It’s all over YouTube that you can use Monistat Chafing Gel as a primer for makeup, and that it works as well as Smashbox Photofinish Primer that costs 6X more! I’m all for saving money and finding inexpensive dupes for costly makeup, so I overcame my reluctance to put on a product that’s intended for “intimate” areas, and bought a tube. I put it through head to head testing against Smashbox Photofinish Foundation Primer and NYX Pore Filler.
The ingredients of these 3 products are very similar, but they’re not exactly the same as many people suggest. Many of their top ingredients: dimethicone, cyclopentasiloxane, silica, dimethicone/vinyldimethicone cross polymer, tocopherol acetate, and trisiloxane are the same, but Smashbox and NYX have a few more things added that could effect their performance.
To test the products, I used each primer on a different day, and took pictures of myself later in the day (usually 8-10 hours after application). I used the same foundation (IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream) over all of the primers and didn’t use a setting powder. Here’s my assessment of each one:
Monistat Soothing Care Chafing Relief Powder-Gel ~ $6 for 1.5 oz.:
Looks and feels very much like Smashbox Primer. It’s a semi-translucent gel that feels like a silky liquid going on. It glides over skin effortlessly and spreads far, so you don’t need much to cover your face. It coats the skin and dries down to a very dry matte finish. It fills in pores, but looks whitish in the pores creating a spotty look (but you can only see it up close). Makeup applies smoothly but needs close attention to really blend seamlessly. It diminished the look of pores, but accentuated wrinkles. It was very comfortable to wear with no itching and it felt weightless. It looked good for 4-6 hours and then started to deteriorate so that by 8 hours the makeup had either slid around or was mostly worn off and my face was shiny. It also caused my eye makeup to slide off so there were dark smears under each eye.
Smashbox Photofinish Foundation Primer ~ $36 for 1 oz.
This is also a semi-translucent gel that feels silky, but not as liquid as the Monistat. It has more tack to it so it stays damp feeling longer. It dries down to a slightly damp feeling matte finish. It’s very silky and glides on easily. It improves the appearance of pores and wrinkles. Makeup glides over and blends very easily giving a more “airbrushed” finish. It was also very comfortable to wear. At 4 hours the makeup was in place and looked really good. At 8 hours there was minimal shine and pores still look good. By 10 hours the makeup was still smooth and even over most of the face, but it was worn off a bit on the bottom half.
NYX Pore Filler ~ $13 for .67 oz.
This one is a flesh toned cream that feels as silky as the other two, but not as liquidy. It has more of a powder feel. It doesn’t spread as effortlessly or as far as the others, but seems to set up and stay in place better. It really fills pores without feeling dry or itchy. Pores were still hidden and makeup looked good after 4 hours. At 8-10 hours I had some flaky patches on my forehead and the makeup on the bottom of my face was worn off.
The overall performance winner was the Smashbox. It made the makeup look the best and last the longest. Was it 6X better than the Monistat? No. Is the Smashbox primer worth 6X more money? No. But, unfortunately, they don’t price makeup products based on the cost of raw ingredients. If they did, even $6 would be high for an ounce of dimethicone based primer. My takeaway from this experiment is that I won’t be using Monistat Chafing Gel as primer, it just didn’t perform well enough for me. But, I would use the NYX or the Smashbox. They both performed quite well and ounce for ounce, you can still save $20 with the NYX!