Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Oil ($42) is a new primer face oil that contains 15 essential plant oils. What sets Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Oil apart from your other facial oils is the fact it is marketed as a face primer. According to Smashbox you can prep your skin for makeup using this oil so that foundation has a smooth, soft canvas to adhere to. Apparently it also reduces the appearance of dry, fine lines and leaves skin glowing.
I admit I had my doubts about using face oil to prime my face. I like facial oils! I think they are one of the greatest skincare treats around. I have drier skin but I don’t think face oils are limited to such a skin type. I think face oils are an excellent product to add to your current nightly skincare routine. Keyword, nightly! Take a note from the guide to Korean skincare and inject as much moisture as you can into your nightly skincare routine as it’ll make your skin look fabulous. I live by this rule.
However, come the morning, I do not need nor want as much moisture. Why? Even though I have drier skin I look for a lightly hydrating lotion that retains moisture and keeps my skin soft and smooth and allows my foundation to apply easily. Extra moisture or too much moisture either makes me look shiny, greasy, oily, or it makes my makeup fade faster. So something lightly hydrating that retains moisture is a good enough pick for me.
This in fact why I was skeptical about Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Oil. I’ve never used facial oil in the AM personally as it’s way too rich for daily use in my experience. The idea of using one as a primer of sorts sounded like a gimmick.
Many reader’s asked me to review this formula and I honestly didn’t want to spend $42 on it when I felt like it was just another facial oil. Luck be a lady because recently I was able to score a sample of it at Sephora. It was a tiny vial but I used it for nearly two weeks, everyday, to prep my skin prior to makeup.
And sadly as I said above, this is a little bit of a gimmick. I mean with so many facial oils on the market currently you really have to stand out from the rest right? So I guess Smashbox’s stand out point was there oil would hydrate and prep your skin for makeup. According to them it also reduces the appearance of “dry, fine lines and leaves skin glowing”! I don’t have finer lines on my face but I do have drier skin. I don’t want to write this formula off completely because maybe if you have finer lines and drier skin this might prove great as a primer. Personally as a person with drier skin I would NOT recommend it as a facial oil but would recommend as a regular facial oil that might be added to your nightly routine for moisture.
This is a thicker oil with a very, very subtle fragrance! I think it smelled kinda citrus-y to my nose. It contains some really great antioxidants as well as different oils all of which are ideal for moisturizing skin. I would say it does a great job delivering extra moisture to skin and doesn’t make me greasy or shiny when I use it at night. But in the day? Mmm…it’s a little too rich for me. My foundation is already a hydrating one so I don’t need this much extra moisture from my primer. Don’t get me wrong I use a hydrating primer but not an oil.
After applying the oil I really have to wait a few extra minutes for the product to set. It’s a bit too dewy to apply foundation directly on top of in my opinion. If I apply my foundation right away I feel like I’m sheering out the coverage a little too much. If I wait, that helps considerably. It does ease the way for foundation once it sets so you’re working on a very smooth, hydrated surface. However, this does seem to make my foundation fade very quickly and it also adds a bit of shine to areas around my face like my cheeks and forehead. It also makes my makeup, not only foundation but color cosmetics wear away a lot faster as the day progresses.
Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Oil is a very nice face oil but as a primer I wouldn’t recommend it for most skin types. You really have to have some severe dry skin to appreciate this much moisture in your makeup routine.
Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Oil is available now at Sephora and Sephora.com.
What did you think?