The Geeks are big fans of a good primer, as they smooth out the skin and essentially create a good canvas to apply make-up to. Smashbox photo finish primer water caught our eye recently as the formula is water rather than silicone based.

Smashbox claim that this water has “priming benefits, whilst hydrating and creating a sheer radiance and is packed with revitalizing electrolytes to wake up skin and restore moisture”. Sounds like a dream doesn’t it?!

Sadly, we were less convinced after looking at the ingredient list.

In most primers, the main ingredients are silicones but instead, in this formula, they are water and butylene glycol (a humectant that will hydrate skin by preventing water loss). This makes the smashbox product feel more like a mist spray rather than a primer. The reason that primers containing silicones work well is that silicones help to smooth out areas of the skin that would usually collect makeup, giving a smoother appearance. They also make your skin more hydrophobic (water-hating) and as almost all makeup is water insoluble, this helps makeup to stay on the skin for longer. We looked for ingredients that would have a similar effect in this product but disappointingly didn’t find much. Also, as water is a big component of this product, the Geeks are sceptical of its priming abilities.

However, smashbox primer water does have some good ingredients that will hydrate the skin and make it work well as a refreshing/setting spray. Caffeine is high up on the ingredient list and is a potent anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory, it also slows down the process of photo ageing in the skin. This makes it a good ingredient to have in any skin product! Another benefit of this formula is that it is much lighter than many other setting sprays and will provide a sheer amount of moisture to the skin. Skin hydration is always key to making make-up look fresh!

The Verdict:

Whilst we wouldn’t use this as a primer to create a good make up canvas, the primer water does have some good ingredients that make it a good option for refreshing/setting makeup.

You can find smashbox photo finish primer water HERE.

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