Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water

On my recent Ulta trip, I got a great haul of products.  To be honest, I went in knowing I wanted to make the trip a big one.  I didn’t just lose control and buy everything that I saw (not that I haven’t done that before).

This time, I tried to exercise a modicum of restraint and purchase only those things that I needed.  Or had really wanted to try for a long time.  I mostly succeeded 😉

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water - Beauty Chaos

One of my purchases was the Smashbox Try It Kit, which contained several primers, including Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water.

The kit included four of Smashbox’s most popular primers, including Photo Finish Primer Water, Foundation Primer, 24 Hour Shadow Primer, and Hydrating Under Eye Primer.  The Smashbox Photo Finish line of primers is their most popular, but they make a bunch of other primers for different purposes.

At first, I picked up a full sized bottle of Photo Finish Foundation Primer, as I recently ran out of my ELF Poreless Primer and needed something to replace it.  However, during my hour or so of wandering around the store, I found the Try It Kit and decided to give it a go.

Smashbox Try It Kit - Beauty Chaos

Four products to try in one box?  Yes, please.

It’s a good thing that I purchased the Smashbox Kit when I did, because soon after I was hired to work on a CBS show.  I’m not allowed to say which one until it airs (the first rule of Fight Club is you don’t talk about Fight Club).  But it’ll be on in late July and I’ll let everyone know then.

During the day, my makeup has a tendency to melt and smush in different ways.  It’s one of the drawbacks of living in the hot desert climate – no matter how much powder you apply, makeup will run.  So I decided to try a few different tactics in order to keep my makeup in place this time.

One of the main reasons I like the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water is that there are several different ways to use it.

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water - Beauty ChaosFirst, you can spray it on as a primer (hence the title) to prep skin for foundation.  Next, it can also be used as a setting spray after you apply your makeup, to keep your makeup in place all day.  Finally, makeup artists swear by using it throughout the day to keep makeup set and freshen throughout the day.

Also, Smashbox Cosmetics is cruelty free, which is always a wonderful bonus.  I can’t wait for the day when all cosmetics are cruelty free.  Can I volunteer to be their lab experiment subject?

The online reviews for Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water are pretty great.

According to the Ulta website, 93 percent of women said it left their skin instantly hydrated.  90 percent said it absorbs quickly and their skin felt refreshed after first use.

I had much the same experience with the Primer Water.  As soon as I sprayed it on, my skin felt refreshed and hydrated, and my skin didn’t feel as heavy as if I’d applied a creamier primer.  Major plus, since my skin is oily and feels like I have a slick on it most of the time.  I didn’t take it with me to freshen during the day, and I didn’t use it as a setting spray.  I purchased a different setting spray that I wanted to try, but next time I’ll give this a shot.

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water

On a 90 plus degree day, my makeup pretty much stayed put.

I wore the Primer Water under a BB Cream and not foundation, which may have contributed a bit to the smearing, but not much.  My makeup stayed in place for the hour drive to the studio, five hour wait, one hour of shooting, and hour drive home.  Considering the heat, I’d say that’s a win.

Cost and Where to Buy

As I said, I got my Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water at Ulta in a primer kit.  The kit cost $29, which I thought was a steal considering that it contained four primers.  The full sized Primer Water is 3.9 ounces, which goes for $32.  The Smashbox website has it for the same price. eBay has it for around $23, if you’re willing to take a chance on that.

Summing Up

I think Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water is a great buy.  You get three products in one, and it keeps makeup in place really well.  I’m excited to try it with a foundation instead of BB Cream.

What’s your favorite primer?  Leave me a comment or message me here!  And don’t forget to subscribe!



  1. Krystin July 17, 2017 at 9:41 am

    I haven’t used the primer water yet but I’m currently using the photo finish primer and LOVE it!


    1. Amy July 17, 2017 at 10:00 am

      Their primers are really awesome.

  2. Oh to Be a Muse July 17, 2017 at 11:16 am

    I love a good beauty kit. Such a great way to try out various products all in one place. The primer sounds lovely!

    1. Amy July 17, 2017 at 11:33 am

      It’s great. I love it.

  3. Lily July 17, 2017 at 12:05 pm

    I love, love, love the primer water. It’s one of my go-to’s!
    xo, Lily
    Beauty With Lily

    1. Amy July 17, 2017 at 12:43 pm

      It’s one of mine now, too!

  4. Tanvi Rastogi July 17, 2017 at 3:15 pm

    I haven’t used them yet. Thanks for the review though.

  5. Katya July 17, 2017 at 6:53 pm

    I also love this Primer Water by Smashbox — especially in combination with dewy foundation!

    1. Amy July 17, 2017 at 7:06 pm

      It’s so great! I like that you can use it throughout the day to freshen up, too.

  6. Beth July 17, 2017 at 10:12 pm

    Those are some great primers! I’ll have to try the primer water 🙂
    Beth ||

  7. Shelby July 18, 2017 at 10:08 am

    I love Smashbox! Super addicting.

    1. Amy July 18, 2017 at 10:45 am

      They’re one of my favorite brands

  8. Katie July 18, 2017 at 10:43 am

    I love the primer water! I agree it is great as a setting spray but I also use it to prep my brushes. Just a spritz before apply powder eyeshadow really makes the pigment pop!

    1. Amy July 18, 2017 at 10:46 am

      What a great idea! I’ll have to try that.

  9. Danita July 18, 2017 at 12:45 pm

    I have the primer but have never tried the kit! Thank you for your review! I will check out Sephora this weekend.

    1. Amy July 19, 2017 at 11:04 am

      Do check it out! It’s a great buy.

  10. Leslie July 18, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    I also use their primer for my night look so it stays on all evening. Works really great and I agree, the cruelty free aspect is really a good draw.

    1. Amy July 19, 2017 at 11:03 am

      I was traveling for around 15 hours yesterday, and my makeup stayed put. That’s nothing less than a miracle.

  11. On womenmind July 18, 2017 at 2:22 pm

    I m big fan of smash box . I got a smash box kit as gift from my daughter on moms day and loving the photo finish primer ❤️

    1. Amy July 19, 2017 at 11:02 am

      That’s next on my list to review!

  12. Courtenay July 18, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    Sounds like a pretty good buy! My favourite primer to date for combating oiliness has been the Becca Ever Matte Poreless Priming Perfector. I would even say it’s a little too effective haha. The only thing for me is that it can be a little pricey (between $30-40), but it works so well.

    1. Amy July 19, 2017 at 10:56 am

      I’ll have to try that one next!

  13. Karen July 19, 2017 at 12:15 pm

    I need to try this! In this heat, my makeup melts before I get to work!

    1. Amy July 19, 2017 at 2:42 pm

      Mine too! This makes all the difference, I swear.

  14. Taylor Mobley July 19, 2017 at 3:15 pm

    I love primer water! My skin is so oily so I need lots of primer.

    1. Amy July 19, 2017 at 5:09 pm

      Me too! Otherwise I look like an oil slick.

  15. camila July 19, 2017 at 3:29 pm

    Nothing like a good ultra haul!
    Smashbox primer is my all time favorite primer, I still haven’t found one that compares!


    1. Amy July 19, 2017 at 6:14 pm

      Agreed! And yes, I pretty much love everything Smashbox I’ve tried

  16. Jasmine July 19, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    I tried their primer and didn’t like it. I have oily skin and it didn’t work well with it.

    1. Amy July 19, 2017 at 6:54 pm

      Interesting, good to hear a different perspective. Did you try the primer water or the photo finish primer?

  17. Erin July 19, 2017 at 7:14 pm

    These kits sound amazing and congrats on be show! Can’t wait to hear which one and see you look fabulous!!! Thanks for all the info on the products.. I may just have to try some out!!!

    1. Amy July 19, 2017 at 7:30 pm

      Thank you! I have no idea when I’ll actually be on, LOL. Do try the products – they’re great!

  18. Taylor Mobley July 19, 2017 at 9:14 pm

    Some don’t realize the importance of a good primer!! This stuff sounds amazing!

    1. Amy July 19, 2017 at 10:01 pm

      I know – I had no idea how important it was until recently

  19. Clair July 19, 2017 at 10:08 pm

    I love hearing about makeup products! I have heard great things about Smashbox…will have to try this out 🙂

    1. Amy July 19, 2017 at 10:09 pm

      They’re an awesome brand – one of the tops, in my opinion.

  20. Gabrielle Crystal RoseBonniee ~ July 20, 2017 at 3:55 am

    I just love mini kits like this one ♥ °₊·ˈ It´s great especially when you want to try something new but you´re not very sure about it 🙂

    Blog de la Licorne

    1. Amy July 20, 2017 at 8:49 am

      I know! I was very excited when I found it. Four in one!

  21. Jackie July 20, 2017 at 9:02 am

    I currently don’t usually wear a primer because I never see that much of a difference, but I will try this! Love those sample kits!

    1. Amy July 20, 2017 at 9:05 am

      If you don’t see a difference, I understand not wearing them. I think I see a difference now that I’m a little older and need a bit more help 🙂

  22. Alison July 20, 2017 at 3:29 pm

    I’ve been looking for a new primer so I’ll definitely have to check this out. Love that you can get multiple products packaged together!

    1. Amy July 20, 2017 at 4:03 pm

      I was very happy when I found it – particularly since I loooove the undereye primer!

    2. Amy July 21, 2017 at 11:50 am

      Yes, it was a great find!

  23. courtney July 22, 2017 at 5:55 pm

    Smashbox is one of my absolute favourite brands and I love their priming products. I use the photo finish primer all of the time and the primer oil is a fav!

    1. Amy July 22, 2017 at 6:45 pm

      I haven’t tried the primer oil, but I’ll look for that one next!

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