Wishing for a better primer with the Whish Botanical Primer

Anyone who has read my posts for any length of time knows that I am a big fan of primers.  Maybe it is a hold over for when I used to paint, but I love having something to prime the canvas of my face.  I love that a good primer can fill the pores, even out redness and occasionally add dimension to the skin under a matte foundation.

This Whish Botanical Primer with bakuchiol arrived in an Allure Beauty box.  As I had several primers open, I decided to wait a little while before opening it.  This was it’s week to shine as it finally got a chance to leave the dressing table and enter the makeup bag. 

Oddly enough I am also at the moment trying out a bakuchiol infused serum from Balance Me.  So while the bakuchiol was a new ingredient when this arrived, I have done a bit of looking into the ingredient since. Put simply, bakuchiol is a substitute for retinol. It is supposed to have none of the side effects, most notable a sensitivity to the sun, but all of the benefits.  As many retinol products can make you sun sensitive this is a big step. Especially since primer is actually worn during the day where there is – gasp –sun. So all the benefits of retinol in a primer And no sun sensitivity? Okay not a bad list to hope for. So let’s look at the official product description…

Suffering from dry skin and huge pores left from drying makeup? This natural botanical primer not only minimizes pores and evens skin tone, but it also leaves skin feeling moisturized and dewy looking. You will be left looking radiant, moisturized, and ready for the day ahead.

 INGREDIENTS: Water (aqua, eau), cyclopentasiloxane, dimethicone/vinyl dimethicone crosspolymer, coco-cap-rylate/caprate, hydroxyethyl acrylate/sodium acryloyl dimethyl taurate copolymer, C14-22 alcohols, C12-20 alkyl glucoside, diheptyl succinate, bakuchiol, capryloyl glycerin/sebacic acid copolymer, isohexadecane, glycerin, propanediol, polysorbate-60, aloe barbadensis leaf juice, sodium phytate, phenoxyethanol, tocopherol, argania spinosa kernel (argan) oil, ethylhexylglycerin, punica granatum (pomegranate) extract, lavandula angustifolia (lavender) flower/leaf extract, hippophae rhamnoides (seabuckthorn) fruit extract, cocos nucifera (coconut) water, glycine soja (soybean) oil, glycerin, cocos nucifera (coconut) fruit juice, lactic acid, fragrance (parfum), citronellol, hexyl cinnamal, linalool.


And so we apply the primer.  Well sort of.  I went to open the primer, peeled off the metal seal and squirt a bit into my hand. I got some oily liquid and a bit of cream.  Since I have many items in my dressing table that need shaking up before use, I figured this was one of them.  So I put the cap back on and shook it.  As it is a tube, that had little effect.  So I massaged the tube a little while and then tried dispensing it.  The primer came out well with no split.  After that it was fine.  I think it just sat in one position for too long. I should point out that there was no off scent so I knew it hadn’t gone bad.

So properly mixed, I applied the primer.  And because you know I sniffed it, I might as well start with the fact that it has a barely there florally scent.  It doesn’t smell floral, but more like you left the open jar of cream in a room where there were a few vases of flowers for about an hour. It is super light and barely there.

Now as you might expect from the description and the ingredients list, it goes on like a moisturizer that has been blended with a serum.  It feels lovely on the skin.  However it is a little too moisturizing for me. If applied on top of a newly moisturized face then it just stayed on top.  If I moisturized and then came back a few hours later to do my makeup then I had less of a problem.  But that isn’t very realistic for getting ready in the morning. 

If I skipped the moisturizer and just applied the primer than it was fine. 

However, the primer felt just like a moisturizer.  It sunk into the skin well, left my face feeling soft and hydrated and if it was a moisturizer sample I would put it on my list to try in a full sized version. 

Was it pore filling? No

Did it help makeup stay in place longer (one of the primary functions of a primer)? No.

Did it reduce redness? Maybe a little?

Honestly, I found myself looking at the label several times throughout the week double checking to make sure it actually was a primer and not a moisturizer.  It isn’t. It is officially listed as a primer. 

Did it help plump up my fine lines? Yes.

Did it make my skin feel fantastic?  Again yes. 

But it did not work like a primer.

I want to use this as a serum or a moisturizer after I have spent too long in the sun, but I don’t want to use it as a primer.  In fact halfway through the week I went and retrieved my Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Primer from the dressing table instead of using this. I think that once I finish the Balance Me Bakuchiol Serum, I will just use this up in its place as part of my night time routine until it is finished. 

This turned out to be a very frustrating product to work with because it feels and acts like really good skin care but it does not complete its primary function, which is to act as a primer. 

This is actually the second Whish product I’ve tried.  The first was a hand cream.  It was an excellent hand cream and I loved using it. This primer is an excellent serum infused moisturizer, but it doesn’t work as a primer.  While I would not purchase this primer again, I know that it is part of a bakuchiol infused skin care line. 

I would be very interested in picking up a product from that line that is designed to be a moisturizer, or a serum.  Especially if it has this kind of effect.   So even though this product has essentially failed, it is a winner in that it has convinced me to look more deeply into Whish skincare.  Which I suppose makes it a retail triumph?  Regardless, this primer will not be returning to the dressing table with the other primers and it will not be repurchased. It will be used in it’s entirety, just not as a primer.

Ole Henriksen

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