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Primer Comparison: Paul & Joe vs. Dr. Brandt

Posted May 15 2009 12:00am

Paul & Joe's Protective Foundation Primer UV vs. Dr. Brandt's Pores No More Pore Refiner

(damn the typos in Excel, lol) Basic information [taken from Paul & Joe Beaute and Sephora, respectively]; the stock images are not to scale, and were taken from their respective websites. You get the same amount of product, but you pay a little more for the Dr. Brandt primer. Pores No More uses a pump to deliver the product out of the tube, while you need to squeeze an adequate amount out of the P&J primer. P&J has the advantage of including SPF in their primer; you will need to use another product containing sunscreen in addition to the Pores No More for added SPF protection.

Ingredients for the P&J Protective Foundation Primer UV

Ingredients for Dr. Brandt's Pores No More Pore Refiner

P&J on the left; Dr. Brandt on the right. You can see the contrast in color between the two products; both products are transparent after an even application. The P&J primer has a floral/powdery scent to it that disappears once it gets absorbed into the skin; Pores No More smells more medicinal from the tea tree oil, which I personally find more appealing (I've never been much of a fan of powdery scents). I only need one pump of Pores No More to cover my face, which is about the size of a large pea. I use about the same amount for the P&J primer.

Photos above are taken with flash (top) and without flash (bottom), after I started to spread each product onto my hand. The P&J primer is creamier than Pores No More, but it seems more fluid at the same time. Pores No More seems to have more dimethicone in its formula, so it feels smoother while spreading it across my hand, and it sort of glides across the skin. I usually wait about 3-5 minutes for the primers to soak in before I continue with the rest of my makeup application, to make sure that they don't just "sit" on the surface.

After blending and waiting a few minutes. The P&J primer leaves a slightly glossy/dewy finish, and my skin feels slightly tacky, even after waiting a few minutes to let it sink in. Pores No More feels smooth and soft, and you can see from the photo that it fills in fine lines to create an even smoother surface.

Fresh makeup application; I used Dr. Brandt on the left side of the photo, and the P&J primer on the right side (the side of my face with the beauty mark by my lip). After applying foundation, blush, and powder to set, both sides look the same. The Pores No More side feels slightly smoother than the P&J side, and fine lines are evened out more.

After 6-7 hours of wear, going out to run errands in the city, and touching up makeup (blotting sheets, dusting of powder, fresh eye makeup) before going out again. The P&J side of my face was noticeably shinier than the other half of my face; the Pores No More side was shiny around my forehead and nose, but otherwise most of my makeup was still intact. After freshening up, both sides still looked pretty good, although some of my foundation wore off from the P&J side.

Overall, I would choose the P&J primer in the winter, or in cooler weather when I know my skin would feel dry; in humid weather it seems too sticky/dewy to really hold on to my base makeup. I love the fact that SPF is already built in to the primer, so that I don't have to use a separate sunscreen, but I think I'd do better using a moisturizer with sunscreen in the summer with a different primer. In comparison, the Pores No More feels like its treating my skin during the day - it creates a really smooth canvas for the rest of my makeup, and it spreads onto my skin easily. If it had an SPF mixed in, it would be the perfect primer for me! I know I will definitely reach for this primer as the weather gets warmer and the humidity level rises - my oily skin will need all the help it can get!

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