Smashbox Photo Finish Primerizer – Oily Skin Review

We here at Leslie Here – which is just….me…Leslie (hi!) – love a good one-two punch. Any sort of product that promises to do two things at once. One that helps to eliminate the need for two steps, the need for two products, the need for two PURCHASES. YAS.

Another thing we (I, me, just Leslie) love to do is watch endless amounts of YouTube videos, and this product, the Smashbox Photo Finish Primerizer has been on the lips of so many “gurus” lately. I have been curious about this since it launched, and then gosh darnit, if it wasn’t 40% off during the “Love Your Skin” event that Ulta always reels me in with!

So I got it, and here we are.



The Smashbox Photo Finish Primerizer is a primer and moisturizer in one (get it? primer-izer?). This thing is a whopping $42 for 1 oz, which is a little steep for me. But if you think about it being two products in one, I guess that isn’t TOO bad. **There is a travel size available – $15 for 0.5 oz, so CLEARLY just buy the travel size $15+$15 = $30**

Suitable for all skin types (although sensitive is not listed specifically). This product claims to instantly increase moisture in the skin and act as a “makeup magnet” at the same time. I do not see any claims about pore filling, or anything to do with texture blurring – but it does promise to smooth skin over time.


This promise (and a big reason I was attracted to this, even as an oily girl), stems from the inclusion of some key ingredients. Niacinamide has really blown up lately, and with good reason. It is one of the only ingredients that can actually shrink the size of your pores – so its inclusion will help to smooth the skin over time with use. Also included in this potion is Hyaluronic Acid (as Sodium Hyaluronate). HA is a great ingredient to work into your routine if you are worried about fine lines and wrinkles, as it goes down deep into your skin and plumps it all up – keeping it fresh and hydrated.

Water, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Isopropyl Isostearate, PPG-15 Stearyl Ether, Niacinamide, Hydroxyethyl Urea, Sodium Polyaspartate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Algae Extract, Caffeine, Trehalose, Sorbitol, Decyl Glucoside, Xanthan Gum, 1, 2-Hexanediol, Propanediol, Sodium Hydroxide, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Caprylyl Glycol, Butylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol. 

The rest of the ingredients look pretty decent – Caffeine is a fun addition, but it can be sensitizing. I am however pretty turned off by the fact that dimethicone is the third ingredient. If this is supposed to REPLACE a moisturizer, I would prefer something a little more nourishing. This also has NO SPF, so in terms of being an ‘all in one’ product, not so much.

Other benefits/ points of note: This product is vegan, cruelty-free and free of sodium lauryl sulfates, oil, fragrance, and talc.

And it contains 762 sextillion molecules of water per bottle. In case you just REALLY needed to know. FOR SCIENCE  I wanted to know what that really even meant, because why does the average Sephora shopped give a flipping flip about that?!

molecules of water in a drop of water 1.67E+24
drops of water in 1oz 591.471
molecules of water in 1 oz of water 9.87757E+26
molecues of water in Smashbox Primerizer 7.62E+24


Still don’t know what it means? Me either….but it seems like a lot of water for a cosmetic!


The texture of this is very lightweight, and milky/silky. It blends into the skin very easily on top of my other skin care. My skin did look very pretty and plump after applying this! It sinks in surprisingly well considering the high listing of dimethicone (which more often sits on TOP of the skin).

Unfortunately, though – it was not working well for me in the ‘priming’ department. It did little to help blur any texture, and it definitely wasn’t a MAGNET – my makeup did not last any longer, and stay put any longer because of this primer.

Probably because this made me suuuuuuper greasy. It didn’t matter how lightweight it was or how gaw-geous my skin looked after application. The fact of the matter is, this did not play nice with the oils in my skin.


While I do love the two key ingredients in the product for texture and plumping – and with daily use would definitely show results – as a either a primer, a moisturizer, or a two in one product, this really doesn’t work for me.

For oily skin, the silicone and possibly all the other emollients, will not play nice with your oils. For dry skin, this will likely not be enough moisture. And if you have texture, it won’t do anything to blur them (although over time, as I said, texture will improve) So basically, unless you have normal, poreless skin, you won’t be able to use JUST this product. And that’s kind of the whole point of it, right?

I was tempted to still keep and try using as a straight up serum for the Niacinamide & HA benefits, but even in that department there are better options out there.

With all the YouTubers losing their minds over this mediocre product, its almost as if they get paid or incentivized for saying good things…






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