January 20, 2020

Revlon PhotoReady Prime Plus Perfecting + Smoothing Primer Review & Swatches

I purchased this item and I receive a small commission if you shop using the links in this post.
4 stars out of 5

Revlon PhotoReady Prime Plus Perfecting + Smoothing Primer is a new makeup and skincare primer that’s available in three formulas which launched with the Revlon Spring 2020 recently.

As you may already know I’m a fond fan of the original Revlon Photoready Primer and I have hopes this new line of PhotoReady Prime Plus Primers won’t replace those formulas but I have a feeling that might just happen. The new formulations address a series of not only makeup issues but also skincare ones and act to treat such issues as dryness, darkness, and blemishes. I’m honestly not a huge fan of combining skincare benefits with my makeup because I feel like that’s what my skincare routine is for. But you might like the fact that Revlon created a primer that address a few different issues as well as preps your face for makeup. They’ve included a few different ingredients in this formulas such as Lactic Acid to exfoliate and Salicylic Acid to treat blemishes. I purchased the Revlon PhotoReady Prime Plus Perfecting + Smoothing Primer formula which felt like the best pick for drier skin as it contains Hyaluronic acid and Vitamin B5. The thing I am noticing about these primers is they likely won’t promote any long term skincare benefits simply because many of the beneficial ingredients are located very low on the ingredients list and much of the formulas are made up of a variety of different cones. Which isn’t a bad thing by any means but if you’re expecting say a brighten complexion after using this you likely what see such results.

The most interesting aspect of the product is the addition of a label that says it’s EWG Verified. You likely know EWG thanks to their other site called Skin Deep that delves into ingredients and breaks them down for consumers. The EWG Verified label indicates that the Revlon primer is a “clean” product.

That being said, I was still curious enough to test out the Revlon PhotoReady Prime Plus Perfecting + Smoothing Primer simply because I am a fond fan of the original Revlon Photoready Primer and wanted to see what might be replacing that formula.

Revlon PhotoReady Prime Plus Perfecting + Smoothing Primer arrives in a tall, slim 1 oz pump bottle and will set you back $13.99 at Ulta. I have yet to see it at other retailers but likely mass drugstores will be along the same price range with more discounted locations like Walmart and Target pricing it at around $9.99. The original Revlon Photoready Primer is 0.91 oz and also, $13.99. Upon comparing the new formula and the old I took note that both contained water and dimethicone as some of the ingredients and both use Isoparaffin as a thickening agent. The new formula does contain glycerin as well as more cones than the older version in the ways of Polysilicone and 19 Dimethicone. The new version also contains Citrus Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, and Pumpkin Seed Extract (good source of antioxidant) as promised but further down the list particularly Sodium Hyaluronate which is 6th from last. You’ll either think it’s good or bad news that the old and new formulas are different. Good because hey, it’s a new product and they aren’t just repackaging it and trying to say it’s brand new! Or bad news because you love the old version and hope it won’t be replaced by this and if it is going to be replaced by this at least they have the same formula (which sadly, they don’t).

I’ve been using it for about two weeks and initially it didn’t work out for me because my skin is like a horror show since I was so sick. I had really dry, crusty skin going on around my nose and down the sides of my nose from sneezing and blowing my nose so often. So when I started testing this out it was pilling rather badly. Now that I’m back to normal as is my skin I’m seeing much better results.

The formula has a vaseline-like appearance and looks like a silicone facial primer! I’d go with Smashbox Photo Finish if I had to compare it to anything as they both have the same texture and translucent gel-like texture and appearance. If you aren’t dealing with dry, cracked, flaky skin like I was you’ll do just fine with it as it does absorb very easily into skin and leaves behind a smooth, lightly velvety finish. I’m wouldn’t say it has the same slippery texture as a true silicone primer as it doesn’t have that sort of consistency! I’d go with a lightweight gel texture that does absorb fully and easily. It’ll likely do well at blurring the appearance of smaller pores and does a nice job creating a smooth canvas for makeup to adhere. It contains no fragrance.

I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a gripping primer but it does set a nice, smooth, even surface for foundation to adhere. It provides very little in the ways of moisture though so, if you are dry like I am you might feel this isn’t quite doing a good job providing hydration. I think it created a nice smooth base for my foundation and surprisingly even without the addition of adding moisture my foundation still applied very well over it and it did seem to extend the wear of it by an extra 90 minutes from my testing.

Do I like Revlon PhotoReady Prime Plus Perfecting + Smoothing Primer as much as the original Photoready Primer is the question? I’d say no. I really enjoy the original formula more than this. This is a formula I could see myself reaching for in the Summer months as I do like a more hydrating primer in the Winter. Just because I don’t like it as much as the original doesn’t mean it doesn’t stand out on its own as a solid facial primer! It does a nice job smoothing the way for foundation and adding a little bit of extra wear to it.

Where to buy


Revlon PhotoReady Prime Plus Perfecting + Smoothing Primer is a new, permanent facial primer that claims to have skincare benefits thanks to the addition of Citrus Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, Pumpkin Seed Extract, and B3. The primer is 1 oz in size and retails for $13.99. In reality, this formula is a nice little primer that absorbs easily into skin and leaves it smooth and ready for foundation but won’t necessarily do much else in the ways of benefiting your skin since many of the prime ingredients it boasts having are very low on the list. It contains no fragrance and set a nice, smooth finish for makeup while extending it for about an hour and half more than when I was wearing it without the addition of this formula. However, it did not provide any moisture which made it a better pick for me in the Summer versus the Winter when my skin is a lot drier!

Aqua/Water/Eau, C10¿11 Isoparaffin, Dimethicone, Polysilicone¿11, Glycerin,PEG/PPG¿19/19 Dimethicone, C13¿16 Isoparaffin, Panthenol, Acrylamide/Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate Copolymer, Butylene Glycol, C10¿13 Isoparaffin, Caprylyl Glycol,Carbomer, Citric Acid, Cucurbita Pepo (Pumpkin) Seed Extract, Ethylhexylglycerin, Isohexadecane,Laureth¿12, Maris Aqua/Sea Water/Eau De Mer, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide¿7, Palmitoyl Tripeptide¿1, Polysorbate 20, Polysorbate 80, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopherol, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium, Sorbate. N01623.


  • No fragrance.
  • Smooths skin nicely.
  • Extends the wear of foundation by an extra hour or two.


  • Disappointing promised skincare benefits.
  • Expensive unless purchased on sale.
  • Not moisturizing.


Revlon PhotoReady Prime Plus Perfecting + Smoothing Primer is a fairly nice pick of skin smoothing is your aim in a facial primer.

I purchased this item and I receive a small commission if you shop using the links in this post.

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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  • Dee

    Thank you for reviewing this, I love the original too and will be so disappointed if they discontinue it. I might have to start stocking up on the old one just in case! Hope you are feeling better.

    • Isabella Muse

      hope I’m wrong bc I love the original! I feel much better thanks! 🙂 <3!