Dec 022010

Diorskin Crystal Nude Natural Matte Skin Perfecter ($40 for .26 oz) is an unusual product in that it is both a primer and a finishing product.  It can be be worn at least four different ways:

  • Alone, instead of makeup
  • Under foundation as a primer
  • Over foundation as a finishing product
  • Both under and over foundation.

I love this concept.  I love choice.  I love products that are flexible enough to play with so that I can get them to work well for me.  And above all else, I love polished-looking skin.

I usually don’t wear primer–I’m told my skin is dry or combination;  I’m the type to get glowy mid-afternoon especially on the forehead.  I usually top my foundation with Caron or Chanel powder, the re-powder mid-afternoon.  Because my skin is sensitive to new products, I don’t like to try primers for fear of break-outs.  However, having a beauty blog is all about taking risks, so I’ve been experimenting for the sake of science and beauty.

Dior Crystal Nude is intended to enhance and mattify, by giving a soft glow that reduces the appearance of pores, flaws and all of those undetectable surface textures that those over the age of ten somehow manage to acquire.  Dior explains that “Crystal Nude plays with optical illusion to instantly recreate the perfection of ideal nude skin. . . . Its crystalline formula provides an optical effect: like a softening lens, it shows the skin texture while diminishing its irregularities to instantly reveal a smooth and even complexion.This unprecedented makeup result is obtained with silicone microspheres that have unique properties.”

Crystal Nude comes in a luxurious silver and crystal-toned palette.

Inside, the product appears white but applies as a translucent sheer layer on the skin.  There is a sponge included for application, although I used a foundation brush.  There is a large mirror for those makeup-on-a-plane moments when we can’t get our regular mirrors.

The clear toned portions are a heavy-duty plastic, completely travel-ready.

Crystal Nude is remarkably easy to use.  Even when using this over foundation, it seems impossible to apply too much, although a thin layer works quite well.

  • Applied over foundation:  Crystal Nude applied colorlessly, improving my overall skin texture.  Although I do not have large pores, Crystal Nude dramatically reduced the pores that I do have. “Airbrushed matte glow” describes the effect of Crystal Nude on my skin quite well.  My skin had an overall “matte glow”– meaning that there was no shine at all, although I could see the skin continue to catch the light as I moved my face from side to side with a slight, luminous glow.  Matte without deadening the skin equals everything I’ve ever wanted in a primer.  I loved my skin wearing this.  My makeup lasted all day, without any need to touch up mid-afternoon (no glow!).  It looked polished all the way until 9:00 in the evening when I removed it.  I used this for several days with consistent results every time.  (As an aside, I did not use a finishing powder when I used Crystal Nude over foundation).
  • Applied under foundation:  My skin looked slightly less matte than using Crystal Nude over foundation, yet still quite polished.  Again, pores were very minimal and my skin looked healthy and my foundation looked fabulous until 11:00 pm when I removed it. I’ve literally never had my foundation look this good all day until I removed the product.  (Again, I did not use a finishing powder).  Impressive.
  • Applied instead of foundation: The same staying power, the same improvement in texture.  My skin looks natural but polished.  I can see that this would be a perfect product for women with near-perfect skin as well as for men;  there is zero color and no coverage, and the skin looks very natural but better.

After using the product for seven days, I was extremely pleased with Dior Crystal Nude. It felt very pleasant and light, without feeling heavy or noticeable with other primers I’ve used in the past.  Once I applied it, I forgot that I had it on.  No breakouts (I use an oil cleanser and Clarisonic to remove makeup at the end of every day).  As my experiment came to an end, I went a day without wearing Crystal Nude.  I was sort of shocked to find that my foundation started showing wear and tear by evening–the glow returned.  I’ve found another Holy Grail.

Ingredients: Polymethsilsesquioxane, hydrogenated polyisobutene, dimethicone, tridecl trimellitate, C30-45 olefin, ethylhexl hydroxystearate, dimethicone crosspolymer, phenoxyethenol.

Disclosure: This product was provided by Dior for consideration and review.

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  25 Responses to “Diorskin Crystal Nude Matte Skin Perfecter”

  1. Sounds like the miracle product! Will have to investigate this. Amy, do you use the sponge applicator to apply the product or a brush? Thanks for letting me know about the product 🙂

    • I tried the sponge and it worked well–the foundation brush gave me sheerer coverage. Honestly, it seems really difficult to apply this “wrong”–I could go either way.

  2. Hello,

    Can you describe the texture of the product please? Thanks.

    • In the pan, it’s like a solid gel with a bit of slip– a bit like Chanel Blanc Universel (but Dior Crystal Nude does not add any white cast or any color at all). When it dries, Crystal Nude does not leave any detectible feeling on the skin–there is no greasy or powdery feeling. It just feels like my natural skin. The effect is purely visual. There are some primers that I’ve tried that feel like they are on the skin and I cannot wait to remove them. Dior Crystal Nude feels like nothing on.

  3. The concept sounds similar to the NARS Pro Prime Skin Smoothing Face Prep! I was thinking about buying one of these types of products for my mom this Christmas, so your review came at the perfect time. 🙂

    • What a nice idea for a gift! I haven’t tried NARS–it would be interesting to compare them. Dior’s is so pretty–it will be a difficult choice!

    • I was thinking the same thing. I have the NARS one and it doesn’t do much 🙁

  4. So intriguing.. I must try it! Well.. after I undo some of the damage I did this holiday season lol. I’m also afraid of primers. I’ve tried a few and most of them make me shiny/oily faster. Thanks for sharing! It sounds amazing.

    • Renee–I was skeptical, but I’m now impressed. I usually break out quickly, or reach for a cleanser quickly, for so many I’ve tried. I wonder if you can get a sample at a counter? But I have not had a hint of a clogged pore, honestly. I love the finish this gives! 🙂 Take care and thanks for your comment!

  5. I saw this the other day and I just passed on saying to myself “another primer type thing that will not work on my skin.” I think I will go play with it over the weekend and see how it wears. I need a new touch up method since my new career requires gobs of paper work. I am embarrassed when I see powder on a piece of paper intended for a client

  6. I am going to have to try this! and it looks like there is no silicone in it? that’s nice to hear…thanks! 🙂

    • oh nevermind, it looks like there is 🙁 but I’m still really curious to try it out…

    • Nicole, I’ve posted the ingredient list–dimethicone may belong to the silicone family although I’m not a chemist. I posted it so that if someone likes/dislikes some of the ingredients then they can see for themselves. I hope this helps!

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  8. Thank you so much for the review. I have oily skin and am constantly seeing “shine”. I want to give this product a go to see if it mattifies my skin. I would have thought in my late 30’s that I wouldn’t be worrying about shine (le sigh!).

  9. Thank you so much for posting the ingredient list! It makes it so much easier for people with allergies to decide what kind of products to try – it’s so hard to find ingredient lists without actually going in to a store (and who has time for that? haha). Love your blog. 🙂 I want to try this now.

  10. So this is a powder? I’m trying to imagine applying powder as a primer under a liquid foundation? It does sound like a dream product to me though. Hmmmm

  11. wow that is amazing! this sounds like an even better version of benefits porefessional

  12. Aww man, I went to try this and it is not in stores yet! 🙁 What I saw the other day was a mock up. No one was at the Dior counter. Amy do you know when this comes out?

    • I believe its for sale now on and I’m not 100% sure that it will be in department stores–perhaps check your local Sephora?

  13. This sounds and looks like Benefit’s Dr Feelgood. I wonder if it smells as good?

  14. My two cents worth…
    I saw this review a few weeks before Christmas, and decided to shell out the $40 bucks to give it a try. I was searching for a portable oil absorbent that I could easily apply while “on the go” since I would be traveling. My very favorite oil absorbent item to this point is Mattify Ultra Powder, but it is a loose powder formula and tough to apply quickly. My skin is SUPER oily, and I discovered that the Diorskin just wasn’t up to the task.

    What I discovered is that it functions better underneath makeup than over the top. In the morning, I put it on under my liquid makeup. I had a nice flawless finish – so was happy with the ability of it to function as a good primer. I also applied some over my makeup and left for the office. Within an hour, my skin was sticky and oily – it looked as it does when I don’t use any oil absorbent products. So, I tried to pat it on over my foundation when my skin got oily…but it didn’t help the oil problem at all and just got the sponge all gooey with my face oil and lifted away my foundation. I know… ew.

    Since this product was so costly, I decided to keep it to use as a primer. Here’s my new routine, which has been working pretty well for oil control. Wash & dry face / Apply Diorskin Crystal Nude / Apply Mattify Ultra Powder / Apply Estee Lauder Foundation / Apply another layer of Mattify Ultra. This keeps me happily oil free for around 4 hours. Then, I either apply more Mattify or use an oil blotting sheet, and I’m good to go for another 4 hours. This Dior product just didn’t work for touchups over makeup, I would suggest it as a primer only.

  15. Thanks for this review and the recommendation for men. I have oily complexion and large pores; I will give this a try as I don’t want any colour or powdery look. I love my Clarisonic. I tend to use mainly Clarins products, foaming wash and pore refiner, Firming Night cream, Beauty
    Flash. I am aged 46. I also use YSL Flash Radiance as a primer, or No7 Shine Free primer, I don’t use make-up but I am very interested in keeping my skin looking nice. It the evenings I alternate my Clarins with Olay Regenerist and ROC, a great sun protection product is Clarins UV Plus, I also use MAC pressed blot powder. These are all excellent, I like a bit of variety.

    Thanks again, it’s on tomorrow’s shopping list.

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