January 25, 2015 | 2153 users online

Primer/ Corrector - Almay - Smart Shade CC Luminous Primer

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rated 4.0(57 reviews)

  • Average Rating: 4.0
  • 73% would buy again
  • Package Quality: 4.5
  • Price: $$$

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rated 2 of 5 on 1/25/2015 10:59:00 AM More reviews by catgrrl

Age: 30-35 Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Warm Hair: Brunette, Straight, Fine Eyes: Brown

I bought this for my wedding due to all the hype and great reviews, and I have to say, I was very disappointed. The packaging is great, and the price, but that's about it. There are two main problems that I had: the color and the effectiveness. This primer does have a nice, glowy sheen to it, but it made my pores look way bigger and just sat on top of my skin, making my foundation streaky. Even if I could manage to make my foundation look even when using it, they both still just sat on my face, making the texture of my skin look orange-peely and rough. My foundation is more difficult to apply and looks worse when I apply it over this. I've tried mixing them together, I've tried more and less moisturizer, nothing works.

The other problem is the color. It is not a colorless primer and I found that it was far too pinky-white for my skin (I am a very light olive shade). I am a light-skinned woman, but I have a greenish-Mediterranean (Italian) skin tone and anyone with any yellow in their skin at all will have to deal with the pink tone of this primer. I can't imagine it really working for anyone other than ultra-white people, like redheads or people of Irish extraction. If I can manage to tone down the unnatural pink-white tone with a bronzer and just get the dewy sheen coming through then I feel okay leaving the house, but its tricky because it takes quite a bit of bronzer in just the right shade, and requires more skillful application than I usually have time for. As a result, I almost never use it. I will not repurchase.

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rated 5 of 5 on 1/24/2015 5:17:00 PM More reviews by Lauren1686

Age: 25-29 Skin: Normal, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Brown, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

This is the BEST! It's light, and goes on very smooth. It also absorbs very fast. I get very dry skin in the winter, but this has solved that! My makeup goes on smooth and even. I don't have to touch up my makeup because it stays in place all day. You only need a little bit, it goes a long way. Another great thing is that it has sunscreen. Usually sunscreen lotions have a funky smell but this primer has a very light, pleasant scent. I will definitely be buying this again! I'm recommending it all my friends!

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rated 5 of 5 on 12/29/2014 12:32:00 PM More reviews by amandaisart

Age: 18 & Under Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure Hair: Blond, Other, Other Eyes: Blue

This is my second primer, the first being Maybelline's Baby Skin, and I really love it. Thr two foundations I'm working through right now are both long wearing, matte foundations designed for oilier skin, so they tend to dull my skimn a bit; I love this primer because it helps my skin keep a healthy appearance all day, and helps with the longetivity of my makeup overall. It feels like a lotion and sinks in quickly, and after five minutes or so, my makeup applies very smoothly and evenly. I've had it for about 6 months or so and I'm about halfway done with it, but when I finish, I'll definitely repurchase.

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rated 5 of 5 on 12/22/2014 2:38:00 PM More reviews by sabs16

Age: 30-35 Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure Hair: Black, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

This is my HG!!! The price is a bit steep for a drug store product BUT if you get it on special I would absolutely suggest that you give it a try. I'm in love! I have nothing bad to say! My makeup doesn't crease when using this. I wear it every single day. I prefer this over L'Oreal Lumi Primer ANY DAY

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rated 5 of 5 on 12/22/2014 2:11:00 AM More reviews by javadahlia

Age: 36-43 Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Blond, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

This is exactly what I've been looking for. It's winter, my skin is dull and has dry patches that I just cannot get rid of. This eliminated all my problems. I put on moisturizer, then put this all over my face, use a little concealer under my eyes then put powder all over. My face looks flawless and brighter, more alive looking. Love this! I'm a little puzzled why some reviewers say it has a strong smell. I don't smell much of anything. I know if makeup that has sunscreen in it gets old it will have a very strong nasty smell. My only wish is that this came in other tints like purple or green or even a candlelight type version. Regardless it's an awesome product.

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rated 5 of 5 on 12/22/2014 1:50:00 AM More reviews by marchflower

Age: 36-43 Skin: Other, Other, Not Sure Hair: Other, Other, Other Eyes: Other

I love this stuff! This is my first primer and I really love it. I don't know why some complain about the smell. I could barely even smell the sunscreen in it. I don't like heavy fragrances near my face either but anyways. It feels so smooth and I don't see my flakey patches everywhere anymore. I think almay should come out with more colors in this tho.

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rated 1 of 5 on 12/6/2014 9:40:00 PM More reviews by Gerosee

Age: 19-24 Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Other

Like many others I bought this based on its great reviews ,but ..WTH I'm disappointed the fragrance irritated my skin (sensitive) and I'd noticed a new blemish after every time I'd use this , which is not the first time this has happened with a primer but still it's disappointing and I did give this a good amount of tries but it just wasn't for me, anyone else with the same problems I suggest Mac strobe cream instead

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rated 4 of 5 top reviewer on 11/22/2014 10:51:00 PM More reviews by socalsuperstar

Age: 30-35 Skin: Combination, Other, Not Sure Hair: Blond, Other, Other Eyes: Blue

I admit, I picked up this product on a whim. That said, I think it is a great buy for the money. I think these products are destined to have a lot of good and bad reviews as our skin tones, textures, other products used, needs etc are all different. It looked like the Benefit illuminating primer and that is what caught my eye. I do not do really silicone like primers because I detest the texture and find that they suffocate my skin and break it out. This had a nice texture. I bought this primarily for day/work use so my makeup would stay in place. It is effective for that. The color cast of the illuminating factor also works well against my light to medium cool toned skin. It makes my skin look more awake. I used my YSL Fusion ink foundation over it today and my True Match over it yesterday. The primer was good under both textures.

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rated 1 of 5 on 11/12/2014 10:37:00 AM More reviews by wheaty

Age: 44-55 Skin: Other, Other, Not Sure Hair: Other, Other, Other Eyes: Other

I don't post reviews often but was looking for a different primer and because of the good reviews, tried this Almay primer. I put it on for the first time this morning and am shocked that it got good reviews. I have light olive combination skin and found that it left a weird shine (not illuminating) on my face. I had the worst time putting on my foundation. It was hard to blend and I felt as if it was dragging. I can't wait to get home to wash this crap off my face. Into the trash this goes!

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rated 1 of 5 top reviewer on 11/11/2014 12:33:00 PM More reviews by cathykl

Age: 30-35 Skin: Combination, Olive, Warm Hair: Brunette, Straight, Medium Eyes: Brown

My skin: Combination, clog-prone, dehydration-prone and sensitive to many fragrance ingredients. Warm golden yellow and olive skin, my foundation matches: MUFE HD in #153 Golden Honey, MAC SFF in NC40-42/F&B in C5 or C6, L'Oreal True Match in W6, NARS The Radiant Cream in Barcelona.


+ inexpensive and easy to find in most drugstores
+ comes in a hygienic pump bottle

- physical SPF (which means flashback, especially for anyone of medium or deeper skintones, like myself - this made me look sickly and very pale in photos, with a noticeable difference between my chest/neck and face. . ugh)
- leaves a pinky white sheen which is not really flattering on golden/warm/olive skintones. This is probably best for those with lighter skin, and used in small amounts
- although it is easy to blend, it feels heavy and thick on my skin
- dries to a slightly sticky/tacky finish

As you can tell by my pro's and con's this didn't work well for me. It gave me an unnatural "plasticky" sheen, which looked more weird than luminous. My sister said it looked "metallic" - even when just dabbed onto cheekbones. I much prefer a more hydrating, fluid formula such as Becca's Perfecting.

I also really dislike that Almay decided to slap physical SPF (Zinc Oxide/Titianium Dioxide) into this primer, because as most people have heard over and over again - physical SPF can cause flashback in photos and more importantly, it has to be used liberally to provide the stated SPF (1/4 sp) which means caking on primer to the point of looking like you have a face covered in diaper rash cream. SPF ingredients also tend to break me out or clog my pores. Although the aforementioned Becca also contains SPF, because I use it on top of make-up and in such a small amount, it doesn't bother me (but again, I'd prefer it not be there). The Almay formula would probably have been more lightweight, easy to wear and overall a better product had Almay left out the SPF. . . but I know many like SPF in all products which is why they probably added it. If I ever see them bring out a more peachy-toned primer with no SPF, I'd try it out.

This primer also didn't make my skin look better or more "airbrushed" (which is what I get from other primers such as GA, YSL, even L'Oreals etc) but instead made my look worse, like I was ill or something. The sheen is just very unnatural. This stuff is also drying, which meant after a few hours I could see small cracks in my skin (like dehydration lines) with shimmer in them. Granted, yes they went away completely after removing the primer, but I'd rather not look like shedding snake at work.

Bottom line, I would not repurchase, it's simply not flattering on my skintone and I dislike the formulation. This may be a better choice for those with non-clog/acne/dehydration-prone skin who are on the fair to medium light side with cool to more neutral undertones versus warm.

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