Now Smashbox is on the BB cream bandwagon, and although their contribution is a good one, it bears repeating that BB creams are not miraculous or must-have products. Essentially, they’re just tinted moisturizers (most include sunscreen) that usually contain a few extra ingredients that may or may not benefit your skin.
Camera Ready BB Cream provides decent broad-spectrum sun protection that includes titanium dioxide for sufficient UVA protection. This fragrance-free formula has a slightly thick yet creamy-soft texture that blends easily and meshes well with skin. It provides sheer to light coverage and a natural-looking matte finish that helps keep excess shine in check, at least for a few hours (this won’t replace a mattifier or other oil-absorbing product you may be using).
The five shades offer a greater range than most BB creams (two shades is what’s typically offered) and all of them are workable. Note that the Medium shade is darker than what usually passes for “medium” and the Dark shade is slightly copper but still worth checking out.
In terms of the claims, this doesn’t provide an “ethereal effect” nor is it hydrating enough to please those with dry skin. It is best for normal to combination or oily skin. As for enhancing makeup wear, this works—but no better than a lightweight serum or moisturizer that’s compatible with your skin type.
Active Ingredients: Octinoxate 7.5 %; Octisalate 4%; Oxybenzone 2.5 %; Titanium Dioxide 1.10%; Other Ingredients: Water, Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Phenyl Trimethicone, Pentylene Glycol, Glyceryl Stearate, Behenyl Alcohol, Trioctyldodecyl Citrate, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate, PEG-40 Stearate, Polyglyceryl-10 Pentastearate, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Extract, Hordeum Vulgare (Barley) Extract , Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Laminaria Saccharina Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Polyquaternium-51, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Trehalose, Oryzanol, Octyldodecyl Neopentanoate, Urea, Polyglyceryl-6 Polyricinoleate, Propylene Glycol Laurate, Glycyrrhetinic Acid, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sucrose, Glycerin, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Caffeine, Linoleic Acid, Cholesterol, Lecithin, Squalane, Sodium PCA, Isopropyl Titanium Triisostearate, Propylene Glycol Stearate, Stearic Acid, Polysorbate 20, Sorbitan Laurate, Xanthan Gum, Aluminum Hydroxide, Sodium Hyaluronate, Silica, Disodium EDTA, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-T-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Chlorphenesin, Phenoxyethanol May Contain: Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide, Iron Oxides
Perhaps one of the most interesting things about Smashbox is that its name refers to the early, accordion-style cameras and that Smashbox is first and foremost a Hollywood-based photography studio. The company's creators, Dean and Davis Factor, have their heritage in makeup—their great-grandfather was the legendary makeup artist Max Factor. However, this seems to be a case where the proverbial apple didn't fall all that close to the tree. It is apparent that Dean and Davis are better at their respective careers as CEO and photographer, respectively, than at creating a cosmetics line. The makeup, which debuted in 1996, began as a collection of trendy and fashion-forward colors coupled with a pleasingly neutral palette of foundations, concealers, and powders. Nowadays, many of the colors are too sheer to register on medium to dark skin tones, shiny products abound, and several of the complexion-enhancing products just don't look as natural on skin as they should. In fact, the foundations and concealers could use some updating; they haven't kept pace with what other makeup artistry lines are launching, and don't demonstrate much longevity under normal conditions, as in day-to-day casual makeup.
Realizing that celebrities sell products better than the product claims themselves, Smashbox steadily capitalizes on its ties to Hollywood and often mentions several famous faces who wear their products. Their counter brochures follow suit, tempting women to sit down with a Smashbox artist to get the star treatment. It's easy to get caught up in the hype, but as a comprehensive line Smashbox doesn't have what it takes to create A-list glamour, at least not if you're looking for cutting-edge textures and finishes.
For more information about Smashbox, now owned by Estee Lauder, call (888) 763-1361 or visit www.smashbox.com.