Foundation Primer Reviews | Makeup Forever and Smashbox

I was lucky enough to receive two foundation primers for Christmas that had been on my wish list a long time ago – the Makeup Forever Equalizer Mattifying Primer and the Smashbox Photofinish Primer Water! My very good social media pen pal read that I wanted to try these out and she very kindly sent them to me – thank you! I’ve been testing these primers since Christmas thoroughly with different foundations to make sure I have a very clear opinion on each primer’s performance. Both of these primers have had a ton of hype on YouTube so I had high hopes for the performance of both of them.

For the longest time while I was treating my skin for acne breakouts, my skin tended to stay on the dry to normal side. Then in the past six months to a year, I notice that my skin was becoming normal to oily throughout the day. I had never really experienced oily skin, though I would get sweat build-up on my forehead when I would go running after work – nothing that I couldn’t dab off. After trying out a few foundations formulated for oily skin, I wasn’t satisfied with the outcome and decided a primer was the next step. To be honest, I think part of the reason why my skin started to get oily, and even have a few breakouts, was because I changed some products in my skin care routine. I didn’t really have a reason for doing, only that I was becoming bored with the other products I had been using. After I finish products I have open now, I’m going to go back to my previous routine which kept my skin clear and normal.

Makeup Forever Equalizer Mattifying Primer 

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I was finally convinced that the Makeup Forever primer was worth a try when Bailey B did a review of it on her channel, claiming it made it possible for her to wear foundations in her collection that she formerly not able to wear. I had seen so many YouTubers use this primer and claim that it was great, but Bailey B is one that I feel I can really trust. Like I said, I received this primer for Christmas and have been using since. Some days wearing it Smashbox Primer sprayed on my skin first, other days I wore it alone to see it’s true performance throughout the day.

I find that this primer worked best with the Revlon Colorstay Foundation, and old favorite – I have the formula made for dry to normal skin.  When I used it with my favorite Cover Girl Outlast Stay Fabulous and Ready Set Gorgeous foundations I didn’t notice a huge difference, unless I used in conjunction with the Wayne Goss method – apply a tiny bit of loose powder all over my skin before applying foundation. For the price and hype of this primer however I expected that it performs the best alone. I do want note that I didn’t feel the need to use the Wayne Goss method with the Revlon foundation the way I did with the Cover Girl foundations, which could be a difference in the lasting power of the foundations.

Overall, I think this primer works better than any other I’ve tried, but I still feel like I need to work with it to help it perform it’s best. Given the price and the fact that I’m not really that oily compared to others, I was semi let down by this product. I think it’s good and I’ll definitely use it when I’m in need of a primer, but I think I’ll continue looking for a holy grail primer and focus on my skin care routine to correct any oiliness. The Makeup Forever Equalizer Mattifying Primer costs $35 for a full size, so if you’re just looking to test out the product maybe purchase the generous travel size which costs $16. Also, if you’re looking for an alternative use for this product, Baily B just posted a video demoing how to use this to mattify lip products.

Smashbox Photofinish Primer Water

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Of the two primers I received, this was not the one I thought I would enjoy more. I really thought the Makeup Forever Primer was going to be what blew me away. While this product is marketed as a primer, I’ve been able to use it for multiple purposes and it’s performed well in both of those areas. I can use this to prime my face before applying a base, to mist my skin after setting it with loose powder, and throughout the day to freshen up the look of my skin. It’s perfect for taking away any powdery look to the skin, which is a little more obvious this time of the year. I like using this as a primer on the weekends, when I may not be wearing my foundation as long or just on my cheeks. It’s also worked well for setting my foundation to last throughout the day. Generally I stick to using the Urban Decay All Night Setting Spray when I need my foundation locked on until the end of the night, but sometimes I feel like it makes my skin feel really tight. The Smashbox Primer Water doesn’t leave that feeling.

Overall, this has been a great product to have in my collection during these winter months and if it’s something you’ve been thinking about getting, I would recommend it. It’s a primer that I find enhances the appearance of my skin and foundation, not necessary removes oiliness or helps it last longer. A definite bummer part to this product is it runs out so quickly. I keep looking at the clear bottle this product is packaged and I see it going down more and more each day and it makes me so sad. The Smashbox Photofinish Primer Water costs $32 for a full size and $16 for a 1 ounce travel size. I’d love to try the Evian Spray which is $17 for a full size to see how it compares in terms of prepping the skin for makeup and taking away that powdery look that can sometimes happen.

Makeup Geek Eye Shadows | Review

After hearing endless great things about Makeup Geek eye shadows all over the beauty community, I finally caved and made a purchase! I definitely had very high hopes for the shadows given everything I’ve heard and I wasn’t disappointed.

After I purchased these eight colors I also bought a small Z-Palette to store the eye shadows in that would be great for traveling. I had a little issue with the shipping method that Makeup Geek chose and the fact that I ordered over a  holiday didn’t help. When the shadows arrived they were very neatly packaged in bubble wrap and in a secure box. I took pictures of all the shades I received before I even swatched them so they showed up as true to color and texture as possible.

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I’m really happy with all of the shades I picked out. I wanted to choose colors that I know I would get good use out of, but I also picked a few outside of my comfort zone. I chose two foiled eye shadows, Grandstand and Showtime, both of which I really love. Grandstand is rose gold, which is a super popular shade in the makeup community at the moment, but sometimes the color washes me out. This shade shows up a bit more bronzy on my skin color and works better than others in my collection. Showtime is a beautiful wine shade and it’s a lot more red than I’m used to using. I love using it as an eyeliner though! It adds a little something different and can be smoked out a bit for an evening look. I of course got Peach Smoothie and Creme Brulee which are some of the more popular transition shades. I also purchased Latte which is a medium brown, but it could work as a transition shade on deeper skin. I’m really liking along side of Homecoming for an everyday look.

Swatches Row 1

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Swatches Row 2

Middle Row

Swatches Row 3

Bottom Row

First impression: these are great quality and a way to add personality to your collection. At first, I was shocked by how powdery these shadows appeared when I dipped my brush in them. I’ve used Mac and Coastal Scents shadows in the past, and I don’t remember them coming off as powdery as my first time using Peach Smoothie. I kept on testing them out and while I get fallout with the shadows, I’m absolutely in love with their color payoff and how well they blend out. I don’t have to do nearly as much as blending with these colors, especially my transition shade, as I’ve had to with other brands. I like to mix Peach Smoothie and Creme Brulee together to get my perfect transition shade, then add Homecoming to the crease, and finish off with Corrupt as my eyeliner. The first time I used Corrupt I really underestimated how pigmented it was as I ended up with black fallout on my under eye, but I’ve learned to really be careful when picking up the color and being sure to tap off any excess.

I really wanted to compare the Makeup Geek eye shadows to Coastal Scents Hot Pots, which I’ve had in my collection for years and are even more affordable than Makeup Geek’s coming in at $1.99. I would say that Makeup Geek’s are better quality in terms of their blending ability and lasting power throughout the day. The pigmentation of both brands are the same and show up great with and without a primer. If you’re trying to decide on purchasing one or the other, I would say go for the Makeup Geek shadows. In the end, you’ll be more happy with how they perform compared to the Coastal Scents shadows. If you’re able to get the Hot Pots on a great sale however, don’t overlook them – they can be a great option for getting vibrant colors that you may not usually gravitate towards.

Overall I’m really loving these shadows and I would definitely get more! Like I said, I was so surprised at how much powder kicked up from some of the shades the first time I used them and that I received some fallout, but it’s nothing too out of the ordinary. I’d love to buy some more shades, especially some from the foiled eye shadow line and maybe a few more outside of my comfort zone as I’m really loving Showtime as an eyeliner.

August Beauty Favorites

Summer is coming to an end.  This Labor Day weekend is the unofficial end of summer, and to be real, I’m ok with this.  I love autumn, it’s my favorite time of the year so I’m excited to start wearing tights! First, I wanted to share my August beauty favorites.  I don’t have a lot, but it’s still worth a post.

Suave Professionals Macadamia and White Orchid Conditioner, $2.89
I purchased this after reading some really good reviews on Amazon of this product, especially for girls with curly hair.  I have tried some of the other conditioners from the Suave Professional line and I didn’t like them at all.  This one is 100% opposite.  I love it.  I’ve already repurchased it. The scent of it is a bit overwhelming, but I’ve grown used to it.  This product is very moisturizing, it combated the humidity of summer, and it detangles.

Jergen’s Natural Glow in medium to tan, $8.99
I am not a tanning or self-tanning person at all.  I have a tan skin color anyway year round.  However I had a wedding to go to and the dress I was wearing was a bright coral, midtone red color, and my legs were looking a bit less tan than my arms and chest.  I got this on a Saturday, used it twice Sunday and once Monday morning and already had a tan on my legs.   I must admit, I was starting to look a bit orange, so I used it every other day until the following Saturday and it created a wonderful glow that looked good with my dress color.  I would recommend, just choose the right color option and be careful on how often you apply it.

MAC Mineralized Skin Finished Natural – Medium Dark, $29
This is by far my favorite face powder of all time.  I’ve owned it for over a year now and I’ve always loved it, but this time of year is when I really love it.  I can’t wear this color very much in the winter because this shade is a tad dark in the winter months, but in the summer it’s great over foundation or a tinted moisturizer.  I just found out that MAC came out with more shades and there’s a new shade that’s a bit lighter that I may go pick up in a few months.