This is a cream-to-powder foundation that provides almost opaque coverage. It applies creamy but sets to a satin finish that can feel slightly moist. The titanium dioxide sunscreen provides excellent UVA/UVB protection without making skin look chalky. Those with normal to dry skin will find this an excellent option; the formula is too creamy for anyone with combination or oily skin and the waxes are not for anyone with acne-prone skin. Ignore the included too-rough-to-use brush, it’s useless. The shade range is limited to options for those with fair to medium skin tones. Watch out for Medium M3 and M4 and for Dark D1, which are too yellow and orange for most to use convincingly. If not for the cumbersome, difficult-to-open compact, this would have rated a Best Product.
Note: This foundation’s rating is due to its overall performance rather than its SPF rating. Due to concerns about people not applying sunscreen liberally enough to get the amount of SPF protection stated on the label, it is often recommended to look for SPFs with ratings higher than 15. If you plan to use foundation as your sole source of facial sun protection, consider using one rated SPF 20 or greater. If the foundation with sunscreen you choose is rated less than an SPF 20, we strongly advise applying it over a daytime moisturizer rated SPF 15 or greater and following it with a pressed powder rated SPF 15 or greater. That way, you’re ensuring sufficient broad-spectrum protection which is essential for having and maintaining healthy, younger-looking skin at any age.
Active: Titanium Dioxide (16.4%), Other: Propylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Dimethicone, Polyethylene, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Kaolin, Hydrogenated Coco-Glycerides, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Silica, Polysilicone-11, Barium Sulfate, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Dimethicone/Methicone Copolymer, Magnesium Myristate, Caprylyl Glycol, Stearic Acid, Alumina, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Ethoxydiglycol, Water, Quercetin, Lecithin, C12-16 Alcohols, Palmitic Acid, Phenoxyethanol. May Contain: Iron Oxides, Titanium Dioxide
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.