Tested on animals:No
Smashbox's ever-expanding lineup of Photo Finish primers now includes a pore-minimizing option making the bold claim to dramatically reduce the appearance of pores for up to eight hours. Does it work? Yes, but with some important qualifiers—the chief one being that the pore-reducing results won't last for eight hours in areas where skin is oily. Not surprisingly, oily areas tend to have the largest pores!
This fragrance-free, sheer tinted primer (the color barely shows once on) has a somewhat thick but completely silky texture that softens immediately and sets almost as quickly to a powder-like finish. The silicone-heavy texture and powdery, weightless finish are what works to slightly fill in, smooth, and temporarily blur the appearance of large pores. The effect is impressive, but works best if you apply this primer over makeup—which can be tricky because doing so can mean rubbing off just-applied makeup. However, if you gently dab and blend, the results can be good, at least initially.
We noticed that in a matter of hours the skin where this primer was applied over makeup began looking a bit dry and dehydrated, likely due to this primer's finish. Interestingly, the absorbent finish didn't hold back excess shine as long as we hoped, but it worked to some extent (just not "all day" as Smashbox claims).
This can also work if applied under makeup, but if you apply sunscreen over it, the primer's smoothing, pore-filling effect is reduced. Since skipping the sunscreen isn't a wise option, you could opt to apply a foundation with sunscreen over this, but there's a catch: You'll need to experiment to see which foundation plays well with this primer's unique finish. You will likely find some foundations are compatible while others tend to ball up and look streaky. Definitely some trial and error involved! Liquid foundations have an edge here over those with cream-to-powder or powder foundations.
Ultimately, this is a good primer whose results are bound to be a polarizing. Some may love it, others not so much. It absolutely requires experimenting with different application methods and foundations to see which combination works best for you—but this deserves consideration for its pore-smoothing effect, even though it's not as long-lasting as claimed and isn't the product to rely on if you also need shine control.
- Silky, easy-to-blend texture.
- Weightless, pore-filling, skin texture-smoothing finish.
- Works well with most liquid foundations.
- Doesn't work to control shine all day as claimed.
- The pore-reducing effect doesn't hold up over oily areas for more than a couple hours.