I actually like this product more than Smashbox's Photo Finish. This product is slightly thicker than photo finish. It actually covered up the ugly pores on my nose, hallelujah. I don't really know how this product works, supposedly it is a primer that works with light to smooth your skin out so it doesn't clog pores? I don't know, but this sufff works. It's a little on the expensive side, but I've been using it for a couple of months now and still has half left.
This is the best primer on the market hands down. It gives great coverage, smooths out the skin so well so quickly--and you only need so little to cover the entire face. Gives nice matte finish, which I like. I love the fine, very light, and sort of creamy texture of this primer--yet it never be sticky. This primer seems to moisturize my skin, never gives that uncomfortable drying feeling. With this I only need the very little amount of foundation. AND more importantly, this primer never irritates my very sensitive skin (I am allergic to so many cosmetic products). I will definitely re-purchase this product. Highly recommended! This is Clarin's best selling product.
Wow I am impressed with this product and have only been using for a week. I have an oily t-zone, SD and am acne prone so in theory, this product should not be so perfect for me but it is!!
One thing to note is that this will NOT mattify your skin. So oily-skinned gals like myself need to address this before applying the primer. I do this by wearing a great physical sunblock (I like Japanese ones such as Shiseido SPF55 lotion, Kanebo Allie or Mentholatum Sunplay UV Moisture Milk).
So after applying my sunscreen and letting it dry, I apply the teensiest amount of this primer to my t-zone. It sets pretty quickly so I don't wait long before applying my mineral makeup (Everyday Minerals Semi Matte). Without primer, I was getting about 4-5 hours of wear from my MMU before it would dissolve into ugly, greasy patches. Those days are gone. I am now getting a full day out of my MMU! I blot once in the middle of the day and that's it. For me, this is pretty miraculous!
My only complaint is that it doesn't quite conceal my nose pores but mine are pretty darn big - I can deal. Some might also not like the jar packaging but Clarins gives you a cute little spatula to use - so again, I can deal. The jar is generously sized - I can see this is going to last a long time because you use so little per application, therefore price is not much of a problem either. All in all, this is a fantastic primer.
EDIT 28 Dec 08: I've been using this pretty much daily and I have recently noticed some clogged pores appearing on my forehead. I suspect it is the cones in this product that is causing the problem. I will not be changing my rating of this product because it is great and does what it claims to do. But do proceed with caution! I may unfortunately need to stop using this for a while.
This contains acacia micro-pearls which are like tiny sponges that use the natural moisture of the skin to expand and fill in lines/pores making the skin's surface smoother in appearance and feel. Use a light hand when applying this product. Customers that tell me it feels heavy, their makeup slides off, or they experience clogged pores are 95% of the time putting on too thick of a layer. (The other 5% just have very sensitive skin which reacts to everything.) Start with a small dab about the size of a No.2 pencil eraser, and tap/press it onto (don't spread) areas of the face that have fine lines or visible pores. For myself, I use this only around the eyes, nose, and cheeks when using powder or cream foundation. When using liquid foundation, I'll pre-mix the small dab of instant smooth into a nickel-sized amount of the liquid foundation. It makes the foundation go on smoother and also prevent streaking or fading by midday. I do wish that the packaging could be more sanitary...but I like that this comes with a small spatula so I don't have to be dipping my fingers into the jar each time.
I received a sample of this at Sephora. I used it 3 times and it just does not work for me. My skin is a bit sensitve with an oily t-zone. I loved the way it felt when I applied it and it smoothed out my skin nicely. However by midday pores on my cheeks were visible and my t-zone was shiny. I normally use Clinique Pore Minimizer and I only use it on my t-zone! And I get no shininess until the evening. I only apply to my cheeks in summer humidity. The Clarins also made my skin feel kind of itchy. Back to my HG Pore Minimizer!
I almost liked this. I tried it in a variety of ways...just on wrinkles, with my foundation, alone, under tinted moisturizer. I like the results for the most part but it never lasted. I the smoothing quality seemed to disappear. Overall, I've loved other primers more, so I won't be buying this one again.
I think this was an okay product. Didn't really make my makeup last longer but it did apply easier. It actually made my foundation a shade lighter too. So, I HAD to apply bronzer afterwards or it looked like my foundation was a wrong match. Also, makes my pores look like whiteheads! That was the only thing I REALLY hated about this product!!
It is excellent make-up base. Although it seems very heavy and when applied at first it seems a bit oily, but in fact it isn't. It leaves my skin very smooth and mattifys my skin. The only problem is with package, which doesn't seems very hygienic, although you get small spatula with it.
update. I just realized that it is also excellent eyeshadow base.
At first I loved this product - it evened my skin tone and made the imperfections less visible. But it think it causes me breakouts. I'll giv it another try because it's pretty expensive...
This is what Clarins has to say about Instant Smooth... "The perfect marriage of make-up and skin care for a spectacular beauty effect. A magical melting, invisible texture perfectly smoothes the skin by leaving an imperceptible veil over its surface. Wrinkles and fine lines are visually minimized to guarantee a flawless complexion".
That's a lot of hype to live up to and Clarins does a great job of doing so. So far they have come closer to giving me a "flawless complexion" that any other primer has. I apply this to my forehead and the area around my nose where I have a few few visible pores. My foundation goes on smoother and my pores are definitely minimized. My foundation looks great all day with this. On lazy days I can get away just applying ISPT and a bit of mineral foundation mixed with silica powder (either MUFE Hi Def or PL silica [wrote a review for PL. Do yourself a favor and order a sample]) This gives me a great natural look.
The one thing that bums me out about this product is the jar it comes in. I'm not usually a germaphobe but I can see a jar lasting long enough to brew up something good and nasty. Clarins does provide a cute, wee spatula to scoop it out with. In all honesty though, I fully expect to lose the dang thing on the jungle that is my dresser.
It doesn't do anything as far as mattifying but it doesn't claim too either so I guess I can't be mad. There is no SPF added to this primer. But this makes total sense. It probably takes about 2-3 weeks of daily use to get close to the 1/4 tsp of product that is needed to achieve the SPF stated on products. Since you only need a dab of, a jar will last quite some time. A jar costs $28 USD . I expect this jar to last anywhere from 6-12 months so it costs about $4.66 to $2.33 a month.
Overall... Clarins has a winner! The product does what they say it does and is def HG material. A sample has made it to the ever-ready, just in case, travel mu kit.
Skin type= Combo with the occasional hormonal breakout. Tone= DDD w/ golden undertones, NC 50