Smashbox Muse Collection Spring 2009: Why I Love Foundation Primer

Published in: Makeup, Product Reviews

Dear Smashbox Hybrid 2-in-1 Luminizing Primer,


I heart you so. When I wear you beneath tinted moisturizer, I feel like I’m glowing. You make my skin dewy and fresh. With you by my side, I feel even better than I do when El Hub cleans the house without me having to ask him to.

Yours Always,


Do you ever wonder if you *really* need a foundation primer?

Experts say it creates a smoother canvas upon which to work, filling in pores and fine lines so that foundation and powder appear smoother and last longer.

Sounds good, right? Thing is, sometimes I’m too lazy for the extra step. I mean, I’ll bust out my tube of Laura Mercier Oil-Free Primer for big events like weddings, but I’ve never really thought of foundation primer as a daily essential until I tried Smashbox’s Hybrid 2-in-1 Luminizing Primer in Bare Canvas.

Released as part of the Smashbox Muse Spring 2009 Collection, Hybrid 2-in-1 is an unscented liquid primer designed to function as either a makeup primer or a shimmery gold highlighter (hence the 2-in-1).

Smashbox suggests a couple ways to use it: 1) Worn beneath foundation where it smooths the skin and imparts a subtle glow, and 2) Applied on top of foundation to the cheeks, nose, brows or lips for a brighter glow.

I tried both ways, and when I used it as a primer beneath Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer and MAC Blot powder, I thought my skin looked effing AMAZING!

For context, without Hybrid 2-in-1, my skin’s like strip mall runway show with me wearing a burlap bag and Tevas. But WITH Hybrid 2-in-1, my skin’s like Gisele Bundchen in a blinged-out VS bra and angel wings! 🙂

First off, I think it makes my skin significantly smoother. I can really see the difference where I have some fine lines on my forehead. A thin layer of Hybrid 2-in-1 applied sparingly before my other face products gives the skin on my forehead an almost porcelain glow.

The glow takes 2-in-1 to the next level for me. It’s not like the matte, dimensionless look I get sometimes with foundation and powder alone — that mannequin look? No, Hybrid 2-in-1 has more depth than that, more radiant and luminous. This might be wishful thinking, but I feel like I look a little younger, too. 🙂

The glowy goodness doesn’t stop there, as Hybrid 2-in-1 looks good in photos, too. Some shimmery products will reflect photography flash on my forehead and chin and make me look like I’m wearing an oil slick in pictures, but that didn’t seem to happen with Hybrid 2-in-1.

I’m using it in this face of the day from last week…


To wear it on top of your makeup as a highlighter, I’d suggest using it sparingly (a little goes a long way!) and only on specific areas to maintain a natural look.

Smashbox Hybrid 2 in 1 Luminizing Primer,

Price: $34
Use: A kick-ass primer and highlighter rolled into one
Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: A+

I’m off to class! Be back in a few. 🙂

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 34 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Courtney L says:

    This is really pretty. However, I am not going to buy makeup, I am not going to buy makeup, I am not NOT not going to buy makeup. (Okay, maybe I am… I’m trying to hold off.) I went to the mall today (I had no school and needed to get out so I walked there) and ALMOST bought a ton of stuff but in the end I just got two new SoftLips and that Nivea A Kiss Of Moisture balm, because that commercial was just too cute, and yes, I was swayed by the advertising this time.
    ANYWAY! I had a question. If I subscribe to the email one, is it just going to tell me what posts you’ve written or is it a different post kind of thing? I read every day, so if it’s just telling me, I don’t want to subscribe.

  2. jojoba says:

    i tried the eye shadow duo and brush set from this collection and it was crap. this looks good on you though. i guess i chose the wrong item. darn it.

    jojoba´s last blog post..Review: Shu Uemura Eye Color Palettes, Mika Holiday Collection 2008, Part 2 – Secret Luscious Rose

  3. YJ says:

    Wow… I want it! I’ll just have to add it to my ever growing shopping list!

    YJ´s last blog post..Fooddiction.

  4. katee says:

    Do you think girls w/an oily complexion could use this? I am always worried about stuff like this making me look greasy.

    katee´s last blog post..Random Giveaway and Guest NOTD

  5. Glosslizard says:

    Wow, after a glowing (pun intended) review like that, I will deffo have to check this out next time I’m at Sephora!

  6. yadiq says:

    You make this stuff look awesome but I think it’s your natural tanness that makes it look so good
    I have a sample of this from sephora I will try tomorrow and will report back my results I am yearning the eyeshadow palette from this collection!!

  7. Tiera says:

    I’m always scared of anything labeled “luminzer” or “illuminator”. I tend to get oily throughout the day and for me these kinds of products just amplify that oil x 786,143,978,231% You, on the other hand, look amazing with this stuff!

    Tiera´s last blog post..Red Lips on the Red Carpet at the 2009 SAG Awards

  8. Catherine says:

    With you by my side, I feel even better than I do when El Hub cleans the house without me having to ask him to.

    LOL. Man, that’s tough to beat, hahaha.

    I’m super interested in this now. I don’t use a primer… My sunscreen is silicone based… so I figure that works pretty well. I’m kind of afraid to add more things though since my moisturizer (jojoba) and ss are already kind of greasy… but you make this look and sound so good!

  9. Rae says:

    Wait, so what does your face look like with this on, but no foundation?! The swatch frightens me, but I think this is one that I’ll have to check out soon! You make its scariness sound so wonderful 😛

    Rae´s last blog post..How much is your face worth?

  10. Tiffany says:

    I am definitely going to pick this up later this week… I already have two primers (Smashbox original & Clinique) that I use sometimes, but like you, I don’t usually add it to my daily routine, just to those special days.

    I can’t wait to try this though!

  11. Holly says:

    Hi Karen,

    I really like Smashbox I use their photofinish primer every day and have even re-purchased which is a big deal for me!
    It makes my skin feel amazingly smooth and my foundation never goes blotchy or patchy 🙂
    I did try the one with spf 15 though and didnt like it at all the texture is different and i didnt feel like it really served any purpose!

  12. Karen says:

    Hi Courtney L,

    The e-mail subscription has the same posts. One big advantage of being on the list is that you’re automatically entered into any contests/giveaways that I hold. And if you get the e-mail subscription and also leave a comment you *double* your chances of winning. I have some really great contests lined up so I highly recommend staying on! 🙂

  13. Karen says:

    Hi Jojoba,

    That’s too bad. I do hope you get to sample this primer! 🙂

  14. Karen says:

    Hi YJ,

    LOL, yeah, I have a list like that, too. It’s way too long, ha!

  15. Karen says:

    Hi Katee,

    I think if you wear it on your cheeks sparingly beneath other products then it won’t look greasy. It’s very shimmery on it’s own, which could lend to a greasy look on the skin.

  16. Karen says:

    Hi Glosslizard,

    It’s my favorite out of the Smashbox Muse collection items I’ve tried so far! I hope you like it. 🙂

  17. Karen says:

    Hi Yadiq,

    Oh sweet! I hope it goes well. I’ve noticed that a little goes a long way, and that it looks really great when layered beneath other stuff (mellows out the shimmer).

  18. Karen says:

    Hi Tiera,

    I think a few years ago when my skin was uber-oily I would’ve shied away from luminizing products, too. If you wear them in specific areas (like the cheeks) I think you’ll be able to pull it off…

  19. Karen says:

    Hi Catherine,

    I think it’s worth a try. I also like that it doubles as a highlighter so I feel like I’m getting my money’s worth. 🙂

    Oh girrrl… last year El Hub asked me what I wanted for Valentine’s Day and I told him to scrap the chocolate — I’d rather have a cleaning session with the Merry Maids. He thought I was kidding. I soooo wasn’t!

  20. Karen says:

    Hi Rae,

    That’s a lot of product there in the swatch. It is shimmery, but it’s wearable if you use it sparingly. I wouldn’t use this all over my face by itself, though.

  21. Karen says:

    Hi Tiffany,

    It’s great. I wore it yesterday and I felt all glowy. 🙂

    How is the Clinique primer? Do you like it?

  22. Karen says:

    Hi Holly,

    I agree! Have you noticed that your skin looks smoother, too?

  23. Nessa says:

    I’m in class today, too! Only one more day after this though. (it’s a class for work.) But after not being in school for a while this is kinda nice! I might kinda miss it. *might*
    Anyways, very pretty. I have a sample of smashbox primer from sephora that I haven’t tried yet. I don’t think it’s the hybrid. I had a sample of benefit’s that girl and I did like that. Have you tried it?

  24. JillyB says:

    I bought this a couple weeks ago when I first saw it. I’ve been using Photofinish Primer for quite a while now. But no matter where I squeeze this tube, I keep getting more luminizer than primer, leaving me with a shiny face that’s not as soft as the primer alone. I’ve been thinking of returning it, but I’d really rather figure out how to use it. Any suggestions please?

  25. Louise Gray says:

    Well, I must say that you have good taste. hahahaha
    I have that Smashbox primer, too. It gives a nice glow to your skin. I have worn it under foundation, over foundation, and by itself. Nice. I like products that make your skin look good. I have two shades of Chanel’s Brilliance Pur-one in bronze and the other in apricot. Sometimes powder can give you a nice glow, too. I have Laura Mercier’s Shimmer Block in golden. It comes in a bronze, pink, violet, and maybe one more shade that I cannot remember. There are four triangles of color in the compact. You can brush it over your face for a beautiful all over glow or you can use the individual colors as eyeshadow or blush. Well, now we can say to you, “You glow, girl!!!!!” Louise

  26. Elissa says:

    I’d love to see you review some more Bobbi Brown products, like the Spring 2009 collection with sparkle eyeshadow!

  27. Madeleine says:

    I think that Smashbox makeup primer is the best,and whichever you choose it does the job just beautifully.Personally I haven’t come across better one so far.
    MAC – simply sucks! Bigggg and I mean big disappointment.
    Laura Geller – it’s OK,Too Faced – also OKi,Lise Watier almost as good as Smashbox (but only almost)….Clinique – still nothing is better than Smashbox (their e/s for a change suck,but primers…a dream come true LOL).

    Well I still haven’t try most of them i.e.Chanel (if they have any),although I have been disappointed by Chanel certain foundations….

  28. Holly says:

    Hi Karen,

    It does make my skin feel really smooth, my foundation just seems to glide on so much more easily and stops it from looking flat and powdery!

  29. Karen says:

    Hi Nessa,

    I’ve swatched that one on the back of my hand before and I remember it looking very pink. It’s probably something I would keep to my cheeks and not use anywhere else. I like the packaging, though!

    What kind of class are you taking?

  30. Karen says:

    Hi Jilly B.,

    Hmm… I would use it as a primer on the cheeks (beneath foundation, blush and power), or as a highlighter on top of other products. The other day I also tried it on my lids just as quick wash! I liked that, too. 🙂

  31. Karen says:

    Hi Louise Gray,

    Oh yah, I’ve seen those LM Shimmer Blocks. They are pretty!

    I like that you have all these glowy items in your makeup arsenal. Have you ever tried the MAC Beauty Powders? Those are great!

  32. Karen says:

    Hi Elissa,

    Those sparkle shadows look *really* pretty. I hope they aren’t too pale for my skin.

  33. Karen says:

    Hi Madeleine,

    Have you tried the Chanel Teint Innocence foundation in the compact? It’s really fantastic!

  34. Karen says:

    Hi Holly,

    Yah! Last week I remember putting this on, and then checking out my skin in natural light a few hours later and thinking… WOW! My skin looks unusually good, LOL!

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