Tarina Tarantino Pearl Glow Primer Review & Swatches

April 6, 2010
TARINA TARANTINO Pearl Glow Primer ($32 for 1 oz.)

Since spotting Nicci Nix’s seriously glowing complexion on American Idol, I’ve been a little obsessed with achieving that perfectly dewy, glowy look without looking greasy or like I have gigantor pores (which sadly I actually do), and to that end I’ve been playing around with a million different primers and highlighters that have promised me that healthy, luminescent glow.  So how does the TARINA TARANTINO Pearl Glow Primer stack up?  Click on after the jump for the review!

The Science: Pearl Glow Primer contains actual pearl powder, which from what I’ve heard is not only ideal for giving skin that glowly look, but is also pretty great for softening your complexion and reducing skin pigmentation.  Yay for a multi-tasking product! 

The Review: I’ve actually been using the Pearl Glow Primer in two different ways: (1) as a primer, and (2) as a highlighter, either blended right into my foundation or patted on top, and so of course you’ll be getting a review of how the product performs in both respects.

As a primer Pearl Glow is decent – it doesn’t rock my world and make me do a happy dance in the morning, but it does absorb quickly without leaving behind that somewhat greasy, slick feel so prevalent in primers heavy on the silicones (it has a sort of light moisturizer feel to it) .  So why wasn’t it love for me?  Well here’s the thing – if you’ve got nearly perfect skin and don’t wear foundation, Pearl Glow applied over your usual skincare regimen will give you the most beautiful, luminescent, glowing looking skin without any of the strange multi-hued shine that a lot of luminzers can give, but if you’re like me and need to apply a good amount of foundation over your primer, the luminosity pretty much disappears under it all.  Why bother with a luminizing primer that disappears when you use it as primer?

As for how it looks and wears, I will say that it really helps my foundation shades to stay true all day long which I’m thrilled with, and it does a pretty good job of controlling my oilies all day long.  So all in all it makes a solid primer, I guess I’m just a little disappointed that I don’t get more luminosity out of it. 

Swatches below!

But while I do have my complaints about this as a primer, as a luminizer it’s really second to none.  Every other luminizer I’ve ever tried has emphasized my pores and given me a sort of odd pink luminescent glow that’s not very flattering on my skintone, but Pearl Glow somehow manages to give all the glow without any of the accompanying weirdness.  I like to mix a pump of it into my foundation pre-application, then to top it all off by patting small dots onto the tops of my cheekbones, along the bridge of my nose and just a tiny bit on my forehead (basically all the sports the sun would naturally reflect off of). 

If you’re in the market for a fantastic luminizing product that will give you a beautiful, youthful look, Pearl Glow is your product, but if you’re still on the hunt for that perfect primer I’ve got some better suggestions coming your way sometime soon so stay tuned!

Ingredients: Water, Octyldodecanol, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Oleosomes, Glycerin, Alumina, Manganese Dioxide, Polyacrylamide, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Laureth-7, Sodium Hydroxide, Pearl Powder, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Mica, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891)

I obsessively checked the Sephora stores to see if the Tarina Tarantino line had launched and when I saw this I snatched it up – I mean if I don’t spoil myself, who’s going to spoil me, right? πŸ˜‰

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20 Responses to “Tarina Tarantino Pearl Glow Primer Review & Swatches”


  1. This is one of the only products in the Tarantino line that isn't overly kitschy to me and I could honestly see myself using. Have you tried the Becca luminizers? They also tend to get a lot of love (similar packaging too).


  2. I also went to Sephora the minute they had the collection in stock but I only picked up a lipstick and my free bracelet. I remembered you RAVED about the primer but then I also reminded myself I rarely wear foundation there was probably no point me getting a primer.That and I still don't understand hilighting, really πŸ˜„

  3. AtelierGal Says:

    I've been using Red Earth's Secret Potion for some years now, which retails at a reasonable price.Unfortunately Tarina Tarantino isn't available locally, hope to hear more reviews of their products

  4. Phyrra Says:

    Lovely review! Thank you for sharing it. I'm always happy when I see you post πŸ™‚


  5. Jeweled Thumb I agree – I'm all for packaging but the others were kind of verging on tacky. Although I will say that I happen to love the Tarina Tarantino blushes (I thought the packaging could've been done a little better to make it look a bit more expensive). The formula is great and they come in the most gorgeous shades.I actually haven't tried the Becca luminizers. I wonder if Bergdorf Goodman still carries the line? I think the only Becca counter I've seen locally was there, and you've made me want to check them out!


  6. Justine I was a little sad that I purchased this too early as the free bracelet deal came around a little after I'd bought it.You know I wasn't really too into luminizers until recently, but lately I've learned to appreciate highlighting in just the right places. It really helps to shape your face and to give it some depth. It's fun! Still not so into bronzers though – they're a little beyond me and don't work so well with my skintone.


  7. AterlierGal it must be an amazing product if you've stuck with it all this time!I do indeed have more Tarina Tarantino reviews coming your way. I wasn't too wowed by that many of their products, but loved their blushes so expect a review soon.


  8. Awww thanks so much Phyrra! I always forget how fun and somewhat cathartic blogging is when I've been away from it for awhile, and I have been a bad bad blogger these past few months. But I'm seriously determined to get back into the swing of things.

  9. Deb Says:

    Even before reading your review in detail, I sort of wondered how a primer would give a person luminosity if it is underneath foundation. I had a feeling foundation would cover up all the glow. At least you found a way to make it work mixed with foundation or on top.

  10. Catherine Says:

    Ooh, a luminizer that doesn't emphasize pores?! I'll have to try this out!


  11. ABS – (take 2 – blogger ate my last comment) It looks like they are only carried in small boutiques. Guess since they've left Sephora they've changed up their marketing a bit (locations on their website). You should definitely try the liquid luminizers! And try the powders too, and while you're at it, the eyeshadows…

  12. AtelierGal Says:

    Indeed! In fact it was out-of-stock islandwide for about 3 months. And it's a cheaper dupe for NARS Orgasm Illuminator which isn't available over here too 😦


  13. Deb it's disappointing that the glow just completely disappears under all of my foundations because it really is such a lovely glow. How have you been?! Anything new/interesting going on on your end?


  14. Catherine it's really so great as a luminizer and makes your skin look beautiful. I highly recommend it, just not as a primer =P.


  15. Jeweled Thumb I hate when blogger eats my comments! It's always seems to happen to the really long ones that I've put so much time into.Sounds like you're a Becca fan. I'll definitely have to try to hunt down some of the products.


  16. AtelierGal that sounds so amazing – especially as I've actually been wanting the NARS Orgasm Illuminator. I just did a quick google search and I'm not seeing where I can find this locally but I'll keep looking – sounds like a must-have product!

  17. The Mighty J Says:

    All of the TT items looked gimicky to me so I never bothered with anything but this might be worth a second look. Thanks for the review.

  18. Deb Says:

    Not much has been going on here. The weather can't decide if it is spring or winter. It was in the 70s and right now as a type this the temperature is 34. I've been posting more on my blog lately, most pictures of my various manicures. As much as I love doing it, it seems like my real world obligations get in the way.


  19. I totally know what you mean Deb – blogging is one of my favorite things, but reality (mostly work) definitely gets in the way and seems to be taking me further and further away from the blog. I've promised myself I'll be more dedicated to it, as it really is so amazingly rewarding. The weather has been INSANELY hot in NY this week – it was 86 degrees and humid today and my office building doesn't turn on the AC until May 15th (coincidentally also my birthday) – I'll have melted into a puddle by then!


  20. The Mighty J they mostly are – lots of frilly, not so nicely-done packaging (a lot of it is rather tacky and cheap-looking) with sub par products, but there are still a few standouts among the bunch!


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