Review | Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer, Lid Primer & Hydrating Under Eye Primer

Klik hier voor de Nederlandse versie.

Let’s talk primers today. I have said it before and I’ll say it again: good preparation is already half the work, and that goes for make-up as well. Preparing your skin with a primer really affects the end result of your make-up. Today I am testing and reviewing four primers for you, all from Smashbox.

Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer – Light

Many of you may already know the (can I say legendary?) Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer, but for this review I tested the Light version and the Hydrating version. The Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer – Light consists of 60% water and is basically the light version of the original. I guess you could compare it to light cheese: you get all the good from the original, but without the fat. Only here you replace the word fat with shine. I compared the Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer – Light to a few samples I had of the original Photo Finish Foundation Primer, and indeed, the formula feels lighter and keeps my skin more matte. So this primer is perfect for oily skin.

Review (Smashbox primers) (5)

Click to enlarge | Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer Light (left) and Hydrating (right)

Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer – Hydrating

The Hydrating version is basically the opposite of the Light version. The cream cheese of the Smashbox foundation primers, you could say. Or Roquefort maybe, because this primer is blue instead of white. The Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer – Hydrating is oil-free, like all Smashbox primers, but provides the skin with extra moisture to keep it intensely hydrated. This makes it ideal for dry skin. My skin is on the oily side, so I didn’t think it would be a good idea to try this foundation on my whole face. I do have some dry patches and flakey bits around my nostrils and on the sides of my face, so I decided to locally apply the primer there. And indeed, with the Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer – Hydrating under my foundation I don’t have any dry patches or flakey skin anymore. Just like the Light version, this primer helps me to apply my foundation a lot more easily and it makes it look nice and even.

Review (Smashbox primers) (1)

Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer Light (top) and Hydrating (bottom)

Smashbox Photo Finish Lid Primer

There are also an eye lid primer and an under eye primer in Smashbox’s primer range. The Smashbox Photo Finish Lid Primer is intended to be used under your eyeshadow, and believe me when I say that using this eye lid primer makes a world of difference. With or without eye lid primer, it really matters. I am sure you’ll be fine without, but the result with the eye lid primer is just so much better. So that makes the choice very simple. Why would you go for a simple cheese platter if you can have a big one with a glass of red wine and grapes as well? (God, I really need to eat something, I am going way overboard with these cheese analogies…) The cheese, eh excuse me, the Lid Primer is quite thick and is skin-colored. So it’s an eyeshadow base but also a concealer, because it camouflages for example the little red veins you sometimes see on your eye lid. The primer also boosts the color intensity of your eshadow and helps it to stay put all day without creasing or fading. I also notice that the primer changes the color of your eyeshadow a bit. I haven’t decided yet whether I like or dislike that little side effect…

Review (Smashbox primers) (4)

Click to enlarge

Review (Smashbox primers) (2)

Click to enlarge | eyeshadow swatch without Lid Primer (left) and with Lid Primer (right)

Smashbox Photo Finish Hydrating Under Eye Primer

The Smashbox Photo Finish Hydrating Under Eye Primer, finally, is a primer for the area under your eyes. The skin there is thinner and more sensitive and needs some extra care. And it gets that from Smashbox’s Under Eye Primer. The primer is white, lightweight and silky-soft. I sometimes find it difficult to make my under eye concealer look flawless, but with Smashbox’s Under Eye Primer as a basis my concealer just glides on and looks perfectly smooth and even. Hey, no cheese analogy in this paragraph, look at that!

Review (Smashbox primers) (6)

Click to enlarge

Review (Smashbox primers) (3)

Click to enlarge | Smashbox Photo Finish Lid Primer (left) and Smashbox Photo Finish Hydrating Under Eye Primer (right)

Summarized

Even before trying these primers I was convinced of the benefits of using make-up primers, and these four Smashbox primers confirm that I was right. The Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer – Light makes me skin nice and smooth and helps me to apply my foundation a lot quicker and more even, for a nicer and more flawless result. The Hydrating version does the same thing, but is more suitable for dry skin. A nice little plus: unlike the original Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer, both these primers don’t contain any silicones.

Smashbox’s Lid Primer and Hydrating Under Eye Primer make applying my eyeshadow and under eye concealer so much easier. While the Lid Primer performs very well, it doesn’t manage to beat my all-time favorite, the Too Faced Shadow Insurance primer. Then again, no other eye lid primer has managed to win that battle so far. So let me put it this way: the Too Faced Shadow Insurance primer is fantastic, and the Smashbox Photo Finish Lid Primer is very good. The Hydrating Under Eye Primer, finally, didn’t have any stiff competition to beat and managed to conquer a spot on my list of current favorites straight away.

The Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer – Light, the Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer – Hydrating, and the Smashbox Photo Finish Lid Primer are all available at Marionnaud for respectively 44 CHF, 48 CHF and 26 CHF. The Hydrating Under Eye Primer is part of Smashbox’s Photo Finish Primer Set that costs 30 CHF.

Do you also believe in the benefits of using make-up primers? What is your favorite primer?

116 thoughts on “Review | Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer, Lid Primer & Hydrating Under Eye Primer

  1. Omg, there’s a special primer for the under eye area even?! I’m so far behind as far as make-up goes.:D I use an eyelid primer, but that’s it, I’m “afraid” of face primers, I think they’d clog my pores. Which foundation does anyway if you don’t wash your face at night so I don’t know why I’m fussing about that.:) Unlike yours, my skin is dry (and flaky) all over and maybe a hydrating primer’s the answer. I have to put it to the test myself.:)

  2. Ik wil al zo lang de foundation primer in light proberen voor m’n oily skin! Volgende week schaf ik me toch een kleine tube aan hoor ;) thx voor de review!

  3. I wonder if I would like Too Faced. I don’t use primer, just foundation, because the big deal – Urban Decay’s, does not work for me at all. Too tight and crinkly – too much. Too serious, like concrete. :)

  4. Love that you compared primers with cheese! This is AWESOME! I love your creativity! And that eyeshadow color! What is that gorgeous shade?! Thanks for the primer review – I like the sound of the light primer (cheese lite, if you will) for me because I have oilier skin as well. Annoying as it is, it keeps the wrinkles away, right?! So yay on that! :)

    • It’s an old Essence mono, so really nothing special! But yes, it’s a goooorgeous golden shade, and I bet no one could tell it’s just a cheap little drugstore eyeshadow. I don’t think the shade is available anymore though, and the back of it is so worn out that I can’t read the name anymore… :-)

  5. I love how in depth your reviews are! I’ve never tried any Smashbox products but they’ve recently started selling them in my local drugstore so i’m thinking I should.

  6. I’ve heard so many good things about their primers. I’ve never used anything actually by smashbox, but I know it is supposed to be top notch. I might have to treat myself this weekend :) x

I love your comments! (spam and site links will be removed)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s