January 18, 2012

Almay Smart Shade Perfect & Correct Primer Review, Swatches, Photos

Almay Smart Shade Perfect & Correct Primer is a brand new product for Spring 2012 that promises to color correct skin while hydrating skin and prepping it for makeup.

And why, yes, it does remind me of the T-Virus, thanks for noticing!

This is helix design with lilac and pastel green shades suspended in a clear base. The actual colors are odd as green is typically used to ease redness and lilac to brighten skin so combining the two…mmm seemed odd?

But hey I trust in the “Smart Shade” technology that will adjust to my skin tone and turn into my perfect shade of primer. Mmm yeah not so much. This squirts out and blends out to a rather gross shade of green however the good news is it absorbs easily and has a transparent finish.

Technically, it isn’t actually aiding anything in regards to brightening your skin or easing redness, etc….that’s a bust. On the upside it has a smooth, hydrating feel and the finish is dewy to the touch so if you have drier skin you’ll enjoy the feel of this. It creates a nice, smooth surface for your base products however I didn’t notice any extension in the wear time of my foundation/bb creams.


What it doesn’t do…

  • Blur fine lines and pores.
  • Correct skin tone by easing redness or brightening up skin.
  • Extend the wear of your foundation.

What it does do….

  • Hydrates skin and preps for makeup.

Seems the “doesn’t” outweighs the “does” in this case and at $14.99 yes, you read it right, $14.99 (at CVS) it’s an absolutely unnecessary purchase.

P.S. It smells like corn chips! Not nice.

Sadly, Almay Smart Shade Perfect & Correct Primer has some potential if you have drier skin but doesn’t actually do anything outside of offering a hydrating surface for makeup. So you have to ask yourself what’s the point of spending near $20 on something that performs to poorly?

Skip it.

Save your money for something else.

About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment.

Leave a Comment


  • Michaela

    I reviewed Stila’s swirly primer, the forerunner and, I believe, inspiration for this stuff you’re reviewing here. And it was just as pointless– it had a peach swirl in it in addition to the green and lavender, turned a revolting gray color, and did nothing it claimed– for like $34, a crazy price for something that does nothing.

    Until technology improves, I think we’ll just have to accept that some things cannot be reduced to a one-step process 🙁

  • Fey

    Mmmm…what’s not to love about a Barney-colored corn chip-scented primer? Toddlers will come running for miles!

  • Amber

    Darn, I was hoping it would make for a good dupe of Stila’s One Step Correct Primer that I adore but hate the $36 price tag. Oh well 🙁

  • Fatima

    I’m going to disagree with you on this one. The formulation reminded me of the Stila Correcting Primer. I have both the Stila and the Almay primers (I also happen to have oily skin) and they are great primers.

    • the Muse

      I liked Stila’s version alot but felt like this wasn’t comparable at all, stila’s version did correct skin tone slightly but not so much on this one le sigh but glad you’re liking it fatima ;-D!!!!!!!

  • Nikki

    Thanks for the review, I’ll definitely pass on this one. I’m still loving my photo ready perfecting primer!

  • Nikki

    Yep! I have the perfecting one and I love how smooth and light it feels. Really surprised me, I think the quality is compatible to some higher end brands.

  • Tammy

    You thought this smelled like corn chips? When I bought this I thought it smelled like fish oil, it was gross!!! Right back to the store it went! haha

    • the Muse

      a little fishy maybe tammy…but more corn chippy for me lol! did you like it at all, I mean outside the smell? I thought it was pointless…it hydrates nicely but that’s about it…and near $15 for it!

  • LaurieS

    Wow! $14.99, a weird color combo AND it smells bad? What are these cosmetic companies thinking?

  • Blair

    That looks a helluva lot like the one from Stila. Definitely shall pass on this, the color that squirted out on the picture creeps me out!

  • Ruthless

    I hope you returned this. In Canada it’s 16.99 and does NOT work on oily skin at ALL.

    Almay brand just seems SO crappy with all the awesome new stuff coming out from other brands.

  • Mallory

    I tried the tester at Ulta and didn’t like it. It didn’t do anything! All Almay products have been a miss for me lately. =(