Laura Mercier Foundation Primer, Hydrating - review


I bought this primer last year, and somehow I've gone from having something like eleven primers to only owning two, so I've been using this one a lot lately and it's high time I reviewed it.

Long story short, I do like it but it doesn't seem to be much different from the Blemish-less version I tried recently (I've reviewed that here): it doesn't feel any more hydrating than that one was, and it should because it's designed to juice up dry skin - but it doesn't do enough on that front for me personally so I wouldn't buy it for the hydration factor alone. More on that below.

Laura Mercier claims/product details:

  • Like a tall glass of water, this nourishing primer treats dry and dehydrated skin to a moisturising, antioxidant-rich cocktail 
  • Leaves skin quenched, smooth and dewy, with a perfecting soft-focus finish
  • Specifically designed for dry and dehydrated skin, this primer moisturises while helping to protect skin from ageing free radical damage
  • The hydrating formula preps skin with a smooth base 
  • Formulated with minimal light silicones and a water base to sit weightlessly on the skin and leave it feeling fresh
  • Designed to create a smooth, even canvas for makeup and to boost the longevity of foundation and keep it colour-true
  • RRP $58 AUD for 50ml


I do like this primer and I think it works well as a base for makeup, but it's not very hydrating and I can't tell much difference between this one and the Blemish-less version I've linked above (the latter being designed for oily/combination skin).

It's a lightweight gel product with a barely detectable, gel-like scent that shouldn't bother most people. It's a little sticky in texture but it spreads and applies beautifully, and it feels smoothing on the skin.

It leaves behind a slightly tacky finish that's good for makeup application because it helps my products adhere. I can also see and feel that it creates a smooth canvas, and it sits well under makeup.

Plus I think that it makes my makeup last a little longer. Perhaps because it's not greasy (so it doesn't slip around) and because it has a tacky finish, it helps things stay put. While the difference isn't huge (ie, I may only get an extra hour of wear from this), it's worth mentioning all the same.

What this doesn't do well, however, is hydrate. When I apply it, it feels lightweight and smoothing - but it doesn't feel nourishing. Now keep in mind that I have dry skin so I need something with a good amount of juice (especially now that the weather is getting colder), and I've also used a lot of hydrating primers in my time so I have a lot to compare it to, which may be why it's falling down.

What I reckon is that this feels like one of those primers that sits on top of the skin, and while it sits nicely, it doesn't feel as though it's penetrating and delivering moisture. Perhaps if your skin isn't too dry then this may do enough for you on the hydration front, but it doesn't do enough for me and that's why I can't give it a good review. If it weren't marketed as hydrating then I'd be saying it's decent, but it is (it's right there in the title), and I don't think it meets that name.

Overall I think this primer has a lot going for it - it's lightweight, it creates a smooth canvas for makeup and it helps with longevity - but it's not hydrating enough for me and it should be, given the title. So if you want a primer that does the other stuff then it's worth trying, but if you need hydration above all else, then I would test this before purchase because you may be disappointed.

Not the right primer for my dry skin.

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