Before we say anything about the performance of this eyeshadow primer, a note about the 24 hour claim: don't put this to the test! We don't recommend wearing any makeup for 24 hours, as at some point you're going to need to sleep and sleeping in makeup is bad for your skin, not to mention a leading cause of waking up to puffy, red eyes.
What sets this fragrance-free primer apart from others is its texture. While most primers (both for shadows and foundations) are gel-like in nature, this one is more of a thick, waxy balm. That might be off-putting initially, but it begins to "warm up" once you work it between your fingers and get softer, making it easy to apply to eyelids.
The primer does go on smoothly, though the texture remains a bit "sticky" and waxy until it's had about a minute to dry. Apply your shadow before the primer fully sets and you will have a difficult time blending because the shadow will drag across the somewhat tacky surface. Once this has set, you'll have a much easier time applying your shadow, so don't be too hasty.
This primer makes the color intensity of the shadow you're wearing stronger, and it will not budge all day long. We tried to get this to move, even rubbing our finger on our eye design, and it didn't waver – this primer definitely increases shadow wear time with no creasing, fading, or flaking throughout the day.
Just remember – let this set! Once you've made it past the learning curve, you're left with a primer that does what it says, and does it very well.
- Improves the color intensity of shadows placed over it.
- Keeps shadow in place all day long – no fading, flaking, or creasing.
- Enhances eyeshadow application.
- Fragrance-free, gentle formula.
- Follow our application suggestions for best results.
- There's definitely a learning curve to getting this on right.
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.