Smart Shade Perfect & Correct Primer
1 fl. oz. for $13.99
Category:Makeup > Sensitive Skin Products > Foundation Primer
Last Updated:04.02.2013
Jar Packaging:False
Tested on animals:No

Almay claims this primer's "green ribbons neutralize redness, while swirls of lavender pigments even out and brighten skin tone." The swirls look pretty in the bottle, but what you really end up with once you've applied it is a grayish-colored primer that is too sheer to neutralize redness and the lavender doesn't add anything. In fact, the color dulls the complexion. The gel texture dries down to a lightweight finish, but this doesn't make the foundation wear any better.

Despite its downfalls, at least the formula includes some skin-beneficial ingredients like niacinamide and vitamin E, but that doesn't make this otherwise poor-performing product worth using. One other thing to note: This is a fragrance-free formula, which is good news for skin but some may find its natural odor unpleasant.

  • Contains skin-beneficial ingredients.
  • Fragrance-free formula.
  • Too sheer to neutralize redness.
  • Turns a grayish cast on skin, which dulls complexions instead of brightening.
  • Doesn't make foundation wear any better.
  • Some may find the natural odor unpleasant.

Water, Glycerin, Pentylene Glycol, Neopentyl Glycol Diheptanoate, Dimethicone, Isopropyl N-Lauroylsarcosinate, Niacinamide, Panthenol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sea Salt, Montmorillionite, Squalane, Silica, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Behenyl Alcohol, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Polymethyl Methacrylate, PEG 100 Stearate, Dimethiconol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Glucoside, Polyacrylamide, C13 14 Isoparaffin, Laureth 7, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Carbomer, Sodium Hyaluronate, Butylene Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Disodium EDTA, Ethylhexyl Glycerin, Potassium Sorbate, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Ultramarines, Blue 1, Yellow 5, Chromium Oxide Green

Brand Overview

Almay At-A-Glance

Strengths: An excellent assortment of mascaras; several exceptional foundation options to choose from; a phenomenal liquid eyeliner; a selection of good makeup removers.

Weaknesses: Some of the Intense i-color products do the exact opposite of enhancing eye color; mediocre blushes; “Smart Shade” products don’t automatically adapt to skin’s color as claimed.

Long a standby for those with sensitive skin seeking hypoallergenic products (though that term is unregulated and can be applied to any product, regardless of ingredients), Almay continues to refine its comprehensive makeup line. In early 2006 the company repackaged its old favorites, and also relaunched several new makeup items. Everything now has a sleek new look and color-coded packaging. We admit, the makeover is effective, not just product-wise but visually too.

Shopping this drugstore line is now much easier because of the clearly defined product and color family groupings. Lamentably, testers and trial sizes of the makeup are still scarce regardless of where you shop. Almay has always been a reliable line for foundations, powder, and mascara. Within its current lineup you'll find that remains true. Their foundations are better than ever, and still offer full, broad-spectrum sun protection and a mostly neutral palette. We also found their concealers and mascaras have improved, as have the pencil options. When it comes to shopping for makeup staples with state-of-the-art formulas, Almay has many winners, and some innovative surprises that its competitors would be wise to learn from.

For more information about Almay, owned by Revlon, call (800) 992-5629 or visit www.almay.com.

About the Experts

The Beautypedia Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula Begoun herself.

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