When it comes to primers, Smashbox's Photo Finish has become somewhat of a holy grail beauty product. Avid users have consistently raved about its ability to smooth and protect skin while helping makeup to last for hours. Still, while the product is certainly amazing, its price point ($36 per 1 fluid ounce) has left many searching for a more affordable Smashbox Photo Finish dupe to suit their needs.
You might be surprised to find that there are various amazing alternatives that stand tall when compared to Smashbox's highly coveted formula — all for a fraction of the price. And while each and every one promises to give you a flawless end result and a long-lasting finish, it's important to know which qualities to look for as you shop around for a viable replacement.
For starters, you'll definitely want to find a primer with the same clear formula and smoothing properties as Smashbox's; this will ensure that you're getting the flash-friendly look and weightless feel that you're going for. Secondly, it may be beneficial to ensure that the product is lightweight and oil-free so that it doesn't feel too heavy or greasy underneath your makeup — another quality that fans of Photo Finish appreciate.
The last factor you might want to consider is the primer's ability to protect skin from free radicals and environmental toxins. Choosing a product formulated with antioxidants and vitamins may benefit your skin's overall health and appearance in the long run, just like the original.
Now that you have the basics, here are four of the best Smashbox Photo Finish Primer dupes; give them a try and see how they stack up to your favorite.
1. The Best Smashbox Photo Finish Dupe, All Things Considered
NYX Studio Perfect Photo-Loving primer is, hands down, one of the best dupes you'll ever encounter when it comes to finding a replacement for Smashbox's Photo Finish. The silky formula easily glides on, smoothing skin for optimal and long-lasting makeup application — all without looking greasy. As an added bonus, the product is also vegan and cruelty-free, so the benefits are almost identical to Smashbox's — but with an $8 price tag.
Reviewers say: "This stuff is bomb. I tried it after hearing that it was a good dupe for the much more expensive Smashbox primer that I fell in love with after getting a sample. This primer didn't disappoint at all. It has that same silky feeling and really gives you a flawless canvas. I will never buy the Smashbox again after finding this much cheaper dupe."
2. The Most Affordable Dupe
At only $5 for 0.67 ounces, Maybelline's Baby Skin is a major steal if you're looking for a more affordable version of the popular primer. Much like the Smashbox formula, Maybelline's Baby Skin goes on easily to create a smooth base, and it leaves skin feeling both moisturized and matte simultaneously. Thanks to its sheer coverage, it can either be applied underneath your makeup or as a low-maintenance look on your bare face.
Reviewers say: "I cannot get over how wonderful this stuff is. I've been searching for a good primer for a while, but did not want to spend a lot of money on one ... The consistency was very similar to Smashbox primer which I love. This made my face feel so soft too."
3. The Best Primer For Oily Skin
Thank Me Later's matte formula is similar to Smashbox's in that it minimizes pores and locks makeup in place — but this pick is specifically suited for oily skin because it helps the complexion stay shine-free all day. Since it's both waterproof and sweat-proof, this product easily resists humidity and sebum production, making it a great choice for someone who requires a more matte finish. It's also helpful for those looking for a primer that'll hold up on hot summer days or while working out.
Reviewers say: "This is the one," says one buyer who has tried more than 10 high-end primers, including Smashbox, but none of them suited their oily complexion. "I've never gone more than [six] hours without creasing, and that's with only two primers that have somewhat worked for a bit. This one works the whole time. Amazed."
4. The Best Vegan Photo Finish Dupe
Similar to Smashbox's Photo Finish, E.L.F.'s mineral-infused primer is PETA-certified, cruelty-free, and vegan, making it an amazing and environmentally sound dupe for the coveted brand. Its silky texture is parallel in that it helps to create a smooth base for makeup application — and at $8, E.L.F.'s price point is hard to beat. Since it's infused with minerals to balance the complexion and skips parabens, sulfates, and phthalates, it's also a promising pick for those with sensitive skin.
Reviewers say: "This face primer from e.l.f. cosmetics is exceptionally good for the price. Generally with makeup, you get what you pay for, i.e. expensive makeup is going to work better than cheaper makeup. This product definitely falls under the cheap makeup category, but only price wise. It is silky smooth when applied, and it is very easy to figure out the correct amount to use. An added bonus is that e.l.f. cosmetics does not test on animals, and are vegan as well. Meaning that there are no animal products in them (beeswax, etc)."
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