As a rosacea girl, a full-coverage foundation has always been my crutch. Up until lockdown circa 2020, I'd never in my adult life even left the house without foundation on. Yep, you best believe I was applying a full face of makeup for a quick dash to the post box.
I was desperate to have anything to cover up my redness; the cakier the better, in my opinion. The combination of finding a skincare routine to soothe my skin and getting older and gradually caring less about what people think has led me to go makeup-free on a few occasions and opt for lower coverage base options. However, I just couldn't relate to the 'clean girl' aesthetic of bare skin at all times – I'd need to be blessed with Hailey Bieber's genes for that. That was, until, Vieve's Skin Nova Instant Radiance Primer (£13) landed in my hands.
I know, many people will be thinking 'This has been hyped on social media for a while', but, what can I say? I was embarrassingly late to the game on this one. So late, indeed, it's racked up over 1,000 five-star reviews on the Vieve website alone.
It's described as a "multi-tasking radiance primer" which will act as " your one-stop-shop for luminous, plump-looking skin" and aims to deliver a candle-lit glow to your complexion. Science-wise, it contains brightening and soothing niacinamide, as well as beta glucan (a calming agent to minimise redness) and rose water to hydrate. Plus, a bit of a metallic sheen to leave skin with a glossy finish. All this essentially makes it a filter in a bottle.
I started by applying it to bare skin, with the intention of layering my foundation over the top, but it instantly made my complexion look so even and glowing, that I decided I wanted to leave it at that. Obviously, many love it as a foundation primer for boosting glow and staying power, but – for once – I didn't feel the need to apply more coverage to my skin.
Obviously, I went in with some concealer under my eyes and on my chin and added a bit of bronzer and blush (I hadn't totally drunk the 'clean girl' Kool-Aid, here), but it was still a massive step for a foundation obsessive like me. What's even better is that the glow didn't leave my combination skin looking greasy or oily – it seemed to strike the perfect natural balance. Unlike most primers I've tried (thanks to formulas being very silicone-heavy) I was pleasantly surprised to find it didn't break me out either. Gold stars all round.
Over time, I've actually found my skin seems to look better, even when I wasn't wearing the primer. I looked for evidence that this wasn't just me and actually found many reviews claiming the same results. Just take a look:
"I was so nervous to try this product as I have incredibly sensitive skin. My skin loves this stuff! Not only does it give a natural glow under my makeup, but my actual skin has improved! Pimples are less (having been on Roaccutane and still suffering from breakouts, this has made a difference!) and less, texture is so much better, and my redness has improved. The only thing I have changed is adding this product to my routine. My skin has never been better!"
"The most beautiful product, my go-to even on no makeup days! A beautiful glow without feeling oily, your skin just radiates amazingly. The best product ever and a real must-have!"
"Purchased after seeing all the recommendations. I use it after moisturising with a touch of Vieve concealer. I tend not to bother with foundation now as this leaves the skin looking glowy and healthy."
"This will change your life, the glow it gives makes it seem like you got your full 8 hours sleep and the feel of it on the skin is heavenly, if it’s a full glam or a no makeup day pop this on you won’t ever look back!"
See folks, if you didn't believe me already, the hype is truly worth it for this primer.
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