Make Up - Face Review: Make Up Sephora Smashbox

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water: The lightest, purest, most refreshing primer form you have ever used

When it comes to new product release, admittedly Malaysia is far more slower in this matter. When reviews of the new Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water starts to pops out on YouTube, I figure that we need to wait at least a few more months (6 months maybe?) for it to be available locally. Imagine my surprise when I saw all Smashbox new products nicely displayed at the new Sephora Mid Valley store back in April 2015, I thought I was dreaming and I needed to take a double look at the shelf to make sure it is real!

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water
If you’re thinking ‘meh, what’s the hype on the primer water anyway?’, well it’s all because primer comes in a paste form and the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water is the revolutionary primer in the form of none other than…water! You know how the beauty world works. Give us something new, something fresh, something that no one have done it before and we all go berserk 😛

The story behind the invention of Photo Finish Primer Water dated all the way back to 15 years ago. In 2000, Smashbox founder together with photographer Davis Factor developed the iconic Photo Finish Foundation Primer (you can refer to my review here) to help makeup look better, last longer, and blur imperfections on shoots. If you love the original primer, you would love this new form that is in the lightest, purest and most refreshing form that you could imagine.


How it works?

This is not just any water you can fill from the water tap, aight? In fact this primer water is infused with revitalizing electrolytes and the product passes through positive energy fields during the production process. Electrolytes prime the face to create the most sheer canvas ready for the next makeup state. And because it is in the water form, it helps to restore moisture and hydrate the skin underneath makeup. This is especially a good news for girls who have dry or very dry skin as normal primer is totally out of the question for skin type like this. You can now use Photo Finish Primer Water without hesitation. It doesn’t contain silicone, alcohol and oil. It also somehow contain the necessary ingredients to boost radiance. Think about it, hydrated skin equals to radiant skin. Make sense, eh? Think of this as Redbull for the skin 😉

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water Claims
As blur as I can be at times, well most of the time 😛 , I thought this is a product to be misted AFTER makeup base. Then I heard someone saying the Photo Finish Primer Water IS THE PRIMER itself therefore no other makeup primer is needed prior. I gave that a thought and said to myself ‘okay, that sounds logic enough’. In fact, this is how and what Primer Water is supposed to be. It it used in replacement of the normal paste makeup primer. I have tried it as it is but somehow I felt that the priming benefit is not sufficient enough for me. As I’m used to makeup primer that mattifies my skin to prevent from turning into oil slick, this Photo Finish Primer Water definitely doesn’t work that way. My makeup does not melt throughout the day but it doesn’t help to keep the oil at bay for me. You know me with matte skin right? However, as naughty as I can be, I did tried misting Photo Finish Primer Water AFTER the usual makeup primer and guess what? I LOVE IT. Somehow on my skin it works much better to be used on top of the normal conventional primer rather than using it on it’s own. Bear in mind my skin type may be different from yours so do take my personal experience with a pinch of salt 🙂 . I do know my friends that are with dry skin had a totally different experience from mine.

Another usage for the Primer Water is to set the makeup and lock the makeup onto the skin. Again, this product is made to keep the skin hydrated so do expect to see a dewy complexion if you were to use this product to set your makeup. I kinda like how my skin glow after using the Primer Water 🙂 . The third usage for the Primer Water is of course as face refresher during the day to wake up the skin. This method I’ve not tried as I don’t usually bring anything I used in the morning out with me. But it’s a great idea if you needed the extra boost in moisture or to lock your makeup during the day especially after touch up.

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water Mist
The mist are very fine and it doesn’t land on the face in huge water droplet that could potentially ruin the makeup. Nope. It’s nothing like that. It is so fine that I kept misting and thinking to myself whether I had the nozzle hole pointed at the face or I had it pointed to the side 😀 . And trust me, once you start misting you cannot stop misting because it felt so good on the skin. It does have a faint scent to it that is neither florally or chemically scented. I can’t pinpoint the scent accurately but it certainly doesn’t smell anything at all during misting. And because the mist are so fine, this one bottle will last you for a very long time despite misting and misting and misting non-stop 😀

Does it live up to the hype? Well, there must be a reason why everyone is raving about this and it certainly does. I like how it moisture the skin and locks everything to the skin, while giving the skin a subtle glow. Comparing to other primer, this Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water does a better job in the “makeup locking” department than every other product that I’ve tried. Who will love this? I say those from normal to dry or very dry skin would treat this as a God-sent as the moisturizing benefit are at the highest (until my skin also starts to shine haha!) and those that constantly experienced makeup meltdown would love the makeup locking benefit of the Photo Finish Primer Water. That’s my most favourite benefit of all 😀


Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water is now available at Smashbox counter at Parkson Pavilion and at all Sephora stores nationwide (except for Robinsons).

Price: RM109

For more information, please visit Smashbox Product Website.


Disclaimer: Product was sent to me for review consideration. This doesn’t affect my judgement in the review in any way.


Comments (5)

  • This is the first time I’ve heard of a primer water, and it sounds interesting. I normally don’t use primer but this looks more liker a toner than primer. Also, if they put it in a mist bottle like that, I sure will think it’s a setting spray instead of a primer lololol

    • Me too. I think not too long ago Urban Decay have one as well. I think. Can’t remember. I’m someone who use primer for everything i.e. face and eyes. It can also be a toner as it hydrates the skin before makeup haha. If mistaken for setting spray also not an issue as it is also a setting spray 😀 . It’s a multi-use product – primer, setting spray, skin refresher.

  • as usual, your review makes me wanna try this primer water XD luckily the price is still within my ‘affordable’ range in this economy. i might consider to try this ^_^ i have oily skin too and thanks to your post, i will try both ways you did if i get this mist.

    • 😀 no harm to try and I think the price is still alright considering it will last for very long. I like it for it’s ability to lock in the makeup but it doesn’t help to keep oil at bay. That’s alright because Smashbox never claim it to mattify the skin. It’s meant to be a primer 😀 . It’s quite convenient to use not needing to rub in the normal primer. Just mist mist mist!

  • I don’t use primer in general although I admit this primer water is interesting and intriguing.


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