Smashbox Photo Finish Balance

As I’ve mentioned before, I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Smashbox primers. Photo Finish Balance is no different. I am curious to see how the new Photo Finish Hydrating one will work in comparison to its predecessors but for now, I’m working on finishing the Photo Finishes I have now. Again, I have this in the older packaging with the bottle rather than the newer version in the squeeze tube.

According to the product description:

“Color correcting, wrinkle reducing, and dark spot defying – talk about a miracle product! Create a perfect canvas for foundation application and even out skin tone with this silky, lightweight blend of antioxidants and vitamins A & E. The formula helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and pores for visibly softer, younger-looking skin. Wear under foundation or alone for a velvety-smooth finish. Now in a sleek tube for perfect dispensing down to the last drop! BALANCE is lavender-toned to brighten dull or sallow skin.”

Dull or sallow skin is usually shown when your skin has a bit of yellow to your skin. The lavender shade neutralizes the yellow, similar to how red and green cancel each other out. Unlike green, lavender shades tend to give you a boost in complexion by reflecting more light off your face.

Out of bottle, it pumps out purple but once you apply it to your face, it will go on translucent. It does not cover up acme scars but it does give a smooth base, provided your skin is well-moisturized. This isn’t the best brightening primer out there as I didn’t find it brightened my skin so much as bleached my skin. I use a smaller amount than one regular pump to prevent my face from becoming¬† rather pale compared to the rest of my body before I apply foundation. As for the lasting time, I did become oily but my foundation does stay on. I will say I have seen better primers. I have a feeling this would work better for someone with a lighter skin tone. If you’re looking to hide red acme marks (this was recommended by an SA when I had been looking at the green version), this won’t work for the pimples or the scarring afterwards. Given the amount of preparation I need for my face for this primer, I find it too high maintenance to use continuously.


Elizabeth Arden Pine

Elizabeth Arden’s Smoky Eyes Powder Pencil in Pine was among the first eyeliners I bought for myself after I stopped relying on the ones given in GWPs. I was going to aim for black because you can almost never go wrong with black when the SA (whom I’ve known for a long time since she’s known me since my first makeover through my mother) suggested Pine, a charcoal gray with deep green tinge when the light hits it just right. It’s less harsh than black but still dark enough to make the eyes pop.

As you can see, Pine is on its last rungs of life. I predict I have maybe a sharpen or two left before I am done. Towards the end when I was pushing the pencil into the sharpener, the smudge brush started pulling out a bit. I’ve removed it now to get a better grip on the pencil to sharpen and will probably attach the smudge brush to something else to be used on its own.

It is one of the softest eye pencils I’ve ever used, no tugging required. However, the only drawback I’ve found is that it smudges very easily. If you’re hoping for a sharply defined eyeliner, this is not the eyeliner for you. I mostly use it for smoky eyes or as a base for blending in other colours for a smoky look or otherwise.