Bad or Rad | Smashbox Photo Finish Oil & Shine Control Primer & Weightless Setting Spray Review

Smashbox Photo Finish Oil & Shine Control Primer & Long Lasting Setting Spray Review for Oily Skin

If I’m being honest, I haven’t been checking for Smashbox Cosmetic’s new releases in a while, but have always heard great things about the brand’s line of face and cheek products. I was thrilled to receive the Smashbox Photo Finish Oil & Shine Control Primer and Weightless Setting Spray over the summer from Smashbox and Influenster complimentary for testing purposes.

In today’s post, we will explore whether the Smashbox Photo Finish Oil & Shine Control Primer and Weightless Setting Spray are worth the hefty price tag and if these two products will actually work for oily skin.

What is the Smashbox brand all about?

Did you know that the Smashbox line of cosmetics originated from the iconic Smashbox Studios in Los Angeles, California? Founded by Dean and Davis Factor, the great-grandsons of the iconic Hollywood makeup artist, Max Factor, in 1991, Smashbox Studios was a hub for photographers and artists in Los Angeles.

In 1996, Dean and Davis launched Smashbox Cosmetics, with the goal of creating high-quality makeup products that would pop behind the camera lens. Smashbox is all about celebrating your unique beauty. From a product standpoint, Smashbox is most well-known for its extensive line of primers and lipsticks.

Click here to read more about the original Smashbox Studios and here to read more about Smashbox’s brand ethos.

Smashbox Photo Finish Oil & Shine Control Primer & Long Lasting Setting Spray Review for Oily Skin
Smashbox Oil & Shine Control Primer has been a staple primer in my collection since July

Smashbox Photo Finish Oil & Shine Control Primer Claims

Promises to be a transformative face primer that controls oil and shine throughout the day with a silky, cloud-like, matte finish to help makeup look better longer. This primer claims to be healthy for the skin due to its inclusion of Witch Hazel, Salicylic Acid, and Zinc.

Smashbox Weightless Setting Spray Claims

Promises to be a weightless setting spray that makes makeup transfer-proof and improves its wear for up to 16 hours with a comfortable, non-sticky, non-greasy feel. This spray promises to be suitable for all skin types and is dermatologist-tested

Smashbox Photo Finish Oil & Shine Control Primer Packaging & Price

The Photo Finish Oil & Shine Control Primer comes in a light, sky blue squeeze tube with black text and details. A tube consists of one fluid ounce ( 30 mL) of primer, which is standard for base products. This primer retails for $39.00 USD.

Smashbox Weightless Setting Spray Packaging & Price

The Photo Finish Long Lasting Setting Spray comes in a silver-gray plastic spray bottle with black lettering and details. A tube contains 3.9 fluid ounces (116 mL) of setting spray and retails for $32.00 USD. Note: on the Smashbox website this product is referred to as the Weightless Setting Spray.

Smashbox Cruelty-Free Status

All Smashbox products are 100% Cruelty-Free, which means they are not tested on animals; however, the brand is owned by Estee Lauder (who permits for 3rd Party animal testing on brands sold in China).

Smashbox Photo Finish Oil & Shine Control Primer Cruelty-Free Status

The Photo Finish Oil & Shine Control Primer is formulated without SLS, SLES, parabens, formaldehyde, formaldehyde-releasing agents, phthalates, mineral oil, hydroquinone, triclosan, and triclocarban, and contains less than one percent of synthetic fragrances. This primer contains healthy skin ingredients: Witch Hazel, Salicylic Acid, and Zinc

Smashbox Weightless Setting Spray Ingredients

The Photo Finish Long Lasting/Weightless Setting Spray is formulated without SLS and SLES, parabens, formaldehyde, formaldehyde-releasing agents, phthalates, mineral oil, retinyl palmitate, coal tar, hydroquinone, triclosan, and triclocarban. In addition to being Cruelty-Free, this product is Vegan.

Smashbox Photo Finish Oil & Shine Control Primer Application & Wear-Time

For the best primer application, I squeeze a small amount of the primer into the palms of my hands and gently rub the product between my two hands. Then, I gently press the primer over-top my prepped, moisturized skin. If needed, I may add a pore-filling primer on my cheeks or additional primer where I feel is needed. I let this sit for 30 seconds before applying any foundation.

I was SHOCKED at how much I love this primer. It truly does live up to the claims of providing wearers with a cloud-like, soft matte finish that keeps oil and shine at bay throughout the day. Whenever I use this primer, I see a noticeable difference in how my foundation wears throughout the day. Most importantly, although this keeps my foundation and base products in place, it doesn’t give me an overly flat or dry, cakey appearance to the skin.

In full transparency, I always set my face with a powder and setting spray. When using this primer, I don’t need to blot my skin until the 10-hour mark, which is fantastic!

Smashbox Photo Finish Oil & Shine Control Primer & Long Lasting Setting Spray Review for Oily Skin
Smashbox Setting Spray is a weightless spray that locks makeup in place all-day

Smashbox Weightless Setting Spray Application & Wear-Time

For the best setting spray application, I shake the bottle and generously spray my face. In my mind, the Long Lasting Setting  Spray is like the child of my two holy grail setting Sprays, the Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Setting Spray and the MAC Cosmetics Fix-Plus. How so? This super lightweight, fine mist helps to breathe life back into the skin similarly to Fix-Plus but locks makeup into place like the Urban Decay All Nighter Spray… but without the chunky globs.

This Spray does keep my makeup in place for a full day out of the house, especially when paired with a mattifying primer and setting spray. Similarly to the Photo Finish Primer, I will still need to blot my skin around the 10-hour mark of wear-time, but this is fantastic given how oily my skin is!

Where can you Buy the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer & Setting Spray?

In the U.S. Smashbox Cosmetics is sold at Sephora, Ulta, Macy’s, Nordstrom, J.C.Penney, HSN, and the brand’s online store.

Final Thoughts on the Smashbox Photo Finish Oil & Shine Control Primer & Weightless Setting Spray Review

All-in-all, I was blown away by how much I loved these two base products from Smashbox. I’ve had to force myself to reach for my other primers and setting sprays since receiving these products in July. Although they are rather expensive, they hold up well to their promised claims, so I whole-heartedly recommend these to any oily-skinned guys or gals looking to keep oil and shine at bay throughout the day.

In the US, retailers like Sephora and Ulta constantly offer generous sales, so if the price is a deterrent, I recommend waiting until a sale period to pick these up.

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Also, for full discloser, I was not prompted in any way to write this review as a blog post was not a requirement for my Influenster campaign. I decided to write this post after realizing how much I loved these products. Knowing how frustrating it can be for us oily-skinned individuals to keep makeup in place, I wanted to share these finds.


Have you tried anything from the Smashbox Photo Finish line? What is your favorite setting spray or primer? Please let me know in the comments below.

31 thoughts on “Bad or Rad | Smashbox Photo Finish Oil & Shine Control Primer & Weightless Setting Spray Review

  1. Oh wow! You wrote really comprehensively so thank you so much and i always knew their primers are the best but the setting spray too!? Hmm maybe i should pick this up and use it for my t zone cause that’s where it always gets gross after awhile!

    1. I have such incredibly oily skin so I have to use a primer and setting powder… and often a setting spray lol! Otherwise I look like a total mess by 4-5 hours into the day.

      I was genuinely delighted by how much I loved the setting spray and primer from Smashbox because they’re both so effective, but still so ultra-lightweight on the skin. They are pricey, so if you’re on the fence, I’d def hold out for a sale and pick it up then. Sometimes Smashbox even releases mini versions of their primers (although I don’t think they have a mini of these new releases yet).

      1. Oh man, I have the opposite problem, i have some dry areas so it ends up crusty looking! Ahhh okay! thank you for telling me that!!

  2. I have really dry skin and both of these products work great for me too. I prefer the hydrating primer but I’ve used this and was absolutely fine too. I think Smashbox is pretty underrated everything I’ve ever tried from the company has been amazing. I love finding new products that have me fall so in love I don’t reach for anything else.

    1. Wow – that is so great to know that these worked well on your skin, even though it is on the dry side! Totally makes sense that you’d prefer the hydrating primer to this one since it is more magnifying. Smashbox is def underrated as a brand, especially from a base/cheek product perspective. I’ve always had great luck with their lipsticks, too!!

  3. In all honesty, I have never tried a sigle setting spray before, but I have been Oh-So curious because my makeup usually glides right off my face throughout the day.
    I am always on the lookout for new stuff to try so this was both great and informative! 🙂

    1. I’m so glad that you found this informative – setting spray can def make a huge difference (especially when paired with the right powder or foundation). At the drug store, I really enjoy the Milani Face Primer, too! 🙂

  4. I really want to try these Smashbox products but the price tag is for some reason keeping me back from buying. However, I might splurge during a sale once!

      1. Lol I’m already looking forward to Black Friday! This is definitely a product what’s a on my list and my shipping invention helps me a lot lmfao (well actually it doesn’t help me in the end because I’m probably going broke lol)

      2. I’m curious – Sephora is obviously a more global retailer, but does your shipping method work on sites that are purely US-based? Only asking b/c Ulta can offer some killer sales and carries a ton of indie brands that Sephora doesn’t!

  5. It’s a weird one because I have one of the Smashbox primers (I don’t remember the exact one) and I’m not too keen on it. I almost find it too lightweight and slippery? I didn’t know the setting spray was supposed to be good but if it’s the child of the Urban Decay’s All Nighter Setting Spray and MAC Fix Plus then I already know it’ll be amazing! Thanks for sharing, your posts are always beautifully written and informative x

    1. Oh I’ve def had others from the line that I didn’t like, but you’re right that they are very lightweight but I prefer that for a mattifying primer.

      And honestly, I really was blown away by the setting spray because it isn’t as chunky or fragrant as the UD Spray, but still keeps my makeup locked into place! So getting this spray def kept me from buying another bottle of MAC Fix+ (which I ran out of)

  6. Aw congrats on receiving a box from Influenster! They haven’t sent me anything in ages. The setting spray must be nice if comparable MAC’s, wow. So happy to hear how much you liked both of these products! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Yess – it really does remind me of the MAC powder in the way that it melts makeup together, but def gives the longevity of Urban Decay’s All-Nighter!!

      And honestly… same. I haven’t gotten anything since I received this box in July. Slightly bitter that I keep missing out on all of the makeup boxes!

  7. OMG I think I need to get my hands on these products, especially the primer because my god does my skin get oily and gross very quickly when I have makeup on. The fact that you can last 10 hours without having to blot your face is amazing! I honestly might have to dig deep and just buy it despite the price, thanks so much for reviewing this and being so informative! xx

    1. girl, my skin is an oil slick 100%. When I use this primer and then set it with a powder & spray I feel/look bulletproof without looking cakey. The primer does work well on its own as well, but depending on the foundation, I may need to blot once if I haven’t set my foundation! But I’m nearly finished with this primer and I only started using it in July so that should tell you something lol. 😀

      1. Hahah I feel you so much! My biggest pet peeve is looking cakey after setting my face with powder, coz I feel like I always have to use more powder to not look oily! It’s just never a win win situation but these products sound literally live saving 😍

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