This product didn't do anything good or bad for my skin. Just added an extra step in my routine. Complete waste of money.
I am not completely convinced that this product works, but I'm pretty sure it does. I have combination skin, with a severely oily t-zone. I did not start having acne problems until I was in my mid to late twenties, so I had no need for a primer, as I had no need for foundation. Now I'm in my early thirties, and I break out all the time. My nose and chin get red, so I need to wear concealer. I break out, so I need cover up. A vicious cycle, indeed. I find that I break out much less when I use this under my Dr. Jart black label BB cream (or any of my other sub par foundations), and that none of said foundations or my BB cream sink into the terribly large pores in my nose when I'm wearing this (as they do if I don't apply this beforehand, and it is not pretty. Crater Lake.)
Kudos, Smashbox. I should note that I haven't tried any other primers except Laura Mericer and the regular Smashbox primer.
I got a small sample of this in an ulta order I made and I thought i would try it out on my chin and forehead since they breakout often.
when I first applied it felt smooth and refreshing on my face, but all this primer did was make my makeup peel. (btw I used a liquid foundation so maybe powder would work better)
My chin is now breaking out more so I'm not buying its fighting acne claim. (though whether this is due to this product though is debatable) Sadly I wouldn't my it again for my oily skin.
When winter came around a few months ago, my skin went from pretty good (occasional small blemish) to a spotty mess.
- blackheads & oiliness on my nose, chin and cheeks but normal/dry elsewhere
- said blackheads on my left cheek turned in to cystic pimples about 3 months ago
- said pimples have left red marks (PIH) which was taking forever to fade
- general dullness/uneven complexion
So after doing a lot of research online, it seemed a BHA salicylic acid product was required. This Smashbox Primer got a "best" review from Paula's Choice as an effective chemical exfoliant, and it promised to deliver quick and effective results for people with my skin concerns. I needed something to clean my pores, fade my PIH and prevent future breakouts.
This product has delivered. I cannot rave about it enough. My blackheads started disappearing within 24 hours of applying it to my skin. Five days later, I have no blackheads on my chin, cheek or forehead. Only a few pesky stubborn ones remain on my nose. My pores are smaller, my complexion is brighter and less oil is being produced. My PIH has faded considerably in that week to the point where I no longer have to add concealer to my spots.
I would have to say this is my HG - I use it as a primer under makeup in the morning, then again at night (I mix it with Olay Night Resurfacing Elixir which has AHA in it). In the morning, I wake up with baby-smooth, bright, clear skin. No congestion, no horrible red PIH.
The only bad thing about this product is the price - $60+ from Mecca...ouch! But because it has literally transformed my skin and fixed all of my problems, I would happily re-purchase. Love love love!
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.