Review: Smashbox Cosmetic Products

(This post is written for The Glosse Posse.)

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Today’s review is on my latest make-up haul from Smashbox!


I recently decided to give Smashbox a try, having heard and read many positive reviews on their products, especially their primers. My makeup artist gave me a makeover then spent the rest of the time answering all my questions on just about every product. I like all-in-one products to simplify my routine and to carry fewer items in my cosmetics bag. So my makeup artist recommended the following products to me and threw in some samples for me to try. 🙂

Camera Ready CC Cream

Why CC Cream? CC = Colour Correcting.
This is the ideal product for those who have dark spots, sun spots, and post-acne marks.

What it is:

  • Primer (Photo Finish More Than Primer Dark Spot Correcting) + foundation (or tinted formula) + moisturiser + SPF 30
  • Gives medium coverage
  • Has a twist cap
  • Has a cream-like texture
  • Matte finish
  • Officially comes in 5 shades but there are 3 new ones too: Fair, Fair/Light, Light, Light/Neutral, Light/Medium, Medium, Medium/Dark, Dark
  • Proven to fade dark spots instantly and over time

Cost: C$50 / US$42 for 30ml

Based on my current winter skin tone, I was given Fair/Light, which was surprising since I’m usually light/medium. To apply, I would only need a pea-sized amount which I would then blend onto the backside of my hand before applying it on my face in circular motion. For more coverage, I would repeat the step until I had the coverage I needed. I was impressed that my post-acne marks and sun spots were hidden from sight but I could see that any new zits would be harder to cover up. For those stubborn blemishes, I just patted the CC cream in until it looked natural enough. My skin felt soft, almost powdery, and camera ready. (The Smashbox claim is that all its applied cosmetic products are supposed to look exactly as they do on the models, without any photoshopping.)

I’ve liked having an all-in-one ‘foundation’ but only recently I’ve noticed that the CC Cream seems to fade into my skin. At least it doesn’t run as my YSL Touche Eclat liquid foundation does in the summer. It doesn’t make a difference on the one side of my face that is blemish-free but the other side needs the coverage so I’m not sure what to do. I’ve tried using their Photo Finish Foundation Primer first (it has the same silicone smoothness of the Lancome Base Pro primer) and then the CC Cream, which seems to help a bit. I may have to return this product and try the BB Cream instead or find another brand’s CC Cream that stays. I suppose it’s meant to be worn for quick errands or short outings. Reapplying seems a waste and a hassle. :/

It’s a shame because it had worked splendidly over the last week. Many reviewers have praised that it has truly faded their dark spots over time. Unfortunately, I need to know why it’s not staying on my combination-skin face, which is currently in the normal/dry state and not normal/oily as it is in the summer. 😦

Camera Ready BB Cream Eyes

Why BB Cream? BB = Beauty Balm

What it is:

  • BB Cream + concealer + SPF 15
  • Comes in 5 shades: Fair, Light, Light/Medium, Medium, Dark
  • Covers dark circles, reduces puffiness, smooths lines and wrinkles instantly and over time

Cost: C$29 / US$25 for 3.5ml

I was given Light since there wasn’t a Fair/Light in the BB Cream. I used the brush to apply the product and my finger tips to smooth out the product around my under eyes. What I like about this product is that it doesn’t keep my finger marks like eye concealers do. I had received a sample of the Photo Finish Hydrating Under Eye Primer so I applied it first under my eyes, then applied the BB Cream. This had a great staying power but I have to warn you not to put on too much because it can look pretty obvious that you have make-up on. Come to think of it, I wonder if my skin is drinking up these creams…

Photo Finish Lid Primer

What it is:

  • Tinted eyelid primer
  • One shade only: warm beige
  • lip gloss applicator

Cost: C$22 / US$20 for 2.5ml

This bestseller worked magic on my oily lids. Because it comes only in warm beige (I think there’s a new eyelid primer that goes on clear), I think this is probably only suitable for certain shades. It went on a little dark on me but once I smoothed it around my lids, it blended right in. I liked how it didn’t let my liquid eyeliner or non-smudgeproof mascaras smudge or dissolves around my eyes, as it would usually do without primers.

As much as I want to give this product 5 stars, I found out after my recent skiing trip that this primer doesn’t have a very long staying power. It was great for a few hours though. I think I might have to go for the bloggers’ favourite: Urban Decay’s Eyeshadow Primer Potion. It’s only C$1 cheaper or about the same in US dollars, if not cheaper.

Photo Op Eye Brightening Mascara

This brightening mascara was one of the three samples I received from Smashbox. It’s supposed to make the eyes appear brighter because the black mascara’s blue pigments will make the white of the eyes ‘pop’. It’s also meant to make lashes softer, which will then make your lashes healthier and longer. I’ve only tried this mascara three times now and although I’m not a fan of the typical brush wand, I did like how easy it was to apply (some mascaras I’ve tried are so sticky, my lashes end up clumping) and did not clump. Surprisingly, it also works on my short and dainty lower lashes. Although this mascara is smudge-resistant only, it won’t flake and the smudging only happens if I blink really hard.


 I’m sure Smashbox works wonders on many people but the products I’ve tried so far don’t seem to be working on me. I don’t want to completely give up on Smashbox though. I’ll talk to some makeup artists about my issues with the products and see what they can suggest.

In the meantime, I’ll stick to the products I have.

Update: 24 February 2014

I ended up returning the CC Cream (my skin must have been dehydrated and the coverage was pretty moderate), the Lid Primer (could see the creases), and the BB Cream for the Eyes. Hope these products work out better for those of you who don’t have combination oily or combination dry skin!

She Said Beauty

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