40 Days and 40 Nights of Primer Reviews
Here we are at the end of Project Primer, and I will finish where I started, at Smashbox. Brand new at the counters now is this latest version of my favorite primer, Smashbox PhotoFinish, now with SPF 15 and Dermaxyl Complex. Smashbox has moved toward the treatment-primer trend by adding the sun protection factor, and also this Dermaxyl, which is their anti-aging complex that is supposed to be a peptide ingredient. Smashbox calls this "multi-tasking" (moisturizing, sun-screening, and anti-aging) and if it could eliminate a layer or two of product on the face, that's a nice added feature. I obtained a generous sample jar from the lovely SA's at Nordstrom. Two SA's had pumps of the new primer in their hands, trying to pump out a full sample jar for me to try. I guess Smashbox has not listened to me regarding that poorly-designed pump. But the quality of their primers has me in a forgiving mood. I have been waiting eagerly to report the results of my testing of this product.
I applied a dab of my sample over my freshly-cleansed face, without any other product underneath. I wanted to see if indeed this new version had any moisturizing properties. The pink-tinted gel felt even more slippery than the original version, and it smoothed on so quickly that I wasn't sure if I had covered my face well enough. It has a thinner texture than the original. The pink disappeared as I applied it, leaving the softest, most velvety, glass-like surface feeling to my skin. It felt comfortable, moist, but not wet. It appeared very glossy on my skin. Over time this new primer is supposed to work to reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles, and I know that peptides do work well for these problems, but I just wanted to see if the new version would work as well just as a primer as the original. Before I applied my foundation, I checked to see any visible differences from the original, and I did notice that this new one is not quite as mattifying as the old one. It did not seem to fill lines and pores as well, either. That could be due to the thinner texture of the gel. I reached (for the last time in a long time, I assure you!) for my La Prairie Concealer Foundation and started to apply it over the Smashbox. I was able to use much less foundation than I usually do, and it smoothed on quickly and evenly, leaving probably the most sheer application of that foundation of all the primers I have tested. There was no grabbing or clumping, no patchy areas that needed to be re-worked, and no excessive smoothing needed. My foundation retained the satiny glow that I like, there was no mattifying effect at all. I was surprised at how slippery everything felt on my face. A closer look showed such a sheer application that I decided to touch up a few areas where I wanted more coverage. My foundation adhered well and it was easy to dab on a bit more in the areas where I usually need a bit more coverage. I was very satisfied with the effect.
My face looked dewy-moist all day with the new primer. It felt comfortable, although I did feel some awareness of the product on my face. The finish gave my face a youthful appearance of fresh, glowing skin. Although this primer did not work as well as a line-and-pore-filler, it did seem to diffuse the appearance of those lines and pores, and I was very pleased with what I saw. With such a dewy finish, I was not sure that my foundation would last without wearing in spots, but it did. I kept checking for signs of uneven wear, but I did not find any. At the end of this primer test, I decided that this primer will be better for me in the colder days of Ohio Winters than it will be when the weather turns warmer. It is very moisturizing, and I will be glad not to have to use an extra layer of moisturizer with this primer.
It seems to me that Smashbox has created this product for more mature skins that may not have been happy with their original version. Smashbox is not a treatment line, but by adding their treatment ingredients, they are targeting a new audience. Multi-purpose products are popping up everywhere at the counters, and Smashbox is smart to jump in on the trend. Peptides are effective for lines and wrinkles (as my love of Lauders Perfectionist CP+ will tell you) and I think that over time, with use of this new Smashbox PhotoFinish, it could be just as effective. When I buy my full bottle I'll see for myself. And I'll be sure to re-report!
Product Rating, 8
Review by Cavewoman
Disclosure: This product was purchased by the reviewer, Cavewoman.