Shiseido refining makeup primer review

Hey guys, 

Picked up this primer from W cosmetics a few weeks ago because I needed a primer to trial foundation shades from Mecca – yes I still haven’t found the right shade/formula despite being shade matched because it’s hard to tell under store lighting how it’ll oxidise/if it’ll oxidise later. There was a 15% off promotion off the Shiseido range when I purchased this, so it ended up being $52.70 AUD.

RRP: $62 AUD for 30ml

Shelf life: 24 months after opening

The packaging describes it as a ‘A refining makeup primer that minimises the appearance of uneven skin tone, conspicuous pores and fine lines for an all-day luminous natural-looking finish’. It is also non comedogenic, and it has been dermatologically tested.


It’s a straightforward squeeze tube with a tapered round spout at the end. The cap is a normal screw cap with an embossed label on the top (image of the lid not included)



*So if you’re new to my blogposts, you may have seen links floating around on terms – simply click on them and you’ll be redirected to more information about that term – I try my best to source my information from reliable sources(mostly online) as I am not a skincare expert, please do not treat this as a bible for the lowdown on every skincare and beauty item ever – Ultimately, the final decision lies with the consumer, you.

I’ve pulled out several ingredients that popped out to me- though all of them don’t make sense to the naked human eye (metaphorically speaking of course).

  • Cyclomethicone is an effective additive to lotions and creams as the molecules of this chemical are too large to enter human pores, thus they sit on the surface of the skin creating a smoother surface. However as it is a non-comedogenic ingredient and will not cling to skin or clog pores, it has been known to cause eye and skin irritation. [Source].
  • Silica is a common mineral on Earth and can be produced synthetically. It is often used as an absorbent powder and thickening agent in cosmetics. [Source]
  • BHT may cause irritation in people with sensitive skin – when in doubt, do a patch test or avoid entirely. [Source]

Overall, there’s a bunch of silicones for the smoothing end result and titanium dioxide for sun block properties – heavy on the chemical side.

* Please correct me if any of the above is incorrect/if there’s a harmful ingredient I haven’t listed or delved into.

Overall comments

What was interesting about this primer in comparison to primers I’ve tried out: Innisfree‘s No Sebum primer and Benefit‘s Porefessional, this primer’s consistency resembled a viscous (but thin in terms of mass) moisturiser. The coverage did not leave the face fully smooth like a porcelain bowl but it ‘gently’ filled in pores slightly and made the skin more even and ‘refined’ in general.

Two gripes with this product

  • The formula is tinted a soft beige with a pink undertone so it leaves a grey ashy layer on the face for non-pale skin. I personally have yellow toned skin so I found that an issue when I was testing out foundations with less of a yellow undertone but however with foundations with a yellow undertone, this hazy issue wasn’t prominent.
  • The brand itself is not cruelty free. However, I will be continuing to use the product till it runs out but will not be repurchasing any products from this brand until they change their policies(though I did order a Shiseido eyelash curler in my Sasa haul 2 weeks ago – package is yet still to arrive)

Hence, I will not be repurchasing.

Thanks for reading – any advice/feedback is greatly appreciated



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Design student | Sydney