Product Review: Smashbox Photo Finish Primer! – #BirthMay Day 10

Hi everyone! Today I’m doing a review on the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer! I’ve been using this product for quite awhile, and actually got it from my mom! She likes to buy makeup, proceed to feel bad about spending money, and then sell it to me! Oh mom… She’s hilarious.


About a month ago I started using this primer because of my upcoming trip to Houston. I wanted to take it with me but I wanted to make sure I liked it before packing it in my travel make up bag. When I travel the last thing I want is to either run out of make up or take something I don’t like.

I do like this primer. It makes my skin feel so smooth after I apply it that sometimes I just want to leave it as is without putting foundation on! But primer is essentially glue for your face, so I do anyway.

I have combination skin and I think that this primer could work with any skin type. I also have skin that can be quite sensitive and I’ve never had a problem with this product.

I’ve looked up this product on Sephora’s website and there are so many good things about this product listed! It’s paraben and talc free and contains vitamins A and E. The product is also listed as cruelty free and oil free.

The primer goes on very smoothly and is lightweight. It’s also very moisturizing and does a great job at hiding imperfections. The primer also does it’s job and I do see my foundation last longer. With other primers I feel like I look in the mirror at the end of the day and a patch of foundation is gone. Usually on my cheek. However I don’t have this problem with this primer at all.


I do think an okay dupe for this primer would be the Maybelline Master Prime Primer. If feels the same when it first goes on and aims to blur and smooth as well but it doesn’t have quite the same strength. It also doesn’t hold the foundation quite as strongly. While it doesn’t have the same skin care benefits I do still like it.

The Maybelline, Target, and Ulta websites didn’t say much on how good (or bad) the primer is in terms of ingredients although I did find a website called Skin Safe Products and it does say it’s paraben free. I’ll need to do more research to see if that’s true and if that website is reputable but so far, it seems good. However, since it’s not specified to be paraben free on the Maybelline website I would lean more towards say maybe not. I feel like it’s such a big thing right now that if it was, Maybelline would be promoting that like crazy on their site.

Like I said, I need to do more research. This is something that I’ll try to learn more about, how safe the products are and how “good” they actually are. I always seem to forget about checking when I’m in stores though. However Valerie, an amazing blogger from Living Lighter in Atlanta, recently wrote about this topic and her experience with a product that contained ingredients she didn’t want on her face.

This has brought this issue to the surface for me again (thank you Valerie!) and I am going to make an effort to do my research before I buy more makeup. I have quite a bit right now of makeup right now and I’m not buying much to save money but when I do, you bet I’m going online to check first! Actually, she inspired and requested this post to begin with so Valerie, this one is for you!

I think that overall yes, this primer is very good. I don’t take photos with flash very often but this is supposed to keep your face from being just a ball of light in photos. I do like it and I would consider repurchasing this product next time I need a primer.

Let me know if you’ve tried this primer and how you like it! Also, do you have any sites that are good for checking if your makeup is a good product in terms of social responsibility and ingredients?

Thanks for reading!


  1. I’m glad this primer is working so well for you, Pamela! It sounds like a great product πŸ™‚ I haven’t used a primer before – I’m not even sure how or when it’s to be used, haha – but I probably will someday! I’ll have to check this one out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! I really do like it, you just use a bit before foundation to help it last longer. Super easy! Primers can have skin care benefits as well or even help even out some other skin issues such as redness (you’d use green to balance it out if you had any). Just depends what you need/prefer!


  2. I’ve not tried the Maybelline one before but this is one of the best Smashbox primers (in my non-expert opinion)! I’m going to keep an eye out the rage Maybelline one to try!! Thanks for sharing πŸ˜„

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks, Pamela!!
    Wow, interesting that it’s paraben-free, that shows that it CAN be done, huh?! What’s the matter with these other companies? 😣
    In glad you are liking it! 😍

    Liked by 1 person

    • Right? Quality products with quality ingredients! Doesn’t sound that hard but I suppose if we keep letting companies get away with it that would be why they keep doing it and putting parabens and other bad things in there. Good thing we’re being more conscious about it! πŸ™‚


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