Sunday, April 3, 2011

Review: Smashbox Photo-Finish Primer Light

I am new to the primer world! As the weather is warming up I will be facing the challenge of trying to get my makeup to stay on in the suffocating D.C. heat and humidity this summer. I hate having to reapply my makeup around 5pm every day if I'm doing something in the evening after work; no one wants to go to happy hour sporting runny eyeliner with most of their foundation melted off. In the past I have used tinted moisturizers in place of foundation during the summer, but they never offer as much coverage as I like or need. So I did what I always do and searched the Internet for summer makeup solutions. Using a foundation primer popped up on my google search results and my research had begun!

Description of the Product:

Primers are meant to create a barrier between your skin and your makeup as well as providing a smooth surface for your makeup to adhere to. For you artists out there, you can think of how you have to prime a canvas before you begin using oil paints. Foundation primers smooth out wrinkles and fill in pores to make them less visible (as a side note, I've seen primers that are meant to smooth out wrinkles and they really do work before your eyes. it's amazing). They also claim to allow you to use less makeup because instead of absorbing into your skin, foundation will sit on top of the primer. The downsides of primers are that they are made of silicone, so this can feel heavy on your skin and even cause breakouts if its not the right product for the right skin-type. Some people also think that primer's aren't "worth the extra step" if you already have smooth skin.

Finding and Trying the Product:

Because I have combination skin, I knew that I would have to look at many primer reviews before choosing the right one. I settled on Smashbox's Photo-Finish Primer Light because it's meant for an oily complexion. It had many positive reviews so I ordered the .5 oz bottle from Amazon. I tried this product last night, before going out to a bar, and today when I went to see the Cherry Blossom Festival in D.C. I will include the steps for applying primer below. So far, I've been very satisfied with the primer. I could see a noticeable difference after I applied the primer and before I put on my foundation. It filled in the larger pores on my nose and my makeup just looked more professional. All in all, I had a smoother canvas to work with. Furthermore, after taking the metro downtown, walking around D.C., and taking my dog for a walk my makeup hasn't smudged or melted off yet. The product doesn't feel heavy on my skin and the extra time to add the primer to my daily makeup routine is worth it.

Steps for Applying Primer

1) Cleanse your face as normal.
2) Apply your normal moisturizer. I always use a moisturizer with sunblock to prevent sun damage, and so that I don't have to add this step in later on during my routine.
3) Wait 3 minutes, and then apply the foundation primer.
4) Wait 3 minutes, and then apply your foundation as normal. You won't need to use as much foundation as normal with a primer Tip: Always use a cosmetic sponge or brush to apply your foundation. This creates a smoother look and prevents the spread of bacteria from your hands to your face, therefor limiting breakouts. 


While I wouldn't say that this is a miracle product, I think that its a great product for those of you who don't have picture-perfect skin and are looking for that little extra advantage. I've heard that many other people can feel comfortable wearing just primer on those days that they don't want to wear makeup. I also think this primer will be a great solution for anyone looking to keep makeup on in the heat and humidity of summer.

Recommend (y/n): YES

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