A Drugstore Find: Did Maybelline Dupe the Smashbox Primer?

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Foundation Primer, Review, Smashbox Primer
Smashbox's Photo Finish Foundation Primer is a cult classic. This silicone primer applies smoothly to skin, allows foundation to appear much more smooth without settling into lines or pores, and can even prolong wear. Millions of women swear by it for a reason. Truthfully, I only use it when I'm having problems with a foundation, but I have it in my makeup drawer and repurchase it when I'm running low.

But, it is a tad expensive and requires a trip to Sephora or ULTA to obtain. Luckily, Maybelline recently released their Instant Age Rewind Primer.

Is it a dupe? I think it's about as close as you'll ever find in a drugstore product. They're both silicone based primers, designed to help foundation apply more smoothly, evening out pores and fine lines.

Apply over moisturizer that has fully sunken in. Truly. If there is a little bit of moisturizer on your skin, the primer will pill up like crazy, making you look like you've applied Elmer's School Glue everywhere instead of primer (according to Carmindy this works great to remove blackheads, though I've yet to try it). The pilled up primer is basically impossible to rub off without washing your face and starting over. I've had this issue with the Smashbox product as well, though it does seem a bit more intense with the Maybelline product.

I wait a minute or two for it to "set" on my skin, and then apply foundation as usual. Every brand has applied more evenly with fewer visible pores, and wear has been improved!

This product does say that it will improve the appearance of your skin in one step, and that it has a "subtle pink tint for a youthful glow". There is a very faint pink tint to the product, though it does not translate over on to the skin and I don't think it affected my "glow" at all. In addition, when used alone it doesn't seem to do anything regarding skin appearance, you just can't tell that it is there.

If you like silicone face primers, this is definitely a great one to try out!

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Primer Skin Transformer


  1. It's interesting to see drug store brands finally release primers, as I've been using Smashbox for years and always end up hating the price paid.

    I haven't tried the Maybelline primer, however I have been using L'Oreal Studio Secrets Face Primer. I absolutely recommend the L'Oreal primer and it's a fraction of the price of Smashbox.

  2. Do you have any suggestions for good oil control primers? I have combination skin, but my forehead gets so oily! Thanks!

  3. Interesting!! I'm almost out of my smashbox and I will be giving this a go! I adore Smashbox but if I can find a cheaper alternate that would be amazing! Thanks for this review!

  4. Moni, I've been trying out the L'Oreal one that RSeigler mentioned and it's nice and a bit more mattifying, but not a lot. Honestly, I've been using a trick I found on Makeup Alley, and it's Milk Of Magnesia (really!). I'm going to write about it next week. It's really working, but there are some tricks.

  5. I tried the Maybeline this morning, and I do like how my foundation went on. The test will be...will I break out from this?

  6. Has anyone who has tried this experienced break outs?


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