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Beauty Battle: Smashbox Vs. Rimmel Primer

By Wardrobeoxygen @wardrobe_oxygen
When summer comes, I shed more and more cosmetics with each rise with the thermometer. Nothing is worse than wiping sweat off your brow and looking like The Joker in The Dark Night. my summer routine is usually a primer to hide pores and minimize sweat, Laura Mercier Secret Camoflague to minimize dark circles and redness around the nostrils and lips, a subtle bronzer as a bit of color and as powder, mascara, lipcolor and maybe a bit of waterproof liquid liner.
My go-to primer is Smashbox Photo Finish Original (clear); I like how it has a powdery finish, is clear, a little goes a long way, and I really think it helps my skin looks smooth, minimize brow sweat a bit, and keep my concealer from sliding off. However, I was reading a recent blog (so sorry can’t find which one it is – let me know if it’s you and I will link!) and this blogger said that Rimmel Fix & Protect primer rivaled Smashbox. I then went to Makeup Alley and saw that Rimmel got about the same score as Smashbox (3/5, lots of raves, lots of mehs).

Beauty Battle: Smashbox vs. Rimmel PrimerFace Primer by Smashbox at ShopStyle

Smashbox Original Photo Finish Primer - $36.00

Beauty Battle: Smashbox vs. Rimmel PrimerFace Primer by Rimmel at ShopStyle

Rimmel Fix & Protect Foundation Primer - $6.89

For that price, I could try it out and not have too much heartburn if it didn’t live up to these claims.
Well I have been using it for a bit over a week, to the beach, in the humidity, under foundation and on its own. Here’s how it compares to Smashbox:
ColorSmashbox: I use the clear version, so no color
Rimmel: It’s a weird orangey-beige color in the tube, if I rub it in well it becomes invisible, but if I am in a rush or miss a spot I get the cheapy drugstore foundation orange streak. However, come summer I am a bit orangey-beige in color so I just may be “lucky” with this. I think someone with a very fair or darker complexion may find it a poor choice.
TextureSmashbox: It is a gel that leaves a powder finish on the skin, dries pretty quickly.
Rimmel: Consistency of a foundation, creamy and a bit sticky. Dries to a smooth finish that is the slightest bit tacky.
Pore-hiding CapabilitiesSmashbox: I’d give it 2/5 stars for this. I really don’t think anything on this planet minimizes my pores without looking as though I am wearing a coat of paint.
Rimmel: 1/5 stars. It is a thinner consistency, so it sort of falls into the pores. Put it on too thick, and you look as though you’re trying to fill in your pores.
Shine ReductionSmashbox: 4/5 stars. It won’t stop future sweat and oil, but it does make my skin look smooth and soft and dry enough to be able to go without foundation or tinted moisturizer if I have a bit of a tan.
Rimmel: 3/5 stars. Not bad, but I look more as though I have tinted moisturizer on and still need a puff of powder on my nose. Evens the skin more, but still leaves my chin and nose looking greasy.
Ability to Make Makeup LastSmashbox: 3/5 stars. It does a better job than going at it alone, but it’s not Holy Grail. I have actually used far better primers for this job (such as Philosophy), but Smashbox is better in other categories for me.
Rimmel: 4/5 This is where the tacky feel works. It really seems to act like glue to hold my foundation and concealer in place. When I sweat and mop my face, less product ends up on my tissue, when I wipe my brow I don’t look as though my face is melting off.
LongevitySmashbox: 3/5 stars. Not bad, but not awesome.
Rimmel: 4/5 stars. Again, the tackiness helps out.
Kindness to SkinSmashbox: 5/5 stars. This never makes me break out, it never clogs my pores, I never get redness or irritation from using it. I never put it near my eyes, but even with rubbing, it has never gotten my contacts-wearing peepers unhappy.
Rimmel: 2/5 stars. Not the worst, but since using it I got a weird little whitehead near my right nostril and two blackheads on either side of my jawline. This could be pure coincidence, but I haven’t had whiteheads past my actual chin (those where you puff out your chin you can see but otherwise they are pretty hideen) or blackheads past the tip of my nose since maternity leave. I also have gotten the red itchy feeling around my nostrils that I get with Bare Escentuals.
Final verdict?
Rimmel isn’t bad… as long as you are medium complexion, aren’t terribly oily, and don’t have skin sensitivity. For a drugstore product, it’s pretty darn good and I think better than some other primers I have used that cost twice or three times as much.
However, for me, I am sticking to Smashbox. I like the powder finish, I like that it evens me enough to be able to go without powder and foundation, and I like that it is kind to my skin.
Have you used either primer? What do you think? And do you have a favorite I should try out?

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