Splurge vs Steal | Battle of the Primers
As a beauty blogger, it’s my duty to report straight back to you if I find a beauty bargain, possible dupe or something that’s just bloody brilliant. As part of my new ‘Splurge vs Steal’ series, I’m kick starting it with a possible dupe I found not so long ago.
You all know I love to use the Nivea Men Replenishing Post Shave Balm (watch the video here) as a primer. But, I know a lot of people still like to use ones from other brands. I have always enjoyed using the Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer (£25.50). It’s won multiple awards and feels so luxurious on the skin, but the price tag is a little steep. Not so long ago, I was innocently browsing through the isles of Boots, looking for inspiration for my blog and checking out brand new products, when I stumbled across the L’Oreal Infallible Mattifying Primer (£7.99).
My first impressions were how similar the packaging looks to the Smashbox – I had to look twice. It was only when I picked it up and read what it has to offer that I discovered that not only do they look similar, they make very similar promises too. They both claim to instantly transform skins texture for an even surface with velvet-soft touch, and to smooth skin by minimising imperfections and pores. The texture, consistency and colour on the swatch is almost identical too. The Smashbox primer has an oil free formula, creating a matte finish and the L’oreal promises to mattify the skin also. Are these basically the same product?
I swatched both of the primers (below) and there was barely a difference between the two in terms of consistency, texture and colour. The L’oreal was a little more runny and clear than the Smashbox, but I was quite surprised that when I tilted my hand vertically they both stayed put. When I blended the primers into the skin, the L’oreal left a noticeable shimmer. You can see both swatches with and without flash. I always like to test primers with a flash because a lot claim to help reduce shine in flash photography.
So, now for the real test. Do both of the primers actually work in the same way? I applied the Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer on one half of my face and the L’oreal Infallible Mattifying Primer on the other. I popped my usual full face of makeup on and progressed with my day, (note the ‘i’m clearly at work’ selfie). I hoped at the end that both sides would still look identical.
On application, the L’oreal definitely felt like more of a tacky gel than the Smashbox. Both primers smoothed over my skin and took very minimal effort to apply. They are both light-weight, have a silicone feel and instantly smooth over the skin and blur pores nicely. I noticed that the Smashbox improved my skin’s appearance almost instantly, whereas my redness still peeped through the L’oreal. However, I applied my Clinique Beyond Perfecting Foundation + Concealer foundation as normal and both sides covered as well as each other.
My foundation barely shifted throughout the day (unlike my hair). I used the phone often so I had a small patch by my ear where the foundation had broken up slightly but it remained even everywhere else on both sides. I usually break out in oil when I don’t apply a primer under my foundation, but my skin remained matte all day long which of course us oily skinned beauties love. I cannot compare the two sides because they gave very similar results – I am uber impressed!
Have you tried either of these primers? What do you think?
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