High end primer comparison!

Hello again!

Today I’m reviewing 3 different high end primers that I recently picked up samples of. They’re all pretty pricey but they’re also all very different and I wanted to do a mini-review on each one and then tell you which one I think is best value for money.

Just before I start, I wanted to tell you my skin type because these primers are aimed at different things! I have an oily t-zone and oily around my eyebrows, as well as oily on my chin, and everywhere else on my face is kind of middle-of-the-road I guess.

Here’s the 3 primers I’ll be comparing:

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The Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer, the MAC Skin Prep and Prime and the Benefit Porefessional.

I’ll start off with Smashbox!

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So, the price for the full size of this primer is £22.50 from Boots. Yes, that is pretty expensive, but for that you do get a great amount of product!

It comes out as a clear gel and I apply it to my oily areas that I mentioned before. Now, when I picked this up I was intrigued as it says it is ‘oil free’ (you can’t see on the picture as it’s not focused well, oops), so I thought it’d be perfect for my oily t-zone.

However, this is the greasiest primer consistency EVER – it reminds me of the Maybelline Baby Skin; although I don’t own that it feels similar when I’ve swatched it. When I work it into the skin with my fingers I feel like there is another layer on my skin and like I’m clogging up my pores with this greasy consistency – not good if you’re applying this to your oily areas where spots are most prone to appearing! Once it’s fully blended that greasy feeling does go, but to be honest it’s really not pleasant when you’re blending it in. It doesn’t have a smell either, which I can’t work out is a good thing or a bad thing…

I did notice that my foundation lasted a little longer when I wore this primer but the consistency just isn’t for me I suppose.

I give it a 2/5!

Now I’ll talk about MAC’s Skin Prep and Prime.

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Full size I believe this is £21 – so a little cheaper than the Smashbox one but still expensive! I actually didn’t pay for this tester though; I asked one of the lovely ladies if I could have a sample to try out, and she filled this entire tub up with product! How good is that? I don’t think I’d ever buy the full size anyway, because this’ll last me ages!

Anyway, I’m not sure which one this is for – MAC do different versions of the primer to suit different skin types. I think that it is for dry skin, because I can actually see little shimmers in it! I took a flash picture and you can kind of see them:

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Can you see them? Not chunky glitter, but there’s definitely shimmer in there, kind of like my Rimmel Wake Me Up.

Anyway, I love the consistency of this primer because it just feels like a moisturiser. It blends just like a moisturiser would, and once you’ve finished blending your skin feels completely normal – no greasy residue whatsoever!

I didn’t honestly notice that my makeup lasted longer when I used this though – it gave me a dewy finish and I love that, but as a primer I didn’t think it worked so well I suppose. It does smell nice though.

I give it a 3/5.

Finally, I’ll talk about the Benefit Porefessional!

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Firstly, I love the packaging of this – the matte texture and the bold colours make it look so cute on your dressing table. But it’s flipping expensive – £24.50!! Yes, I’m being serious. It’s the most expensive out of all of them… But in my opinion the best.

The matte packaging matches how it makes your skin feel – MATTE! It is silicone based and is actually coloured, so it does give a little coverage actually. Sometimes on good skin days I’ll just apply this and dust a little powder over the top and I’m good to go! Despite that it’s silicone based, it doesn’t feel greasy or oily in any way at all; it smoothes onto the skin beautifully and then mattifies and vanishes – leaving the skin feeling super soft! (it also smells lovely – fresh and simple)

I do notice a difference in the length of time that my makeup lasts when I use this too.

I give it 4/5 (loses 1 because of the ridiculous price tag!).

So I suppose it doesn’t take a genius to work out my favourite! – the Porefessional. It makes makeup last longer, it offers a little coverage and it has a lovely consistency. So yes, it is worth that price tag!

Have you tried any of these primers? Which one would be your favourite?

sshhbeauty x

15 thoughts on “High end primer comparison!

  1. Hello! I’ve been wanting to try the Porefessional for some time, but I’ve just seen your Body Shop Primer review, and I liked it, so now I don’t know which one to try first! 😛
    Which one do you like the most? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello my lovely, I would definitely recommend the Instablur from The Body Shop. This post is rather old and I hadn’t tried it at that point! To be honest, compared to the Instablur, I wouldn’t really recommend any of these ones! They’re all more expensive and the Instablur is by far more effective at maintaining your makeup’s longevity! 🙂 let me know how you get on! xx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The Porefessional is my favourite primer of all time. It makes my pores look way smaller and it creates a great base for my foundation. Plus, Porefessional meshes well with all the foundations I use, whereas the Smashbox one doesn’t.


    1. Some primers do make your foundation look odd and give a strange finish – for example if you have a dewy foundation and a matifying primer sometimes it doesn’t turn out too great! It’s funny to hear how many of you feel the same way, thank you for sharing x

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I have the Smash box and Porefessional and Porefessional wins for me hands down! I have the light version of the Smashbox primer mentioned above but like you I really hate the texture! I have tried using the Smashbox on my t-zone and then the Porefessional on the rest of my face but always find my make up lasts better with Porefessional. May have to get myself a sample of the MAC one to see how that compares 🙂


    1. I just can’t get over the texture! I didn’t see my makeup lasting much longer but even if it had, I honestly don’t think I’d wear it anyway! I love the silky texture of the Porefessional, and as it keeps my makeup on for longer too it’s a definite winner for me. The MAC one is very different in texture and finish, so I’d be interested to see what you think of it! Do let me know if you try it 🙂 x

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I completely agree, the consistency of the Smashbox Primer is really bizarre and it just feels so unnatural to put it on your face! Personally I just don’t think it’s worth the price, but I think I’m going to give the Benefit one a try 🙂 Lucy x


  5. I do have the smashbox photo finish. Use it on some models with long day shoots and I noticed that I wont have to do many touch ups. But yeah feels greasy to me … Dont get that haha 😉


  6. You might like the Smashbox Cosmetics Photo Finish Foundation Primer in Light. It’s white and has more of a slightly thicker lotion texture compared to the oily silicone like texture of the original. My makeup stays put all day and retains it’s matte finish pretty well also. That’s the one thing I didn’t like about the original… your face feels oily after awhile. Great comparison!


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