The Smashbox Photo Finish Primer (the original clear one) is a cult favorite amongst the beauty community. I do love this primer myself, but it is really expensive for a product that you typically use almost everyday.
If you are unfamiliar with Trader Joe’s stores, it is a neighborhood-style grocery store with specialty items from their own brand. Everyone always raves about Trsder Joe’s, but I have never heard anyone talk about their skincare line.
In my opinion, their skincare products are extremely underrated and this Antioxidant Serum for $10 is no exception. When I first used this serum, I noticed right away that the thicker consistency was pretty much identical to the Smashbox primer. This is because both products have a main ingredient of dimethicone. The TJ serum also contains grapefruit extract as an added bonus. Grapefruit is very high in Vitamin C and helps to plump the skin and blur fine lines over time. This serum applies very smoothly and sinks into the skin quickly, so it won’t feel like you have a layer of primer sitting on top of your skin.
For me, the Trader Joe’s serum is a near perfect dupe for the Smashbox primer and I am so happy that I stumbled upon this amazing product! I use it mostly as a makeup Primer, but sometimes I will apply it when I’m not wearing any makeup to give my skin a smoother appearance. I find that this serum makes my makeup last just as long as the Smashbox primer and allows my makeup to go on smoothly overtop.
I prefer this serum over the Smashbox Primer because, 1) it smells like grapefruit (but the smell does not linger) and 2) it is only $10 versus $36 for the Smashbox one. I highly recommend this serum and encourage you to try out the other products from the Trader Joe’s Nourish skincare line! I bought mine at a TJ store, but you can also find it on Amazon.
Added tip: The oil-free Antioxidant moisturizer is hands down my favorite and perfect for any skin type!