August 22, 2012

Smashbox Photo Finish More Than Primer Dark Spot Correcting Review

This was provided to me by a brand for review but all opinions expressed are my own

Not able to leap tall buildings in a single bound but can correct dark spots, that’d be the new Smashbox Photo Finish More Than Primer Dark Spot Correcting Primer ($42). Whoa, big name, say it three times in a row. Dare you, double dog dare you!

That’s right. It primes for makeup and treats your hyperpigmentation all in one shot.

Too good to be true?


Let’s see!

Smashbox Photo Finish More Than Primer Dark Spot Correcting is a brand new revolutionary primer that acts as a prep for makeup and has a clinically proven formula, according to Smashbox, that instantly brightens and fades the appearance of dark spots over time.

Does it work?

Mmm….well…as a primer I likey.

This a cross between Smashbox’s traditional Photo Finish formula and their hydrating one. The texture has a thick, creamy feel with a hydrating finish that leaves skin smooth. Although it lacks the velvety/powdery feel of Smashbox Photo Finish it still manages to soak up access oil, fill minor flaws like larger pores and fine lines, and does so with a smooth, hydrating feel that wears very comfortably.

I have issues with the original Photo Finish. It gives me a bad case of the itchies and just feels terribly uncomfortable in place. I really LIKE the finish of this. It has just enough hydration to smooth my drier skin and enough of a semi-matte finish to soak up excess oil on my forehead and around my nose.

I think dry and combo skin types will see the most benefit from the formula. Oily or extremely oil skin might prefer a more mattifying finish. It won’t conceal MAJOR pores but it does well at blurring the appearance of smaller issues while creating a solid barrier between your skin and foundation.

How about those dark spots? What about the brightening abilities?


I’ve been using it two weeks so I haven’t technically noticed my dark spots looking any lighter. I also haven’t noticed my skin looking any brighter after use. A quick glance at the ingredients didn’t show anything majorly interesting for treating this issues. Smashbox uses something called C-Phyte Complex to fade dark spots, acne marks, etc with time. According to there studies, used twice a day daily, 84% Of women saw an improvement.

But let’s backtrack…

We technically only use primer once a day. So it might prove a longer period of time before my spots ease. Also I only use a small amount so I question whether that amount will be enough to show any significant improvement with my dark spots.

But facts is facts as a primer I like it a lot. I’d buy it again once I run out. And heck, maybe over time I will see some improvement. It never hurts to have a little something extra in a product I use daily anyway right?

As a primer it’s awesome, as a dark spot corrector, well, I question whether it’ll work but I can hope!

Tried it?

Do share!

Available now at Sephora and

This was provided to me by a brand for review but all opinions expressed are my own

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


  • Kiss & Make-up

    I haven’t tried this one, but I have tried many other dark spot correctors, but none of them worked for me… Maybe it’s because I have hyperpigmentation (and not sun spots or age spots) but I’m sick of being disappointed 🙁 Hopefully this one will work for you. If it does, let us know, pretty please? 🙂

    • the Muse

      I wonder sometimes if that’s my problem too, treating hyperpigmentation and not age spots/sun spots but some of these products also claim to deal with uneven skin tone but never see any of them work. one I did try that’s HG and works is philosophy’s brightener!

    • Noelle

      I tried the skii treatment serum for dark spots called the power brighten serum, it’s pricey but it works, it’s my third week and my spot of hyperpigmentation are fading. It is also very easy to use and sinks into the skin fast, I also use it as a spot treatment to prevent acne marks from getting darker. It’s a very pricey product but well worth the money after the third week you notice spots getting smaller and fadeing.

  • Kiss & Make-up

    Frustrating, eh? 🙁

    I haven’t tried Philosophy’s brightener yet. Do you think I should give it a go? I have a triangular spot on my forehead (or as the boyfriend calls it: my mark of Satan) and some random spots on my cheeks.

    • the Muse

      lol i don’t mean to laugh but that was funny, your mark of satan? haha ;-D I have darkness/hyperpigmentation on my lower jaw line and it did a good job brightening it up although it’s something I have to use daily, if I stop, I notice the darkness returns. You should try it, even if it doesn’t do the job on the dark spots it does a great job brightening skin up in general.

  • Thea

    So are you suppose to use this twice everyday or just when you’re going to wear foundation?

  • Taimy

    I actually bought it as well thinking that it would fade my acne scars. Since the first time I’ve used it, it has definitely improved my discoloration issues. However, i have also done some natural techniques like using lemon twice a day and (this seems gross) rubbing band peel on my face for my mild acne. I think that my techniques as well as other rituals like washing with Burt’s Bees Radiance Cleanser, and not rinsing but using a soft cloth to remove the cleanser, is helping with my scars. I think it’s a combination, but the primer is definitely adding that extra power to erase all my scars. I hope it works for you ladies. i think sticking to a routine and consistently using the product will definitely give you results.