Customer Reviews: ALMAY Smart Shade Perfect and Correct Primer, Clear, 1 Fluid Ounce
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on January 16, 2012
I've been using this for a week now underneath light/medium Almay Smart Shade Balanced foundation. The primer feels very thin and light going on my skin, and dries quickly. There is no beading or flaking like I have had with other makeup primers. It does seem to slightly correct the redness in my face, and create an even surface, although it is a very subtle effect.

I let it dry a minute or two, then apply the Almay foundation. My skin looks very even and although I am still shiny and oily, I like the natural look and feel of this primer with the foundation. No cakey look, no settling in pores or fine lines, just a very natural look with light/medium coverage.
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on March 26, 2012
I am not a huge make up buff, but this product has truely gotten me to rave about it! I actually tried the Stila brand primer that was listed as $39, and really liked the results, but couldn't bring myself to spend that kind of money on it. As I continued to browse the store, I came across the Almay primer for $13.99, and took a chance. I LOVE it!!! Normally, I only put on a liquid foundation and blush before stepping out. Since adding the primer, I have significantly noticed a difference in appearance. When I first put the primer on, I immediately see reduced redness in my cheeks. Once I put my foundation on, my skin looks completly even with almost an airbrushed look. I am hooked!!! I'm really cheap when it comes to make up, and almost didn't even want to spend the $13.99, but it will now be a staple in my make drawer!!!
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on October 25, 2013
I am a huge fan of the Neutrogena shine control primer but decided to try the Almay smart shade because the price was good and I always like to try something new. After using half the bottle I went back to my Neutrogena primer.

This primer smells weird, as others have also noted, and isn't good for combination or oily skin. I felt like my makeup didn't stay a ton longer than with no primer again. It's also a rather thin consistency. Not horrible, but doesn't do the best job.
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on July 7, 2015
I love Almay and I LOVE their Smart Shade line! It's genius! This product might leave you a bit disappointed though if you are also an Almay fan-girl.

For starters, it smells terrible. I can't even describe the smell but it is mildly offensive to me and I can smell it for a few hours after applying my foundation over the top of this primer. If you are sensitive to smell I would steer clear of this stuff! The consistency is similar to a face serum - not too watery, not too thick, and it is not oily. It applies easily to your face using fingertips and apart from the smell there is minimal difference that I have seen once it is on my skin. It does not feel tacky or gross on the skin. I do have a small amount of redness on my chin, corners of my mouth, and at the edges of my nose and applying this primer does not really improve it. If anything it dulls my face/skin a bit so I would never wear it alone, but under foundation it's no issue.

After applying the primer I usually wait a couple minutes before applying foundation. The primer definitely helps to hydrate dry areas and would be great for those with dry skin. With combination or oily skin though I would look elsewhere as it is not so great at controlling oil/shine. For those with sensitive or acne prone skin it has not irritated my skin or caused me to breakout which is a huge plus! It actually seems to create a pretty good barrier for keeping makeup from clogging your pores as my acne actually improved noticeably when I used the primer on a daily basis. Without primer I tend to get small whiteheads appearing almost daily when I wear makeup.

I live in Arizona so it's quite HOT most of the time and keeping your makeup from melting off your face can sometimes be a chore. Obviously some maintenance with blotting sheets and powder is necessary throughout the day but a good primer also makes a difference! I have tried this under Almay Smart Shade Skin Tone Matching - Light - 1 oz by Almay as well as Almay Smart Shade Mousse Makeup, Light 0.17 fl oz (20 ml) and it works best with the mousse by far in a hot climate. I believe this is because the mousse dries to a matte finish so oil is kept at bay longer than with the liquid foundation. After a 9 hour workday indoors with the liquid foundation and this primer I look like an oil slick.

In summary, if you are looking for a cheap primer that you can use daily to hydrate dry skin and don't mind the smell, then I would say give this a try. If you have combo or oily skin though, try something else that does a better job of reducing shine.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon April 6, 2012
Bought this at a local discount department store yesterday and discovered how well this works today. This morning I applied the primer before using the Almay Smart Shade make-up. I then applied some powdered blusher. Within minutes my middle-aged skin, that has rosacea, looked smoother and less red. I was amazed. This is the best my skin has looked in years. I now look forward to using make-up as I can see how this small effort makes a difference in how I look.

I highly recommend this easy to use product.
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on April 20, 2016
I have tried multiple primers recently.. and this one was just okay.. I like my primers to be thicker this is a weird one.. I don't even know how to describe it. But i wont buy it again. It doesn't even make your face feel soft.
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on July 21, 2014
Not my favorite. It does not help with any color problems I have, which I honestly didn't expect it to correct much anyway.
As far a primer, I think it's average; I expected more. My biggest complaint is the smell which is something I'll never be able to get used to. The only thing I can compare the smell to is the smell of plain gelatin. I've made homemade pore/blackhead strips in the past that used gelatin, but I couldn't keep doing it. Gelatin smells sooo bad because of what it's made from.

So yeah, there is a faint, but really funky smell + for only being an average primer at it's current price (at least in stores), I would either buy the Almay CC primer or find a different brand all together. I don't see any perfecting or correcting from this product; not even after wearing on a regular basis. I think it's just simply way too translucent to be able to.

The only pro I find in this primer is the fact that it's thin and light.
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on April 23, 2015
I very much dislike this stuff! It does nothing for my skin. The blotchy bed and brown marks are still there. leaves a green ting to my skin. My Almay Smart Shade Anti-Aging Makeup #200 works better to cover up. Wish I could have returned this stuff, or better yet, listened to the reviews and went with Physicians Formula Primer. I have had no problem with that brand in concealer/blemish cover up.
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on September 21, 2015
Did nothing to correct sun damage/age spots or even out my complexion/skin tone in ANY way at all, not even as a 'primer'. Smells icky and clogs pores. I don't think this is genuine Almay or they've gotten so cheap they don't care anymore?
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on June 9, 2015
Bought this to see if it stacked up to my more expensive Stila shade correcting primer. It is very similar but feels a little heavier on. I felt like I had to blend it in more than the Stila. It is a good cheaper version but I ended up sticking with the Stila.
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