Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer


4.4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars64%
  • 4 Stars22%
  • 3 Stars8%
  • 2 Stars3%
  • 1 Star2%
4.43 / 5 based on 13,891 Reviews


This clear face primer gel smoothes skin and blurs flaws. It was developed to help makeup look better and last longer on set.

We recently gave Photo Finish Foundation Primer a makeover. It’s your same favorite formula now with a fresh new look.


Try it in your hair to tame frizzies.


  • Makeup lasts hours & hours
  • Fills in fine lines & pores instantly
  • Glides on to give you a flawless finish
  • Protects skin from environmental pollutants, damage & stress with antioxidants vitamin A, E + peptides
  • Lightweight and oil-free
  • Ideal for all skin types
  • Cruelty-free
  • Vegan 


  • Smooth a layer over clean, moisturized skin.
  • Let it set for 15 seconds.
  • Wear alone or under makeup.
  • Can also be used over makeup for touchups.


Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Trisiloxane, Silica, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Tocopheryl Acetate, Retinyl Palmitate, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Extract, Cola Acuminata (Kola) Seed Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract, Water\Aqua\Eau, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Propylene Glycol

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Top Questions See all 6,812 Q&A

  • Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer What are your mu...2 Answers
  • Is this primer worth buying and how does it feel on the s...5 Answers
  • What do you all think about this Smashbox Photo Finish F...5 Answers
Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer
Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer
Reviews (13891)
Q&A (2007)
Media (1146)
  • "the consistency of this product is absolutely amazing and is glides on like a dream. this really did smooth out my skin and it made my makeup look flawless. this product is great for oily skin, and is you want a flawless look" in 3362 reviews
  • "Keeps face matte and oil free for long time." in 1 review
  • "It's expensive, so I'm not sure I will go for it for every day, but I might save up some Ipsy points!" in 1 review
  • "This is so worth your money, it last for a long time and makes your skin look so even! " in 1 review
Agustin C.
North Liberty
18 reviews
Okay, can I just say that this is such a GOOD PRIMER!!! The claims say that it is a pore filing primer and it definitely is! I usually use this underneath the makeup on my t zone due to the fact that most of my larger pores are at on my face and it does a really good job at providing a nice and smooth canvas underneath the makeup. I love also how it's a clear formula so it is suitable for all skin tones and won't look ashy on a darker complexion. This formula is really velvety smooth and kind of thick but not too thick that it's going to clog your pores. Now you may be thinking,"if you are raving about this primer so much, then why did you rate it 4 stars?" Well first of all I would've given it a 4.9 if I could but I can't, and I feel like there's only one thing that I don't like about this primer. I have accidently used "too much" of this primer at one time and the way that my foundation sat on top of it, made it separate and look really streaky. I tried using different brushes, a beauty blender, and nothing worked. So just be warned that if you use too much of this primer, it will make the foundation going on top of it apply a little bit streaky and patchy but if you use just enough of it then it will make all makeup going on top of it apply smooth and like butter. A lot of people compare this to the benefit pore fecinial and I think that this is very comparable. The porefecinial sinks into your skin but (I think) its a little bit drying on my skint type but still good nonetheless while this primer sits on top of the skin (that's why you need to use a little bit and not too much of the primer) but doesn't dry my skin out at all. Overall, this primer is really good and provides a smooth and clean canvas for the makeup going on top of it. Would I recommend, YESSSS!!!
Sam E.
17 reviews
Beauty Junkie Expert Level 1
I don't really have large pores or any other major skin issues that I would need to wear primer for, but I still like to wear it as a barrier between my skin and other makeup. Because I don't need it for my pores, most primers work just fine for me, and this was no exception. I compared a lot of different primers when I first started using makeup because I wanted to see if any actual had a noticeable difference. 

In terms of actual function, this primer worked just as well as any other. I didn't notice any particular difference between this and other primers, so if cost is a concern I would steer towards more cheaper options.  But cost isn't the only reason I won't be repurchasing this primer. I didn't like the feel of this primer, particularly on my hands. After I applied the primer to my face, my hands would feel greasy, like there was a lot of residue left on them from the primer. I actually had a lot of trouble getting the cap off my eyeliner after applying my primer, to the point where I made a habit of taking the cap off first before I touch primer. Since I apply a lot of my makeup with my hands that feeling was very off putting and ultimately turned me off completely from this product.
Michelle L.
41 reviews
Beauty Junkie Expert Level 1
I tried a sample of this primer and I wasn't totally impressed. I have oily skin, some large pores, and fine/smile lines. It smoothed out my face and made foundation application easier, but I didn't like the silicone-y feel to it and the way it sat on my skin. I feel like it sort of enhanced some dry spots in weird areas of my face. I was hoping that it would keep my from getting oily throughout the day and it didn't do the best job with that. I've definitely tried other drugstore primers that did a better job keeping oil at bay. I also occasionally felt like this was clogging some of my pores and I would get the occasional breakout after wearing this. Overall, it was alright a few hours after application, but my makeup didn't look so great at the end of the day and I wasn't super impressed. I probably would not pay the full price for this.
Jaimee M.
Mooers, NY
310 reviews
Beauty Junkie Expert Level 4
I got a small size of this in a pack of smashbox items from sephora. I have combination skin so maybe im just not oily enough. But this product was just okay. It wasn't that great like I have seen so many people say. It didnt seem to blur my pores that well but it did seem to fill them in just a little bit. And it did seem to keep my oils a little bit at bay but i really didn't seem much of a change in how long it kept my foundation on. So I'm not really sure if its worth the price. Maybe give it a shot and if you dont like it exchange it. I love this and the primerizer on the perimeter of my face.
Josseline G.
175 reviews
Beauty Junkie Expert Level 4
ve used primers by Nars and Laura Mercier in the past, and was pretty happy. They definitely helped my concealer stay put, and Laura Mercier gave me a little glow. But I kept hearing about Smashbox's primer, and as I've been trying to move more toward cruelty-free products (Smashbox/Estee Lauder is cruelty free as of 2017), decided to give it a try. OMG, I HAD NO IDEA BEFORE WHAT A PRIMER COULD DO. See, in the past, if I happened to forget my primer step, I wouldn't really notice a difference in application/texture, just longevity. Now, if I inadvertently skip my Photo Finish primer, I see IMMEDIATELY that my concealer is wearing differently (I use Tarte Shape Tape applied with a damp beauty blender). It will look dryer, more settled into my fine lines, and overall just more makeup-y. I'll actually clean it off and reapply with my primer! Smashbox's Photo Finish primer makes my skin smooth and baby soft to the touch, and makes my concealer look like my natural skin, just with better complexion.
Maggie W.
Atlanta, GA
202 reviews
Beauty Junkie Expert Level 3
Purchased at: Sephora
This stuff is amazing! It goes on like velvet and makes my makeup look flawless! It really melts into my skin and does not sit on top of it at all. It did a pretty good job of masking my pores as well. It’s lightweight and not heavy at all. I love all of smashboxs primers I have tried pretty much all of them and they are all great. You can’t really go wrong with any of them. This is probably my favorite one though!
carla l.
Salem, OR
271 reviews
Beauty Junkie Expert Level 4
I know that there are very polarizing views on this primer, but I'm one of the people who absolutely LOVES it.  I've tried so many primers and for some reason this one just works for me.  I hardly need to use any to cover my entire face and I love how well it subtly blurs out some of my texture and makes my makeup apply incredibly smoothly.  Everything stays put on my face for an admirable amount of wear time and although it seems that some reviewers find that the primer makes their face feel oily, I don't seem to have that issue as a general rule.  This, for me, is just a really solid product and I'm still looking for a less expensive dupe that I like as well!
Lily A.
Los Angeles
11 reviews
It's interesting because sometimes it enhances my makeup but other times, I feel that my makeup goes on better without it. I think this may have something to do with irregularities in my skin ph or my lifestyle that's causing the healthiness of my skin to fluctuate. I actually didn't purchase the full size, but in fact bought the Smashbox primer set, which includes the travel size version of this. I've had it for over a year and there's still a lot of product left. I've found that I only need to apply the product to my t-zone and nose areas where it is potentially the oiliest and hosts the most noticeable pores and so end up saving a lot of this product. I think the one time that convinced me the usefulness of this product was when my skin was shedding because of the change in weather. I applied the product to the areas where little bits of skin were peeling off and the primer covered everything up immediately. 
Stacy D.
80 reviews
Beauty Junkie Expert Level 2
Currently my favorite primer.  Great to soak up any oil on my face, leaving a nice matte finish.  I use this for a no makeup day and it blurs fine lines and minimizes pores.  I use a little powder over the top and I'm good to go.  I do make sure that any skincare products I apply first have had enough time to soak in before applying this primer.  Otherwise you will have the dreaded piling up of product and that it just gross.  I think people that have the issue of this piling up may need to consider waiting a bit longer before applying or using a less moisturizing product before applying the primer.  My skin is also silky smooth after using this, which I kinda love.  Price wise it's a bit expensive for what it is, but I get such great results that I'm willing to live with it.
Kajsa L.
Rockport, MA
165 reviews
Beauty Junkie Expert Level 2
Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer is absolutely golden. I was introduced to Smashbox at my local Sephora and it is a go to brand for my skin. It has a matte finish and the application is silky smooth. I have been purchasing this primer for over 3 years now. I have a large and a mini, one for my makeup stand and one for my car just in case I am on the go and need to apply some makeup last minute. It totally minimizes my pores and helps my concealer actually stay on my skin!! Highly recommend this primer! :)

Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer
Kristine N.
Orange County
9 reviews
Is it sticky
Erika H.
How can I get a free sample?
Tammy W.
Rock Hill , SC
189 reviews
Beauty Junkie Expert Level 3
I have oily tones. Would this help with oiliness and smaller pores?
Maria M.
6 reviews
I've heard this is a great high end primer for those who have oily skin. I want to try it out soon, should I?
Jenn W.
York, Pa
71 reviews
Does this get applied to the entire face? Why not just use a BB Cream?

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