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Let’s talk primers today. I have said it before and I’ll say it again: good preparation is already half the work, and that goes for make-up as well. Preparing your skin with a primer really affects the end result of your make-up. Today I am testing and reviewing four primers for you, all from Smashbox.
Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer – Light
Many of you may already know the (can I say legendary?) Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer, but for this review I tested the Light version and the Hydrating version. The Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer – Light consists of 60% water and is basically the light version of the original. I guess you could compare it to light cheese: you get all the good from the original, but without the fat. Only here you replace the word fat with shine. I compared the Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer – Light to a few samples I had of the original Photo Finish Foundation Primer, and indeed, the formula feels lighter and keeps my skin more matte. So this primer is perfect for oily skin.
Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer – Hydrating
The Hydrating version is basically the opposite of the Light version. The cream cheese of the Smashbox foundation primers, you could say. Or Roquefort maybe, because this primer is blue instead of white. The Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer – Hydrating is oil-free, like all Smashbox primers, but provides the skin with extra moisture to keep it intensely hydrated. This makes it ideal for dry skin. My skin is on the oily side, so I didn’t think it would be a good idea to try this foundation on my whole face. I do have some dry patches and flakey bits around my nostrils and on the sides of my face, so I decided to locally apply the primer there. And indeed, with the Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer – Hydrating under my foundation I don’t have any dry patches or flakey skin anymore. Just like the Light version, this primer helps me to apply my foundation a lot more easily and it makes it look nice and even.
Smashbox Photo Finish Lid Primer
There are also an eye lid primer and an under eye primer in Smashbox’s primer range. The Smashbox Photo Finish Lid Primer is intended to be used under your eyeshadow, and believe me when I say that using this eye lid primer makes a world of difference. With or without eye lid primer, it really matters. I am sure you’ll be fine without, but the result with the eye lid primer is just so much better. So that makes the choice very simple. Why would you go for a simple cheese platter if you can have a big one with a glass of red wine and grapes as well? (God, I really need to eat something, I am going way overboard with these cheese analogies…) The cheese, eh excuse me, the Lid Primer is quite thick and is skin-colored. So it’s an eyeshadow base but also a concealer, because it camouflages for example the little red veins you sometimes see on your eye lid. The primer also boosts the color intensity of your eshadow and helps it to stay put all day without creasing or fading. I also notice that the primer changes the color of your eyeshadow a bit. I haven’t decided yet whether I like or dislike that little side effect…
Smashbox Photo Finish Hydrating Under Eye Primer
The Smashbox Photo Finish Hydrating Under Eye Primer, finally, is a primer for the area under your eyes. The skin there is thinner and more sensitive and needs some extra care. And it gets that from Smashbox’s Under Eye Primer. The primer is white, lightweight and silky-soft. I sometimes find it difficult to make my under eye concealer look flawless, but with Smashbox’s Under Eye Primer as a basis my concealer just glides on and looks perfectly smooth and even. Hey, no cheese analogy in this paragraph, look at that!
Even before trying these primers I was convinced of the benefits of using make-up primers, and these four Smashbox primers confirm that I was right. The Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer – Light makes me skin nice and smooth and helps me to apply my foundation a lot quicker and more even, for a nicer and more flawless result. The Hydrating version does the same thing, but is more suitable for dry skin. A nice little plus: unlike the original Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer, both these primers don’t contain any silicones.
Smashbox’s Lid Primer and Hydrating Under Eye Primer make applying my eyeshadow and under eye concealer so much easier. While the Lid Primer performs very well, it doesn’t manage to beat my all-time favorite, the Too Faced Shadow Insurance primer. Then again, no other eye lid primer has managed to win that battle so far. So let me put it this way: the Too Faced Shadow Insurance primer is fantastic, and the Smashbox Photo Finish Lid Primer is very good. The Hydrating Under Eye Primer, finally, didn’t have any stiff competition to beat and managed to conquer a spot on my list of current favorites straight away.
The Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer – Light, the Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer – Hydrating, and the Smashbox Photo Finish Lid Primer are all available at Marionnaud for respectively 44 CHF, 48 CHF and 26 CHF. The Hydrating Under Eye Primer is part of Smashbox’s Photo Finish Primer Set that costs 30 CHF.
Do you also believe in the benefits of using make-up primers? What is your favorite primer?