Smashbox Photo Finish Primer


1707 reviews

47% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.6

Price: $$$

Package Quality: 3.6

Price: $$$


Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Dimethicone, Trisiloxane, Silica, Dimethicone/ Vinyldimethicone Crosspolymer, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Extract, Propylene Glycol, Water (Aqua, Eau), Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract, Cola Acuminata Seed Extract, Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract

on 11/7/2013 1:02:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Normal, Fair-Medium, Cool

Hair: Brown, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Green

I am so glad I got a free trial size and didn't buy it. It is way expensive. It felt so dry going on. If it worked well, I could have ignored the feeling of its application. It was very smooth, but dried out my face, bad! Not to mention, I felt like when I was applying that it made my face hot and red. Perhaps I was having some kind of reaction to it, but I am not sure. My face broke out after only 2 days. It took a while to clear up the acne too! Nor did I notice any difference in the look and application of my foundation. I don't get all the hype about this, but since I didn't pay anything for trying it, I had nothing to lose....except my clear complexion. It's just another step in my makeup routine, which is already long enough! I don't recommend this product, especially since there are cheaper alternatives. Did you know that the monistat chafing gel is almost the exact same thing for $4? It has very similar ingredients.

on 11/5/2013 5:47:00 AM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Oily, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Brown

I use the hydration version of this product and let me say: it's an absolute beaut.

To my fellow oily-miened ladies, there is hope! Never do you have to collect the oil at the end of a day and wonder if you should just contact Shell for a business deal. I could ramble on but I'm just gonna make a list:


- Absolutely beautiful application: very light, very gentle, settles in very quickly
- Does what it does: it's a rarity to find products these days that delivers what it promises. I've had no problems like streaky or runny make up after long periods of time
- Moisturizes oily skin without greasing it up: I cannot tell you how happy I am to find a product that gives my skin a good drink of water without leaving that heavy residue on my face at the end of the day
- A little product goes a long way
- No overwhelming smell


- Pricey, but as aforementioned, you only ever need a tiny bit. Honestly pros outweigh the cons by so much, even if it couldn't last so long I would buy it anyway.

It might be difficult for people of other skin types to wonder why I love this so primer so much, but people with oily skin often try really hard to find the product that gives them the right balance between hydration and keeping their natural oils at bay. A lot of products either don't hydrate or they hydrate so much, it's overwhelming.

A total treat.

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

on 11/4/2013 8:40:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Dry, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Brown, Wavy, Other

Eyes: Green

I recently purchased this at a local store. I definitely noticed a difference... Typically, my makeup does come off a bit during the day. However, with this, it seems to stay on a lot better. But if there's one thing I've learned while using this: A little bit goes a LONG way. If you're thinking about trying this, do not use a lot. Also, I've heard that it can tend to clog pores, but I haven't noticed anything on myself yet...
Maybe I'll update later if this causes any trouble. But so far, it hasn't.

Overall, I would not buy this again. I'm glad that I tried/am trying it, but I'll look for a cheaper primer.

on 11/3/2013 3:58:00 PM

Age: 18 & Under

Skin: Oily, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Green

I really liked this product at first- besides the smell. It goes on very smooth and makes my makeup look great! Until I heard it clogged your pores and seemed to make many people breakout. I prefer the light version a lot more because there is no smell and did not break me out. Overall, it's a good primer if it doesn't mess with your skin.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

Makes my makeup look so smooth & matte! Feels like you're rubbing velvet into your skin. Love it! As far as pores go, it does a fairly good job at minimizing the look of them. I think what it does best is make the face a smooth canvas to work with. Absolutely love this primer. I feel like it can either be a hit or miss. For me it was definitely a hit.

Age: 19-24

Skin: Normal, Fair, Cool

Hair: Red, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Brown

Smashbox says their Photo Finish Foundation Primer will "Create a perfect canvas for foundation application with this silky, lightweight blend of vitamins A & E, grape seed extract and green tea. Worn alone or under foundation, our best-selling, oil-free primer helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and pores for flawless skin with a velvety-smooth finish." This primer is an industry favorite an winner of multiple beauty editor awards. Smashbox offers three sizes of their Photo Finish Foundation Primer - Jumbo (1.7fl oz/50ml, $49), Standard (1fl oz/30ml, $36) and Travel (.4fl oz/12ml, $15). I received a tiny sample of this primer in my August Ipsy Bag - this is my first experience with Smashbox. Smashbox does not test on animals. This primer is made in the USA.
All sizes of Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer come in similar packaging. A squeeze tube with black edging and a twist off cap. The product name is printed on the front of the tube. Nothing exciting, but very functional. I don't believe this packaging is recyclable.
Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer is a thick, clear, smooth primer. I love the way this primer smooths over the skin. This silicone based primer is very similar in consistency to Tarte's Clean Slate Poreless Primer, which I loved.This primer gives a very soft, smooth feel and appearance without being slick. Many people complain that this and other silicone based primers feel heavy and make their skin feel congested. Usually, I disagree, but I kinda get that feeling from Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer. This face primer doesn't work wonders on it's own, it does blur the appearance of pores to an extent, but that's all. However, this primer truly makes a great base for liquid foundation - it provides a smooth canvas for application while virtually erasing the appearance of pores and small imperfections in the texture of your skin (minor acne, small dry patches, etc). I really can't tell if this primer extends the wear of my foundation. I'm happy to report that this primer does not clog my pores or break me out the way similar products have in the past. Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer is fragrance free and doesn't sport the chemically smell that is so commonly found in silicone face primers.
I like Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer - it isn't much on it's own, but used in conjunction with a great foundation it can really give skin a perfected look. This primer is on the thicker, heavier side, but it doesn't seem to clog my pores. Do I like Smashbox' primer enough to purchase a full size? Nah, $36 is a bit much for my tastes, plus I was given an additional sample of this primer at my last trip to Ulta. Do I recommend this face primer? Sure, if you don't mind a splurge - this is a makeup artist favorite for a reason.

on 10/11/2013 5:43:00 AM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Tan, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

It does a great job in makin my skin appear smoother, making scars less visible and pores smaller. It also blends in with my foundation perfectly and stayed on for hours. However it comes with the worst downside ever, terrible breakouts i ever had since highschool. If it wasn't for that, I'd definitely buy this again.

on 10/10/2013 4:15:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Other, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Other, Other, Other

Eyes: Other

This is the first primer I've ever used, so really have nothing to compare it to.
However I've found it to work pretty well at keeping my makeup in place. I like the texture as it goes. I wouldn't say that it smooths out my complexion though.
I think this tube will last me a long time, but when it runs out I'll be looking at other brands.

on 10/8/2013 8:23:00 PM

Age: 18 & Under

Skin: Normal, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Blue

I have normal skin, dehydrated in the winter, sometimes shiny, or in the summer atleast. This is an OK primer. Its not good, its not bad. It does nothing for making makeup look better on my skin because this + dry skin + foundation alone still doesnt cut it. But if you have an awesome moisturizer and let it set on your skin before you use this primer, i assume this would be a good primer. Maybe go for the hydrating one instead, but that one smells a tad weird, plus it feels more like a moisturizer than a base for makeup, and then you can just go get a real moisturizer -_- Dont really know what to say about this one yet, but Im already looking at other primers to try, like prime time or shu umera base mousse or something. Maybe hourglas.

Age: 36-43

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Grey

I have never in my life had skin problems or breakouts, so when last week I bought Smashbox photo finish primer and tried it, I was horrified to have an acne-type reaction that is itchy and swollen in the places I applied the primer. I thought I might read further reviews on the product and I wish I'd done so before I spent a lot of money on something that creates havoc with skin - it's not a breakout hazard for everyone, of course, but it seems an all too-common occurrence. Not happy. Not happy with the expensive product producing this kind of reaction and not happy with the money I now have to pay to fix my skin.

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