This is a bizarre product in a couple of ways

Question: when is a foundation primer not like a foundation primer?

Answer: when it is by Hourglass, and it is the cult No 28 Primer Serum, €70.58 for 30ml, or €26 for 10ml (shown), that’s when.

For something to fix makeup in place, this is a bizarre product in a couple of ways. While it does include silicones, it makes much of the fact that it’s botanical oil-based, with vitamins and 14 essential oils in the mix plus a further 10 lipid-rich plant oils.

Hourglass No28 Primer serum

That really places it into the skincare category, whereas we’re mostly used to primers being heavily silicone-based gels to mask pores and provide a smooth canvas for product.

So this is a bit different to begin with. It doesn’t have that slick silicone slip, and in fact feels like a facial oil. It seems a little counter-productive to expect a product that contains so many oils to work to keep makeup in place but it actually does.

Hourglass No28 Primer Serum

See? It doesn’t even look like a primer!

You apply a pump of product to the face post-skincare – I use fingers – let it sink in for a little bit, and then get busy with base. Here’s where it gets interesting. It is really hard to apply makeup over this stuff, and I’m guessing this is part of the key to its powers of attraction.

You’ll find it more difficult to spread and blend liquid foundation once No 28 Primer Serum is in place, and it’s not altogether a pleasurable experience making up over it. I tend to use a brush and with a little extra elbow grease you get the result you’d normally achieve, but this stuff is magnetic.

And it holds product in place too: I wear it when I know I’ll be somewhere particularly hot, sweaty or I need to keep makeup in place all day. Water-repelling, the formula just seems to really, really work.

So I can completely forgive the slight annoyance of creaking my foundation over it and also the high price point (find it at Space NK), because it quite simply works. Oh – and it’s hydrating too, thanks to the oils in the formula, something my dry skin appreciates.

Have you tried it?