smashbox photo finish primer water

Smashbox has been famed for their primers, so when they launched their Photo Finish Primer Water it was a big deal. I was hesitant to purchase this one, so I waited for a VIB rouge sale before I gave in and picked up a bottle. I spent a couple months wearing this product before I made my decision on whether this was all hype or a product worth the money.

This priming water is silicone, alcohol and oil free and claims to hydrate and revitalize skin. To be honest, I didn't notice any exceptional hydration from this primer. I only used one or two sprays at a time as it took a while to set into my skin. It left my face feeling extremely sticky and didn't absorb into my skin as well as I was expecting it to. The priming water was clearly not going to work as a primer for me so I started using this as a setting spray. Nope. The lasting power wasn't as long as the Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray and my skin remained oily (no oil-absorption). Finally, I started using it as a refreshing spritz to hydrate my skin throughout the day and the results were lackluster. Any water mist would work just as well (if not better) and you can get them at one third of the cost.

There were many whispers about this primer being a knock off of the mac fix+. It does have many similar ingredients so if you're thinking about jumping over to the smashbox priming water, please save your money as the mac fix+ is less expensive as well.

I really wish this product would have worked with my skin as I really wanted to like it. A friend had her makeup done and the makeup artist used this on her makeup looked incredible. There are tons of people who love this product, however, it just wasn't for me or my skin type. If you're like me and have more of an oily t-zone, I would stick with a mattifying setting spray and primer. The Becca Ever Matte Poreless Priming Perfector is a great option for a matte primer and as mentioned earlier, the Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray is one of my all time favourites.

Have you tried the Smashbox Priming Water? How did it work for you?


  1. I haven't tried this one and as my skin type is pretty similar to yours I don't think I will.

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

    1. Good idea - did nothing for me, unfortunately. :(

  2. I've never tried the Smashbox Priming water, but it sounds... weird haha! Similar to a setting spray as you've said. Seems weird that a 'knock off' would end up costing more? I'm not super won over by setting sprays, but I recently picked up the Matte setting spray from NYX just to say I've at least tried one. It doesn't seem to do anything too special. Too bad this didn't work out for you, but thanks for the honest review! :)

    Lindsey Elyse | lindseyginge

  3. Nope, have not tried this but like you I have read many who raved about this. I don't use much primer in general because of my dry face and believe it or not, I have yet to use a setting spray! Makeup is a finicky thing, eh? What work for others may not work the same for us. :-)

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

  4. Thank god I never obsessed over that! **

  5. I've not tried this, and I've always been the same, wondering how a water could have the same effect as a primer! I have oily skin and I much prefer something that is going to smooth over my pores.

    Kirstie | Behind The Scent