Smashbox's Photo Filter Powder Foundation is a very good addition to the brand's foundation lineup. Providing light to medium coverage, this fragrance-free formula looks natural on skin, resisting a heavy or over-powdered appearance (unless, of course, you follow a heavy-handed approach to your makeup application).
The finish is satin matte, and is best for those with oily to combination skin, including the acne prone. Those with drier skin types will likely find this uncomfortably matte, and as is the case with powder foundations in general, it will highlight flakey or dry patches.
Housed in an attractive black mirrored compact, Photo Filter Powder Foundation includes a sponge for easy touch ups. The formula blends seamlessly with skin, making application quick, and it is simple to build coverage over areas that need a little more help. Using the enclosed sponge, you'll likely find that you tend to pick up more product than is necessary. We found that using a fluffy, domed brush was far more natural looking—allowing for a more precise placement of foundation where you need it most, and easy sheering out of coverage where you don't.
Providing an immediate light coverage, this can be layered to a medium level that's enough to conceal minor to moderate discolorations and other imperfections. More substantial discolorations or blemishes will still necessitate your go-to concealer, but this makes an excellent base to give skin an attractive, even appearance.
On those with oily to combination skin, Photo Filter Powder Foundation holds up surprisingly well over the course of the workday. We didn't need touch ups to boost its coverage, but any very oily areas will still need a light blot after a few hours.
Regarding its color range, Smashbox (at the time of this review) offers 10 attractive shades that run from light to deep skin tones. The range does lean warm, but not unnaturally so. We should note that the lightest shade is still a bit too dark for the very fair.
Last, this includes several interesting ingredients that aren't too common in powder foundations—antioxidants, reparative and even cell-communicating ingredients were included. While they won't be as effective over the long-term given the exposure to air and light, Smashbox did an exceptional job exceeding the average powder foundations on the market.
Smashbox's Photo Filter Powder Foundation was a standout, earning its rating for its ease of blending, natural appearance and attractive light-to-medium coverage. Will it be your "selfie" foundation of choice? We can't say for certain. However, we can say that this is well worth checking out on your next trip to Sephora or Ulta.
Two interesting things about Smashbox are that its name refers to the early, accordion-style cameras and that Smashbox is first and foremost a Hollywood-based photography studio. The company's creators, Dean and Davis Factor, have their heritage in makeup—their great-grandfather was the legendary makeup artist Max Factor. The makeup, which debuted in 1996, began as a collection of trendy and fashion-forward colors coupled with a pleasingly neutral palette of foundations, concealers, and powders. Nowadays, there are exceptional options to choose from, but also some color products that fall short due to too sheer formulas or other issues noted in their respective reviews.
Where Smashbox has lived up to their Hollywood makeup pedigree is with a few standout formulas, including impressive lip products as well as excellent foundations, BB and CC cream options. Of course, the brand is also well-known for their range of makeup primers—whether that’s a necessary step is up for debate—but nevertheless they do offer a few products in this category that are worth considering.
For more information about Smashbox, now owned by Estee Lauder visit www.smashbox.com.
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