February 2016 Ipsy Review #3: Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Oil

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Definitely an interesting concept.

There are a million different primers on the market, and there are just as many facial oils. So it was only a matter of time before someone said, “Hey, what if we combine the two?” Thus, Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Oil (USD $42.00, for 1 oz) was born.

This is definitely an interesting concept. An oil that will prime your face for makeup and nourish any dry areas. It makes sense on paper. If you’re suffering from dry skin that will flake and emphasize fine lines when wearing makeup, this could be your answer.

My skin has not been particularly dry lately. Spring has sprung, the weather has gotten rainier and more humid, and my winter dry patches are a thing of the past (till next winter…). Still, my skin on my cheeks can get a wee bit dry, so I decided to try it.

What I did was use this as my primer on my cheeks and then use my other primers on my t-zone. It’s prone to being oily and I don’t want to apply an oil for dry skin on it.

I’m not sure if this was the right way to use this product, because I didn’t really see any difference in makeup application. It was similar to what it looks like when I use a non-pore filling primer, but it didn’t really do anything to hold the makeup in place. In all honesty, I was a little disappointed.

However, I can’t lie about the oil feeling nice. My skin did enjoy that extra boost in nourishment, though when I stopped using it I didn’t miss it.

Seeing as it’s suppose to be a face oil, I took a look at the ingredients to see what they would do for my skin. On the plus, this does contain a lot of great oils that are awesome for parched skin (sweet almond, apricot, Argan, and rosehip). On the downside, this does contain lavender oil. While lavender oil may not be problematic for everyone, it can be very irritating even in small amounts. So if you have very sensitive skin, you’ll want to be on the lookout. Personally, I didn’t get any irritation, but don’t risk it if you know your skin is finicky about ingredients.

Another note, I do wish the oil came in an opaque bottle. Exposing ingredients to direct sunlight just makes them break down faster. And if you’re going to spend more than $40 on a face oil, it may as well be on one with packaging that will protect the product.

As for trying it again, I did see that Glam Life Guru mentioned this product in her monthly favorites. Apparently, what she likes to do is mix one drop in with her foundation for a smoother application. I’m going to try this and possibly do an update to see how it worked out.

Rating: 2/5. While it’s an interesting concept, Smashbox’s Primer Oil hasn’t worked for me, thus far. It did make my skin feel softer and makeup applied a little more smoothly, but I really fail to see how this is suppose to be a primer. On top of that, it contains a potential irritant and its packaging is less than ideal. For now, I think I’ll pass on this in favor of my current primers and my Jouer Daily Clarifying Treatment Oil.

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