Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Sample Month Day 6: Hourglass N° 28 Primer Serum

My goal with "Sample Month" was to clear out a lot of samples that were causing clutter on my desk and in my mental space. What I didn't count on was falling in love with super expensive products that perform amazingly. Yes, do sit down. I'm about to rave wonders about Hourglass yet again.

The N° 28 Primer Serum is exactly what the name states: a primer and a serum. Call it a personal quirk but I tend to harbour suspicions against multi-tasking products and rarely come across one that does 2-3 jobs well all at once. However, I was ever so pleasantly blown away by this serum/primer.

Available at Sephora

The sample I received is a couple of pumps of the serum/primer in a small, clear plastic container from Sephora. Pardon the horrible picture but sunlight is scarce at this time of year and turning out daily posts is posing photographic challenges more than anything else. But even in person, the product is so clear that it's almost impossible to see it in the clear container. It's not until I dip a Q-tip into the tiny pot that I'm able to detect where the product sits.

According to Sephora: (with my notes in red)

What it is: A richly concentrated, intensely hydrating, and dual-purpose oil blend serum that treats your skin as it prepares it for makeup. (YES YES YES!!!)

What it does: This silky, luxurious oil blend glides on to strengthen the skin’s natural moisture barrier (I think so!), even out pores (too soon to tell), and shield against environmental aggressors (WHO can tell this?). The formula’s hydrating action helps to create a refined and retexturized surface for makeup (YESSSS). Skin appears dewier, younger, and more luminous (YESSSS!). The "28" in the product's name refers to the formula's key ingredients, which include 14 essential oils, 10 lipid-rich plant oils, and four vitamins (lavender, geranium, rose geranium, vanilla, clove, orange peel, amyris, lemon peel, petitgrain, eucalyptus, rosemary leaf, bois de rose, cedar leaf, ylang ylang), 10 lipid-rich plant oils (jojoba, rose hips seed, evening primrose, hazelnut, borage seed, kukui nut, sweet almond, green tea, olive, and cherry pit), and four vitamins (A, B5, C, and E). (All this stuff makes the product smell like an Aveda store - herbal and hippie, but not unpleasant.)

What it is formulated WITHOUT:
- Parabens (yay, Larie!)
- Sulfates
- Synthetic Fragrances
- Synthetic Dyes
- Phthalates
- GMOs
- Triclosan

And in my own words from here on: IT'S BLOODY FANTASTIC!

Okay, so I wore this on Sunday mid-day, after cleansing and treating the skin like usual with La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo. I didn't apply a moisturizer although it looked bitterly cold outside, because I felt that the serum action of this product would provide enough hydration without stifling my skin that is sensitive, oily and acne-prone. It felt rather thick and oily at first, and instead of proceeding with foundation as I normally would, I let the product sink into the skin for a couple of minutes.

Honestly, I had my doubts. It looks and feels like oil. There is a sheen to the skin immediately after application, and I was sure that although it could act as a serum, it would fail as a primer. But it seemed to sink into the skin quite quickly and I proceeded to apply By Terry Ultra-Correcting Liquid Foundation with a foundation brush. (I had given this foundation to my mom who returned it untouched half a year later.) Then I put on the rest of my face and went shopping, as those on Twitter found out later that day.

I had assumed that I would need touch-ups and blotting frequently. But I was so swept up in the business of window-shopping and actual shopping that I completely forgot what was on my face. I went about testing lippies and eye shadows and perfumes and did not glance at my T-zone once until I got home four hours later and saw a non-oily visage in the mirror. My skin wasn't matte, but I wasn't shiny. THAT IS AMAZING.

I'd say that this product is a better version of Cover FX Skinprep, which I had used and loved in the past as a serum, not as a primer. Although I've only had a few uses out of the N° 28 Primer Serum sample, I am convinced that it is doing what so many products had failed to do as promised: "balance" the skin.

Now, is it worth the whopping CAD$75 price tag for the 1 oz bottle? If I view it as a crucial skincare item in my routine? Yes. If I view it as a primer alone? No. I hesitate at paying CAD$60 for Hourglass Veil Mineral which I repurchased many times and still adore, so it pains me very much to have to say that $75 is simply too much for a primer for me at this time. However, if viewed as a serum/primer hybrid... Hourglass makes a very convincing case to justify the high price. I would be very, very tempted at a better time. If someone were to give me a $100 Sephora gift card, I would be more than just tempted. (Yes, I realize that the 0.33 oz travel size bottle is sold for CAD$26, but it's such poor value that I can't fathom going there.)

This sample leaves me at a cosmetics crossroads. For now I'm staying the course and continuing my sample journey, but it just may be that I will backtrack to this spot and merrily skip down the path to Hourglass heaven at some point in the future. But honestly with these results, I won't be sorry.

In case it wasn't made abundantly clear, sample was obtained from Sephora.

32 comments:

  1. Oh no! I may just have to try this one. I love my Mineral Veil but had been wondering about the serum! How exciting that it works so well for you though! Perhaps you'll get some gift certificates for Christmas? Then you'll HAVE to get it!

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    1. OH, NO! LOL

      I'm glad to come across another Mineral Veil lover. I keep going on about it but a lot of people have told me that it doesn't work as well for them. :< There's a VIB sale coming up so I suppose I could justify it somewhat... but I'm trying to slog through some other samples so not sure that it'll stand up to some other products in the long run. :)

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  2. Great...just great. Now I want to try this for myself too, and if it performs half as well on me, I'll be $75.00 (+ a bajillion dollars in taxes) poorer thanks to you, Liz!

    After hearing you rave about the Hourglass primer, I went to Sephora and tried out a sample as well. Guess what? It failed miserably on me. Maybe it's me and it just didn't agree with my skin type, but I was an oil slick within an hour -- and I'm never that oily. Still, I'm willing to try it again (I'm putting my money on my aging hormones which created the havoc) but now I'm even more interested to try this as it'll be like killing 2 birds with one stone.

    Actually and when you stop to think about it, if this product performs that well as both a serum AND a primer, then $75.00 isn't that bad; you'd pay a lot more than that to buy 2 separate items that will do the same job, am I right? Not sure if I'm trying to convince you or me here...

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    1. SEPHORA VIB SALE!!!!!!!!!!!! ;) I totally get your logic and would apply it if it weren't for the fact that I already have a crap ton of moisturizers to go through. I don't think that I'll fork over the bucks now, but it's good to know that it's out there.

      It sucks that Veil Mineral didn't work for you but maybe this one might be closer to what your skin needs. I'll never figure out skin care and skin woes - it's so subjective and individual!

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  3. Hi Liz, this sounds awesome, and I loved the blow-by-blow account of your reactions to Sephora's website :P

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    1. Haha! This sample month is running me ragged and it's good to have someone else's words to pile on top of when my brain isn't working properly. :D

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  4. Great. (Thanks for the heads up on ingredients, lol! Much appreciated. I also loved the rest of your red comments). Now I want to try this...and IT'S FREAKING EXPENSIVE. Jeez, Liz. JEEEEEEEEEEEEEEZZZZZZZZZZ. I hate sample month.

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    1. LOL!!! Just try it, woman. Maybe you'll hate it!

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  5. This looks awesome, Liz! I know you also love the Mineral Veil, so I'm going to get a sample to try that out, but this looks like another goody to try.

    I love a daily dose of samples from you!!

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    1. Thanks so much!! Do let me know how you like them. It'd be so nice to have a fellow Hourglass maniac about. :)

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  6. Sounds amazing but $75 for one product, no way!!

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    1. No way for me right now but maybe YES WAY later! lol

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  7. Ooooh....I had a sample of this awhile ago, but it had leaked out so I never tried it. Looks I will absolutely have to hit up Sephora again!!!

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  8. Sometimes I justify expensive makeup to myself by 1: making sure it is something useful that I will use and love, 2: worth forgoing other makeup bits for a while to even out the cost. Do you think that would work for you, too? This sounds like a great treatment and primer!

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    1. I might cave later, but for now I have so many other products to swim through that I can't go there. :) I try to do the "forgoing other makeup" bit, too, but... sometimes I am so bad at it. LE SIGH, EMMA - LE HEAVY SIGHS. -__-

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  9. I heard rave reviews about this product. I wanna try it too!

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  10. A magical multitasking serum-primer? I-NEED-TO-CHECK-THIS-OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.....

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    1. Oh man, I'm so sorry about how much it's going to cost in AUS dollars. :<

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  11. So excited to hear you like it, wifey!! I got a deluxe sample in the Best of Hourglass set. I still haven't tried it but I was quite curious to see how it would get on with my oily skin. I'm not sure I like the overwhelmingly-clove scent, but it's not bad. I've got high hopes for it now though--which could be bad since it IS so darn expensive!

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    1. I tried it as a serum last night and woke up NOT OILY!!!!!!! This is incredible stuff. Love of my life, I hope it works out just as well for you! ;D

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  12. did you get it as one of your sale items?!? did you also see that little hourglass kit with both primers?! i'll have to give this one a try for sure!

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    1. I saw it but I'm not interested in paying for mini sizes - want the BIG ONES! LOL I'm still thinking about it but probably won't be buying it at this point in time.

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  13. Oh man, I love this primer but HATE the price. I'll probably shell out the big bucks for it when I finish all the primers in my stash. HEY! There's my motivation :D

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    1. Good to hear you're still plugging away at the stash! :D Go, Ashlex!

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  14. This does sound super promising! Though ouchy at the price. I'll have to try it once my Cover FX stuff runs out!

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    1. It's very similar to Skinprep FX except that it miraculously manages to keep the T-zone from becoming oily!

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  15. Ah, I'm so glad you liked this too!! I was really, really impressed. It doesn't bother my skin in the least, HUGE deal, and it actually has made my skin look better over time! $75 is effing expensive, but I am going to look at it like a serum/primer hybrid and part of my routine. The only thing I worry about is that it might not be penetrating enough through my moisturizer...how does that work exactly? Usually a serum goes on first, but that wouldn't make sense here. So it's something I have to consider before I shell out the big bucks. But weren't you surprized at how well it controls oil, considering how oily it goes on!?! Super stoked. Ah crap, I'm totally going to shell out $75 for this, aren't I....? ~d'oh~

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    1. I guess if you want to use it more as a serum, it would go underneath your moisturizer. But if you want to use it as primer, it would go over. And if you want to use it as a hybrid, both under AND over??? Great, now I'm confused!

      And I don't know how they do it but this product is just amazing. I hate them! (Love them!!)

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