As the years go by, I’m noticing that my skin isn’t anything like it used to be. Before, I needed matte EVERYTHING—and now, not so much. Even though my skin is considered combination, it’s only oily in my t-zone, and the rest sometimes feels tight and dry. So I go for a natural or dewy finish more often for a few reasons, but mostly because I think it looks better on mature skin than the alternative. I’m the perfect candidate for this Photo Finish Hydrating Primer from Smashbox, it’s an oil-free foundation primer that promises to prep the skin for makeup, by offering hydration while it smooths over fine lines and pores.
First, can I please just say how happy I am that Smashbox finally ditched the glass bottles for Photo Finish? They now all come in handy tubes, and I can’t even tell you how many bottles I went through where I couldn’t get half of the product out. Kudos on the new packaging component!
Photo Finish Hydrating dispenses as a creamy gel, which is immediately cooling on the skin. It indeed feels moist, but there’s a caveat; the fragrance is so weird to my nose. Right out of the tube, I think it smells like some kind of paint. To be fair, the scent dissipates in a few seconds, I just wish it didn’t have any fragrance at all. Otherwise, the formula texture reminds me a little bit of Laura Mercier’s foundation primer (which isn’t a bad thing). After a few times wearing this underneath different kinds of foundation, I think it does help my foundation look fresher longer and prevents my skin from looking dry. However, I don’t think it made my skin look any smoother—and that’s something I get with the original Photo Finish. The Hydrating primer lacks that dimethicone slip too, so if you like to feel that slick and smooth texture, you may wish to skip this.
Bottom Line: While this didn’t do much for fine lines and pores, it did keep its hydrating promise.
Price & Availability: $42, Sephora