I had absolutely no interest in trying the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water as I thought it was a total gimmick, however I got a 30ml travel size in a Sephora Favorites Gift Set which I purchased back in November of last year so it was the perfect oppurtunity to try it for myself.
The Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water has some pretty bold claims;
“Think priming benefits, hydration and sheer radiance—all in just 1 spritz! Primer water is free of silicone, alcohol and oil, but it’s packed with revitalizing electrolytes to wake up skin and restore moisture—like a supercharged energy drink for your skin. Passed through positive energy fields during the production process, our enriched water instantly absorbs into skin for lasting hydration (and when skin is hydrated, makeup looks better).
Silicone-free. Alcohol-free. Oil-free, creates the sheerest canvas for makeup application, wakes up skin, leaving it vibrant and radiant for hours, restores moisture and hydrates skin for hours—shine free, refreshes throughout the day, perfect for all skin types.”
The Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water is described as being a multitasker and can be used in three ways; as a primer prior to makeup application, as a setting spray to lock your makeup in place and as a skin refresher.
The Primer Water has an oil-free, alcohol-free and silicone-free formula and is packaged within a clear, plastic bottle with a pump dispenser which spritzes a fine and even mist which is really nice and doesn’t leave the skin feeling completely drenched like some facial mists. The mist does have a subtle scent which is hard to pinpoint but it’s not offensive and it does disappear within a couple of minutes of application.
As a primer: I have tried to apply the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water after my skincare and before my foundation but my skin still needs a proper primer otherwise my foundation clings to every single dry patch and the Primer Water doesn’t offer any skin refining properties of a primer.
When I use this spray over a conventional primer, my skin is left feeling hydrated and fresh and my foundation applies slightly easier when I use my Beauty Blender as I feel like the added moisture helps my foundation remain lightweight and dewy. As I said, I’ve tried this spray without other primers but I don’t like how my makeup looks as it ends up patchy and uneven due to my dry patches so I can’t comment on its priming abilities, and it feels a little pointless to apply it over a primer which already works as a primer on its own.
As a makeup setting spray: I don’t think the Primer Water works as a setting spray – or it definitely didn’t work as one for my skin as I haven’t noticed any difference in my makeup’s longevity when I ‘set’ it with this spray.
As a skin refresher: This is my favourite way to use the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water but it does feel wasteful as I like how fresh it leaves my skin, but a £2 aerosol water spray offers the same sensation, and this water is £20 for the full size. I like applying the Primer Water over my makeup through the day as it feels soothing and I like the fresh scent but I just can’t see any visual benefits for using it and because of that I won’t be purchasing the full size as it doesn’t feel worth it to spend £20 on a water spray that doesn’t enhance or help my makeup or skin. I’m so pleased I didn’t purchase the full size of the Primer Water as I would have been very disappointed but I think it’s perhaps better suited to those with normal to combination skin that don’t have to contend with the evening out of dry patches.
I’d love to know if you too have been left underwhelmed by the super hyped Smashbox Primer Water?