Last spring I tested out Make Up For Ever's then new Step 1 Skin Equalizer Primer. Made up of 10 different primers that each target a different problem area, this line promises to "triple the power of your foundation: easier application, optimized makeup result, improved wear." I tried out the Mattifying primer and while I didn't love it as much as MUFE's now discontinued HD Micorperfecting primer, it did do a fantastic job of preventing shine.
Because of that experience, I was quite pleased to see this line pop up in a recent Topbox. This time around I received the Smoothing primer. According to MUFE, this product, "evens out skin texture by minimizing pores, wrinkles and fine lines" resulting in "silky soft skin" that is "resurfaced and perfectly smooth for a flawless makeup all day long."
I started by applying this primer over a patch of skin that has visible pores. While they didn't vanish, they were definitely minimized. I could unquestionably tell which side of my face had primer on and which side didn't, something that often isn't as easy as it should be when it comes to primers.
The same impact happened when I smooth the product over my forehead. My frown lines went from clearly there to almost gone. And yes, this is before any makeup was applied.
Besides the results, I also really enjoyed this product's texture. My biggest issue with the Mattifying version is that it's a thick primer that feels almost like non-sticky glue. The Smoothing primer however feels the way a primer should feel: Like satin. It literarily glided onto my skin and once on, it created a smooth-but-weightless canvas that did indeed ease makeup application.
And while it didn't give me "flawless makeup all day long," it did extend the life of my foundation, keeping it in place for several hours. The smooth surface it created also allowed me to use less foundation, which was an unexpected benefit.
Another surprised benefit was that this product also mattifies. While the Smoothing primer makes no claims about fighting shine, the first effect I noticed after I smoothed it on was that skin was unquestionably matter. This led me to do a split face test that compared this primer against its mattifying sibling. On initial application, both products did a great, and basically equal, job of mattifying my skin. I suspect that on a sweaty, humid day, the Mattifying primer would fight off shine for longer but under our current cold and dry weather conditions, the Smoothing Primer successfully kept my skin mattifying for hours.
All of MUFE's Skin Equalizer primers retail for around $43. That's a high price tag but like any good primer, a little goes a long way and one tube will last you for month. All of the primers are packaged in plastic squeeze tubes that while not attractive are very practical.
Would I buy this product: Yes! Because of its texture, and because it also fights shine, I actually prefer it to the Mattifying primer.
Should you buy this primer: Yes; it's pricey but it works.