The Budget Babe | Affordable Fashion & Style Blog

Beauty Splurge vs. Steal of the Week: Smashbox Photo Finish Primer

Splurge versus Save: Photo Finish

In this weekly column, I’m bringing you my favorite budget-friendly beauty products (and their high-end equivalents!). This week, we’re chatting primers (!). Also make sure to check out my blog, for even more beauty product reviews and tips.

Up until a few years ago I thought primers were totally useless, but then I tried a few different versions (HERE) and realized that they’re actually pretty awesome; one, they make it so that you don’t have to use as much foundation and two, they make your foundation last longer. So what’s the gold standard? Ask any beauty girl and they’ll tell you that they love Smashbox Iconic Photo Finish Foundation Primer since it’s a silky blend of antioxidants and vitamins that instantly smooths and perfects skin…but at $36 I’m a little hesitant to buy it regularly. I recently tried out Sephora’s version, Sephora Collection Perfecting Ultra-Smoothing Primer and I absolutely love it! For one, the packaging is super similar (I’m a sucker for good packaging) and two, the results are almost identical to Smashbox’s version.

For even more beauty product reviews, tips and advice check out my blog,
If the prices mentioned are for the sizes shown in the photo then it is not that much of a steal since the Smashbox one is 30 ml and the Sephora one is only 15 ml so in other words you end up paying $30 for the same amount of the Sephora one, so yes, stil $6 cheaper, but if you prefer the Smashbox one then maybe it is worth the extra $6
#1 Maddie on 2014-05-09 19:21 (Reply)
Hi Maddie,

Good point! I'll still keep my $6 though :-)
#1.1 Jamie Stone (Homepage) on 2014-05-10 00:23 (Reply)
Really great ! I will definitely buy that Sephora primer!
#2 Coolallure (Homepage) on 2014-05-10 04:51 (Reply)
You can go even cheaper by buying monistat chafing gel I think it's around $6 at target . It's the exact same thing as the smashbox primer (check the ingredients!) and is a tried and true makeup artist secret!!
#3 Christina on 2014-05-10 20:34 (Reply)
Chafing gel??? Interesting. I've heard the thing about Pepto instead of Milk of Magnesia but I've never hear the chafing gel bit.... I'm tempted to try it now :-P
#3.1 Andrea (Homepage) on 2014-05-10 23:15 (Reply)
I've been meaning to try this trick as well!
#3.1.1 The Budget Babe on 2014-05-12 22:15 (Reply)
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