Rock it or Knock it? Smashbox Primer Oil Review


Thanks to work, I feel like it’s been an eternity since I blogged. I absolutely love teaching history, but I also work as an admin assistant, and by the time I get home each night, I’m too tired to blog. Let’s fix that with a review on one of the most hyped-up beauty items of the year: the new Smashbox Primer Oil. This has been on everyone’s beauty radar for months as a product that sounds too good to be true–a luxury face oil that adds radiance while smoothing lines and boosts hydration while prepping skin for foundation. I was intrigued by the idea of using an oil as a primer, but the price of $42 always made me hesitate. This winter though, my previously combo skin has changed dramatically to being parched and dry, and I finally splurged on this in an attempt to rehydrate my skin.

This oil contains many ingredients that are supposedly great for any skintype, including rosehip oil, tamanu oil, safflower oil, and numerous antioxidants. It’s a light golden color with a flowery fragrance, and it does go on feeling quite light. In fact…too light. When I first applied it, I warmed two drops in my palms, as per the instructions, and pressed them into my facial skin. Not only did my face turn red, but it also still felt dry as the Salt Lake Desert. I applied three more drops and tried to ignore how tight my face felt as I applied my foundation. True enough, my foundation did go on wonderfully smoothly, and I loved the way the oil made it look more like skin. But…my face felt so dry. For an hour, my foundation looked good, then it started getting patchy, and by the third hour, most of it had simply dissolved–and I could barely move my face it felt so dehydrated.

But I was determined to make it work. For a week I wore the oil to bed at night, hoping that a whole teaspoon of it would finally give me the hydration it promised. It didn’t. I continued to use the oil as a primer that week as well, and every day my face felt so dry I had to borrow vaseline from the preschool class at work to smear around my nose and mouth to keep my skin from cracking. Every day my foundation looked patchy and dry, and by that sunday, the oil had also given me a face full of pimples. Yikes.

As much as I wanted to like this primer oil, it just did not work on me at all. I know lots of women who swear by it, but if you have very dry, acne-prone skin, I would stay far away from it. It was simply not hydrating at all, it irritated my skin, and I’m still trying to get rid of all the whiteheads it caused. I love facial oils, but something in this one did not agree with my skin at all.  I ended up returning it. Sorry, Smashbox, but this is not rock ‘n’ rouge approved!

Garnier Oil Cleanser for dry skin

Today I will be reviewing the new Garnier Cleansing Oil for dry skin. This is one of the first oil cleansers available on the Western market, so needless to say I was excited to try it out. Although my skin is combination in the worst sense of the word (somehow very oily and very dry at the same time) and quite acne-prone, I still wanted to try it. I have made my own cleansing oils in the past, but was dissatisfied with them and wanted to see how this one compared. Now, I will say that one of the main ingredients in this is mineral oil–great for dry skin, but something that many consumers are hesitant to put on their faces. My skin seems to be okay with mineral oil, so I bought it anyway. Garnier claims that this oil “dissolves impurities and long wear makeup” while moisturizing dry skin with jojoba and macadamia oils, with no oily residue. Sounds good, right? On a dry face, I used three pumps of the oil. My first impression was wow, that’s a strong fragrance! For those of you who are sensitive to heavy perfumes in cosmetics, this one has a very strong floral scent which does fade away fairly quickly. Although it is a thick oil, it felt very soothing to massage it onto my face, and it did immediately dissolve my makeup. I had worn the everlasting Revlon Colorstay, but this oil cleaned it away with almost no effort. I massaged it into my skin for five minutes, then added warm water to emulsify the oil, as the directions advised. While the oil had been thick and warm on my dry face, as soon as it made contact with the water, it turned into this beautiful, creamy milk (that’s the best way to describe it) that definitely hydrated my skin. I rinsed it away and didn’t notice any residue, only clean, nourished skin. I used it for a month before writing a review just to see how my notoriously sensitive and pimply skin would respond to it. It moisturized my skin, minimized redness, got rid of eyemakeup better than anything I have used before, and did a phenomenal job giving me clean-feeling skin. The caveat? It did make me break out. Badly. HOWEVER, I don’t hold that against the product, because it says specifically it is for dry skin, not for preventing acne. I knew it was a gamble for me to try it, and I wasn’t expecting it to clear my acne. It did exactly what it said it would, and for someone with dry skin, I would highly recommend this. Anyone with more mature skin would probably love this, as would someone with sensitive skin, because this does not strip the skin. For someone with acne, like me, I wouldn’t recommend it, but I still give it a grade of A-, because again, it is marketed as a product for dry skin, not pimples.