Let's start off with the good news: This primer has a velvety gel texture that is thick enough to fill in pores and temporarily mattify skin without feeling too heavy. Your complexion will look smoother upon initial application, but it's not necessarily going to make makeup application any easier. If applied liberally, it creates a sort of drag that requires more blending for the makeup you apply over it. Primers are supposed to help, not hinder, makeup application (that's the bad news)!
Complicating matters further is the strong fragrance. Whether or not you like the smell, it isn't good for your skin; in fact, it's potentially irritating (see More Info). In that regard you're better off using Rimmel's original Fix Perfect Primer.
- Temporarily fills in pores and mattifies skin.
- Smoothes complexion.
- Contains potentially irritating fragrance.
- Makes makeup application difficult, which isn't the point of using a primer.
Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes chronic irritation that can damage healthy collagen production, lead to or worsen dryness, and impair your skin's ability to heal. Fragrance-free is the best way to go for all skin types (Sources: Inflammation Research, December 2008, pages 558–563; Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2008, pages 124–135, and November-December 2000, pages 358–371; Journal of Investigative Dermatology, April 2008, pages 15–19; Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2008, pages 78–82; Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, January 2007, pages 92–105; and British Journal of Dermatology, December 2005, pages S13–S22).
Aqua (Water), Cyclopentasiloxane, Propylene Glycol, Talc, Dimethicone, Phenyl Trimethicone, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Vinyl Dimethicone, Methicone Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Dimethicone PEG 10/15 Crosspolymer, Magnesium Sulfate, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Fragrance, Tocopheryl Acetate, Lauryl PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Lecithin, Punica Granatum Fruit Juice, Vitis Vinifera Juice (Grape), Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Glycerin, Retinyl Palmitate, Sorbic Acid, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Dipropylene Glycol, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Hexyl Cinnamal, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Tocopherol, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Silica, Dimethyl Silylate , BHT, Butylene Glycol, Sapphire Powder, Palmaria Palmate Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hexylene Glycol
Strengths: Inexpensive; the pressed bronzing powder; some of the best mascaras at the drugstore; powder eyeshadows; excellent automatic eye pencil; Lasting Finish Lipstick is a must-see.
Weaknesses: Packaging that isn't very user-friendly; average concealers; several lackluster eyeshadow options; none of the Extra Super Lash mascaras earn their impressive-sounding names; potentially problematic eye-makeup remover.
Rimmel is a London-based company that has been under the ownership of Coty since 1996. Coty's namesake presence in drugstores has vanished, but their history lives on via this acquisition. Once exclusive to Wal-Mart, the line has branched out and is now available in other drug and mass-market stores. Given the low to very low price points and several good products, this expansion is good news for cosmetics consumers! What's worth paying attention to when you come across this line are the mascaras, automatic pencils, and bronzing powder. The foundations and concealers are worth a look as well, but without testers, it's always a guessing game as to which color is best for you, and there are no options for darker skin tones. The needs-sharpening pencils are basic but worth a look, though a few of them smear terribly. There are dozens of nail polishes to consider, not to mention a pleasing lipstick and lip gloss selection. Actually, the Lasting Finish Lipstick deserves special mention for its elegant texture and fashion-forward colors, all for under six dollars.
My only significant complaint about Rimmel is the packaging. The tops to the blushes and eyeshadows are awkward and tricky to remove, though this is a minor technicality that's easy enough to live with, especially at these prices!
For more information about Rimmel, visit www.rimmellondon.com.
Note: Many Rimmel products featured on their Web site are not available in the United States; they are exclusive to United Kingdom drugstores. The products reviewed below are those that are consistently found at U.S. stores nationwide, specifically Target, Walgreens and Wal-Mart.