Sublim’ Soft Primer – Zao

Mattifying primers are a key part of my kit – especially the male grooming part! In film and tv it can be a while between touch ups and so sorting which elongates the wear time and helps to reduce shine is a must.

Sublim’Soft Primer from Zao (£34.95/£24.95) is pre-make-up base or primer which is designed to mattify the skin, reducing shine and the appearance of pores whilst giving the complexion a smoother, velvety appearance.  I’ve been using it for a while now although it actually started out as my back-up primer (and the one I use if I have a Vegan face in the chair) to the Couleur Cramel Velvet Base.

Particularly suited to oilier skins, I find I mostly use this particular primer on male grooming jobs although I have used it on shoots where I want to avoid using powder as much as possible. I generally apply it to the T-zone and the higher points of the face as these tend to be the areas which bead-up a little more.

The primer itself takes the form of a lightweight white cream which when worked into the skin becomes completely transparent. Once absorbed it leaves a velvety, completely matte finish which lasts a fair while depending on what conditions it is being subjected too (lights, temperature etc).

Sublim’Soft can be applied to the skin either as a stand alone product or prior to make-up application; alternatively it can be used on top of make-up to knock back any developing shine – I generally use my fingers as I like to work it into the skin but a brush can do the job just as well.

The one thing I am not sold on is the scent. I can’t quite pinpoint what the smell is but I’m not bowled over by it; a little plastic-y possibly? Its not awful, just a little odd – maybe this is the bamboo? Never having smelt bamboo extracts I can’t confirm either way.

Bamboo forms the basis of the whole Zao range – present in both the beautiful packaging as well as in the products themselves and Sublim’Soft (or as I call it SoBlimin’Soft) is packed full of the stuff. A highly beneficial (and of course sustainable) resource, Bamboo extracts have been prescribed for hundreds of years by Indian Ayurvedic medicine and Chinese herbal medicine practitioners as an effective remedy in the treatment of a variety of skin complains.

It is the bamboo extracts (Bamboo Hydrosol [derived from the distillation of bamboo leaves] and Bamboo Stem Powder) which provide the mattifying properties in this primer. The high levels of silica (also found in the human body) found in the bamboo extracts are beneficial for promoting the skins elasticity and also help to protect and regenerate the skin.

Zao also use micro-silver as a natural preservative and antiseptic and squalene (derived from olive oil) to protect from dehydration.

On of the great things about this primer is that like much of the Zao range housed in it’s bamboo livery, it is completely refillable. The full version of the primer comes in a bamboo lidded glass bottle (30ml) with a pump action dispenser; it looks great and although I do have one, I much prefer the refill version. The refill tube (also 30ml) can be easily decanted into the bottle however I use it straight from the tube without any problem – it is also much lighter in my kit and much easier to carry around, so perfect for travelling too.

Have you tried any of the Zao products as yet?


(* denotes Ingredients From Organic Farming ** Made Using Organic Ingredients)
Phyllostachys Nigra Extract*, Silica, Glycerin**, Polyglyceryl 10-Stearate, Octydodecanol, Squalane, Polyglyceryl-10 Myristate, Glyceryl Stearate, Glyceryl Caprylate, Parfum, Phyllostachis Bambusoides Rhizome Extract*, Aqua (Water), Sucrose Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Tocopherol, Bambusa Arundinacea Stem Powder, Sodium Levulinate, Sodium Anisate, Ci 77820 (Silver)

Certification: Natural and Organic Cosmetic certified by ECOCERT
Percentage of natural ingredients: 100%
Percentage of organic ingredients: 50%
Gluten free


Images: (1)


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