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Dupe Vs Brand: Smashbox Photo Finish Primer / NYX Photo-Loving Primer

Hello there friends,

being a college student and beauty enthusiast at the same time I often find myself asking “Is [high end brand makeup product] really worth splurging on or will the drugstore alternative do the job just as fine?

Because often times the brand Make up is twice or 3 times the price that the “Dupe” is. And there are products that you should buy from the “original” brand but many times, the formular is very similar and close to the same when it comes to makeup products.

But when you look to the Beauty side of Youtube often times (understandably) only expensive high end products are used.
There are “Drug store tutorials” but these tend to be the exception.

I have to admit if a Beauty expert is praising a certain brand product that it does influence me, even if often times they are paid to do so. Because it does look amazing on them. And I (and probably a lot of you) often times feel like I can’t archieve that exact look without the exact product.

So today I want to start a series of Brand Vs Dupe reviews from products I have used and give you my raw, honest opinion to maybe/hopefully save you a few bucks (either because you’re buying the cheaper Dupe or because you don’t have to buy the Dupe to realize it’s not good and then buy the brand).

Please note that these are just my personal opinions, my experiences might be completely different than other’s!

Today I want to start this Blog Series with Primers: 

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer (Brand) – 34€

NYX Photo-loving Primer (Dupe) – 12 € 

KIKO Mat Base Corrector (Dupe) – 9€


I want to start off with the cheapset one: The KIKO Mat Base Corrector Primer, which I didn’t mention it in the title for a reason.

KIKO is an italian make up brand that has recently expanded to the USA.  I am a big fan of them and they have the most amazing matte lipsticks.
They even have a Dolce K color-Dupe that existed before Kyliecosmetics ever did.

But this Primer can not be compared to the NYX and Smashbox Primers.

It has a very solid consistency and it takes a bit of muscle power to get it out of the tube. That already is a minus in my book because the texture is just already very unpleasant for something that you are about to put on your entire skin.

It’s very hard to evenly apply, it gets very patchy.

My skin tends to get shiny and oily so I needed a Primer that promises to keep my face matte and keep my makeup from “melting” off.
It does give you a matte look but it dries out my skin almost immidiately.

I bought this one for my Prom 2 years ago and didn’t end up wearing it for the big night.

It hurts my heart to say it because I love the brand, but the Mat Base Corrector is just a bad primer.


Next up is the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer, so that I have a few points to compare the NYX primer to.

This Primer costs 3 times the Money that the NYX primer does, so I opted for a travel size, to test it before committing to it.

And I must say if you have oily skin or just need a matte maker that will keep your makeup from coming off during the whole day/night you might really love this primer!

It has a very nice texture. It has a gel-like consistency and I was able to apply it nicely and evenly.

It doesn’t dry your skin out or feel weird on your skin and it really does it’s job! It’s gotten me through a 32 degree summer day without smudging or making my face shiny.


Because I did like the smashbox primer so much the probably most interesting part is coming up now:

How did the NYX “Dupe” hold up in comparison?


I think it is a perfect dupe.

It has the same texture and consistency, it’s just as easily applied and for me it was even just as long lasting!

My makeup doesn’t smudge and my face isn’ t shiny anymore. Everything stayed in place all day and all night and my foundation looked much smoother.

Update: I have been using the NYX primer regularly for a while now and I am still as impressed as I was at the beginning!

This really is a time where you can save a ton of money and still get the same result.



I hope this review was helpful!

Let me know you’re opinion or experience with these primers  and what Brand Vs Dupe you’d like to see next!
xo Rose

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