I don't understand all of the negative reviews on this because ever since I started using it several months ago I just can't go a day without using it. It really does what it is supposed to and I'm quite happy. As someone who has acne prone sensitive skin and has to powder her nose every hour it's been a lifesaver. It doesn't cause me to break out. It feels light on the skin, my pores look smaller, my makeup goes on and stays on (I only wear a little tinted moisturizer and some concealer if necessary), and best of all it really cuts down on shine and any greasy feeling on my face.
I got this as part of a Smashbox kit, and was excited to try it. I have large pores, and rough skin, so I have always been on the hunt for the perfect primer to help smooth things out. This hunt was not a success. The packaging was fine in a tube, no real smell or anything. It has a thin silicone "slip" feel, but upon application to the skin does not seem to do anything to help fill in pores or even out the skin. While I know it will take a miracle for a product to make my skin look flawless, the price of this as an individual product ($16 I think), justifies my high expectations. This just created a slick layer that my foundation sat on top of. Not in a good way. The foundation was moving around all day, sliding on the slippery silicones. My Colorstay got up and went! I tried this with a mineral foundation, 3 or 4 other foundation, but came up with nothing but some new zits (I don't seem to do well with -cone products) and a lot of frustration. Pure Luxe Eraser is a far better product, though still silicone based. It is thick and actually works like spackle which is the whole point of primer! Even Monostat chafing gel is better than this!
Rotten product, would not recommend. They should be ashamed of what they provide for the money they charge.
The only reason that I would not buy this product again was because I broke out after a day of using this. By breakout, I mean allergic-type bumps on my face, not acne breakout. For a product made for "sensitive" skin, I was disappointed. It was pretty expensive, too ($39 for the full-size pump), but I'm sure it would have lasted a long time and would have been worth the price if I weren't allergic to it.
I have "normal" skin, meaning not oily or dry. This product did make my blush look smoother and evened out tone when I applied my makeup, but did not make that noticeable of a difference.
For reference, I have combination, sensitive skin with oily T-zone with some dry areas in the rest of my face. I've tried MAC's Prime + Prep, was pretty happy with it. But it broke me out slightly. Since I had a sample of Photo Finish Light, I gave it a go. Compare to Prime + Prep, it was definitely less oily, and I didn't have to touch up at all for the whole day. I consider this to be a good performance because I still had to touch up twice with MAC's primer. The only thing I dislike slightly about Photo Finish Light is that it dries out my non-oily areas. I see slight flakes right under my nose, and this isn't due to the lack of moisturizer..nor the lack of exfoliation. I guess it's the oil-free formulation that is causing this. So I'm slightly torn. I would like to stick with Photo Finish Primer but I'd like to give the normal version a try before I settle down with one. This was a winner for me because it didn't break me out at all. And that is a huge plus for me.
I got a mini tube sample of this when I bought things off of the Smashbox site. For the longest time I didn't use it, but recently I finally did, and now it's what i use daily!
For record I'm a slightly oily prone asian skin. usually need to blot by midday, and w/o primer, definitely blot with oil blotting paper twice a day. I have tried Monistat Chafing Gel, Hard Candy Sheer Envy, and L'oreal Studio Secret primer (in the pot). Out of these four, SB's Photofinish Light is definitely my favorite.
The other three have very little oil control and honestly made me feel more oily than less. Because I started out with the meh stuff first, i had the impression that I'm just ultra oily and that it's normal to be this oily by mid day.
On a whim I tried the tube of Photofinish Light, and wow, it totally changed my life around. Now i apply this (which sinks in nicely without making me feel oily), and then Stila ITM (which normally makes me feel a bit greasy), and then Lancome dual finish powder to set. I don't have to blot until essentially after i go home from work. Even if I do blot, one sheet of blotting paper is plenty (vs 5 sheets that I had to use before).
Best of all, the Photofinish Light didn't break me out at all! I don't now if the regular Photofinish would break me out, but Light didn't do a thing at breaking me out. which is awesome.
I'm a Smashbox fan so I wanted to love this product but it didn't keep the oilies at bay for me. It's pricey too so I won't buy it again.
I prefer the original formula. The main thing I didn't like about this was the smell! For me it smelled like petrol.
Fortunately I bought it from a tv retailer with a 30 day money back guarantee, and back it went.
I prefer this one than the original formula. This one is very light, absorbs quickly, isn't sticky at all. Feels like you're not wearing anything, but your skin feels so smooth. Just a bit of this goes a long way. And really holds make up in place, all day!
This version is also good for acne-prone and / or senstive skin. It didn't break me out unlike the original one.
The best primer I've tried so far :) 'Nuff said.
I have oily skin, and I thought that photo finish light would be a good match for me. I was wrong.. it does notttthinggg for me! My skin is oily after an hour and my makeup comes off - especailly noticeable in pictures. Will definately not waste my money again.
This primer broke my skin out faithfully every time I used it. I didn't want to blame the primer, considering that I paid $44 for it, but it is definitely the primer. A couple days after I started using it, I broke out in large, painful blemishes. I stopped using it for a week and my acne cleared up. I tried using it again for a couple days and the same thing happened. I have experimented with this primer several more times (using it for about 3 days and then stopping for a week or more) and every time the same thing happens.
As for what it actually does, it doesn't really do a whole lot. The main thing it did was make my skin feel as soft as a baby's, other than that I don't see any point in using it. Nothing special in terms of oil control, and I didn't really see any noticeable difference in how my makeup applied or how long it stayed on.