` Is this cheap primer a dupe for Tom Ford Illuminating Primer? We reviewed it for you | Powder
Make-Up Notes
Could this primer be better than Tom Ford’s?
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Oh Tom Ford, we adore you. Your formulas, your chic packaging – it screams luxury. Unfortunately, it leaves our bank account in disrepair. Especially if you buy this Illuminating Primer at £56. In terms of illuminating primers, we reckon this might just be one of the best.

To see if it’s worth the splurge, we put it to the test against the Collection Illuminating Touch Liquid Radiance Primer at a more purse-friendly £5.99. Place your bets…

The best illuminating primer

Blow-the-budget-buy: Tom Ford Illuminating Primer, £56

The formula: A rich, thick texture that spreads well, but doesn’t completely dry down, so feels very hydrating.  It works nicely on its own, underneath foundation or mixed in to give your base extra glow. It’s a bit of a make-up/skincare hybrid, as it’s got antioxidants in it to repair and protect your skin.

Glow factor: This has more of a wet-look gleam to it. The dewy finish bathes your skin in light and makes you feel like J.LO.

Longevity: Despite the creamy texture, this didn’t slip and slide throughout the day and looked just a glowy as it did when it was first applied.


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Bargain buy: Collection Illuminating Touch Liquid Radiance Primer, £5.99

The formula: Quite watery upon application, it spreads evenly and dries to a velvet, almost powdery, finish. It feels matte on the skin and doesn’t slide around. Can be worn alone for radiance or used before foundation as a primer. You can mix it with foundation as well, but the powdery finish might cause piling in little bumps as you blend it.

Glow factor: It has a subtle sheen with a golden glimmer to it. It has teeny tiny sparkles in it, but it steers well away from anything glittery.

Longevity: Thanks to the matte formula, this lasted all day and was still glowing strong come tea-time.


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The verdict:

So which one should you buy? I have to admit that while I preferred the finish of the Tom Ford one on it’s own, once I put foundation over them both, I honestly couldn’t tell the difference between the two – quite remarkable given the price difference.

If you’re feeling spenny, have dehydrated or mature skin, and want something that’ll look good on it’s own as well as under foundation, splash out on Tom Ford. The glow really is something else and it’ll quench your skin throughout the day.

However, if you’re on the oilier side and are after something that’ll keep you glowy, not shiny, and don’t want to spend lots – go for Collection. It looks exactly the same underneath foundation as TF’s, so save your pennies and opt for this instead.

And to get a personalised primer match, take our quick quiz below to find the three best primers for your complexion…

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