Mecca Cosmetica Lit From Within Illuminating Primer - review and swatches


You may remember that we received these two products as our birthday gifts from Mecca last year.

I've already reviewed the Mecca Cosmetica All Set Makeup Perfecting Mist (see here) and I've been meaning to review the primer we received for ages, it's just taken me a while to get there.

But I have some time this morning before I need to start baking for my daughter's third birthday party, so let's make a start.

I guess the first thing I should note about this product is that I don't mind it but it has also taught me something important that I didn't know before: I don't need an illuminating primer.

Yes I have dry skin and I do like illuminating primers, but the thing is, what I need more than anything else is a hydrating primer and I don't necessarily need to have one with added radiance. All I need is a liquid illuminator that I can add to my primer or foundation, so illuminating primers are an unnecessary extra for me and I don't need one in my permanent collection.

And while I do think this Mecca primer is nice, it certainly hasn't convinced me that I need a product like this - so I guess that says something.

Mecca claims/product details:
  • Beauty sleep in a bottle, this product is an all-time skin-brightening favourite
  • The ultra-fine, light diffusing formula brightens and revives dull skin while perfectly priming the complexion for a flawless foundation application
  • With antioxidant protection, this instant skin beautifier glides on smoothly for visible radiance and sleep-defying luminosity
  • Our all-time favourite beauty booster, this must-have product leaves you prepped, primed and ready to glow
  • RRP $38 AUD for 45ml

The product comes with a pump and I do like that about it, plus I like that you can still unscrew the top and open the bottle so you know how much you have left. Not all pump bottles can be opened this way, so that's a plus.

Now for swatches. Below I've given you swatches of the Mecca primer on the left (a heavy swatch and then a more blended one), and on the right I've given you some similar swatches of Becca's Backlight Priming Filter so you can compare them.

There we are in direct sunlight (again, the Mecca primer is on the left):

And in natural light:

And indirect sunlight:


This is a nice product, but as mentioned above, it's taught me that I don't need an illuminating primer so there's not a permanent place for it in my collection.

It's a creamy product that smells fresh (if a touch mealy), and it does feel quite hydrating when applied. It's champagne in colour and it offers a slight radiance to the skin that isn't too much, so it should suit those who wear lighter-coverage makeup because I don't think it will show up beneath full-coverage foundation.

Now I have to compare this to Becca's Backlight Priming Filter (reviewed here) because that's a popular product that many people will know, plus they do look very similar in swatches so it's hard not to compare them.

The main differences between them are: 

First, the Becca product smells a bit nicer (that's just my preference) so I enjoy that product more for the scent alone, and I've seen a few people complain about the fragrance of this Mecca one - it's quite potent - so that's something to be aware of.

Second, although this Mecca version does feel hydrating on the skin, it doesn't hold a candle to how hydrating and thirst-quenching the Becca primer feels - so if you have dry skin, then you may well prefer the Becca because that hydrates like nobody's business.

Third, although they look very similar in swatches, they don't look similar on the skin. The Becca product is a lot more glowy so it's more likely to peek through your foundation, which will be a plus for some but it mightn't be for others. 

Reason being, my only problem with the Becca primer is that it's too glowy. I can't wear it beneath my lighter bases because I look too shiny, and I also can't wear it alone for the same reason. Plus I've run into issues with looking too shiny after lunch, since it does last on the skin well - so if my tinted moisturiser starts to fade, then I start to look like the tin man. I don't have this issue with the Mecca product because it's nowhere near as intense.

So if you found the Becca product to be too glowy for you, then this might be a good pick. But if you like the intensity of the Becca and also need the added hydration that product offers, then I would stick with the Becca.

In other news this product does leave behind a tacky finish which should help foundation adhere, but I haven't noticed my makeup lasting any longer when I use it. I've also learned to make sure that I only apply a small amount because if I use too much, it can dry down and then ball up when I apply my base, so that's something to keep in mind.

Overall I think this is a nice product but I wouldn't go out and buy it for two reasons. First, despite my 'too shiny' issue with the Becca primer, I still think that's the better product and it's certainly better for my dry skin. Second, this primer doesn't do enough for me in general - eg it doesn't hydrate enough for me and it doesn't make my makeup last longer - and there are so many ways to add some glow to your makeup that I don't need a separate primer for this purpose.

Nice but not for me.

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