A Comparison Of Two Great Foundation Primers

I admit and have admitted before that I don’t have a lot of experience with makeup because I didn’t have a lot of exposure to it growing up. I really didn’t start getting serious about makeup until my late college years (kinda sad I know).

Before then I had dabbled with using drugstore foundations and wearing eye shadow or mascara every once in a while. Once I got more serious about makeup I wasn’t making the connection between skin prep and makeup application. So face primers were something I never used much less heard about.

A Comparison Of The Best Foundation Primers | A Relaxed Gal

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I added face primers to my makeup routine after a trip to Sephora several years ago on a foundation search. The salesperson went over the importance and benefits of creating a smooth base for your makeup by using foundation primers. Some of the benefits include
  • Making pores look smaller
  • Helping to smooth out skin tone
  • Reducing shininess and oil
  • Giving your makeup a smooth base
  • Helping your makeup stay on longer even during warm weather

Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer

The first face primer I ever used was the Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer. You can get this primer for about $36 + tax. When I originally bought it, it was about $28 before tax.

What Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer claims

  • Blurs imperfections by diffusing the light that hits the skin
  • “Helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and pores”
  • Makes your “makeup look better and last longer”
  • Has a “silky, lightweight blend of vitamins A&E, grape seed extract and green tea”

What I like about Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer

  • It doesn’t make my face feel oily
  • My makeup applies smoothly
  • I can see how much product I have left in the tube
  • Despite being a one-ounce tube, the product lasts a while if you don’t overdo the application
  • The primer has no parabens, fragrances, or sulfates
  • It can be worn without foundation and it makes my skin look even
  • It doesn’t cause my skin to breakout

What I don’t like about Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer

The price. It’s gone up since I last purchased it and I couldn’t justify spending $36 on a small tube
It didn’t provide any mattifying powers. So my skin would start looking shiny at the end of the day

I stopped using the Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer basically because the last time I went to Ulta I saw the price had increased several dollars from what I’d last paid.

Laura Geller Spackle Mattifying Under Make-up Primer

Because I wanted to find a cheaper but just as good makeup primer, I started looking at other primers in the store to see if I could find a primer just as good, but a little bit cheaper. What I found and decided to try was Laura Geller Spackle Mattifying Under Make-up Primer.

See the benefits of using a foundation primer and which two are the best. | arelaxedgal.com

What Laura Geller Spackle Mattifying Make-up Primer claims

  • “Minimizes the look of pores”
  • “Controls oil breakthrough”
  • Protects against environmental factors with vitamins A & E
  • Mattifies the skin

What I like about Laura Geller Spackle Mattifying Make-up Primer

  • My makeup goes on smoothly
  • It doesn’t feel oily or greasy
  • The tinted color doesn’t show on my skin
  • It’s a bit cheaper than Smashbox at $32 before tax and you get more for your money – two ounces versus one ounce
  • It doesn’t irritate or break out my skin

What I don’t like about Laura Geller Spackle Mattifying Make-up Primer

The tube isn’t see-through like Smashbox so I won’t be able to see how much is left in the tube.

Final thoughts

So which one is the best? For me, Laura Geller slightly edges out Smashbox. I feel that the Laura Geller Spackle Mattifying Under Make-up Primer performs just as well for less money.

What foundation primer brand do you use?


  1. I use the smash box primer as well, i love how smooth it makes my face feel.

    1. Nice. Do you use the photo finish primer or another one?

      Thanks for reading Tomes!