This or That – Primer Sprays from Smashbox & Innoxa

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water or Innoxa Make Up Primer Spray - Comparison & Review

Primer waters are definitely a new product on the market – I’ve never been into the heavy, silicone primers and honestly there are plenty of mornings where I skip the primer step altogether. Having something simple like a spray lying around to prep the skin has definitely been welcomed into my routine.

Smashbox’s Photo Finish Primer Water was the revelation for me, and over the last year I’ve been happily spritzing away but the Innoxa Make Up Primer Spray, a relatively new offering, caught my attention last time I was shopping at Priceline so I thought it was worth giving it a go before dropping another $50 on a Smashbox repurchase. It’s well and truly time for a progress report.

If I’m honest, it’s actually quite tricky to tell the two apart – there’s not that much that can be said about a simple spray. The mist on the Smashbox offering is slightly finer, soaking into the face a little quicker. Both provide a quick dose of hydration, allowing foundation to go on a little smoother. I find that after they’ve both soaked in, the Innoxa spray feels a little more present on the skin, not quite providing as much hydration. The main thing to note is that Smashbox’s ingredients list looks slightly better than Innoxa’s, in my opinion – Innoxa’s list includes quite a few alcohol ingredients which would probably be getting in the way of serious hydration but it does also include some other helpful ingredients that are designed to reduce the appearance of pores, control oil and leave the skin looking brighter. Although I won’t say that either of them are my go-to primer for longevity, they both do their bit.

A lightweight primer spray is a really great choice for those with dry or dehydrated skin. Even over a moisturiser I find a quick spritz leaves my skin feeling refreshed and ready for makeup. I’ll admit that neither of them are a need if you’ve already got an arsenal of other primers at the ready but for minimal makeup days or days when I’m running late, I find myself reaching for these a lot. With the Innoxa Primer Spray coming in at just a little more than half the price, it could be worth a go but it’s worth keeping in mind that the hydration factor isn’t quite as high – the Smashbox offering is definitely a little more luxurious.

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  • I haven’t tried a primer water.. I don’t know why but I kind of see it as an unnecessary step but I guess if you’re using in place of a traditional primer it makes sense 🙂 I usually find most more affordable skincare products have more alcohol % and it doesn’t surprise me that’s the case with this one!

    Sarah | More Than Adored

    • I totally agree – on some mornings these are a little unnecessary when I have the time to apply primer but some mornings I want something quick to boost hydration and prime the complexion. Yeah, I’m beginning to notice that trend too with alcohol in skincare products…

  • Do either of these contain alochol?

  • I’ve heard that Smashbox primers (including the water!) are the cause of many people’s breakouts, and so I’ve actively avoided them – maybe I’ll give Innoxa a whirl! Great post <3 xx

  • I’ve not heard of these before, but they sound wonderful. Will definitely be checking them out.


  • I haven’t tried a primer water before, but I’m curious about the Smashbox one. I’m thinking of getting a travel size to try when I go to the States soon, but I’ll have to test it first seeing as I have sensitive skin & all. I never wear primer, but primer waters are an interesting concept.

    Shell // The Novice Life

    • It’d be awesome for travelling, definitely! If you never really reach for primers these are a great place to start because they are just so easy!