Make Up - Face Review: Make Up Sephora Smashbox

Smashbox Photo Filter Powder Foundation: A versatile coverage photo filter compact foundation for flawless looking skin

Every girl started their makeup journey with one particular product. I often spoke about mine, which was a 2-way powder foundation. I was on 2-way powder foundation for a good 10 years (and more) until I discovered the wonders of liquid foundation. Powder foundation out the window and hello liquid foundation! I have not look back since then. Yes the application time and steps are longer than using a powder foundation but the finishing is beautiful. To be honest, when I saw that Smashbox launched three new products back in April 2015, I was least excited with the Photo Filter Powder Foundation. Not because it was horribly bad but because I’ve grown out of powder foundation. Now, it is my most favourite new product from Smashbox among the three items. Surpise, surprise, eh? 🙂

Smashbox Photo Filter Powder Foundation
Smashbox signature packaging and colour has always been matte black. Don’t expect anything more than that because this is how Smashbox is. Simple, and black 😛 . I have no issue with the packaging except for powder finger prints on the casing. Then again, nothing that a wet tissue couldn’t do.

Smashbox Photo Filter Powder Foundation Casing
The casing is medium bulky as a compartment space is needed to store the special double-sided sponge on the underneath.

Smashbox Photo Filter Powder Foundation Sponge
Overall, there are 8 shades available. The shade that I got is Shade 2. Usually I would go for Shade 1, which is the lightest. After using this Photo Filter Powder Foundation for a good few weeks, Shade 2 works just fine on my skin. The swirl on the top of the pan does disappear after quite some time but it takes a long time to totally disappear 🙂 . I thought you would want to know that.

I didn’t know that this Photo Finish Powder Foundation is such a hit until I start doing a bit of a research. Again, this is not just an ordinary powder foundation. It’s a photo filter in a compact that was infused with light filter technology – says Smashbox. What it does is to diffuse light in various directions, blurring imperfections while keeping the subject in focus.

Smashbox Photo Filter Powder Foundation Shade 2
Now, the star of the product is the powder foundation itself BUT for me the star is also the special double-sided sponge that is included with the product. What’s so special about the sponge is that one side comes with some kind of short and fine hair aka the velvety side, while the other side is a smooth surface sponge. The sponge gave the powder foundation application two different coverage – Velvety Side for a natural looking sheer-to-medium coverage and Smooth Side for a demi-matte full coverage.

Smashbox Photo Filter Powder Foundation Dual-Sided Sponge
I started my experiment with the Smashbox Photo Filter Powder Foundation with none other than full coverage. Powder foundation generally doesn’t provide as good coverage as liquid foundation so I assumed this product is the same too and I decided I would use the Smooth Side sponge for a fuller coverage. To my surprise, the powder on the pan seems somewhat creamier than any other powder foundation I’ve ever used. I used the fold the sponge, dab + blend in small stroke, blending from the center of the face towards outwards as seen in this video. Now, it can get cakey towards middle of the day IF you apply more than 2 thick coats so the key to using this powder foundation is to use it moderately and as sheer as possible. If you plan to build coverage, start with a sheer layer. Do not just dab only. Must use the dab and blend technique.

Here is the Before and After comparison 🙂

Smashbox Photo Filter Powder Foundation Before and After
It wasn’t until last week that I’ve been wondering about the type of coverage that the Velvety Side sponge gave. So I thought it would be interesting to show you how it looked like side by side.

What I notice was that the powder on my face using the Smooth Side sponge (full coverage) tend to oxidize just a tiny bit by the time I started applying on the other side using the Velvety Side sponge (medium coverage). Other than that, it doesn’t oxidize throughout the day. Application using the Velvety Side is easier for some reason. It may be the tiny fine hairs on the sponge that speed up the application. It also covers up every flaw on my face pretty well. In fact more than what I expected. Undeniably, the coverage is also much more smooth, while the full coverage side is demi-matte therefore the pores on my face is more visible.

I like that the powder is creamy but yet NOT causing my face to oil up at all. I also like that my face doesn’t look powdery. A powder foundation that is creamy, now…that’s my first 🙂

Smashbox Photo Filter Powder Foundation Comparison Using Both Side of the Sponge
Does it gave me 2 different look on the face? Absolutely not. Once both side’s powder sets, I hardly can tell the difference. The coverage is absolutely superb. It adhere to the skin effortlessly as the polymers are created with medical-grade liquid bandage technology, which helps the powder to adhere to the skin all-day. It’s non-drying definitely, non-powdery, non-streaky, and non-cakey if you apply sheerly.

Smashbox Photo Filter Powder Foundation Closeup Difference
Whenever I’m using Photo Filter Powder Foundation, I skipped concealer all together. This is because the coverage of this powder is way better than I imagine so I normally would either use a smaller brush to do pin-point concealing or simply just use the sponge to dab more powder for coverage.

Smashbox Photo Filter Powder Foundation Coverage
The Smashbox Photo Filter Powder Foundation reminds me of BareMinerals powder foundation but this one here is way more comfortable on the skin and easier to apply. It also doesn’t accentuate my larger than life pores like BareMinerals one does. I like that it keeps the oil at bay, provided you used it the right way.

Can you see why I like this so much? It’s flawless finishing! 🙂

Smashbox Photo Filter Powder Foundation Full Makeup


Smashbox Photo Finish Powder Foundation is now available at Smashbox counter at Parkson Pavilion and at all Sephora stores nationwide (except for Robinsons).

Price: RM152. Available in 8 shades.

For more information, please visit Smashbox Product Website.


Disclaimer: Product was sent to me for review consideration. This doesn’t affect my judgement in the review in any way.


Comments (5)

  • Oh my! You have done it again! I feel like I need this! My MAC has hit pan so I think I should get it!

    • Try this on the face first, walk around for a few hours to see if you like it 🙂

  • Wow. I think it is really impressive.

    • It’s quite good. Not because I was sent the product but it does performs good on me 😛

  • That is one flawless coverage! I notice that it’s not drying like other powder foundation. It’s definitely worth it.


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