Make Up For Ever Step 1 Skin Equalizer: Smoothing Primer

Primers are often a hit or miss for me; which makes me very picky when it comes to choosing and committing to a particular primer. For the most part, I can do without one — as long as I apply an oil-free/gel moisturizer for the day time that is lightweight, and I religiously blot twice a day while wearing a full-face of makeup. As for oil-control, I’ve learned that blotting and accepting that I have to blot is the best way to go since no product out there truly eliminates or prohibits my skin’s oil production!

With that said, I was excited to get my hands on the Make Up For Ever Step 1 Skin Equalizer primers that are now available in 10 different formulas. What makes the Equalizer range so wonderful is that you’ve got multiple primers/formulas to choose from depending on your own skin’s needs. The Skin Equalizer primers are designed to be a “makeup primer that assists with balancing the skin’s texture and tone for smoother, more even, and longer-lasting makeup wear.” Additionally, these primers function as the first step in your makeup routine, and they’re supposed to “address your skin concerns with this innovative makeup primer” that can be “perfect for balancing skin and achieving an ideal makeup result.” For the most part, all 10 of the Skin Equalizers are lightweight and creamy, and depending on what your skincare concerns are, they seem to leave your skin more evenly-toned in appearance.


I chose the Smoothing Primer, which seemingly may increase your foundation’s longevity; however, it’s equally hydrating, comfortable, and soothing on the skin. Make Up For Ever describes this primer to be for all skintones, and suggests that the formulas all leave “makeup looking fresh for hours while it hydrates, firms, and smooths the look of the skin.” The smoothing primer is supposed to even the skin’s texture, such as lines, pores, and any bumps along the way. I feel like out of the 10 formulas, it’s the best one to address textural issues rather than pigmentation issues. A little bit goes a long ways and it adheres to the skin very well — without disrupting the foundation application process. It’s lightweight without feeling to balmy or tacky; and, it seems that it absorbs pretty quickly without looking too matte or too slick.


I like to apply this right before foundation. The Smoothing Primer does just that — smooths. I feel like my skin looks a lot better before foundation is even applied, which allows me to use less product too. In addition, it “plugs” my pores nicely so that my foundation applies smoother and sits nicely on my skin. While it doesn’t necessarily control oil production, it does seem to keep my makeup intact so that it doesn’t budge or smudge away throughout the day. For me, I particularly like this for pairing with a powder foundation since it gives the powder something nice to “stick to.”

Made in Japan.
Retails for $36.00 USD.