Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Praise for Pixi Flawless Beauty Primer

Once in awhile, you come across a product that isn't too common that satisfies and surprises you because of its effectiveness and individuality.  This was not exactly how I felt when my online purchase of Pixi Flawless Beauty Primer finally arrived and I got to try it for the first time.  I did not gush over the product in an instant.  I had to understand why it was the way it was.  It was not what I expected initially the first time I tried it.  Pixi is a UK brand founded roughly a decade ago by Petra Strand, a Swedish-born makeup artist.

I  first learned about this product after watching one of the Pixiwoo (YouTube) sisters, Samantha Chapman, use it first to start off one of their many extremely cool makeup tutorials.  She raved about it before at the very beginning of this video:

and then again more recently in her "Simple MakeUp Tutorial" posted 2 weeks ago.  In the video I posted above she claimed it gave her pale skin more color, a tiny bit of iridescence or dewiness, simply put, a more healthy glow.  It is labeled as a primer but can be used on its own to decrease dullness in your complexion and lift skin quality with extended use.   It has Vitamin A and E, antioxidants that aid in promoting healthy, soft skin.  It only comes in one color but is labeled No.1 Even Skin.  Petra claims further at the back of the package that this product is 20 year old youthful skin in a bottle.  I commend her for this wonderful product but I think that was a bit pushing it.  I love how this product performs, for me it comes a close 2nd to my Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer, but that remark was a bit of an exaggeration I believe.

First point of praise, the bottle itself.  It comes in a delightfully pretty pinkish copper capped bottle which is made of frosted glass.

It's a tiny bit heavy, but I quite like the bottle in this way because it gives the product inside some sort of value, and my praise doesn't stop at the bottle.  Open the cap and lo and behold...

...a pump dispenser! Which is an absolute plus for beauty products like this because you don't get bacteria going back in once you pump an amount like this onto your hand.

The color is a deep pinkish beige that is absolutely sheer when spread and rubbed in.  This was where I began to get skeptical.  I saw that it was shot through with finely milled gold-ish shimmer, not glitter (thank God), shimmer.  You can't see it in this photo, it is very very fine, but it's there alright.  This is the agent that supposedly gives your skin that sheen that Sam was talking about in the video.  It was more obvious in the product than I expected, to my dismay.  So I started to blend it in.
It smells like a very mild sunblock, but don't be fooled, this has no SPF (which is actually too bad, that would have made it a daily must-have), it only boasts of antioxidants and moisturizers that balance hydration in the skin.  Then came the part I didn't like, it was somewhat sticky/tacky, just like some moisturizers with SPF are, or rather just like sunblock is.  At first I was like ugh, why!?  What on earth could Sam be raving about?  But I persevered and continued to blend it in on my hand first.  I started to remember that this was initially a primer, and primers by definition are supposed to help makeup stay on your face.  So for a moment I forgave its sudden stickiness.
Ok, a slight dewy sheen.  I wasn't too disappointed.  This was what Sam Chapman was talking about.  My hand looked less pale.  I looked at the inside of my palms which had most of the product on from rubbing it in, they were covered with a satin sheen (that I didn't photograph, how smart) that once again started stirring my doubts.  So I tried it on my face and again the somewhat slightly sticky iridescent dewiness got me frustrated.  Then a light bulb suddenly went on. 

We Filipinos live in a very, very humid country.  We have almost double the atmospheric moisture compared to those living in the West.  When I stayed with an Aunt of mine in Hamburg, Germany for over two months, the Safeguard soap bar I brought with me from Manila cracked in several places through the middle.  My face felt tight around my nose and mouth when I smiled in the morning and my lip would split and bleed.  My aunt gave me Nivea cream and told me to use it everyday.  That's something we don't need to do here in the tropics.  So I understood why Sam Chapman raved about this product, it probably did wonders for her dry skin there. In light of this, I wouldn't recommend this product for oily skin as it might only add excessive shine and stickiness in a climate such as ours.  I do recommend it for normal to dry combination skin (though I have yet to meet someone with excessively dry skin from around these parts.)

Still, I wondered, knowing that, how could I make this work for me?  Then it dawned on me:
 ...I dusted my face with Laura Mercier loose translucent setting powder (a luxurious hand-me-down from mom) and suddenly the choir sang HALLELUJAH.  I had my FOTD (face of the day).  The dewiness of the Pixi primer peeked from beneath the matte veil of the loose setting powder and gave my face a subtle healthy glow.  So enough with the hand swatches.  The photos above were taken last Sunday, but I didn't have enough time to do a face review that day so I did one tonight.  Here are the photos I took just an hour ago.  Here's my face before.  My before face shot is not totally naked, I needed my dignity, I only put concealer here, mainly on my dark circles which were awful.  I used a few finger dabs of Nars stick concealer in custard (another yummy hand-me-down from mom) on my undereye circles, my browbone (it also works as a good cream highlighter), inner eye corners, around my nose and the corners of my mouth.  Other than that there's nothing else on my face.   I have not used Photoshop on any of my blog photos except for cropping.  So no cleanups or color corrections anywhere here.  I shoot for quality. 

So this is my face before Pixi primer, a bit sallow and pale, and you'll notice my face is a different tone from my body.  I'm lying down flat on my bed, it was the only way to get my ceiling light to work with me for the proper exposure:

Get ready for a spot the difference challenge, because the changes are really subtle.  Here's my "after" face, with a generous layer of Pixi beauty primer and a quick dusting of loose setting powder, it's a very subtle difference, but I quite like it. 

You can see I have a hint more color, like I'm half a shade darker than the photo above and I have a healthy glow across my T-zone and cheeks.  It's more obvious in the daytime though, I'll take another comparison with natural light tomorrow.  I know you're probably like "What is Julia talking about?  There's no difference!"  Hahaha, believe me there is, it didn't help that I couldn't take a sharper picture coz my hand kept moving.

Overall this is a wonder find for me, probably because I have the patience to apply powder after.  Some of you might not feel the same way about that.  I'm telling you though, the combination of this primer plus loose powder or mineral make up is absolutely wonderful.  As a plus though, to let you know I've been using it for a week now and my skin surface has evened out, I had rough patches and more whiteheads in some places, and now they're mostly gone and my skin feels happier, must be the vitamins. I'll try to edit the pictures and put them side by side tomorrow, makes it easier to compare.  Right now, it's way past my bedtime...again.  Ugh, my bad.



Anne said...

Hi Julia! I appreciate your sharing this as I am looking for a primer myself. I've been using Bare Minerals products but don't have the primer yet. I wonder if Pixi will work well for me, although you lost me at the sticky/tacky part. : )

Hey, this blog is great! Keep it up!

God bless you,
Anne del Rosario

Donna Simpao said...

smashbox foundation primer is good too.