Saturday, May 25, 2013

Smashbox Photo Finish Hydrating Foundation Primer

I have recently put my Clarins Instant Touch Primer away for the season, I love this thick, creamy foundation primer in cold weather but it is too rich for the warm weather months.  I first reviewed that formula about two years ago during one of my French Theme Weeks and I have been using and buying it again ever since.  However this is a formula that is only good in cold weather since the texture is a thick balm and will get oily as soon as the spring weather begins.  I put this formula away at the very beginning of this month and I then ordered a lighter formula from the Sephora website and I have been using it over the past two weeks...with great results so far.  I chose a Smashbox formula because I have a close friend who swears by their primers and face products and I wanted to try them out for myself.

The primer formulation from Smashbox has often been among the top rated products on the Sephora website and has won Allure awards for several years running.  I believe that the original formula is still the best selling and I was surprised at how many versions are available for purchase now, after my experience with the Hydrating Foundation Primer, I know that I will be buying every single one that will work for my skin type and that this product line lives up to all the hype around it.  I believe that the original formula Smashbox primer was one of the first primers that I ever saw at Sephora...before I even truly understood what a primer was or how to use it for best results. 

I believe that I first saw this primer formula when I began visiting the Sephora in King of Prussia while I was still in college.  At this time, this was the only Sephora that was available to me and when I would visit, I was most interested in the major products (NARS Orgasm Blush, Chanel fragrances) and wasn't paying attention to all less glamorous products on the shelves.  I am so glad that Sephora has come much closer to me and that I have learned a lot more about beauty in the last eight years!

I ordered this primer formula from the Sephora website, "A hydrating foundation primer that leaves an immediate cooling, refreshing sensation on the skin.  Hydration is essential for healthier, younger looking skin and makeup that just looks better. Give your complexion a moisture boost while creating a perfect canvas for foundation application with this lightweight, oil-free formula. It contains Hydraplex12 extract derived from desert plants, which allows the primer to immediately quench parched skin and seal in moisture for hours with a protective barrier that fills in fine lines and pores."

This formula is a very lightweight gel texture, it is the polar opposite from the Clarins formula that I have been using for months before ordering this product.  The product description states that it has a cooling sensation when applied to the skin and while this is a slight exaggeration, I can feel an immediate difference in my skin surface when this product is applied.  The primer formula sinks into my skin quickly and easily, it sank it so well the first time that I was unsure that I had the correct amount on my finger for application, I used less than a dime sized drop and I learned after several applications that this is the perfect amount of product to cover my whole face and then to work down into my neck and chin.  I use less of this product than I have of the Clarins or the MAC Prep + Prime formula.

What results do I see from this product?  After using it on moisturized skin, my foundation or BB Cream spreads on my easier and I have to use less product to cover my whole face.  I do not have fine lines to fill in but I was interested to see how it affected the appearance on and size of the visible pores on my T-Zone.  I can see a reduction in the appearance of them and then my foundation or BB Cream almost completely gets rid of their appearance, this is my favorite aspect of this product.  It creates a smooth appearance to my skin without making me look "made up" and my skin still looks very natural after my makeup application.  This formula makes my makeup stay in place all day long and never gets heavy, I have noticed that it doesn't stand up very well to sweating during a work out (however most primers aren't made for this so I don't hold it against the product) but it works very well for normal activities.  This will be a great formula to use in the summer months and I look forward to seeing results from it all summer long!

After using this product, I can see why the Smashbox Primers are cult favorites and why they are always recommended by Sephora associates and beauty magazines, I now want to start using more face products from Smashbox and will be adding more primers from this line to my makeup collection.  I think that the Hydrating formula will be a constant favorite of mine since it works perfectly with my skin (at least in warm weather - I don't know if it will work as well in the cold weather when my skin gets very dry) and I know that I will repurchase this formula over and over again.  I am now looking at foundation and concealer formulas from this company for when I need to replace these products!

photo courtesy of Sephora

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