I never use primer. Sure, I prefer a simplified makeup routine, but my disengagement from primer was born from the fact that it's never really done anything for my skin. I rarely need makeup to stay on for more than eight hours (or maybe I just don't care enough), I don't have oily skin, and the glowy formulas never really gave me a radiance that highlighter couldn't create. But leave it to Tatcha to launch a product that sold out in less than four days, and also completely changed my mind about the makeup category. In case you were wondering, yes, the brand's new Silk Canvas Protective ($52; sephora.com) is totally worth the hype.
Like many of the brand's products that have reached Internet fame (i.e. Tatcha's Water Cream sold out twice in a row after its launch), this velvety primer's main point of attraction is its three layers of thin silk-based ingredients, designed to smooth over the skin and provide a base for makeup to cling onto, while also acting as a barrier between your skin and makeup. This prevents product from seeping into your pores, clogging, and causing breakouts.
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It stands out from others because instead of a traditional cream or liquid, it's formulated as a balm that you dip a spatula into. So, bonus, it's spill-proof and travel-friendly. When spread using your fingers, the dollop quickly blends and melts into your skin, making your pores look shockingly smaller in seconds. And thanks to pink and gold pigments, skin is subtly evened and given a radiant, velvet, and soft-focus finish, similar to what your favorite Instagram filter provides.
But it's not just about making your foundation work better. Like most of Tatcha's makeup products, its infused with skin-healthy ingredients and actives that boast anti-aging benefits. This primer, in particular, is infused with anti-pollution actives that reportedly help strengthen your skin's barrier function.
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I'd never suggest constantly running your fingers over your face (it's a recipe for zits), but it's hard not to after this smoothing balm is absorbed into your skin.
I regularly apply either a light foundation or liberally apply concealer to even out my skin tone in the winter—a time when I'm more insecure about the state of my complexion—but I decided to forgo my makeup security blanket to test Tatcha's formula. After applying my skincare, I smoothed the primer over my skin and was shocked at how silky smooth and healthy my skin looked. It obviously didn't take down my redness in my cheeks, but it was a lesson in how much tackling texture can transform your look.
That thing about me never using primer? Yeah, now I take it back.