W7 and Smashbox Primer Comparison

One is £3.25, the other is £12.50. Both have an identical purpose; to help make your base look flawless for longer. When my logic says why I should pay more for something that I can get cheaper, the beauty junkie in me screams you get what you pay for. Or do you? Time to find out.

I tested out these two primers on two normal work days, wearing identical make-up (apart from the different primers). These two primers have been produced to cope with the hot lights of photo shoots, and as were having a hot spell in England at the moment, they were definitely put through there paces.


You don’t need a degree in merchandising to know that these two products are very similar, both in appearance and contents. I like to think of them as twins, not identical, but the main features are the same. The Smashbox version is meant to appeal to both professional’s and beauty lovers alike and I have to admit the sleek packaging is definitely ticking boxes. Keeping things monochrome, there are no gimmicks or fancy images here, just plain old does what it says on the tin (or packaging). Whilst W7 has slightly more in design aspect, its still relatively minimalist, and if your rummaging round your makeup bag in a morning, you could easily get the two confused.

Both primers are gel in form, but I found Smashbox’s to be of a thinner consistency and I used a bit more of it than W7. Colour wise, whilst Smashbox is completely clear, W7’s version is slightly more cloudy. Smashbox’s feels more luxurious and velvety, whereas W7’s does feel slightly more silicone-based. That’s to be expected though when you think of the price difference. Both had no noticeable scent.

Instantly both primers helped smooth out and blur imperfections, and despite the noticeable price difference, the immediate effect was pretty much identical! Surprisingly, I felt that after I’d applied my foundation, my makeup tended to cling to dry patches much more when I was wearing Smashbox’s version rather than W7’s, which actually helped prevent it. After 12 hours of work in 28 Degrees Celsius heat (scorching for the UK), I finally gave in to see how my base has lasted. Impressively, both bases were in tact and I didn’t touch up once during the day on either occasion. When I was wearing the Smashbox primer, I did have more of a dewy look and felt I could have done with a bit of powder. W7 was still matte and my base really did look flawless, even after all that time.

Overall, I don’t think the Smashbox version is worth the extra splurge. For me W7 work’s far better with my skin, and gives me a flawless looking base which lasts all day. Both primers delivered on their promises and I think Smashbox would suit those with more oily skin, or those who want a dewy look. At least now I can attempt to save some money.

Which one do you prefer?