Smashbox Photo Finish Oil Free Foundation Primer Pore Minimizing Is Putting Pores on Alert

Published in: Face, Makeup, Product Reviews, Smashbox

Smashbox Photo Finish Oil Free Foundation Primer Pore Minimizing k

Wearing the new Smashbox Photo Finish Oil Free Foundation Primer Pore Minimizing ($39) under Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide Foundation

“I want pores tighter than Matthew McConaughey’s butt,” she whispered into the darkness, slowly drifting into a deep slumber. Her head sank into her pillow as she snuggled her tube of Smashbox Photo Finish Oil Free Foundation Primer Pore Minimizing ($39). “We don’t want no stinkin’ pores…”

— Me, last night, 10:12 p.m., my bed

In my dreams, wishes come true, even seemingly frivolous makeup-related ones, like wishing for smooth, pore-less skin akin to the skin I had when I was 18 (and sadly too young to truly appreciate it).

In real life, however, wishes need help.


That’s where Smashbox’s new Photo Finish Oil Free Foundation Primer Pore Minimizing comes in.

Smashbox Photo Finish Oil Free Foundation Primer Pore Minimizing ingredients

Born to blur pores, with a name that doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, it’s like a makeup major in liberal arts…in that does a bunch of different things.

Not only does it keep oil in check, but it also extends the life of any makeup you layer on top. Mostly, though, it’s for diminishing the appearance of your pores (like Spanx, but for pores).

Don’t be alarmed by the blue tube, either. The product itself isn’t blue (thank goodness!). It appears beige but quickly turns transparent as you work it into the skin.

I’ve been on pore patrol for the past five years or so. I guess it was one of those grown-up things that just snuck up on me… One day, out of the blue, while I was probably contemplating bruxism, flat arches or paying the water bill, I realized that my pores had grown to the size of Texas!

Not good.

But this primer does a good job of mellowing them out, although I think most of the heavy lifting is being done by the silicones (they’re listed right at the top of the ingredients).

Smashbox Photo Finish Oil Free Foundation Primer Pore Minimizing With a MAC Lipglass for scale

With a MAC Lipglass for scale

The formula fills in the little dips and divots on my skin, and all of the foundations I’ve tried it with (including MAC Face & Body, Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Fluide and the new NARS All Day Luminous Powder Foundation) look smoother, more polished and more even.


Plus, the normally oily areas on my forehead and nose look less shiny throughout the day. I also find that I don’t have to reapply my powder and blush after applying them in the morning.

Smashbox Photo Finish Oil Free Foundation Primer definitely doesn’t deliver teenage skin in a tube — nothing does that — but when I wear I do think my pores look less obvious.

Unlike an awful ex who thankfully disappears into a mysterious black hole after you break up (he isn’t even on Facebook), your pores will still be there to say wasssssup! They’ll just appear diminished.

PRICE: $39 for a 1-oz. tube
AVAILABILITY: Permanent, and available now at Smashbox counters and online

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 16 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Fancie says:

    Doesn’t sound too bad! My pores aren’t really big but I have a lot of shine and fine lines these days. Silicone primers have been working wonders for me!
    Fancie recently posted … Too Faced Melted Violet Lipstick Review

  2. Lulle says:

    No breakout with the silicone filling the pores?
    And do you think it can be used on its own, without foundation on top, to blur pores? I don’t wear foundation daily, but I could use something light to blur imperfections.
    Lulle recently posted … New Diorskin Star Foundation by Dior – is it worth it?

  3. Nik says:

    You look so beautiful! Please please, do you recall what blush are you wearing here, it’s amazing!

  4. Sylirael says:

    Hm, this sounds really nice! I only have quibbles really with the pores on the centre of my forehead, near my brows (I discovered, on thinking about it, that I actually don’t really know what qualifies as ‘big’ when it comes to pores, unless you can see them from across the room or something!), but I don’t want to cake foundation on to that area. Something like this might be the answer!
    Sylirael recently posted … A Rogue Beholder! Eye Makeup Looks From the Sleek Storm & Arabian Nights Palettes

  5. I think I’ll stick with my Dior Pore Minimizer for now. But this does sound okay. But Karen, teenage skin in a tube, who wants that anyway?! I certainly would not want MY teenage skin to return, it was terrible! 😉 But maybe you were a prettier teen 😉
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … Another smokey fall look with the Smashbox Cherry Smoke Photo Op Eye Shadow Palette

  6. Yes, teenage skin minus the pimples, that I would take. Sadly, silicon-heavy primers (or foundations, for that matter) tend to break me out, so it would most likely be teenage skin with all the zits. No thank you!

  7. Ann Karlin says:

    Karen, what lipstick is that? It’s beautiful!

  8. Kim says:

    I think I have a sample of this – I’m like a primer sample hoarder because Sephora keeps sending them and I rarely use them. I am a fan of the silicone smoothness, though, so I might like it. I just worry about pore clogging. That said, I am in need of pore diminishing! 🙂

    • Karen says:

      You’ll like this then because it gets skin really smooooooove. 🙂 What primer are you currently using now? Or do you just use your Tarte tinted moisturizer by itself?

  9. Erin says:

    Ok, pore reducing primer check. NARS has a new powder foundation!?!?! Tell me more!
    Erin recently posted … Holy Grail Skincare: The Magic Pads Review

  10. Heather Keller says:

    I use Sarah McNamara Miracle skin Transformer or Bare Minerals primer. Wonder workers. Loreal also makes a Blur that helps the face when you haven’t had enough sleep .

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