Honest Beauty Matte Primer Review – Oily Skin

Honest Beauty Matte Primer

Honest Beauty feel like a brand which has quietly crept onto the scene without making the hugest splash. Being honest (haha, gettit?) – I wasn’t particularly interested by anything I saw from the brand and nothing particuarly piqued my interest. But one of the mega goodie bags with Cult Beauty gift with purchase contained the Honest Beauty Matte Primer, and this oily girl had it in her queue to put to the test immediately.

Honest Beauty is founded by Jessica Alba, with over 2500 ingredients on their “no-list”, they are free from too many ingredients to possibly list. Some products are listed as vegan, however the line is not considered fully vegan, and their cruelty-free status is a little-grey, as whilst they do not test on animals their whole supply chain is not guaranteed.

From a packaging perspective, they have sustainability in mind with creating packaging that decomposes and recycles easily, whilst clean and simple, something feels a little unfinished to me. The graphic designer in me is really bugged by the lack of spacing on the wording on the back of the cardboard packaging, making it feel a little slap-dash.

The tube is lightweight, with a twist off cap allowing you to easily squeeze out product. I have been using this primer for a good six weeks now and suspect I am starting to get towards the end of the tube and suspect due to the tubes shape there will be quite a lot of product left inside when I inspect after taking a pair of scissors to the packaging.

Honest Beauty Matte Primer packaging tube

As someone with oily skin I was pleased to have what I was hoping would be the holy grail of mattifying primers to test out, at £25, it’s not cheap, particularly with packaging that feels on the cheaper end. I’ve been wearing the Smashbox Full Coverage foundation virtually all summer and tested it with every primer in my collection and can testify how well it performs, so I knew it was a good base for testing with this primer as I’ve gotten to know it so well. However, I’ve also tested with the elf CC Cream and the Jouer High Coverage Foundation to have some variety and see how well it lasted with these too.

I was surprised 0n the very first application that this didn’t seem to have a mattifying effect on the skin, whilst the nude-toned gel-cream formula did turn invisible my skin was far from matte leaving a healthy sheen to the skin. On that day I applied my foundation straight away, but I’ve to see how this sheen settles have sometimes applied my face primer first, done my eye makeup and even after the most extravagant of looks, it’s still not leaving the skin with a matte effect.

Honest Beauty Matte Primer texture

Initially my skin after primer, foundation, a matte transluscent powder with powder blush, highlight and bronzer applied my skin does look frankly, matte. But after a few hours oil creeps through my skin and looks frankly, awful. I’ve tested the Smashbox foundation throughly with everything fr0m silicone primers, luminous primers and the elf putty primer and it looks and wears gloriously with them all. This primer may be the worst for oil control that I’ve ever tested.

In the images below you can see my forehead has borderline mirror reflectiveness. Around areas like the inner corner of my eyebrows foundation is beginning to look cakey, and on my nose the foundation is beginning to break away, look patchy and disappear.

Honest Beauty Matte Primer Applied Fresh

Honest Beauty Matte Primer Applied after 6 Hours

Honest Beauty Matte Primer applied after 6 hours


I’ve given this the best go I could of, using more sparingly – testing with different kinds of foundations but I’ve come to the firm conclusion that as a matte primer with a foundation I know does an excellent j0b of being matte with other primers – it’s probably one of the worst, if not the worst I’ve tried. By the 8 hour mark my foundation looks awful and not in a way which is able to suffice with a simple touch up. Whilst we should be in peak summer in the UK, I can’t blame an August heatwave as we’ve had practically autumnal weather throughout the month.

I’ll begrudgingly finish up the Honest Beauty Matte Primer, but I’ll be very happy to be getting it into my empties pile as soon as possible and moving on to just about anything else in my collection. So it was a disappointing first experience with Honest Beauty and it’s not one that has left me inspired to try anything else from the brand.

I’d be intrigued to hear if you have tried anything from the brand and what your thoughts were if so.

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Helpless Whilst Drying

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