Zelens Primer: Satin & Velvet: Review

10:55:00 AM


I love Zelens skincare, so when these primers came out last year I really wanted to try them. I've been using them on and off for a few months and comparing them to other primers I have. Per Zelens website the Satin Primer is a "Divine revitalizing treatment primer creates an unparalleled canvas with a radiant satin-soft finish. Instantly amplifies skin's luminosity, increases moisture and refines skin's surface." It's Illuminating, hydrating and oil free. The Velvet Primer is an "Advanced shine-control treatment primer creates an immaculate canvas with a velvet-smooth matte finish for a long-lasting make-up. Instantly refines pores, absorbs excess sebum and improves skin texture. Infused with antioxidants from green Shiso leaves to help shield against environmental assaults." It's mattifying, pore refining and oil free. Both are 30 ml tubes and retail for $70. These are a pricey primer with skincare benefits.

The Satin Primer's Active Ingredients:

Yeast respiratory factor: A natural ferment isolated and extracted from the live yeast cells. Increases cell respiration and metabolism, stimulates oxygen consumption and helps tissue repair and wound healing. Demonstrates anti-inflammatory and protective properties due to a high amount of heat-shock proteins.

Lindera: This plant extract has a luminotherapy-like effect. It stimulates skin metabolism and helps revitalise tired, stressed and unbalanced skin, giving it a more luminous, youthful look.

Rice powder: It has been used since the 16th century by Japanese Geishas to improve their skin appearance and achieve a flawlessly silky, porcelain complexion. Rice powder has excellent emollient properties that help to maintain soft, smooth and supple skin. When applied to the skin, it absorbs excess oil and minimises the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and blemishes.

Shiso leaf (Perilla, Japanese mint): Rich in polyphenols (particularly Rosmarinic acid) and triterpenoids (particularly Ursolic acid), natural molecules that demonstrate antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-allergic bioactivities. Shiso leaf acts as a powerful antioxidant defending skin from free radical damage. It helps to prevent skin reactivity and soothes sensitive skin. Shiso leaf is well-known in Kampo medicine for its strong detox properties.

Pearl: Containing 16 essential amino-acids, proteins and polysaccharides, this hydrolised pearl helps maintain high moisture level while promoting skin smoothness and radiance.

Silanols: Organic silicium-based compounds. Help to reconstruct skin architecture by stimulating collagen production and enhancing cellular communication between keratinocytes and fibroblasts.

Vitamin E: An antioxidant with a key role in the protection of cellular membranes from free radicals. It is the major antioxidant in the human epidermis with strong protective effects against UV-induced skin damage.

The Velvet Primer's Active Ingredients:

Usnic Acid: Extracted from the alpine lichen Usnea barbata, this completely plant-derived active demonstrates multiple actions: antibacterial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, protectant and wound healing. It helps to regulate excessive sebum production and maintain the epidermis’ natural pH.

Plant sugars: Plant-derived sugars that help optimize circulation of water throughout all skin layers, limit water loss and boost production of natural hyaluronic acid.
Clinical results showed that these plant sugars reduced desquamation by 25% and smoothed skin’s micro-relief by 30% after 28 days.

Shiso leaf (Perilla, Japanese mint): Rich in polyphenols (particularly Rosmarinic acid) and triterpenoids (particularly Ursolic acid), natural molecules that demonstrate antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-allergic bioactivities. Shiso leaf acts as a powerful antioxidant defending skin from free radical damage. It helps to prevent skin reactivity and soothes sensitive skin. Shiso leaf is well-known in Kampo medicine for its strong detox properties.

Vitamin E: An antioxidant with a key role in the protection of cellular membranes from free radicals. It is the major antioxidant in the human epidermis with strong protective effects against UV-induced skin damage.

The Satin Primer feels like a light lotion, similar to many hydrating primers. I find it hydrating, not greasy, it absorbs fast, doesn't break me out, and has no overwhelming scent. Much like any hydrating primer I don't find it makes your makeup last longer, it more gives you a base to put your foundation on easily and evenly. This one does what any hydrating primer does, plus adds skincare benefits. I didn't find this one really glowy or shimmery. I thought it would have a touch of luminosity to it, and it's there if you look real close, but it's so faint it's not really noticeable on the face. This is tinted slightly pink.

The Velvet Primer has a thicker, velvet like texture. It does give a mattifying, smooth appearance. It fills in my pores and blurs some. This is my favorite of the two by far. It's easy to apply, smooth, doesn't break me out, and has no overwhelming scent. It's not too drying or greasy. It's tinted a peach color. I now prefer this over my Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer and will repurchase this one as my main velvet/matte primer. It does have silicone but it feels so light compared to some silicone primers like Smashbox, and I haven't had a breakout from it like those other silicone heavy primers.

Some of the ones I compared these two with were: Hourglass Mineral Veil, Eve Lom Flawless Radiance, Sunday Riley Effortless Breathable Primer, MUFE Smoothing Primer, and Korres Antiaging Primer.

The Zelens Satin Primer is thicker than the Eve Lom and Korres, but similar concept and feel(as any moisturizing primer), just adds moisture. You're probably looking more at the ingredients and skincare benefits you want from that primer more than an effect on your makeup, other than making it apply easier in the beginning.

The Zelens Velvet Primer is thicker than the Sunday Riley and less greasy feeling later in the day, both of these are moister silicone primers. The Velvet is moister than the MUFE which feels drier, I prefer the Zelens texture between the two. The Hourglass Mineral Veil is thinner but more greasy than the Velvet Primer. All the matte/velvet style primers made my makeup last about the same, which is usually longer from the mattifying effects, and the silicone ones do help even out the surface first. Overall, it was really was the texture and if I got greasy or not later in the day that mattered to me the most. Zelens Velvet Primer won in these categories. I do love that there is no sunscreen in them, I prefer to use what I like versus what gets added into a primer. So another plus.

Top to Bottom: Satin, Velvet:

Velvet Primer full ingredient list: Aqua (Water), Dimethicone, Polypropylene, Methylpropanediol, Vinyl Dimethicone/Methicone Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Propanediol, Lauryl PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Xylitylglucoside, Usnea Barbata (Lichen) Extract, Perilla Frutescens Leaf Extract, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Anhydroxylitol, Glucose, Dimethicone/Polyglycerin-3 Crosspolymer, Glyceryl Undecylenate, Talc, Xylitol, Tromethamine, Hydrogen Dimethicone, Dipropylene Glycol, Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate, Aluminum Hydroxide, Parfum (Fragrance), Sodium Citrate, Sodium Hydroxide, Tocopherol, Linalool, [+/- (May Contain) CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), CI 77492 (Iron Oxides), CI 77491 (Iron Oxides)].

Satin Primer full ingredient list: Aqua (Water), Octyldodecanol, Propylheptyl Caprylate, Polyglyceryl-3 Rice Branate, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Starch, Propylene Glycol, Glycerin, C10-18 Triglycerides, Hexyldecanol, Hexyldecyl Laurate, Lindera Strychnifolia Root Extract, Hydrolyzed Pearl, Perilla Frutescens Leaf Extract, Saccharomyces Lysate Extract, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Silanetriol, Behenyl Alcohol, Pectin, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Xanthan Gum, Talc, O-Cymen-5-OL, Disodium EDTA, Magnesium Stearate, Phenoxyethanol, Aluminum Hydroxyde, Sodium Benzoate, Parfum (Fagrance), Mica, Stearic Acid, Tocopherol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Linalool, [+/- (May Contain) CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), CI 77492 (Iron Oxides], CI 77491 (Iron Oxides)].

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I do not work for any beauty retailer. All items I buy for my own use unless otherwise stated which will be marked PR. All opinions and content are my own. Some links are affiliate links.

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