Almay Smart Shade CC Luminous Primer Review & Swatches

Almay Smart Shade CC Luminous Primer

Almay Smart Shade CC Luminous Primer ($7.99 at Harmons drugstore) is a new complexion correcting primer with an SPF 15 that’s launching at drugstores for Spring 2014.

I typically run in the opposite direction when I hear luminous as I don’t do well with anything that’s “glow-y” in the foundation or primer department but this little gem surprised me.

Throwing around color correcting is iffy when it comes to foundations and primers and in the case of this new Almay Smart Shade CC Luminous Primer I think you’ll have to take the “CC” formula with a grain of salt. Technically I don’t think it has the ability to really correct anything. If you have uneven skin tone and just want a more uniformed finish to your skin you’re best bet is depending on your foundation or BB Cream to correct the tone of your skin because this isn’t going to really cut it.

On the upside it is a very nice hydrating primer.

What do I like about it?

Well, first off it comes in a generously sized 1 oz glass bottle with an attached pump that dispenses just the right amount of primer. Secondly, it’s a light hydrating primer that doesn’t have a silicone formula so if you have drier skin like my own you’ll likely love how this gives a bit more moisture which in turn allows for your foundation to apply easier. I don’t think it’ll do well filling pores or blurring the appearance of them or finer lines it will however, allow for a more hydrating, dewy finish on skin that allows for easier foundation application. It doesn’t make me shiny or oily and the touch of moisture it provides keeps my foundation fresher longer.

And lastly and most importantly, the very light pink color brightens my skin up so this is in fact where the color correcting abilities come into play. I suffer from duller, lackluster skin and this brightens up my entire complexion and restores a little life back into my skin so my complexion looks fresher and more awake! THAT I love!

Almay Smart Shade CC Luminous Primer Swatch

Almay Smart Shade CC Luminous Primer Swatches

Almay Smart Shade CC Luminous Primer Swatches Blended

Overall, this one gets a big hooray for easing dullness and making my tired skin look more lively. The quick to absorb formula is an excellent prep for makeup and its ability to ease and “correct” dullness makes it well worth an indulgence.

I like this one, a lot!

Worth a purchase.

Muse Approved.

Tried it?

Do share!



This product was purchased
by the Muse for review purposes.
Read my full disclosure statement here.

  • 12/9/13 19:10 Alanna:

    oh it reminds me of sana morning kiss! how would you say they compare?


    • 12/12/13 16:03 the Muse:

      not very alike….colors are different, texture too but general idea is the same :)


  • 12/9/13 21:52 Ami S.:

    Oooh! I’ll definitely be on the lookout for this! I’ve been on the hunt for a brightening/ anti-dullness primer and this looks really nice.


    • 8/29/14 10:35 Melinda Diltz:

      IMHO, this could be just what you are looking for. I’ve always had very good skin, but as years go by I need all the hydrading I can get. With this product I get that plus a brightener and anti-dullness primer that i needn’t realize I needed until I tried this. I just love it. It is reasonably prices, too.


  • 12/9/13 22:42 Sarah:

    Not that I’m expecting this to replace my HG primer, Laura Mercier’s Radiance….but are they at all comparable? I have dry skin too, don’t care much for the silicone primers and am always looks for a hint of ‘illumination’….Thanks for the review Muse!


    • 12/12/13 16:00 the Muse:

      not really sarah, two different primers. My pleasure! Hope you try and like this one :)


  • 12/9/13 23:30 Ashley:

    Looks like it would be good on us fair skin gals that need help looking a bit more alive and radiant.


  • 12/10/13 5:52 Sandra:

    This looks interesting. I, too, have lackluster skin, mostly due to maturity. This sounds promising.

    It’s great to hear there are alternatives to pricey cosmetics, that work just as well.


  • 12/10/13 6:11 Cat:

    Oh, Muse! I can’t believe the word “luminous” tends to scare you! Since I’m approaching fifty and have combination skin (that’s ESPECIALLY DRY this time of year), I am drawn to anything that offers luminosity. You know, as long as it’s done right. To me, luminosity = glow, but some companies keep trying to convince us that luminosity = shimmer and that’s a BIG no-no!

    I know most people would probably tell me that I need to switch to a cream foundation but I truly hate the way they feel on my skin. Therefore, I wear a semi-matte foundation (UD’s Naked Skin). The last thing I want to do is set my makeup with a powder because it begins to cake-up and settle into every fine line a few hours after application. Also, my t-zone is so oily it could probably be sponsored by Exxon. :-/

    After extensive experimentation, I’ve come up with a completely wacky way to apply my makeup… at least through these winter months when my skin needs extra help! First, I’ve been applying my eye moisturizer and two layers of a Caudalie moisturizer. After that is absorbed (about five minutes), I use UD’s Eden primer on my lids, UD’s anti-aging primer under my eyes, Benefit’s POREfessional on my t-zone, and Guerlain’s Perfecting Primer on the remaining skin. Lastly, I’ve been mixing Benefit’s High Beam in with my foundation before applying it. After I finish my makeup, my skin looks natural, hydrated, and youthful.

    I know… I’m crazy, right? Maybe, but a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do in order to make it through winter and still look beautiful! 😉


    • 12/13/13 15:15 the Muse:

      I am terrified of anything luminous :) I tend to look awful when I’m “glowing” but I wish it worked for me 😀 girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do indeed my regime is equally insane don’t feel bad I used a million products to prep with hehe!


  • 12/10/13 10:05 Susan K:

    This does look interesting! I like the fact that it doesn’t look shimmery or sparkly too.


  • 12/10/13 12:42 Simone:

    Wow! I’m surprised, I thought for sure this would be a dud.
    I know ur always disappointed with drugstore “Brighteners”, so I bet ur happy this one turned out :)
    I’ll be on the look for it. Thanks!


    • 12/11/13 15:37 the Muse:

      I am indeed :-D!!!!!!!!! my pleasure simone Happy Holidays!


  • 12/11/13 7:48 attika:

    Muse! You gotta try Shu Uemura’s Tsuya UV Base Mousse! Makes dullness disappear into thin air and makes my foundation last longer too 😀


    • 12/11/13 8:35 the Muse:

      hi attika I own it :) it’s great stuff!


  • 12/14/13 20:42 Lacy:

    I was grabbing something from RiteAid and happened to notice the new Almay display with this, the concealer duo and cc cream along side the new shadows. I grabbed it to try since it was 40% all Almay so I snagged it for 6.59 vs the 10.99 it was tagged :) Haven’t tried it yet but am looking forward to it!

    Oh, Muse!!!…..PS while I was there I noticed a bunch of Covergirl and Revlon products up 75% so they must be making room for the new products! YAY! Also, I came across a really cool display of these mini Revlon eye shadows that “link” together so you can build your own palette! I didn’t snag any as most of the shades were already picked over, have you heard any buzz about these? They look so freaking cool and are only 2.99 per “link” :)


    • 12/14/13 20:44 Lacy:

      And I’m a total numb nuts… just posted this and googled the revlon shadow links and found your blog entry on it back from October.. haha Sorry! I’m always late the show… ^^


    • 12/16/13 15:45 the Muse:

      I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts on it lacy! I didn’t really get on with it, too sheer for me but def curious to hear whatcha think! I’m actually reviewing them shortly but yup, did a post a month or two ago about ’em 😀


  • 12/19/13 19:20 Lacy:

    So I’ve been using this for almost a week and I like it. I do agree with you as it is sheer but it does give the skin a nice luminous glow. I have trouble with redness on my forehead and cheeks and this didn’t “cure” or completely mask it per say but it did give my skin a nice fresh wake up. Overall I like it as a primer. It’s a keeper in my book. Would I rave over it? Not exactly… but would I repurchase for the drug store price and quality, absolutely!


    • 12/26/13 12:30 Isabella Muse:

      happy to hear it lacy! 😀 I liked it too, great base…! nothing to go too crazy over but fairly nice formula for my duller skin!


  • 1/19/14 15:43 Ai:

    Hi! I grabbed this product on a whim, which usually doesn’t work out for me (the last kind of BB/CC cream I grabbed was around twenty million shades too dark despite being labeled ‘light’ and was very hard to mix with oily skin. A nightmare, so I gave it to my brother, whose skin is always flawless), but I actually like this. I’ve never understood what ‘primer’ is and what the difference is between primers, foundations,and concealers are so I’ll probably just be using this on my face until it runs out. Is that bad? Should I not be using something labeled as ‘primer’ as just a normal day put-on? Just wondering, because it looks fabulous compared to other heavy makeups I have tried (and inevitably given to my brother.)
    By the way, I am 16 with very pale skin that tends to be oily and sensitive. I’m no blog-runner, but I would say that this passes any tests of mine!


  • 2/3/14 18:19 Lindsey:

    I just saw this today at the drugstore and grabbed it– glad to see you have a positive review! (although I do not have dry skin, I am looking for a lightly hydrating primer) I was initially drawn to it because of it’s likeness to Geurlain Meteorites Light-Diffusing Perfecting Primer… what do you think? (of course, that is without trying it, just by the pearly-light pink color)


    • 2/3/14 18:29 Isabella Muse:

      I didn’t really feel like it was like Guerlain’s version Lindsey but did like it, it’s quite nice brightening skin up a bit and easing dullness!


  • 3/4/14 0:05 elisa:

    I have oily skin will this make my face appear more oily?


  • 3/5/14 22:08 Sabrina:

    Does this have glitter in it? From the blended out swatch it looks like chunks of glitter?


  • 1/9/15 9:31 Ronda:

    Hey Muse, I love your blog and sift through it whenever I’m seeking dupes or new products and I was curious if this was comparable to benefits “that gal” ?
    Thanks so much or doing reviews!


    • 1/9/15 9:53 Isabella Muse:

      thanks ronda! :) not really. I didn’t really love that gal as it didn’t really brighten up much. This is a creamier and brightens up my face considerably better. Hope this helps! Oh my pleasure, thank you for reading them!


      • 1/9/15 22:04 Ronda:

        How would you compare this, that gal, and the new maybelline brighten primer? Today I used that gal (had a deluxe sample) and got kind of oily but then after work bought the new maybelline stuff but only sampled it on my hand. Haven’t gotten to try Almay as all the ones at my local target were used. Gross.


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