The mixed reviews on MUA really put me off buying this product at first so I felt the need to put my thoughts out there. I really think your experience will depend on what you're hoping for and for some people this is an excellent product! I've only been using this a day and have been so impressed.
I normally have skin that is on the oily side and whilst I don't usually have really terrible acne I am blemish prone. I particularly tend to get monthly hormonal spots on my chin. For some reason, last month I had a particularly bad breakout which just didn't go away after a few days the way they normally do. They were also leaving dark pigmentation/scars after they went. This was so frustrating, as every day it seemed like new spots appeared. I started to get worried about my wedding next year (what if THIS is going on then? what would I do?). I think I've already got a fairly good skincare routine going so it wasn't a case of cleansing more thoroughly or anything. I had tried topical treatments including benzoyl peroxide and I think this has triggered some kind of eczema/dermatitis so I wanted to stop using asap. Having done some more research I realised I should probably be using a salicylic acid product instead, as I was pretty sure this has suited my skin in the past. I didn't think changing my cleanser would be the most effective as you wash most of the product off during the cleansing process. I was therefore looking for either an "on the spot" treatment or a daytime product that would stay on my skin all day (e.g. moisturiser). I consulted Paula's choice because I wanted something formulated at the right pH to be effective with as few irritants as possible (my skin can be slightly sensitive). I'm not a big fan of her self-marketing and really wanted something off the shelf so I could start quickly, but most of the recommended products aren't available where I live (typical). The one that I did find fairly easily was Smashbox but the price put me off - could I really justify paying so much for something that might not work? I didn't really want a primer anyway...
I walked away the first time leaving it on the shelf but in the end, out of desperation I took the plunge. I am so glad I did. I kept everything else the same but applied the primer after cleanser/toner in the morning. I didn't bother with moisturiser because I don't always need it anyway and the packaging stated that the product works best next to bare skin. I only used it once in the morning because I'm still using an AHA in the evening and I thought it might be too much. In the afternoon I also put on a full face of makeup because I was going out and wanted to cover up! Over the course of the day (even under my makeup!) I could feel that the spots were drying up/becoming less red and irritated and the next day I couldn't believe how much my face had improved. I'm so happy with what this has done and so relieved not to have any new spots today! I'm throwing out my other topicals because they clearly weren't doing anything (Paula wasn't too impressed either, should have listened to her in the first place - ha!).
I've only recently started using primers and have never used Smashbox's regular Photo Finish. I'm prepared to believe this one isn't as good from a primer point of view (I like the texture of it just fine, but then I'm not really a primer fan). If you already have an HG primer, don't bother trying to replace it with this one. If you already have pretty good skin and are thinking of switching to this one because you're oily you also might be disappointed. If, like me, you want a product for occasional use that works throughout the day to get rid of breakouts QUICKLY that you can wear under your makeup this might be the stuff for you.
The main downside for me is the price, which is far too much for a daily product. However, because it's WORKING, I will keep using this whilst I have spots and then probably switch to a cheaper moisturiser/primer in between breakouts to make the bottle last longer as other people have commented that it doesn't seem to have a preventative effect on breakouts. I'm still going to look around for a cheaper equivalent that I can use daily but I'm still happy to have found an option that works so fast for my skin. I've knocked a lippie off purely for the price as it is making me really careful about how much I use, when I would prefer to be using this every day. Hope this helps someone in a similar position!
Not very good with the whole "blemish control" thing so if you have oily skin, don't expect a miracle. But like make up girls know, green color does do a great job of covering red. So if you have roseacea or any type of red on your skin that lays flat this is better for that verses acne (when worn under foundation of course.) a little goes a long way.
I'm rather torn about this product. I have combination skin, a little oily in some places and a bit dry in others. I also suffer from hormonal acne that comes and goes. I was really hoping this would be a miracle primer for my skin, but it doesn't quite work miracles. I've been using it a couple weeks now and I will say that the blemish control aspect seems to be working! Last week I deveolped 2 cystic pimples on my chin and they cleared up in about 3 days, compared to the 5 or 6 days it usually takes for that kind of blemish to heal. I also feel that the pores on my nose are a bit clearer. I haven't experienced any irritation or redness which is a huge plus. My skin is also pretty "balanced", not too oily or too dry. However, as a primer it's not that great. My makeup doesn't last any longer or stay looking any fresher than without the primer. It contains silicone but lacks the velvety smooth feeling other silicone based primers have. That might be a huge pro for some people, as I know some hate the silicone-y feeling. My foundation also doesn't apply as smoothly over this and I do feel like it doesn't look as nice compared to other primers I've tried. I may try layering this with a more traditional primer and see how it goes, I might have to use both products to get the best of both worlds. I don't think I'll but it again, though. At $42USD for 1 oz. it's pretty pricey to not be perfect.
EDIT: I just noticed some reviewers are stating that the green color of the primer is good for covering redness, this primer is not green. Only the tube is green, the product is a milky translucent white color.
This stuff is just okay..... I have oily skin and got tired of seeing my foundation on the counters at work and on papers...it was embarrsassing......now granted I do have less makeup marks at work and the product is beneficial but its not anything I would spend the $36 again.....I have heard better things when using monistat...
When I use a makekup primer I expect my face to have a WOW factor and to look flawless with n pores in sight.....and unfortunately this didnt do it for me
This is the first primer I've used, so I can't compare it to anything unfortunately - except using no primer. Comparing it to that then, it definitely does keep makeup on longer and does help with oil control. Usually after a couple hours without primer, my skin will soak a whole blotting sheet, but this primer does keep the oil at bay. Unfortunately, I find I have to use a lot of it because it soaks into the skin rather then glides.
I also haven't noticed any reduction in my acne.
Overall, I would say it does it's job, but I'll be looking for something else when this runs out.
If you have oily and acne prone skin, a better bet is the Smashbox photo finish light primer. I tried this one after using the light primer and it felt way too greasy on my face and didn't absorb nicely like the light one. I have extremely oily skin with acne and have to say this almost felt worse on my face than if i hadn't used anything at all.
Based on my experience with using Too Faced Primed & Poreless Primer and Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer SPF 15, this did not live up to my expectations. Let me tell you why..
First off, I did not notice any difference when using this primer, compared to using other primers that do NOT have blemish control entities. Maybe it is just my skin, but I do not develop blemishes from using primer, nor do I normally get blemishes anyways - so I can't really vouch for whether this primer does any good with complexions that suffer with blemishes.
Theoretically speaking, I can see why this might be beneficial in killing 2 birds with 1 stone because it prolongs the wear of your foundation while fighting/preventing blemishes.
The texture is similar to a gel moisturizer. It is light, and sinks in relatively fast. My face feels fresh upon application. Unlike other primers, it does not make my skin feel velvety smooth. It does not 'blur' any pores/blackheads..not that I think primers can do that anyways.
I usually let it sink into my skin for 2-3 minutes before applying foundation. My foundation does not go on any smoother with this primer compared to NOT using primer. My foundation however, does go on smoother with other primers such as the Too Faced, or the Hourglass one. Don't know if this is a deal breaker or not, but it didn't affect the end result of how my foundation looked on my skin after the application.
While this primer does prolong the wear of my foundation, it does not make it last as long as other primers that I have used. Ive notice some fading of my foundation, as well as some oils on my t-zone breaking through. However, it does the job.
I won't repurchase this primer. It doesn't as well of a job compared to my other primers, nor do I feel like the blemish control of this benefit my skin.
I have very oily skin, with dry patches, acne, and large pores - fantastic. I don't wear heavy makeup, just a light BB cream or Halo foundation over my primer.
This Blemish Control primer was a huge let down. For people who haven't tried different primers, I can see them being impressed with it. But this is much more like a LOTION than a primer. I don't feel like it does anything at all to help reduce the appearance of lines or pores. I also haven't seen an improvement in acne. In fact, it's made my dry patches worse (salicylic acid would be the culprit). When I put my makeup overtop, I don't notice a difference at all. I've also noticed the opposite of a lot of people, in that with this primer, I have to use much more than other primers because of how much skin soaks up the lotion-like properties.
I almost exclusively use Smashbox products, and have tried a few of their primers (Photo Finish, Photo Finish LIGHT). I've also used a primer by Quo, which I found comparable to Smashbox Photo Finish, but is cheaper. The Quo and Smashbox Photo Finish primers are beautifully silky smooth and make your skin feel like a million bucks. And you use so much less because the silky product glides over your skin, filling in lines and pores, versus being sucked up by your skin. If you have the option of testing them on your finger print, you can instantly feel the difference between the Photo Finish and the Blemish Control primers. Unfortunately, nowhere I found had samples of Blemish Control.
All in all, I wouldn't recommend the Blemish Control primer for someone with similar skin issues to mine. I wouldn't actually recommend it to anyone, because I don't think it really works as a primer, and if you want acne control, you can find a product specific to that for much cheaper. I will stick with regular Photo Finish, or something cheaper.
Love! I have super oily skin and this stuff makes amy makeup last, and doesn't break me out. As far as I can tell, it seems to work pretty well with the acne-control. It's also really lightweight, and a little goes a long way, making it cost-effective.
This is a great primer as it helps my makeup last all day and it goes on nicely with a very lightweight finish. However, I bought it b/c its suppose to help treat/prevent acne but it does absolutely nothing. I have not noticed a decrease in my breakouts in the last few months ive been using this primer. This primer is also very expensive for the amount you get but thankfully a lot goes a long way so one tube lasts a long time. If I couldnt find another cheaper primer I preferred I would repurchase for sure, just wish it was cheaper!