Doesn’t it seem like more and more makeup brands are getting onto the airbrushed bandwagon? — the one filled with colorless loose powders designed to deliver an “airbrushed” look?
“[PRODUCT NAME] absorbs oil to create a matte finish, sets foundation and concealer, blurs fine lines and reduces the appearance of pores for a soft focus (read: airbrushed) look.”
The latest airbrushing beauty bit to cross my path calls itself Smashbox Photo Set Finishing Powder with SPF 15 ($28), and it airbrushes with the power of — wait for it — zinc oxide!
Rather than being absorbed into the skin, zinc oxide, an inorganic white powder, acts as a physical sunblock, sitting atop the skin where it reflects rays of UVA and UVB light. Generally considered noncomedogenic (meaning it doesn’t block pores), zinc oxide is also a mild antimicrobial believed to accelerate wound healing. Unfortunately, products containing enough of it can look chalky on darker skin tones.
After wearing Photo Set a few times over the past week, there are some things about the product I think Smashbox really did well. First, the packaging — LOVE the wide jar, which accommodates my big powder brush without making a mess.
Second, it handles oil pretty well. With it on, even after a full day, my forehead, chin and nose (the oiliest parts of my face) are only just beginning to shine.
As for the whole soft focus effect thing, well, I don’t know. It’s hard to say. I haven’t noticed anything when I’ve been out and about, but I think I do detect slightly smoother skin in pictures. The effect isn’t as dramatic as it is with MAC Prep+Prime (which, by the way, is frickin’ fantastic), but I think it’s still there.
Smashbox Photo Set Finishing Powder SPF 15 on face
Unfortunately, Photo Set suffers from the zinc oxide curse — yep, it leaves a slight white cast on my NC35 skin. It’s subtle, though (I wouldn’t call it chalky), and lovelies with lighter skin may not even notice it at all.
But then there’s the price… At first I thought, “Cool! A big jar!” But it’s really not that big. At $28 for 0.17 ounces, Smashbox is actually charging more for less. MAC Prep+ Prime delivers 0.32 ounces for $23, Tarte Smooth Operator costs $28 for 0.32 ounces and Make Up For Ever’s HD Microfinish will set you back $30 for 0.35 oz. All of them work out to more product for less.
All told, Photo Set probably won’t be kicking my beloved MAC Prep+Prime off its pedestal any time soon (Prep+Prime also happens to be SPF 50). It’s pricey, and I’m not too keen on the white cast, but Tabs gives it two paws up for being cruelty-free.
PRICE: $28 for a 0.17-oz. jar
AVAILABILITY: At Sephora stores and smashbox.com
MAKEUP AND BEAUTY BLOG RATING: B
Wherefore art thou, sleep?
Desperately seeking sleep!
Hello, young lady. I got home late last night from a work dinner in SF and didn’t get to bed until 2, so I’m not feeling entirely coherent today.
Speaking of books (kidding), remember that big book of food essays I started a few days ago? I finally finished it, and now I’m really, really hungry.
I’m so hungry, in fact, that I could eat an entire carrot cake right now, no joke!
But enough about my food cravings. Howzit going today? Tell me something good.
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,