Battle of the Primers: Smashbox vs Maxfactor


I love primer.

Boyfriends have come and gone, but the one thing I will truly always love is primer. My first foray into the magical world of face-changing magnificence was the Mac Prep and Prime Skin Primer when I was about 15. It was wonderful and I loved it, but I haven’t re-bought, purely because I am poor and ain’t nobody got time fo’ that.

But I have been on a mission to find the holy grail of primers since. From very cheap high street to higher end primers, I have almost (but not yet, thank god) tried them all. I’ve bought (and been given) two new ones recently, and have been putting them both to the test over the last few weeks. Without too much rambling, here’s what I’ve been thinking of the Smashbox Photo Finish Hydrating Primer and the Max Factor Facefinity All Day Primer. Awooooooga.



The reason I actually own this beauty is thanks to one of my colleagues. She’d bought herself the set of mini Smashbox primers from Boots, but couldn’t use this one because she has quite oily skin. So obviously, like the trampy scavenger I am, I helpfully took it off of her hands (she offered, I didn’t burgle her).

I’ve not use actually used any Smashbox products before, so I was really excited to try this one. I’ve heard nothing but good things about Smashbox primers, so I was pretty pumped to look like Mila Kunis after popping this on my face.

Alas, I didn’t look like Mila (still look like Meg), but this is a game changer.

It’s very unlike any primers I’ve used before. It’s incredibly lightweight, and doesn’t have a ‘creamy’ texture that usually comes with liquid primers. I’d say it’s more like a gel than anything, and feels quite refreshing when you whack it on.

The idea is that it locks in moisture all day long, and makes your skin look smoother and fine lines reduced. I do have a problem of having quite dull-looking skin, so I was very intrigued to see how this would help. It does give a nice subtle glow to your skin pre-foundation, and I also found that my make-up went on beautifully after application. The primer doesn’t really help with keeping your make-up on extra long, but it does generally make your face look better.

Top marks. I really want to buy the full version of this, or even try the other Photo Finish primers. If someone fancies throwing £28, I won’t mind. At all.

DSC_0453Right, now onto the Max Factor Facefinity All Day Primer. It’s a bit mean to compare the two, because the Smashbox Photo Finish Hydrating Primer is supposed to lock in moisture and hydrate, while this one is supposed to extend the wear of your foundation.

But what can I say, I’m a bitch.

The texture of this primer is a lot more liquidy than the gel-like texture of the Smashbox primer. It also looks a bit like runny Tippex, which is a bit disconcerting when you first put it on. Nevertheless, there are a lot of plus points about it. Firstly, I love the fact that it has SPF 20, which is very useful for gals like me who are a) pale and b) too lazy to put suncream on before applying makeup.

I also like the promise of extending the wear of my foundation. I don’t usually touch up my face too much during the day, mainly because I forget and don’t care if I look like a troll in the office. Unfortunately, I don’t think that the Max Factor Facefinity All Day Primer quite delivers on this magical promise. I still get quite shiny throughout the day when I wear this, which isn’t really that ideal when you have a giant disco face like I do.

HOWEVER. This does make my eyebrows last ridiculously long, which is a surprising but welcome side effect. Even when I accidentally touch my face or rub my eyebrows during the day, they don’t go anywhere. And for that alone, I think I will re-purchase. Because my eyebrows are very important to me.

What are your thoughts? Have you tried either of these bad boy primers?


8 Responses

  1. Helen February 20, 2015 / 10:18 am

    I just don’t get along with primers at all. Perhaps I just haven’t found the perfect magical one for me.

    • Lauren February 20, 2015 / 11:33 am

      Ahh, they can be so hit and miss! If you get the wrong one, it can be a complete waste of money. I thoroughly recommend a Dermalogica one – it is absolutely amazing, and is the best one I have ever used xx

  2. Gemma February 20, 2015 / 11:16 am

    What a great post. I also love primers! I have been looking at the MaxFactor one and wondering if should get it, as primers can be so expensive.
    I don’t think I will. I would rather spend a little more on something that will do just what it is supposed to do.
    Gemma x

    • Lauren February 20, 2015 / 11:34 am

      Hi Gemma! Thank you so much for your comment – I definitely agree, it’s definitely worth spending a bit more on a product that actually works. The Max Factor one is ok, but doesn’t quite deliver on what it says its going to do xx

    • Lauren March 8, 2015 / 8:55 am

      Oooh I’ll definitely check it out chick! Thanks xxxx

  3. Lauren February 21, 2015 / 10:59 am

    I don’t wear foundation and so many people have told me I should just use a primer to smooth out my skin, had my eye on the smashbox for a while ive heard nothing but good thing too

    • Lauren March 8, 2015 / 8:56 am

      You definitely should! If I could get away with no foundation, I would definitely invest in a good smoothing primer. They are magic! xxxx

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