A couple of weeks ago I went along to the launch night of Benefit's newest primer, Stay Flawless, in Edinburgh (have a look at my Facebook page for some more photos from the event!) and have been testing it out since then. It's a solid primer which comes in the form of a stick for easy application, and aims to keep makeup in place for 15 hours. Benefit's Head Makeup & Trend Artist and Brow Expert, Lisa, was on hand to give us a demonstration of the product and explained that the best way to apply it was in circular motions to activate the "makeup magnet" which would help your foundation to stick to your face and keep you looking flawless all day. As always, it was such a lovely event (those Benefit girls are a nice bunch, aren't they?) and Lisa said I had nice eyebrows so that pretty much made my day!
Along with the Stay Flawless Primer, we also got some of the Hello Flawless Foundation* to test it out with, plus a Foundation Brush* for application. Now, I must admit I'm not a big fan of foundation brushes - I much prefer to apply foundation with my fingers - but I do love Hello Flawless! I bought some last summer (review here) and my main complaint was that it was a tiny bit too dark for me - but as it turns out I hadn't actually bought the lightest shade, what an idiot! I originally bought Ivory Believe in Me, but this time round I was colour matched to Ivory I'm Pure 4 Sure. Slightly confusing as they're both called Ivory, and Believe in Me appears first on the website, so I think I just assumed it was the lightest one. Aaaanyway, I'm really glad I've discovered this as Pure 4 Sure is the perfect match for my skin and it has made me love this foundation even more.
I thought I would do a little experiment to put Stay Flawless to the test, and have put it up against The Porefessional, which is another favourite of mine (review here - I actually like it much more than this review might suggest, perhaps it's time to start doing re-reviews of some old products?). The Porefessional is great at creating a smooth, even base and minimising the appearance of pores, but it's not the longest lasting primer in the world. Stay Flawless, on the other hand, claims to keep makeup in place for up to 15 hours. So, on the right side of my face (with fringe) I've applied Stay Flawless and on the left (no fringe) I've applied The Porefessional to see how they compare when worn with Hello Flawless foundation. I apologise in advance for all the photos of my face!
This is what my freshly applied makeup looks like (hello dressing gown). Both sides look pretty much the same, and both primers have done a good job of creating a blank canvas to apply foundation on top of. The Porefessional is super easy to apply, but I'd say Stay Flawless takes a tiny bit more effort. You have to be careful not to apply too much otherwise the product will go a bit sticky and kind of ball up a bit - sort of like when you get glue on your hands and you rub your fingers to get it off, and it kind of collects together? I don't think I'm explaining it very well! To prevent that from happening, just make sure you're not too overenthusiastic with application, and tap/blend it in lightly with your fingers to make sure it settles in to your skin.
Having spent the morning doing work in the flat, having lunch and putting away my grocery shopping, my makeup is looking pretty much identical to when I applied it. Both primers are holding up well and there's no sign of slipping or fading from my foundation.
I've now been wearing my makeup for a full "working day" and it still looks pretty fresh and flawless. During the afternoon, I went to the library and did some work there for a few hours but even their ridiculously warm building (seriously, someone needs to turn off the central heating!) hasn't affected my foundation. It's difficult to see in the photo, but on The Porefessional side there is a little bit of wearing off where my nose meets my face (errrm? is there a word for this?), but apart from that both primers seem to be doing their job pretty well.
I've now finished making dinner and am getting ready to head out to the pub for a couple of drinks. I've applied some lipstick (Illamasqua Scandal), but haven't touched my base makeup at all. I have fairly normal skin, but do have a slightly oily T-zone and you can see that both my forehead and nose are starting to look a little bit shiny. Nothing too drastic though, and the rest of my face still looks fine.
I'm now home from the pub and my foundation is starting to look a bit worse for wear. My lipstick has totally worn off, but my foundation is still doing pretty well considering I applied it 14 hours ago! I also think there's quite a noticeable difference between the two sides now. The Porefessional on the left is looking really quite shiny now, but Stay Flawless is still quite matte. It definitely doesn't look as fresh as when I first applied it, but it's certainly holding up much better than The Porefessional.
Hair up, jim jams on, nearly time for bed! It has now been a whole 15 hours since I applied my makeup, and whilst it's not looking perfect, Stay Flawless has done a good job of keeping my makeup in place and keeping shine at bay. It hasn't done quite so well in the T-zone area, so it might not be ideal if you have particularly oily skin, but it has definitely fared better than The Porefessional in terms of staying power. Even if it doesn't last you the whole 15 hours I think it would certainly keep your makeup in place for longer than other primers which weren't designed to be so long lasting. I don't have particularly bad pores so I found Stay Flawless gave enough of a smoothing effect to skim over everything and create a nice base, but if you have problematic pores you might want to give The Porefessional a go instead.
Overall, I really like Stay Flawless as it has done pretty darn well at keeping my foundation in place for 15 hours. It's not a miracle worker, and if I wasn't doing an experiment for reviewing purposes, I would probably have done one or two sly repowderings throughout the day. But, to be honest, I really didn't expect it to last anywhere near 15 hours so I'm pleasantly surprised. Sometimes I think a lot of products with "lasts X hours" claims have just picked a random number for the sake of it, but 15 hours seems about right for Stay Flawless - Benefit have obviously done their research! I think there's definitely still room for both of these primers in my makeup bag as they do different jobs and would be useful for different occasions; if I know I'm going to be busy and be out of the house all day, I'll definitely be reaching for Stay Flawless.
So, Stay Flawless versus The Porefessional: which one would you choose?