from every other foundation primer on the market? According to NARS, the "light-transforming technologies" enhance skin and give foundation a luminous, fresh look. While it's true that this primer illuminates skin in a unique fashion, it's best paired with sheer to light coverage makeup or worn alone--otherwise the luminzing effect gets lost.

Packaged in a squeeze tube, Pro-Prime Light Optimizing Primer initially dispenses as a white cream but sheers out to a subtle rose-gold sheen on skin. We know that may sound odd, and perhaps even a little off-putting to those who already have pink or reddish undertones in their skin, but it actually illuminates skin in an attractive way while still allowing your natural skin tone to show through.

As far as the claims go, Pro-Prime Light Optimizing Primer does indeed live up to its promise to facilitate a smooth canvas for foundation, but as mentioned earlier, the "light optimizing" luminosity factor disappears if you layer medium to full coverage foundation over it. Worn alone or paired with light-coverage makeup, however, the luminizing effect adds a hint of vibrancy that enlivens skin.

This lightweight cream texture is suitable for all skin types, and those with oily skin will especially appreciate how comfortably it absorbs without making oily areas look or feel greasy. The inclusion of broad-spectrum synthetic sunscreen is a nice touch, but at a mere SPF 15 you'll need to layer this with another SPF-enhanced product (rated SPF 30 or higher) to ensure adequate sun protection. More to the point, you'd need to apply this primer liberally in order to get the amount of sun protection stated on the label, yet most of us aren't likely to slather on primer!

The formula also contains a smattering of antioxidants for anti-aging benefit, but unfortunately, those are accompanied by potentially irritating fragrance (not in an overwhelming amount but enough to lightly smell it upon initial application).

In the end, Pro-Prime Light Optimizing Primer is a bit of a tossup. If you're looking for a primer that adds a subtle glow to skin and the foundation you'll be pairing it with is on the sheer end of the spectrum, this is worth checking out. Just keep in mind that the fragranced formula isn't the best from a skincare standpoint… particularly for those with sensitive skin.

Want alternative options? Find out which primers earn our top recommendation while being beneficial for skin here.

Pros:
  • Illuminates skin with a subtle golden sheen.
  • Lightweight cream texture is conducive for all skin types.
  • Facilitates smooth foundation wear.
  • Provides broad-spectrum sun protection (assuming you apply it liberally like you would a sunscreen).
Cons:
  • Lightly fragranced formula can potentially irritate skin.
Community Reviews
Claims
Get primed for a vibrant complexion. Ideal for all skin types, this lightweight essential is loaded with the latest light-transforming technologies to enhance skin’s natural beauty. Prepare yourself for foundation that looks luminous, stays fresh, and lasts.
Ingredients
Active Ingredients: Avobenzone (2.5%), Octinoxate (5.9%) Octocrylene (2%). Other Ingredients: Water, Butylene Glycol, Dimethicone, Dipropylene Glycol, Silica, Glycerin, Polysorbate 60, Behenyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethyl Caprylate, Sorbitan Stearate, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Fragrance, Chlorphenesin, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Potassium Hydroxide, Carbomer, Xanthan Gum, Sea Water, Palmaria Palmata Extract, Trisodium EDTA, Algae Extract, Ascorbic Acid, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate, BHT, Barium Sulfate, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid, Alumina, Mica, Titanium , Iron Oxides.
Brand Overview

NARS At-A-Glance

Frenchman Francois Nars has been painting the faces of New York's top models since arriving in the United States in 1984. Their images and his handiwork have been seen on the covers of countless fashion magazines, most notably Vogue and Elle. As the story often goes for the talented makeup artists who have become celebrities in their own right, Nars became frustrated with the state of available makeup and, surprise, another cosmetic line was born.

Beginning (as Bobbi Brown did) by launching a small collection of lipsticks in 1994, the clamor for the colors was incredible, and demand for more NARS products from the artist grew. Shortly thereafter an entire product line followed, gaining attention with vibrant, deeply pigmented colors, sleek, tactile-enhanced packaging and risqué shade names.

As an overview, NARS makeup has many strengths—it reaches its zenith with blushes, tinted moisturizer, foundations, brushes, and lipsticks. If you’re a fan of bold colors, you’ll find them here, and the brand offers consistently impressive foundations and concealers. NARS consistently impresses when it comes to offering a wide range of shades to suit nearly any skin tone.

Where NARS often falls short is in the amount of fragrance added to many of their skincare formulas. In some cases, the amount and specific fragrance ingredients chosen outweigh the potential benefits, so be sure to double check their review before buying. Overall, NARS offers a lot to love, and if you don’t mind splurging a bit (as their prices can be on the spendy side) there are quite a few makeup picks that come with our highest recommendations.

Strengths: Superior foundations and foundation shade options; excellent blushes; splurge-worthy lipsticks; beautiful bronzers and consistently impressive color products.

Weaknesses: Can be expensive; a few skincare formulas contain high amounts of fragrance.

For more information about NARS, owned by Shiseido, call (888) 788-6277 or visit www.narscosmetics.com.

About the Experts

The Beautypedia and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.


Beautypedia cuts through the hype to bring you product insights and recommendations you won’t find anywhere else!

See all reviews for this brand

NARS At-A-Glance

Frenchman Francois Nars has been painting the faces of New York's top models since arriving in the United States in 1984. Their images and his handiwork have been seen on the covers of countless fashion magazines, most notably Vogue and Elle. As the story often goes for the talented makeup artists who have become celebrities in their own right, Nars became frustrated with the state of available makeup and, surprise, another cosmetic line was born.

Beginning (as Bobbi Brown did) by launching a small collection of lipsticks in 1994, the clamor for the colors was incredible, and demand for more NARS products from the artist grew. Shortly thereafter an entire product line followed, gaining attention with vibrant, deeply pigmented colors, sleek, tactile-enhanced packaging and risqué shade names.

As an overview, NARS makeup has many strengths—it reaches its zenith with blushes, tinted moisturizer, foundations, brushes, and lipsticks. If you’re a fan of bold colors, you’ll find them here, and the brand offers consistently impressive foundations and concealers. NARS consistently impresses when it comes to offering a wide range of shades to suit nearly any skin tone.

Where NARS often falls short is in the amount of fragrance added to many of their skincare formulas. In some cases, the amount and specific fragrance ingredients chosen outweigh the potential benefits, so be sure to double check their review before buying. Overall, NARS offers a lot to love, and if you don’t mind splurging a bit (as their prices can be on the spendy side) there are quite a few makeup picks that come with our highest recommendations.

Strengths: Superior foundations and foundation shade options; excellent blushes; splurge-worthy lipsticks; beautiful bronzers and consistently impressive color products.

Weaknesses: Can be expensive; a few skincare formulas contain high amounts of fragrance.

For more information about NARS, owned by Shiseido, call (888) 788-6277 or visit www.narscosmetics.com.