Smashbox Photo Finish Primer

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Being oily skinned has its advantages. A fresh, nice glow. No crust. The constant, low level satisfaction of knowing that you won’t age as quickly as your dryer, or ’normal’ skinned peers.

Then again, there are the drawbacks. How in summer you can’t so much apply liquid foundation as ‘swirl it around with skin juice’. How (voice of announcer on tube) in hot weather, it is advisable to carry a setting powder with you at all times. And finally how, if you’re anything like me, the pores on your nose become so massive it’s like every single one of them is a little mouth screaming ‘IT’S SO HOT’.

I am very pore-conscious. Lots of exfoliators and serums claim to shrink them. I have yet to encounter one that does the job, and believe the claims to be a load of old guff anyway because it’s just one of those things that’s genetic. If I accept the good hair and strong teeth, I must also learn to embrace the small boobs and nose pores the size of polos.

Or, rather, find a way to cheat them.

Step in Smashbox Pore Minimising Primer, a flesh coloured (provided you have white flesh, sorry) polyfilla for nose pores. It’s a cream, I think. So powdery it is that what comes out seemingly as a liquid turns almost to ash when rubbed, a bit like a dead moth, y’know?

Anyway I appear to be selling it short which isn’t the intention for it is very good. I don’t use it on my whole face, as I find it too thick and mattifying. If it seems like an excess to have a whole bottle of £28 primer to use exclusively on your nose, you clearly have never been anybody that’s come up against the pore wars and good luck to you. But for those of us who do, it works out as a bargain as it means the small bottle lasts months. Apply a small squeeze (like a very small pea) on to your nose and watch it fill in all the holes, and sop up the oil like a slice of 50/50 at the end of a gravy soaked roast dinner.

There are other primers in the Smashbox collection; oil & shine control, the original, one simply called RADIANCE (which is primer with highlighter mixed in, seems slightly pointless if you’re applying foundation over the top). They all do pretty much the same job, and it’s a good one. But for the nose pore purpose, i't’s the one in the purple bottle you want. Cover FX’s blurring primer is very similar to this at £2 extra, and I enjoy it ever so slightly more but can’t work out whether that’s because it’s got a thinner consistency or whether I’m one of those people that believe if it’s slightly more expensive and you can buy it in Liberty then it must be better. I suspect it’s a bit of both, but either way Smashbox works a treat and is available in Boots.

Smashbox Photo Finish Pore Minimising Primer, £28

Rebecca Humphries