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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Review: Black Radiance Complexion Perfection Shine Control Primer

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know that I'm a big fan of Black Radiance products. Black Radiance is made by Markwins, which also makes Wet n Wild and Tropez products (for a list of retail locations that sell Black Radiance, click here). While Black Radiance products are created for African American women, I've found that women of any skintone and ethnicity can use several of their products as well--and with terrific results!

One such product is the new Black Radiance Complexion Perfection Shine Control Primer, which I was recently sent for review. A lot of you asked me to review this product, so I hope that this helps you to determine whether or not you might want to consider giving it a whirl!

Whether your skintone is deeper or more on the fair side, Complexion Perfection Shine Control Primer might just work for you, but I'm going to say you'll have a much better shot at success if you truly do have oily skin. As the title of this product clearly states, this is a shine control primer, so those with drier skin might want to consider trying a more standard silicone-based primer (such as Hard Candy's primer, which I have also reviewed on this blog).

Let's take a look at some pics before I go any further:

Black Radiance Complexion Perfection Shine Control Primer (retail: $5.99, 0.84 oz)

Now what I first noticed about this tube is that it's small (see above--it's less that 1 oz). Luckily, you don't need much to cover your face, but I still wanted to point out that it's a pretty small tube and my pictures might make it appear larger than it really is. I just don't want anyone to be surprised if they purchase this.

Let's take a look at the back of the box:
And the ingredients:

Looking at these ingredients, I was happy to see that this is a paraben-free formula. Also, the second ingredient, cyclopentasiloxane, is the first ingredient in both Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation primer and Hard Candy primer. But after that, things take a slightly different turn. The third ingredient in Black Radiance Complexion Perfection Shine Control Primer is kaolin, otherwise known as white clay. Kaolin is not an ingredient in the Smashbox or HC primer, and I believe it truly contributes to the shine-control properties of this product. My super oily skin reacts quite well to products containing kaolin, so if you're an oily-skinned gal like me, you might be as happy as I was to see kaolin in this primer!

Here's a pic of the back of the tube:

Yay! No animal testing!

Also, I really like the narrow, pointed opening of this tube, which helps you to easily control how much product you squeeze out:

Now let's take a look at the product itself:

Much like the HC primer, this product is white, and has a lotion-type consistency. It's not super dry, yet it's not thin or watery either.

After you work this product onto your skin, the white color disappears completely.

The fragrance of this primer is light and pleasant (sort of like a standard body lotion) and it dissipates quickly.

After using Complexion Perfection Shine Control Primer for several weeks now, I can tell you that I honestly love it, but it does take some getting used to. You MUST apply this to a freshly-moisturized face. If you try to apply it to skin that hasn't been moisturized properly, this primer can go on a little dry and become hard to blend into your skin. So I always make sure I apply it immediately after I put on my moisturizer and eye cream and I have no problems at all.

Also, like I mentioned at the top of this review, I don't think this product would be a good fit for those with dry skin. The kaolin in this product really manages to neutralize your skin's natural oils, so if your face doesn't produce a lot of those oils already, then you might be left feeling a little dry and tight when you use this.

Also, I want to mention that you are not going to feel that super-smooth, silicone effect that Smashbox, HC, and other silicone-based primers leave on your skin. The feeling of this primer is slightly sticky--actually it's not sticky as much as very slightly tacky--which is what really seems to help keep your makeup "stuck" to your face. Does that make sense? For me, this face primer works in the same way as Orly Bonder works as a base coat for nail polish. It gives your makeup something to stick to. And much like the Smashbox and HC primers, this one does fill in the little lines and imperfections in my skin and makes my face a much smoother canvas.

So here's the big question: does Complexion Perfection make my makeup last longer? Yes! Does it make my makeup look better and more smooth on my face? Yes! And here's the most unexpected treat: I can use this on my eyelids as a shadow primer!

Ladies, after I had such good luck with this as a face primer, I just had to give it a shot as an eyeshadow primer. I totally was not expecting anything when I tried and, but I was kind of blown away by the results! I tested this on the most notoriously quick-to-fade eyeshadow that I own: the L.A. Looks neutral palette. If you own this palette, you know it's lovely but you also know that you need a good primer to get it to last more than an hour or so. When I used just a tiny tab of Complexion Perfection on my eyelids before applying the L.A. Looks shadows, it provided a wonderful, adhesive quality that really made the shadow stick to my lids (and the color also looked much more vibrant and it lasted for hours!).

So there you go: Black Radiance Complexion Perfection Shine Control Primer is not only a great primer for oily-skinned gals like me, but it also doubles as a great eyeshadow primer! That's one heck of a bargain!

Are you a Black Radiance fan? Have you tried this primer? If not, are you thinking about picking up a tube? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

A sample of this product was given to Nouveau Cheap for editorial purposes, either directly from the manufacturer or from the agency that works on behalf of the manufacturer. All reviews on are the honest opinion of its author and editorial samples do not, in any way, affect the outcome of product reviews.


  1. omg i am SO going to get this as I have very oily skin myself. Thanks for the info! =]

  2. Thanks for the great review. I am so going to try this out! :)

  3. Ooh i am so glad i didn't buy the Hard Candy primer today (I was eyeing it earlier). I have to run out and get this!! My nose becomes an oil slick within a couple of hours...this just might be my miracle product!! :)

  4. I will have to go out and get this! I've tried Smashbox, and am currently using the Rimmel and Revlon primer's but they don't do the trick on my oh so oily nose! :) Thanks doll!

  5. I wish stores around here sold black radiance. I haven't seen them anywhere since I was 7 or so.

  6. wingsinheaven: Oh, I would love to know what you think of it when you get it! Please keep me posted? :)

    Mz. More: You are so welcome! Please keep me posted when you try it, ok? xo

    Airi: I like the HC primer, but I feel that for my extremely oil skin, this one does a better job at keeping the oilies at bay. Please let me know what you think if/when you try it, ok? :)

    Miss Go Lightly: I haven't tried the Rimmel or Revlon primers yet, but I know what you mean about the Smashbox. It's fantastic for making your skin smooth before you apply foundation, but for me it doesn't do that much to control oil. Please keep me posted when you try this, ok? :)

    PCS: Aww, sorry honey. I wish you had easier access. :(

  7. thanks for the review on this! i may consider getting tube when i run out of my avon magix face perfector since this the black radiance primer is availabe at my local cvs, not to mention cheaper.

  8. Niki: You are so welcome! Hey, how do you like that Avon primer? I've heard about it but never used it. Thanks! :)

  9. @Recessionista: i love it! it keeps the shine down for hours, but like the black radiance, you have to moisturize first, but other than that, i think it's a great affordable primer.

  10. Niki: Oh wow, thank you! I think I might have to do a compare/contrast between the two! Or if you get the BR primer maybe you can do one! I'd love to see how you think the BR stands up against the Avon. :D

  11. have you tried Victoris's Secret eye primer? It's amazing! I used it at my brother's wedding and I put it on at 3 and left it up until 2AM and my eyes still looked fresh.

  12. Great review, I will be trying this out, I love MARKINS brand products. Btw does your Target have the ELF products, I've seen some post that a few bloggers Target have received it. Haven't checked out mines yet.

  13. Thanks so much for this great review!I am anxiously awaiting your review on the BR lipgloss!

  14. Anon: No, but I have heard some very wonderful things about it! Thank you so sharing your story--I definitely need to look into this one! :)

    rayqueenbee: I'd love to know what you think of it when you try it, honey! And no, my Target doesn't have the elf display yet. :( But I have heard from people on the east coast, and also Texas, who have seen them in their Targets, so I have a feeling they'll be available soon! :)

    Michelle: You are so welcome! And I will definitely be reviewing that gloss soon--I'm so happy that you're looking forward to it. You are an absolutely doll! :D

  15. I have very dark skin and it gets extremely oily in the Caribbean heat. However, I also need something with SPF - I am not seeing that this Black Radiance product has SPF in it - and that's affordable. I went to Sephora and they showed me Murad for US$39.50 but that is way too much for some face cream. Any suggestions?

  16. I saw the Primer today at Kmart for $7.99 (I live in the US Virgin Islands). I wanted to check out the reviews first and also if it had different shades. I guess that it just blends in with your skin. My nose gets so oily when I apply make and this is sometimes after a few minutes of applying it. I hate it because my skin is already oily too. I am trying the Wet n Wild Primer now. I also wanted to try Loreal's Primer too. The Black Radiance is more affordable but I also just wanted to try since I am new to Primers. I just hate taking pics with that shine on my nose.

  17. I couldn't get the link above to work for the locations that Black Radiance is sold. I'm wondering where I might be able to find this. Thanks!

  18. LivForBeauty: This line is sold at select Rite Aids, Kmarts, Walgreens and I think a few CVS locations as well. But if you can't find it in your area, the only place I know of online to get it is (free shipping on orders over $25). Black Radiance glosses are fab too (you can search my blog and see a ton of my Black Radiance reviews). Hope that helps!

  19. Yes thanks helps a lot, I just read all your reviews for their glosses and I am definitely heading over to right now!

  20. Thanks for the review! I did try this about a month ago I found it in Rite Aid and decided to give it a try. It works great! I love it and now I am thinking of trying more products of theirs. I also love the prices.

  21. Thanks for the recomdation, I just ordered some online cant wait till it gets her so I can check it out :) Keep up the good work G!

  22. This primer is HG for me whether or not I'm wearing makeup... I know this review is old, but I happened to look it up to see the ingredient list (since you are so awesome and always include it).. and saw your suggestion to use it as eye primer. I am trying this TOMORROW. Never thought of it... actually always avoid my eye area with it since I figured it would be drying, it will be so awesome if I can use this since it goes on my face everyday anyway, save me an additional step, help me keep from forgetting to put eye primer on (I do that all the time! lol!)and it will save me so much money.

    1. Well I gave it a shot... but it did not work for me. Within a couple of hours my shadow was fading, and by the middle of the day it was crease city. Back to my eye primer. If anyone is curious my favorites are Palladio or UDPP. Elf works on me too, TFSS does not- creases terribly.

  23. As skeptical as I am of any sort of face primer with the "cones" in them, I'm tempted to try this one because of the clay. The Smashbox and Hard Candy primers break me out like whoa on my jawline in borderline cystic acne. Hoping my local CVS up here has it so if it breaks me out, I can return it...

    1. Everyone is different, but I have sensitive acne prone skin and I have never had a problem with it. In fact I believe it made my acne better due to the absorption of the oil. I did make a lot of other changes at the same time that would factor in, but I know within a few days if a product is going to be a problem for me, and I have used this one for over a year on an almost daily basis.

  24. I doubt you'll see this comment way back here, but thank you for this review! There are so many awesome drugstore products out there that most of us bypass and completely ignore because we think Sephora or Ulta or dept stores are superior products. I have fallen into that trap. I saw a post recently where you referred to this primer, and I was so shocked because I didn't know drugstore labels MADE primers! Your review here was awesome and I appreciate that you use these products for awhile and "get to know them" before telling us about them. It's so much better than a first impression or swatch on the hand with a haul, but I want to know if it made an impact with you, if you'll continue to use it or when you'd choose to use it over your usual products, etc. and you cover all that./end gushing speech
    I purchased this primer based on this review and I love it! I used it today under my usual foundation and it completely changed the look of it! I got a little oily but nearly as bad as usual and I used it as an eye shadow primer since I have run out and my eye shadow didn't crease at all! It usually gets a little creased even with UDPP.
    Big fan, love your site, and thank you for your reviews!!

  25. I am so glad I read your holy grail products. I have extremely oily skin and haven't found a primer that helps any. I will pick this up tomorrow. Thank you so much.


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