It makes sense for a skincare line with an anti-aging bent to venture into color cosmetics with a hybrid theme of makeup that also does some good. Murad’s new Hybrids makeup line is a case in point and I have been testing a free sample of Skin Perfecting Primer - Matte Finish ($35 at Skinstore). Mostly, I think it straddles the line between skincare and makeup fairly well. Although the cosmetic ingredients are uninspired and conventional, there are a couple of things that make it a standout amidst department store mediocrity.

First off, this is a good performer. The matte finish of this Murad’s Hybrids primer is fairly effective, although by mid afternoon my forehead tends to be shining. The coverage of its light tint, however, remains even throughout the day. With a dab of concealer, I find it can be used without foundation, but then I’m not much of a foundation girl. The only thing I’m not keen on is the scent, which reminds of an unwelcome whiff of auntie’s face powder.

Murad’s pitch with the Hybrids Skin Perfecting Primer is to “mask your skin concerns while you resolve them.” Masking comes first with at least six silicones being called to action and boron nitride, which is an optical diffuser. It also serves as an oil absorber and this will be helping give the promised mattifying effect. This is what I mean by a conventional approach and I find all this silicone a little disappointing.

On the other hand, Murad has found a novel way to treat open pores with an unlikely ingredient: lentil extract. I first came across lentil as an open pore closer a couple of years ago and have been hoping it would turn up in my cosmetics ever since. It works in a complicated way to control sebum and eliminate nucleated cells from around the pores. The nerdy amongst you can read more on lentils and open pores here.

There are a few other useful ingredients, such as rosa multiflora (Japanese rose), an anti-inflammatory, according to research. There are several amino acids, vitamins C and E, chitosan, which is from shellfish and is a skin regenerator.

There are few things to be wary of, in addition to the high amount of silicone, including propyl gallate, a controversial ingredient that can mimic estrogens and may be carcinogenic. There is a study that determined that topically it is not toxic, however.  And there are the usual suspects in the preservative department.

Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Cyclopentasiloxane, Phenyl Trimethicone, Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Silica, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Cetyl Alcohol, PEG-100 Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Boron Nitride, Stearyl Dimethicone, Sodium Hyaluronate, Lens Esculenta (Lentil) Seed Extract, Capryloyl Glycine, Sarcosine, Cinnamomum Zeylanicum Bark Extract, Rosa Multiflora Fruit Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ascorbic Acid, Chitosan, Propyl Gallate, Polyurethane-40, Zinc Gluconate, Sodium PCA, Betaine, Sorbitol, Glycine, Alanine, Proline, Serine, Threonine, Arginine, Lysine, Glutamic Acid, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Xanthan Gum, Disodium EDTA, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Chlorphenesin, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77489, 77491, 77492, 77499)