Let's start off with the good news: This primer has a velvety gel texture that is thick enough to fill in pores and temporarily mattify skin without feeling too heavy. Your complexion will look smoother upon initial application, but it's not necessarily going to make makeup application any easier. If applied liberally, it creates a sort of drag that requires more blending for the makeup you apply over it. Primers are supposed to help, not hinder, makeup application (that's the bad news)!
Complicating matters further is the strong fragrance. Whether or not you like the smell, it isn't good for your skin; in fact, it's potentially irritating (see More Info). In that regard you're better off using Rimmel's original Fix Perfect Primer.
Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes chronic irritation that can damage healthy collagen production, lead to or worsen dryness, and impair your skin's ability to heal. Fragrance-free is the best way to go for all skin types (Sources: Inflammation Research, December 2008, pages 558–563; Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2008, pages 124–135, and November-December 2000, pages 358–371; Journal of Investigative Dermatology, April 2008, pages 15–19; Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2008, pages 78–82; Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, January 2007, pages 92–105; and British Journal of Dermatology, December 2005, pages S13–S22).
Strengths: Inexpensively priced; a great pressed bronzing powder; several impressive mascaras; a collection of praiseworthy of lip color products including gloss and lipstick; a couple of good foundations.
Weaknesses: Not the most user-friendly packaging; lackluster skincare-esque products; some gimmicky makeup items that turn out to be duds.
Rimmel is a London-based company, under the ownership of Coty Inc. since 1996 (Coty also owns other cosmetic lines such as philosophy and Sally Hansen). A self-proclaimed “edgy” cosmetics line that’s all about experimentation and “setting trends, not following them”, Rimmel livens things up with a mix of trendy and classic shade options and new product launches at a rapid pace.
While not all of Rimmel’s products are an absolute hit, there are some individual standout items (see top-rated reviews) that can compete with the best of what’s out there—at rock bottom prices no less. A few of their lip color products deserve special mention for their elegant texture and fashion-forward colors.
Where Rimmel falls into hit-or-miss territory is with its excessive collection of mascaras (it seems as though they launch a new one every month) which makes it confusing to try to figure out which one is the best. Some are impressive and absolutely worth buying, while others are gimmicky duds. Lucky for you, we’ve put them rigorous testing so you can make an informed decision! Oh, what our lashes go through so you avoid frustration and wasting money!
Rimmel also dabbles in a smidgen of skincare-esque products that claim to go above and beyond the norm. For various reasons mentioned within the individual reviews, these products tend to fall short of being worthwhile purchases, even at their bargain-friendly price point. Overall, while Rimmel has some misses, they earn our praise for several good to excellent makeup items at nearly unbeatable prices. Sort by three-star and four-star rating under this brand to find the best of what Rimmel has to offer!
Note: Many Rimmel products featured on their Web site are not available in the United States; they are exclusive to United Kingdom drugstores. The products reviewed below are those that are consistently found at U.S. stores nationwide, specifically Target, Walgreens and Wal-Mart.
For more information about Rimmel, owned by Coty, visit www.rimmellondon.com.
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