Review: Kismet Jardin’s Hydra Gem (Primer and Serum)

As a general rule, skin care on the whole makes my head hurt. Between the fifty thousand different pieces of advice out there, I tend to end up wanting to crawl into the corner and weep in the foetal position for a while. That’s why I’m a fan of products that do more than one thing (and if you saw the state of my bathroom storage, it would become abundantly clear why I feel this way). Hydra Gem by Kismet Jardin is one such product, so today I’m going to give you my thoughts as well as an offer you guys can make use of – hooray!


What is it?

Kismet Jardin’s Hydra Gem is a multipurpose product which works as both a primer under makeup as well as a serum in the evenings. What’s really nice is that it actually says this on the package. Call me pedantic, but I tend to get really frustrated when companies call their products something like a “beautifying crème” because then I just end up staring at it in confusion going “yes, but like… what actually ARE you? When do I use you in my skin care regime? IS THERE A SECRET CODE I’M UNAWARE OF?!” and then I get annoyed and don’t use it, so it’s kind of nice that Kismet Jardin has made this clear from the get go.

The idea is that you apply Hydra Gem in the mornings after cleansing but before makeup, and in the evening after cleansing before bed (and you can also moisturise afterwards if you really want to, but I find I don’t need to). Easy. Excellent.

Why is it good?

According to Kismet Jardin, Hydra Gem has a range of benefits, not least of which is as a moisturising serum. As it contains hyaluronic acid, you know you’re onto a winner on that front (if you’re not in the know, this is one of the first ingredients you should keep an eye out for on your moisturising products as its one of the best the skin care industry has to offer). Hydra Gem is appropriate for oily skin because it is oil free, so count me a happy user on that front. Kismet Jardin also claims that Hydra Gem acts as a barrier between your skin and any makeup you put on it, allowing your skin to breathe but also not allowing all the nasty chemicals that are often in makeup to penetrate your skin.

Hydram Gem is Australian made, which you guys would well know I’m all about. They also happen to be a South Australian company, so if you’re into supporting local I’d highly recommend you give their stuff a try.

It’s free of parabens, silicone oils, synthetic oils and ethoxylated ingredients and, best of all, is not tested on animals. I have a feeling that it may actually be vegan, but as I’m not vegan myself I’m not willing to say for sure, but here’s the ingredients for those of you more in the know:


My thoughts – primer:

As a primer, I’m a big fan of Hydra Gem. I take my view of primers from information I gained from Rae Morris, who says in her book Makeup Masterclass that primers are essentially moisturisers but with silicones added to help extend the length of makeup. She explains that the point is to have as few products under your makeup as possible so it doesn’t slide around (and therefore off). So by that reasoning, primers aren’t intended to EXTEND the life of your makeup so much as they are intended to provide skin care benefits without SHORTENING makeup life. Make sense?
In that sense, Hydra Gem is a winner for me. Because it’s water-based, it works perfectly with the vast majority of my foundations. Whilst it doesn’t contain silicones, it doesn’t really seem to need to as it’s light enough to not affect my makeup. It basically means one less product in the morning under my foundation as I don’t have to moisturise as well.

I compared Hydra Gem to two of my other favourite primers: Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer and Benefit Porefessional. Hydra Gem holds its own against both. Neither of the other two performed any better in keeping my makeup on under my Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation. At the end of the day, my foundation was still intact despite my oil-slick prone skin.

I also did the good old “half face” test and applied Hydra Gem under my makeup to only half of my face. Once again, it held up fine. Because I was using Estee Lauder Double Wear, I found that even my non-primed half lasted fine, but it meant that half of my face was not moisturised which is not ideal. Again, coming back to my view of primers in general, this is a win for me.

My thoughts – serum:

As I’ve mentioned approximately a million times throughout this blog, I have pretty badly oily skin. I consequently forever balk away from moisturisers and serums because I’m petrified of them being too heavy and breaking me out. I’ve been using Hydra Gem for a few weeks now and I’ve not had this problem. My skin looks brighter and firmer (probably because it’s finally getting the moisture it’s desperately been needing – oops) and whilst I still get the occasional breakouts, these seem to be more hormonal than anything and haven’t increased since using Hydra Gem. All in all, very happy with how it’s performed in this regard as well.

Other random thoughts:

Probably worth noting that although Hydra Gem is technically fragrance-free in that they haven’t ADDED fragrances to it, I think it does have a definite smell to it. Personally I find it really pleasant, but it’s not insubstantial, so if you hate products that have a noticeable scent it may not be suitable for you. It won’t, however, irritate your skin if that’s your concern.


The verdict and offer:

So, would I recommend Hydra Gem? Absolutely. Would I buy it? For sure. Would I continue to use it? You bet. What more can I really say? It works, the price is comparable to primers that work equally well but because it’s multipurpose it’s ultimately better value. It’s Australian made and not tested on animals, and it contains skin care ingredients which my limited knowledge immediately recognises as being some of the big names.

Disclaimer: all views provided above are my honest opinion of products which were gifted to me. This has not, however, influenced my opinions in any way and I am entitled to provide any criticisms as I see fit and necessary. I have not been paid to write this post.

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