Here's a funny thing about people: Most of them, no matter how jaded, keep close to their chests some sort of secret life dream. Not the usual stuff, like having a six-figure salary or owning a house or getting married, but a real out-there dream, an intangible hope or aspiration, the kind of goal that you'd only be able to reach by some strange twist of fate, and even then you'd constantly tiptoe around in fear of the moment you jolt to your senses and find it was, in fact, all a dream. Maybe you've always wished you'd become an astronaut, or been raised in a traveling circus, or dropped out of college to travel the world off the grid, sending your loved ones postcards from places they'd never even heard of.
I, too, have a dream like this. All I've ever really wanted — really, truly dreamed of, knowing full well it'd never happen — is perfect skin, or at least the appearance of it. (That, or having been born with a sizable trust fund, though it's clearly way too late for that now.) I'd only ever aspired to get as close as possible, because nobody has perfect skin, and especially not me, right? But I never thought I'd actually get this close, or that a primer, of all things, could make it happen.
From the outside, Tatcha's Silk Canvas Face Primer doesn't look a damn thing like a primer; more like a flying saucer, or maybe just a powder compact, depending on the reaches of your imagination. Unscrew the top of the disc, and you'll start to get a better idea of what's inside: a pressed balm, like a pale pink putty, meant to be extracted with the aid of a shiny little spatula (included!), which you then use to scrape the salve up to the spatula's line for the perfect amount of product.
Once you start massaging the balm into your skin, bit by bit, you'll see what makes it different. It's thick, for one, and gives skin a velvety, cushioned look and feel. But it doesn't feel heavy, or like it'll melt off your face with or without makeup; rather, it just feels smooth and silky, which is likely related to the three different types of silk the formula is infused with. (Fibroin, sericin, and silk powder — they're all actually in there, I checked.) Powder and liquid foundation both seem to glide on top of it, blending smoothly and easily without clinging to dry spots or creeping into fine lines. The soft-focus effect lasts all day. My makeup stays on. My skin looks... perfect?
This primer also promises that the light protective film it creates between your makeup and your skin prevents makeup and environmental debris from clogging your pores, and the Japanese superfood "trinity" of green tea, rice, and algae actually makes skin more youthful and radiant over time. This, I cannot confirm, but I do know that, every time I use it, I'm seriously impressed by how youthful and radiant my skin looks. And really, seeing is believing — which you would've known, if only you'd actually grown up in that traveling circus.
(Ed. Note: This product is currently sold out, but will be restocked on February 27.)