Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Smashbox's 'Photo Finish Primer' Revisited


A while back, I compared Smashbox's Photo Finish Primer to Hard Candy's Skin Perfecting Primer and gave the edge to Hard Candy. (You can read the full review here.) However, as of late.. Hard Candy just hasn't been working out for me as well as it did in the beginning and that prompted me to rethink my initial review.

I feel like my skin goes through cycles. As a woman, I definitely have the "monthly breakout" caused by hormones, but it's more complicated than that. I've always had oily skin but I feel like every 3-4 months, my skin goes from being moderately oily to excessively oily. The same goes for my hair. I'm not sure if it's diet related.. although my diet never changes, but it is certainly frustrating.

Right now, I'm not only having my monthly breakout, but I'm in the middle of an "extremely oily" phase.. where no matter what I do, my face turns into a hopelessly shiny oil-slick within an hour. When I use Hard Candy's primer, I have to take both blotting papers and powder with me wherever I go... and I'd gotten used to not having to carry either one. 

Then I remembered that I received a sample of Smashbox's Photo Finish Primer in my August Birchbox and I thought it was worth giving it another try before I head out in search of another primer...

While both primers are very similar (dimethicone-based), the Smashbox primer is clear compared to the Hard Candy primer, which is translucent and a little cloudy. Here's a picture of my tube and how much I use on my face each day...


As you can see, my tube is very small (.25 oz) but I use such an insignificant amount that it will last me forever. If the thought of buying a full size 1 oz tube for $32 pains you, you can always get a half .5 oz tube for half the price ($16). For anyone who's bad at math.. that's double the size of the tube I have pictured above.

The good news is I can say that my face seems to get considerably less oily after using Smashbox and the product itself seems to spread more smoothly on my face and absorb into my skin better. I'm still on the fence as to whether I want to continue to use a dimethicone primer or experiment with other options, but I know that I will most likely not be re-purchasing Hard Candy's Sheer Envy Skin Perfecting Primer.

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I know no one ever enjoys admitting that they may have been wrong about something, but I thought it was important to let you know how my feelings on both products have changed. Like I said, I'm not entirely sure that I'm in love with Smashbox's primer just yet, but it is working better than I originally gave it credit for and it's definitely something I'm going to continue to test and see how it works for me long term. If I end up purchasing it or deciding to try another brand entirely, I'll be sure to let you know!


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