April 12, 2010

L’Oreal Studio Secrets Professional Secret Magic Perfect Base Review

L’Oreal Studio Secrets Professional Secret Magic Perfect Base hit the US market this past February and I’ve kinda had it hanging around on my desk for a while now. I finally got around to testing it out the past month or so and I must say I do like it.

What is it?

L’Oreal Studio Secrets Professional Secret Magic Perfect Base is pretty much a dupe of Clarins Instant Smooth Perfect Touch. It’s an ultra smooth primer that’s lightweight and smooths skin creating a matte, even finish while filling pores, creating a great canvas for foundation, and allowing your face to remain fresh all day.

The good….

The formula is silicon based but still manages to remain lightweight sans that itchy, uncomfortable feeling I get from such primers. It feels smooth on my face and doesn’t pill off which is a plus as many of the same types of primer results in a pilling action that looks like my skin is peeling off, not pretty. It creates a nice even finish for my makeup, mattifies my oily spots (hello mirror forehead), and manages to keep my foundation from oxidizing extra quickly. I felt like my foundation lasted at least an extra three or more hours thanks to this plus at the end of the day my makeup looked pretty fresh. There was some dispute about it’s price which is $12.99 for 0.5 oz, honestly for me this is a steal considering Clarins Instant Smooth is the same price and marked at $38. You only need a tiny amount so the jar should last quite sometime. The only difference between the two is I felt like L’Oreal’s version had a lighter feel and a more comfortable-wear where as Clarins is a little heavier and you can tell it’s very much a silicon primer you’re using on your face.

The bad….

Clarins includes a spatula to remove product from the jar making it a bacteria free application. L’Oreal sadly does not. You’d think they wouldn’t overlook such an important detail but sadly they do. The lip of the jar is smaller than the Clarins one so it’s a little tricky getting product out if you do use fingers however I do suggest a tiny spatula if you have one laying around from Clarins or another product as it’s not exactly hygienic to stick your fingers in for every use.

Who might like it?

  • Anyone who already loves and uses Clarins Instant Smooth.
  • Anyone who has larger pores that need covering.
  • Anyone who finds their foundation oxidizes quickly.

Who might not like it?

  • Anyone who doesn’t love the idea of pot packaging.

Final thoughts….

I’m not one for silicon based primers but I actually liked this alot. I felt like it made my foundation last a little bit longer and kept my makeup a little bit fresher. It’s cheap price makes it a worthy haul in my opinion and it saves you quite a bit of money if you’re already dishing out $38 for Clarins version.

Anyone try it and love it?

Not so much?

Share your mini review!

Disclosure: The following item was purchased by me for review purposes (and because I like flinging my money at makeup products of any kind) on Musings of a Muse. For further information please see my FTC Guidelines or my Disclosure/Disclaimer posts.

About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

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  • Cindy (Prime Beauty)

    Hi Muse!
    I tried this and like it very much. For the price, (I paid $10.99 on sale @ Target), I found it to be comparable to other high end primers. I like the fact that my skin felt really hydrated all day long, but I agree with you on the jar–it’s kinda hard to get out.

    • the Muse

      cindy agreed! practically the same as many high end to me too and it did have a hydrating feel and not a gross silicon one 😀 I think it’s safe they overlooked the spatula as that would have made it perfect imho!

  • Kristina

    I actually didn’t like this. I got a sample, used it once, and threw it away. It wasn’t smooth and silky like primers usually are and it didn’t do any for the pores next to my nose. Maybe the sample was a slightly different formula?
    I just ordered Perricone’s Ceramic Skin Smoother so I guess we’ll see how that goes.

    • the Muse

      aw sorry to here it kristina. let us know how the perricone works out 😀

  • Gemma

    Hi Muse i liked this too, i didn’t want to like it as its loreal, and im such a make up snob. Im glad you said how similar this is to the clarins one, as that was the next on my to try list, now i wont bother. I HATE my large pores i would have a lot more money if i didn’t have them.

    • the Muse

      LOL same here gemma 😀 I don’t have larger pores tbh but this was fab at keeping my foundation extra fresh and it’s practically a dupe of the Clarins one!

  • Erica B.

    So, I’ve been stalking for awhile and decided to finally make a comment. First I LOVE your blog, and all of your reviews.

    I bought this stuff a few weeks ago and was shocked at how little product you get for the price. I was happy I get it on a buy one get one free deal, but don’t think I would buy it outright. I have the Hard Candy Primer and its very close to one another. Plus you get more for your money with the Hard Candy at around $8.00

    • the Muse

      hi erica

      I’m glad you stepped out of lurkdom dear 😀 Aw thanks! *hugs*

      It’s def cheaper than Clarins babe which is the same size! 😀 you’re right HC is very similar although I felt like the L’Oreal one was a little smoother but good call plus the HC is more friendlier packaging wise!

  • JoElla

    Hi Muse!
    When this first came out I was quite like “BFD!” and was shocked by the size of the product..
    I wasn’t interested in yet another primer since I had so many little smashbox ones and am a fan of monastat anti chaffing gel. But as word spread on several beauty forums I grew more and more curious.

    So last week I had 3.00 in CVS cash to spend and they had it on sale for 40% off I thought why not! And if I didn’t like it no biggie I only spent a few bucks on it.

    OMG Love at first use with this product! I used it under my Neutrogena pressed minerals and it stayed fresh for a long time.. then I did something naughty I fell asleep with my makeup on and woke up looking fantab! I am really hoping this will work well during the hot muggy Texas summer months and if it does I will declare this a WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER!

    • the Muse

      hey joella lol you made me laugh! 😀

      that’s a good deal you got! 😀 I paid full price sadly. I must say I was surprised as I really don’t like primers that aren’t moisturizing. This leaned towards being hydrating and didn’t feel itchy on my skin and must say kept my makeup looking very fresh indeed 😀

      I’m so glad you liked it too! Curious to see how it’ll hold up in really humid weather in New York myself 😀 so far, so good!

  • Karina A.

    Do you have to leave it to “sink in”? The first time I used it was okay, but the next couple of time I started to notice the “pilling” effect happening, which is very gross skin peeling effect. The pilling happens when I apply my foundation. Perhaps I am applying it incorrectly?

    • the Muse

      karina I normally apply it and just wait a few seconds for it to set…didn’t notice pilling with this but I notice that with other primers I’ve used in the past, particularly smashbox photo finish. are you moisturizing first?

    • Laura P.

      Sorry for butting in, but I too have noticed milling with this product. I figured out that it was related to an incompatibility with my moisturizer. When I apply this without moisturizer underneath… no pilling.

      • the Muse

        hi laura you’re not butting in 😀 I like when people join in the discussion and offer tips, suggestions, and their own view on product 😀

  • Johanna

    Happy Monday Muse!
    I tried this primer on my hand at CVS last weekend, and I was quite impressed with the texture and feel. I usually use Laura’s Gellar’s Spackle — I like it’s gelatinous feel, and this L’Oreal primer has a similar feel, but in a much thicker formulation. I think I’ll buy a jar.

    • the Muse

      morning Johanna happy Monday…wait afternoon rather LOL!

      I like spackle too, very hydrating 😀 I think it’s worth a haul as it def keeps makeup fresher, longer 😀

  • DivaShop

    I’ve never tried this primer, but it sounds nice! I have tried the hard candy one though & I like it. HC’s squeeze tube packaging is a plus too.

    • the Muse

      hi gloria hc def wins it hands down for great packaging, fab for germ freaks like me 😀


    Oh muse I love the consistancy of this primer its like smashboxs without the pilling! 🙂 hopefully my mom can buy this for me i just spent 300$ at sephora (vibmadness anyone?) and I’ve hit rock bottom 🙁 I may need to get a job pronto for the upcoming guerlain collection

    • the Muse

      nice hauling Linda w000t!!!!!!! 😀

      it’s a nice one you can always grab on sale during a BOGO 😀

  • Paloma

    ahhh, great minds DO think alike 😀 I was just pulling out a sample card of this from my new in style magazine today! Can’t wait to try it 🙂

  • irmiana

    Ooh! Is this the US version of the UK L’Oreal Resurfacing Primer? I’ve been using it in place of foundation and such. Being based in a hot and humid country, I prefer using just a primer + concealor, rather than primer + foundation + concealor 🙂

  • Jean

    I use the green smashbox photofinish and it’s hard for me to want to try anything else. I just love it, it goes on smooth and never makes me break out. I also have some CVS bonus bucks to spend this weekend. Wondering if I should try this or maybe just stick with what works.

    • the Muse

      hey jean if it isn’t broke don’t fix it is my motto 😀 if it works for you, stick with it doll!

  • Anna

    I got a sample of this in my In Style magazine. Used it while I was on vacation in Disneyland and wasnt thrilled with it. I tend to have pretty good skin with some sun/ pigment unevenness. I was hoping this would give me an even skintone, but it actually drew more attention to my skin flaws. Sigh maybe the sample was old, really I wanted to like it.

  • Gia

    I want t try! I love Smashbox but i’ve been getting bored with using the same thing even though it works. And all the primers I have been buying are horrid! I bought the new urban decay primer brightening, and bought the Tarina Tarantino Pearl Glow Primer. And both are just bad for me. They feel chalky on my face.
    And I just got CVS bucks! It’s fate muse I swear!

  • Hana

    Oooh, I was relieved to see the comment above, and your response to it, saying that the Hard Candy one is similar. I just got that one and was hoping I wouldn’t need to run out and buy the L’oreal one. XD

  • Kayla

    Hey Muse!

    First of all, I absolutely love your blog! It’s amazing, and it has great tips. I always refer to it for any of my makeup questions. (:

    Next, I think that I’m going to begin to use primer, but I’m not really sure what brand to use. I have semi-oily skin, and I am looking for a drugstore brand. The main thing that I want in a primer is for it to be long-lasting. What do you suggest for me?

    Also, with my primer, I’m not sure what type of foundation to use. My top two picks are Dream Matte® Mousse Makeup and SuperStay™ 24HR Makeup. Of the two, which would be better for me, paired with the primer you think I should use?

    Thanks so much for your expertise! (:

    • Kayla

      Or should I just blend the two foundations together? I’m a little worried that it would make me look too fake. I just want long-wearing, full coverage that makes my skin look flawless.

      • the Muse

        hi kayla no reason to blend them together hun…just use one or the other 😀 if you want good long wear you may wanna dish out $$ for a counter foundation as I find DS isn’t nearly as good when it comes to base:)

    • the Muse

      thanks kayla Hugs! truly flattered!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Maybe you’d like to try out the new L’Oreal one? That’s about the only rec I have for DS primer tbh 😀 as it’s one of the few I’ve tried and liked from the DS. either foundation should be fine as primer is primer so it’s not going to effect which foundation you use…so which every foundation you like using can be combined with the primer 🙂

      Hope this helps!

  • Ally

    I love this stuff! I got a sample in Vogue a while ago and had forgotten about it. I recently saw an ad that made me think of it and I am going to buy it soon! Thanks for the reviews Muse 🙂

  • Roslyn S.

    I’ve used this for about a week now and I Loved it day 1. I am an Red tone african-american with uneven tones. I use it also without foundation as it appears to even out my complexion. I’ve also notice my skin looks better even before it’s morning application. I Love this product and recommend everyone try it. I paid $10. at Target.