Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Glow Primer Face-Off: MustaeV Lustrous Cream Base vs. Studio 10 Youth Lift Glow Plexion

Glow-enhancing primers predate Instagram and the seen-from-space highlights that's still all over social media. There were the original one from Lancome, and even before that I remember buying overseas a mattifying gleaming base by Boots No.7. That was around 2001. In less prehistoric facts we've had the beautiful ones by Burberry and Armani, and later came Laura Mercier who usually does it better than everyone else. Nowadays, though, if you don't gild yourself from top to bottom you'll get kicked out of Snapchat (no, I'm not on there, and even my Instagram is not about beauty but about my personal life). In any case, today we're literally shining some light on our faces.

Months ago my curiosity about UK brand Studio 10 sent me shopping for an interesting-looking palette. While it wasn't the Second Coming, this is a product I use sporadically and find it seful enough. If I'm not mistaken, it was on the same order that I got a free bottle of studio 10's much lauded Youth Lift Glow Plexion. I no longer remember for sure. Maybe it was before the GWP thing and I actually paid for it,  I just don't know.

Here's what I can tell you. I've given Studio 10 Youth Lift Glow Plexion five tries over the months I've had it, during varying weather and humidity conditions. Each and every time I used it (over my skincare and a good coat of chemical SPF 50, because that's what I do when I leave the house), the results were the same: first I got the dubiously attractive finish of the Tin Man (If I only had a heart), which in return made every base makeup I applied on top oxidize to an alarming level. And this is not a political commentary. I truly turned orange. Metallic orange. Is is the generous amount of Mica in the formula (it's in 5th place)? I can't tell. But those were really bad makeup days.

 Studio 10 Ingredients
I was even more ticked off by the obvious sponsored stories that kept running on People magazine, hailing Studio 10 Youth Lift Glow Plexion as an anti-aging serum that will deliver us from sin (screen capture from People's front page below). Despite the hyaluronic acid this is not what I consider brilliant skincare, just a paste of mica and silicons.

A couple of months later I attended the NYC Makeup Show and got acquainted with a new-to-me brand, MustaeV. It's a Korean brand, and as far as I could tell from a quick inspection, the products are, indeed, manufactured in Korea (South, you know. Not the other one). The SA who helped me was a gorgeous wooden creature in blue hair, blue makeup, blue contacts and blue tattoos, and could have probably sold me their entire catalog. I've shown restraint and limited myself to the MustaeV Lustrous Cream Base she demonstrated on me. First on my hands, which looked and felt fabulous, and ten on my face, that at that point could have used all the help I could get (hormonal skin, pain from the infamous leg injury, a walk in NYC's worst oily-feeling rain, general crankiness, and a lack of breakfast).

The cream base felt hydrating and calming on contact. It had a glowy sheen that even I couldn't declare obnoxious, and once the blue pixie massaged it through and redid my base with MustaeV Skinny Tint Foundation I felt like a new person with an old foot (I would have bought had the shade range made more sense. There are only three colors, and  had to mix two parts of the light with one part medium). I liked the result, the natural appearance of healthy and happy skin, and I get to recreate it every time I use the base as m primer.

MustaeV Ingredients
Bottom Line: Goodbye Yellow Brick Roads.

 MustaeV Lustrous Cream Base ($33 for 40ml, made in Korea) is available from
Studio 10 Youth Lift Glow Plexion ($40, 15ml) is available from


  1. Love an in-depth review and Korean products seem to be nothing short of amazing, lovely review! Xx

    AlLittleKiran | Bloglovin

  2. Aw, no swatches of the glowy goodness v. tin man sheen? Korean skin products seem to be the trend lately. Not that it's a bad thing. Many of them are really innovative. I am loving my Missha Time Revolution First Treatment Essence that I learned about from you. Thank you.


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