Pre-Foundation Primer
1.76 fl. oz. for $29
Category:Makeup > Sensitive Skin Products > Foundation Primer
Last Updated:04.09.2013
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Unknown
Review Overview

Apparently Mr. Perdis is fond of saying “not to prime is a crime,” which is a cute rhyme, but not true. Using a primer is completely optional and hardly a must for anyone’s makeup routine. A good moisturizer or serum can achieve a smooth foundation application as well as any primer; the choice is yours. As it turns out, that’s exactly what this pink-hued primer is, more of a moisturizer than a primer. Pre-Foundation Primer does a decent job of moisturizing skin and even contains some beneficial antioxidants in the proper packaging, so why did this not rate a Best Product? Because it can leave a tacky feeling on skin that’s not as appealing as the primers or moisturizers whose formulas leave skin feeling beautifully silky and soft. Keep in mind that this contains no sunscreen, so unless your foundation contains sunscreen, you are going to need to apply an additional moisturizer that has an SPF rating of 15 or higher along with this primer. That’s a lot of product layering, and likely enough to undo the effect you’re going for by using a primer (it also takes more time than usual, something many women don’t want for their morning routine). It’s also worth noting that neither of the foundations in the NP Set line provides any sunscreen protection. So, while this product will even out skin tone and moisturize fine lines and dry skin, it could’ve been better.

A beauty building block to insure you’re always in your prime. Soybean oil imbues the skin with a hint of moisture.
Water, Propylene Glycol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cyclomethicone, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Allantoin, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Extract, Camellia Oleifera (Green Tea) Extract, Euterpe Oleracea Mart (Acai) Extract, Linum Usitatissimum (Flaxseed) Oil, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Retinyl Palmitate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Tocopherol, Sucrose, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Laureth-7, Polyacrylamide, Dimethicone Copolyol, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Fragrance, Mica, Ferric Oxide, Iron Oxide, Titanium Dioxide
Brand Overview

NP Set At-A-Glance

Strengths: In-store testers; one very good concealer; some good lip products; great cream blush.

Weaknesses: Overpriced for what you get; no sunscreen in the foundation products; no good eyeshadow options; Lip Plumper contains several potent irritants; healing claims about certain product ingredients are nonsense; one really messy loose-powder eyeshadow.

NP Set brings us another mass-marketed cosmetic line created by a well-known makeup artist whose celebrity following is touted as an enticement for you to buy his products. This line is the creation of Australian-born makeup artist Napoleon Perdis, a man whose views on makeup and whose alleged skills have basically made him the Kevyn Aucoin of Australia (although so far without the countless celebrity accolades Aucoin earned). We say "alleged" because we haven't yet seen evidence that Perdis's makeup artistry skills compare with those of the late, great Aucoin (who styled his work based on the teachings of famous and brilliant 1970s makeup artist Way Bandy), although Perdis is certainly well-known in his native country.

Perdis created his first namesake line, a prestige-priced group of products, in the mid-90s. That line is still distributed in Australia, but a few years back NP Set was launched for mainstream distribution. You're supposed to make the association that buying Perdis's less expensive line of products will still help you achieve the celebrity style that his prestige line does. Well, that is no more possible with NP Set than buying a designer dress will help you look like a runway model.

Target is the exclusive brick-and-mortar retailer for the NP Set line, and given the pricing it appears that Target wants to change the image of its cosmetics aisles to compete with department store counters. It will be interesting to see if consumers buy into this pricing increase because truly there is nothing about cost that necessarily reflects quality, not at the drugstore and not at the cosmetic counter, and definitely not with NP Set products. Rimmel, Sonia Kashuk, L'Oreal, Revlon, Cover Girl, and Maybelline all have brilliant options that put NP Set's selections to shame.

Along with NP Set, Target launched two other small makeup lines from other international makeup artists—Jemma Kidd from England and Pixi, which is from Swedish makeup artist Petra Strand (although her line began in London)—and from any perspective, that's three new lines too many. None offers anything worthy of your special attention, but all three are priced to make you think they must be a head above the rest (but, as you might suspect, they aren't).

Perdis peddles his line as being 98% paraben-free (which obviously means it's not 100% free, which is an odd way to state that indeed some of his products do contain parabens so don't buy those if you're concerned about these preservatives). He also highlights the organic ingredients in his products with beguiling descriptions, but his products are neither natural nor organic in the least, and they are neither superior nor specially formulated when compared with any competing products on the shelves nearby.

The best feature of the NP Set collection is the tester units in the Target stores. Considering the ups and downs of the products in this line, you definitely need to test the products before purchasing! When all is said and done, we wouldn't suggest you be too quick to open your pocketbook for Perdis—at least not before you explore similarly priced items at Target or at the drugstore, many of which have more favorable qualities than NP Set.

For more information about NP Set call (888) 732-9111.

About the Experts

The Beautypedia Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula Begoun herself.

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