Desperately wanting to try a new eyeshadow primer without having to pay a lot of money for a product I am not even sure I would like, I strolled around Beauty Brands for a half hour before my eyes came across the Smashbox Try It Kit. For just twenty bucks, I could try several products from a new brand and not feel bad if I didn’t like it.
The kit comes with generous samples of the following: Photo Finish Foundation Primer, Photo Finish Lid Primer, Hyperlash Mascara in Blackout, Lip Gloss in a nude color called Illume and an eyeliner pencil in Onyx. Considering that I didn’t even know that there was such a thing as foundation primer and I’m always a sucker for a new mascara that will do something with my super-short lashes, I didn’t even hesitate to bring it home. Had I purchased the primer it would have cost the same anyway.
The first thing I did when I returned to my sanctuary was check out the reviews of the products online. I became worried when I noticed that the foundation primer tended out get lukewarm and mixed reviews. Everything else included in the kit seemed to have great reception so I was still pleased with my purchase.
The foundation primer was a little strange for me. It feels soft and frictionless against my skin but not greasy. I tend to get dry patches that show up badly under foundation and powder but this primer smoothed them out with only a small visible patch above my eyebrow. I do have to admit, I loved how the primer improved my foundation (Studio Fix by MAC) and I also loved the fact that my boyfriend mentioned how nice my make-up looked. One concern by many reviewers is the tendency to break out after using. I washed promptly when I got home for the day and haven’t had any unusual acne or skin irritation yet.
The lid primer was my biggest victory, however. I use a multitude of eye-shadows, ranging from powder to water based to creams and greases due to performances and just day-to-day looks. I was sick of my color fading and creasing after just a short while and am desperately seeking a primer that blends with my skin as well as prevents the aforementioned issues. This primer handled all of my product needs and held up even with my water based colors. No bleeding, no creasing, no fading. I’ll definitely be revisiting this product.
The mascara was incredible. I could see myself using this as my stage mascara because of how vivid my lashes look with it on. Super smooth with minimal clumping and good lash separation. Truly all a girl could want.
The gloss and eye-liner didn’t really ring my bell. The gloss gives a nice shine to my lips when used alone but it feels sticky after ten minutes and has the annoying effect of drying my lips out. The eyeliner pencil is good for those that are in love with pencil liners, but I’ve moved to gel liner and don’t see myself going back. I wouldn’t throw either product out and am keeping them as back-ups.
Overall, I feel it was a great buy for the money and would recommend it for people who are uncertain with Smashbox brand cosmetics or are looking to get on the primer train. Three great product options that I wouldn’t have been able to purchase otherwise for a great price and two products that aren’t awful means a great economic purchase for those beauty gurus on a budget.
Allison Henthorn has over 10 years experience with stage and couture make-up.