Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer Review

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I fought the whole concept of primers for a long, long time. I was pretty happy with my foundation products on the whole, but if there was one area where I really wished for improvement, it was staying power. I couldn’t get most base products to last more than a few hours on me. Because of that need for longevity in my foundation, I kind of toyed with the idea of trying primers, but never took the plunge and did anything about it. When Julie recently posted her favorite beauty product hits (and some misses), it gave me the push I needed to finally try  Smashbox’s Photo Finish primer. Since giving it a go, I am sold. Color me impressed because I am really loving this junk!

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Not only did she recommend this Smashbox primer specifically, but I feel like anytime I was hearing positive things about a primer in the rest of the beauty world, it was usually the Smashbox one. It was finally time to see what the fuss was about. As I said, I was mainly looking for some longevity in my foundation wear time. I reeeeally didn’t want to go through that trial-and-error process of hunting down a good product, because that can take a lot of time, money, and frustration. With many beauty products, I find that process strangely fun, but I wasn’t exactly looking forward to it with primers. Gladly, I didn’t have to look very far. Now that I have tested the waters and it was successful, I’m sort of motivated to keep looking to see if anything can top this! We may have more primer discussions upcoming, but for now let’s focus on this one….

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Straight to the Bottom Line: This here product is a game changer. It absolutely, 100%, positively, makes my foundation last longer. I’ve tested this with a multitude of different foundations* in the last few weeks, and it definitely provides better staying power than foundation alone. My foundation is staying in place at least twice as long when I use this primer. The product itself is clear, and has a very velvety, silicone-type texture. It’s packaged in a slim tube that makes it very easy to get just the proper amount of product, and it keeps the remaining contents clean and uncontaminated. I apply it after my daily moisturizer and I only use a pea-size amount, which is enough to cover my entire face. I do concentrate it a bit more on my T-zone though since this is where I can get oily. It’s totally comfortable to wear on my skin and I don’t notice any sense or feeling that I have too many layers on my face. It’s a super lightweight formula. It does a good job of smoothing out pores and making them less noticeable. I wouldn’t say it does a perfect job, but the appearance of them is certainly diminished. Same goes for fine lines. Overall, it’s really working for me and I’m very pleased with it. I may venture out and try others, but that’s just because curiosity gets the best of me. For now, this one does a superb job.

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*Revlon ColorStay Whipped, It Cosmetics CC cream, MaxFactor Pan-Stik, Maybelline Dream Smooth Mousse, Clinique Pore-Refining foundation.


  1. says

    I’ll start off by saying that you are one of my favorite beauty bloggers. I know you blog about other things too, but your beauty recommendations are the ones I truly love. I don’t have very much money as a college student, ad even though there are those cute tiny size bottles of this stuff, I just wanted to be able to find an everyday low price primer. Like you, I was very reluctant to try out primers, and also like you, the first one I tried has become my favorite. I use the Black Radiance True Complexion shine control primer, I got it due to a review by Nouveau Cheap as it her holy grail primer. I have a really oily face with some dryness on my cheeks as well as acne-prone and it works amazingly well as controlling my oil the whole day…about twelve hours I believe, for me. Even if I feel like I am getting oily, when I look in a mirror I don’t look oily at all and I just use mineral foundation from L’Oreal. Give it a go and see what you think. The primer that is hehe. I really like it and you have given such great reviews and I have tried some out due to your reviews in particular, I thought it would be neat to give back a little. :)

    • says

      Thanks for your comment! I’m so glad that some of the beauty reviews are helpful to you! I definitely will try the Black Radiance primer if I can track it down. I don’t see that brand too many places. I love Nouveau Cheap’s blog… she’s awesome! I like to splurge on some mid-to-high end products, but for the most part I keep my spending pretty reasonable. I can’t in good conscience spend tons and tons on certain makeup brands, ya know? Thanks for the primer recommendation!!

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