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Review | Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water

You can spend all of the money in the world on foundations, concealers and creamy contour palettes but if you don't get your base correct first and your make-up just slips away throughout the day, there doesn't seem much point. I have tried so many primers recently. I find a lot of them rather hit and miss - some will work wonders, keeping my make-up on all day long, whereas some of them just do the complete opposite. I tried one out recently from NYX which was really greasy in formula so it just made my foundation slide off of my face. I also find the consistency and texture of some primers to be too thick and heavy so when you apply your make-up on top, it makes everything feel heavy and almost caked-on, especially when the primer contains sillicone. I much prefer my primers to be more lightweight so that my skin still has a chance to breathe, even though my make-up is applied on top of it. 

The Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water is a three-in-one product which is not only created to prime the face before make-up, but also to refresh the skin throughout the day as a cooling mist and to restore moisture and at the end of your make-up application as a setting spray. I really love the idea of applying a primer in this way through a spritz bottle, although the cynical part of me thinks that Smashbox could just put tap water in there and I would still think it was great but I can confirm it isn't just tap water - I promise.

About the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water:
"Think priming benefits, hydration and sheer radiance—all in just 1 spritz! Primer water is free of silicone, alcohol and oil, but it’s packed with revitalizing electrolytes to wake up skin and restore moisture—like a supercharged energy drink for your skin. Passed through positive energy fields during the production process, our enriched water instantly absorbs into skin for lasting hydration (and when skin is hydrated, makeup looks better). It’s everything you love about the original photo finish primer in our lightest, purest, most refreshing form imaginable. From the silky-smooth texture of the original, to the super-fine mist of this new water, now there’s a primer for everyone."

The Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water comes housed in a clear spritz bottle which makes application incredibly easy - all you need is a couple of sprays to the face and you are all set for the day. I really had my uncertainties about this primer water to begin with as how can a water based primer be just as good as a more 'obvious' creamy primer, such as the Laura Mercier Foundation Primer? Will it be more like a placebo in that I spray what is essentially water with a bit of a scent to it over my face and believe that my skin looks and feels better? Well I can firmly say I was wrong. It may look like water but it is so much better than that. 

As this product is multi-purpose, you can really use it in any way you like. I think it would be a wonderful product to use in the summer or on holiday as a refreshing, cooling mist, although I will be using this as a primer and as a setting spray. I like to apply it as a primer by spraying just a few spritz all over my face, letting is settle for a few moments then applying my make-up as usual. It leaves a really lightweight, refreshing feel to the skin and best of all, because it is so light, you don't have to hang around for a little while waiting for the product to soak into your skin. I then apply my foundation and other make-up just as usual then apply another light layer of the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water as a setting spray. If you weren't willing to use this product as a primer then it is definitely worth using it as a setting spray because the holes where the product comes out from are so tiny, the bottle releases a really fine amount of product each time meaning your make-up at the end doesn't get ruined, nor do you end up with a soaking wet face - something which has happened to me before when I last used a setting spray. 

Results wise, I cannot fault the product. It does what it claims to - it keeps my make-up in place all day long and I can confidently go to work and not have to worry about my make-up fading away throughout the day. I love how this product feels on the skin when applied as a primer. It feels as if it is really hydrating and really prepping and preparing my skin for the application of make-up. If you were after a really lightweight facial primer come cooling mist come setting spray, then I would definitely recommend you check this primer water out next time you are at a Smashbox counter!



  1. This sounds interesting, I can't live without setting sprays now but haven't tried a spray primer.

    http://fourcatsplusus.co.uk - Amy

  2. I might have to give this a go after reading your review. I have seen it so much on YouTube and really want to give it a go!

    Danielle xx