How To Find The Perfect Smashbox Primer To Match Your Face

When it comes to makeup, Smashbox is one of the greatest brands out there and if there’s one thing they’re renowned for, it’s their wide range of primers that cater for all different skin types. Coveted for a reason, Smashbox primers feature in many a makeup bag, so we thought we’d put them to the test to find out what all the hype is about. We challenged BEAUTY BAY staff to review primers that had been selected based on their skin type, to see if they really stood up to the test. Keep reading to see what they thought…


Skin type: Oily

“I will preface my review of this product by saying traditionally I am not an avid primer wearer; I am yet to be sold on the benefits of most I have tried. However, as someone with acne-prone, oily skin, I am very much interested in a product that claims to alleviate this oily issue. Now I’m not adverse to a glow on the skin, far from it, however as a heavy sunscreen user my skincare products plus natural oils can create quite the heavy shine across my face which is not ideal for the longevity of my makeup.

As a silicone based product the Photo Finish Control Mattifying Primer absorbs quickly into the skin. Once absorbed it feels lightweight, as if there is nothing on my skin at all so sits very comfortably under makeup. It almost instantly mattifies the surface of the skin and I found it to give a smoother looking surface, a great prep before foundation.

In a wear test of the primer, I found the texture of my makeup to stay consistent for longer with oils prevented from appearing earlier in the day. 

I have also found that applying this product under foundation prevents my makeup from transferring onto my face coverings by way of reducing the oils that mix in into the foundation, a great added bonus!” – Shelby, Merchandising Admin


Skin type: Combination

“This was the first Smashbox product that I’ve used and for someone with oily/combination skin it worked really well. I am prone to the occasional breakout and sometimes get an unwanted shine throughout the day. This primer applied really smoothly and it lives up to its name as it was super light when applying and I only needed to use a small amount. Once I had put my foundation on, I noticed that it stayed matte all day and kept my makeup in place, even after a workout!” – Amber, Marketing Executive


Skin type: Normal

I used the Original Photo Finish Smooth & Blur Primer after moisturising, before my foundation base. The texture felt silky and left my skin feeling well primed without being overly oily like some primers in the past have. I genuinely feel like it made my foundation sit better on my skin and gave that ‘blurred’ effect like it claims. My foundation lasted all day (applied at 8am) without looking clogged and my blemishes felt well covered! I have pretty ‘normal’ skin (not particularly oily or dry) and I felt this foundation suited me perfectly. I would definitely buy again!’ – Holly, Procurement Assistant 


Skin type: Dull

“The Smashbox Photo Finish Illuminate Glow Primer leaves my skin not only looking, but feeling super hydrated and luminous, and I love the fact that it has vitamins B, C & E in it meaning my skin is being nourished too. It noticeably brightens up the appearance of my skin and gives it a healthy glow – even so much that I can wear it alone without any make-up to enhance my natural skin!  When applied it feels lightweight and so my make-up sits nicely on top of it, the slight sticky texture it has helps my make-up to last longer as well. Plus, it has an amazing fresh citrus scent!” – Megan, Marketing Executive


Skin type: Redness

“I liked the way the primer felt on my skin as I am conscious of how primers layer on top of my other skincare products. The primer sat nicely on top of other products and did not clump or move around when I blended in my foundation. I have quite severe redness in my cheeks as I have rosacea and contact dermatitis, so colour correcting is something I have been looking to try. I didn’t feel like the primer had much of an effect on its own, but I did notice a difference after I had applied my foundation. My redness was less noticeable than with foundation alone. I noticed my makeup lasted better throughout the day and didn’t migrate, so overall I really rated this as a primer.” – Bonnie, Trading Assistant 


Skin type: Breakouts

“The Photo Finish Pore Minimizing Primer has literally saved my lockdown skin! My skin is prone to breakouts, especially around my chin, however from the first use, this mattifying texture reduced redness and blurred the appearance of my breakouts and scars with only one small layer. (Please note: A little goes a long way!)

The lightweight texture allows your skin to breathe, while also minimizing my pores. Instantly my skin felt smoother and allowed my makeup to sit on an oil-free base. (Yes – I am still wearing make up around the house!)

I noticed a considerable difference in the longevity of my foundation which lasted throughout the day, long into the evening without budging.” – Elisha, Customer Service Assistant


Skin type: Dry

“The Smashbox Photo Finish Primerizer + Hydrating Primer is a nourishing hybrid primer that leaves a super dewy finish. I found the formula very lightweight to wear and quick to absorb whilst having a nice liquid consistency that is not too runny when applying. This oil primer left me with a beautiful, natural glow and helped my foundation to blend in seamlessly. My make-up lasted for 8+ hours and I felt it worked to moisturise my dry skin and problematic areas. My complexion stayed looking radiant and this primer kept my skin looking healthy and hydrated all day long!” – Emily, NPD Executive