Hi all,

I am here to save you some money today and who doesn't like it when you find something that's really affordable and just as good. Today I'm comparing the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water and Primark Primer Water.

When primer water first launched, I was probably doing what you are now thinking 'What the heck is primer water?' It basically a water-based primer that you spray onto your face that acts as a base. I first heard about it when Smashbox launched it and it retails for £20 and that is a lot for a primer. I picked mine up from the Boots Christmas Sets which allowed me to try 3 primers for £19.50 which I thought was a great value for money. Primark, on the other hand, has been really improving their beauty and skincare brands when this Primer Water first launched it was sold out everywhere, for £2 a bottle I'm not surprised why.


Primark's claims to prep skin for makeup application, hydrates, refreshes and is also silicone free, alcohol-free and oil-free. The Smashbox Photo Finish has similar benefits but also claims to set your make up and also act as a hydrating mist. It is also silicone free, alcohol-free and oil-free.

The spray is very important for me and I find that the spray of the Primark allows you to drench your face evenly and sprays at a better width, the Smashbox one sprays longer and further but I sometimes have difficulty with the nozzle so I much prefer the Primark one as it sometimes gets stuck.

The scent; they both have a clean smell but the Smashbox one is a little bit more floral and based on personal preference I like the Primark one better. Longevity wise I can't tell the difference between them, they both prep my skin really well and are both great bases for water-based and non-waterbased foundations. Affordability wise, the Primark one at £2 is 10% of the Smashbox Photo Finish at £20 a bottle which obviously Primark wins.

Because the Smashbox one claimed to hydrate and set my makeup, I tried it out and it doesn't work well as a makeup refresher or as a setting spray, I wear a lot of powder and my skin just wasn't as smooth and perfected compared to when I use my normal setting spray.


Basically, the Primark Primer Water wins in terms of scent, spray, longevity and affordability, the difference between these two are minute and saving a fraction of your money, the Primark Water is amazing. There's nothing wrong with the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water but why not dupe it if there's a similar product in the market that works just as well. If you've found any more dupes please let me know. I love skincare and makeup!

Hope you found this review helpful!

Until next time!

Joyce x

P.s I would be the happiest girl if you follow me on;  BLOGLOVIN | TWITTER | PINTEREST | INSTAGRAM 


  1. Oh wow, that’s so good that the Primark one works as well, if not better than the more expensive smashbox one!! I will be picking some of this up - what a bargain! x

  2. I have the smashbox one so I'll check out the primark version x

  3. This sounds like such an amazing dupe!! Definitely going to pick one up next time I'm in Primark.xx

    Lucy |

  4. wow this is a very interesting post, I'm definitely going to get this Primark primer because it is a lot more affordable and sounds like a great alternative x

  5. I neeed to try the primark water! I’ve heard loads about the smashbox one so glad to hear there’s a cheaper dupe x

  6. Ooh I need to try the primark one! To be honest I’ve always avoided their beauty products because they seem cheap.. but if it works, it’s such a bargain! x


  7. That sounds amazing! Cant believe something from Primark works just as well as Smashbox! Definitely trying this out! xx

  8. This is such a great dupe! I use the Smashbox Primer Water so I will deffo be checking out the Primark one instead xo

    Char |

  9. Omg I've never even heard of primer water before and now I feel like I need it in my life haha! I can't believe how amazing the Primark option sounds and it's such an amazing saving too! xx

  10. So grabbing myself a bottle of the Primark one, I've been wanting to try the smashbox one for ages but could never justify the price, Thank you x

  11. I knew I should have picked this up when I saw it in store today! Thanks for your review xx

    Bry Jaimea |


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