December 1, 2011

Smashbox Photo Finish Light Foundation Primer - swatches, pics, review

Hello, Beautiful!

I am one of those people who always use a foundation primer and feel weird when I don't. I have many different brands/formulas of primers, and I do use them all, but one primer I can always trust is from Smashbox: their Photo Finish Light Foundation Primer. Smashbox was the very first foundation primer I ever used, and that was 8 years ago. It was the primer I used on my wedding day and had great makeup all day. I used the primer on my bridesmaids too and their makeup stayed put. Back then there was only one option (the original) but today they have newer formulations, an easy-to-use tube, and the Light option that works perfectly for my skin type.

Check out my pics, swatches, stats and review...

Smashbox Photo Finish Light Foundation Primer


Basic stats for Smashbox Photo Finish Light Foundation Primer:
Formula: water based liquid-gel primer
Coverage: invisible
Wear: prolongs makeup wear
Shade Info: Available in Light, Original, and six other choices for color correcting, hydration and more.
Cost/Availability: $36 (1 fl oz full size). Available on the Smashbox website, Sephora's website, Ulta's website, and everywhere else Smashbox is sold. Smaller, travel sized tubes are available as well for $16 to $17 each.
Packaging: squeeze tube, twist-off cap
My Rating: 5 out of 5 Kisses

Oil-free and 60% water based, this primer is ideal for those with oily, acne-prone or sensitive skin (aka, ME!). Smashbox's primers have a silky blend of vitamins and antioxidants that help reduce the appearance of fine lines and pores. Your skin will feel & look smoother and your makeup will go on smoother (key word is smoother). The Photo Finish Light formula has oil absorbers to give skin a matte finish (but not too matte), light diffusers to minimize the appearance of imperfections, and vitamin C & peptides to help even skin and promote collagen production for a flawless future.

This looks white in the tube but goes on absolutely clear.

Prolongs your makeup wear, although you can wear this alone.

Shade Info:
Available in the Light option (which I prefer), the Original, and six other choices for color correcting, hydration and more.

$36 (1 fl oz full size). Available on the Smashbox websiteSephora's websiteUlta's website, and everywhere else Smashbox is sold. Smaller, travel sized tubes are available as well for $16 to $17 each.

Now in a squeeze tube, which means you won't waste a drop of primer. The old style packaging was a square bottle with a pump top, which often meant you didn't get all the use of your primer --- which was my only complaint. Still, back then I dealt with it and continued to repurchase because it is a great product. Now that it comes in a tube, well, it's perfection!

Smashbox Photo Finish Light Foundation Primer Review:
As I mentioned at the top of this post, the Original Smashbox Photo Finish Primer was the very first primer I ever used -- which was over 8 years ago. I loved it then, but I love it even more now. They've improved their formula and offer a great Light option for people like me who have oily and acne-prone skin.

It glides on like a dream, blends in perfectly, and prolongs my makeup wear for hours. Hands down, this is one of my favorite foundation primers. Even though there are other primers I like and use, I know I can always count on the Smashbox Photo Finish Light to prime my face perfectly.

I've always highly recommended this primer and will continue to say, that yes, I absolutely recommend this primer!

Now let me know what you think...
What do you think of this primer? Do you use one of the Smashbox primers or do you want to try them? Discuss in the comments below.


  1. I am such a noob... I just NOW got this (the clear one...are they the same??) when Ulta had it on sale for $9 on Black Friday. And it's awesome! :D

  2. @ Amanda: The clear one is the Original, which is just as awesome. That's the one I started using over 8 years ago and loved it. I just prefer the Light version since I have oily/acne-prone skin. It just works a little better for me, but I still have the original and will use it every now and then just so I don't waste it. You got a great deal for only $9! Congrats! :)

  3. With such a glowing review and $20 off $50 gift card to sephora how could I not pick it up and try it. Trying the travel size first.

  4. @ Liz: I hope you like the primer! I really do love it and if you're looking for a great primer, this is the place to start your search (and probably end your search). I agree, with that great $20 off $50 Sephora gift card it's a great way to try it (it's like getting it free if you're buying the travel size)! I'm not sure what I'm going to buy with my gift card yet... probably more Dior lip glosses. I just purchased two more shades the other day and I want more. I love them... it's my one lip gloss indulgence!

  5. Great review! This was one of my favorite primers when I first tried Smashbox. Now I really love the new Hydrating primer. It feels just like a gel moisturizer and it's super lightweight too!

  6. I have wanted to try this--thanks for the recommendation! I'm currently using TF Primed & Poreless and it works awesome, but it's good to have a backup brand ;)

  7. I need something like that right now because my skin got a little oily and my make-up just slide of by the end of the day

  8. Which one do you think is best for acne-prone skin, this one or the green one from Smashbox?

  9. @ Francivusk: If you have a lot of redness then you may like the green version, since green counteracts red. I've never tried it specifically, so I can't compare the two side by side. However, I personally would recommend the Light version unless you really are worried about redness. I have acne-prone skin and never have issues when I use the Light version. I also couldn't find an ingredients list for the green version, so not sure if it's water-based or silicone-based.


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