Sunday, 19 July 2009

Smashbox SPF Photo Finish Foundation Primer

RRP: £23.24 for 30ml
available from and

--What does the promo say?--
"Coming in a new airless pump, this innovative product from Smashbox lets you create a flawless base for your make up - it's SMASHBOX Primer, protector and corrector ‘all-in-one’ with the newest, hottest primer. With the same complexion perfecting formula as the best selling SMASHBOX PHOTO FINISH FOUNDATION PRIMER, but with an added SPF 15, and, an advanced skin treatment called DERMAXYL™ COMPLEX that moisturizes the skin and works to reduce the appearance of those irritating little lines and wrinkles. So you’re not only going to get smoother, longer-lasting makeup, but over time you’ll also see the positive anti-aging effects of DERMAXYL™ COMPLEX on your skin. Although the active ingredients give this a pink tinge - this product goes on the skin completely clear and is suitable for all skintones."

Having only tried this on a sample basis, I can't claim any expertise on this product's ease of use and so on. However, I've got to admit that it does sound pretty good: pump-action bottles are generally sound for travel purposes and if, as the promotional material says, it also uses airless technology, this should prevent the product itself from becoming contaminated by the entry of harmful bacteria in the air.

As with all primers, really - just smear a small pea-sized amount over a clean dry face before applying makeup.

Nothing detectable. Always good :)

Velvety, smooth and not at all sticky, yet still made me feel that this is what smearing Vaseline on my face would be like, particularly given the next section below regarding visual results. Glides over the face, allowing any future makeup to be applied smoothly and quickly (no need to wait after application).

As promised, the gel is a slightly off-pink tinge, but goes onto the face clear. And this is, in fact, the worst part: you need to already have perfect skin to see the refinishing effects promised by the product. It provides no coverage whatsoever and while it may promise some sort of anti-ageing effect over time, I can't say I'm convinced.

There are, at least, no problems here, with the product keeping your makeup on all day.

--Value for money--
To me this just has 'con' written all over it - although, to be fair, this is my reaction to pretty much every clear gel primer on the market. While it's great that this contains an SPF (not sure that I can think of any other primers that do), I'm not sure that you need to pay £23 for the privilege; just buying a decent sunscreen for face would also cover the anti-ageing base as well. Even Smashbox's Anti-Shine Compact or Gel would be a better buy. With this primer offering no coverage or any real correction, you're better off plumping for a primer from No7 or L'Oreal that has more purpose and a lower price tag.

perfect partners
Smashbox High Definition Concealer, £18.98
Smashbox Soft Lights Fusion Bronzer, £16.15
Smashbox Artificial Lights Luminising Lotion, £19.29
Smashbox Sheer Focus Tinted Moisturiser, £17.12

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