I’ve been using the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water for a little while now and I thought I’d share my thoughts and uses for it. This product is quite interesting because it has no real priming ingredients, but for some odd reason it really works well for me. It’s silicone, alcohol & oil free. While I don’t feel like it does everything it claims (“hydrate your skin for hours”), I do really like this and here’s why:
1. It’s lightweight. It’s not heavy on my skin at all so I can combine with other primers that may have more of the true priming benefits like pore filling.
2. It helps my makeup last. I have no idea why because it has nothing that really should make my make up last, but it does. Young Wild & Polished did a great review/trial comparing this to MAC’s charged water & I totally have the same experience. While it’s not life-changing it’s great for everyday because it’s really lightweight (see 1) and non-drying.
3. It provides instant hydration. I don’t think it adds hours of hydration, but I do think it instantly refreshes and feels really hydrating on my skin.
4. I use it to wet brushes. I like that I can wet brushes (particularly for liners) with this. I don’t do my makeup in the bathroom so it’s probably a bigger plus for me.
5. Smells good. Light citrus sent maybe? I don’t know, but it’s nice. I don’t know why that’s actually important, but it is.
6. Seems to temporarily plump skin. I think it’s the caffene in it, but it seems to plump my skin up a bit. It doesn’t last, but it last long enough to apply my makeup so I think it does help prep my skin for makeup.
7. It has a fine mist. I love how find this is because it doesn’t seem to clump on the skin or ruin my powder. I love it on top of powder.
A lot of people that don’t love this product are saying they’ll go back to fix plus because it’s the same, but I really don’t get any of the same affect. I also think Fix+ is made as a toner/refresher, not a primer. I’ve never loved Fix+, but I love this so I feel like I can kind of start to understand the excitement over Fix+ now. I don’t feel Fix+ has anything that plumps my skin or adds the same hydration. The mist is not my favorite and it seems to not set my powder nearly as well.
I think the biggest difference is that Fix+ has some sort of glycerin in it that is probably better for general wetting of brushes.
Overall, I think I like the smell, hydration & mist of this compared to the Fix+. I don’t really wet brushes with it, but occasionally I’ll wet my liner brush which works well. I also love that I can put on under a primer that might be more drying so I can get really good wear out of makeup, but none of the drying effects. I also like that it has a super fine mist so it seems to set my makeup a little bit better than something like Fix+.
I think if you are looking for something that is standalone or really helps with long-wearing, this is probably not for you. I do enjoy mine and wear at least under primer everyday and I also set powder with it sometimes. I notice a big difference it my dry patches on my forehead look much better after powder and a spritz of this.
If you just want something refreshing, there are probably cheaper alternatives… like MAC’s Fix+. The Avene water sprays are also nice for summer. I’ve been using the Supergoop setting spray lately to add an SPF.
I purchased mine at Sephora and they now offer a travel size if you want to try to see how it works for your skin before you use. Hope that helps a little bit on how I use it/why I like it.
**No links are affiliate links. If you want my Ebates link, click here. Sephora has 8% cash back right now. I do earn money if you sign up through my Ebates link and make a purchase. Anyone can do this.**