What’s the 411: Smashbox Photo Finish Radiance Primer

A few weeks ago I wrote a quick post about the Smashbox Photo Finish Radiance Primer, having tried the promo sample. Once it was released on the 16th January, I snapped up a full size version for myself, and oh my, isn’t it pretty?

Price: £30

Quantity: 1oz/ 30ml

Purchased/ gratis: Purchased

In a nutshell:

 • Packed with hyaluronic acid & shea butter for instant, all-day moisture
• 4K, high-definition spheres blur pores, fine lines and imperfections
• Micro-fine amber & bronze pearls create a warm glow
• Evens skin tone and preps skin for makeup application


Smashbox Radiance Primer
Smashbox Photo Finish Radiance Primer

The Photo Finish Radiance Primer has more in common with skincare than other primers, but that’s what makes it so good. I have always  been a proponent of good quality skincare being the best primer. The active ingredients are skincare classic, shea butter, and hyaluronic acid, which is a current trending skincare super-ingredient. Shea butter is incredibly nourishing and hydrating, while Hyaluronic Acid (HA) is a glycosaminoglycan that attracts and retains moisture as well as binding it to the skin and regulating the skins moisture level. 

The superhero skincare elements are complemented by amber and bronze illuminating pigments, which gives a beautiful natural glow to the skin. This can be worn under foundation or on its own over your regular moisturiser. It can also be used over foundation as a subtle highlighter atop the cheekbones or to the centre of the face for a radiant glowing finish.

I’ve been wearing this daily for about a month now, and I love it as it gives a beautiful ‘glow from within’ look to my skin, even on no-makeup days. I absolutely love this primer…

Smashbox Radiance Primer


Is there anything that I don’t like about it? Well, yes. Two things.

Firstly, it really should come with a little spatula for hygiene, so that you don’t have to keep dipping your fingers in the pot. If you want to avoid bacteria getting into the product, you need to run and wash your hands after moisturising but before adding primer. I can’t be bothered to do this extra step every time I apply it, so I use a little spatula (I have loads as I use them in my pro makeup kit) but would love to see a spatula included in the box.

Secondly, it is something I love and hate. The packaging. It looks pretty and photographs beautifully, perfect for your dressing table… but it is a bit bulky, not particularly travel friendly, and definitely not kit-friendly.

Those two minor points aside, I would recommend this for all skin types, and most (but not all) skintones. If you’re very fair or porcelain skinned, it warms the skin up in a very natural way when used under foundation. If you’re porcelain toned and are wearing it alone over moisturiser, the amber & gold undertone will be visible and you lose that beautiful, natural translucency you often see in porcelain skin.


The verdict

If you haven’t yet found a primer that you like or find effective, then try a different approach with this skincare/ primer product that gives a natural glow to skin in a beauty world filled with Instagram highlighting and light-bulb noses… you know what I mean, ladies & gents, stop it with the light bulb nose highlighting! Try a much more flattering natural glow with the Smashbox Radiance Primer.

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