Dupe Or Not? Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Vs. Monistat Chafing Gel

Y'all, I am so happy it's Friday. Luckily this week flew by for me, because all I want to do it rest and rest, hence this post going up later than usual. All the little ones I know are sick, so I've caught their cold. But onto to today's post: I've said before--it drives me crazy when a beauty blogger/vlogger throws the word DUPE next to a product when it really truly isn't. I decided to test them out once and for all. This week's dupe test suggestion comes from Amanda and I'm testing to see if Monistat Chafing Relief Powder Gel is a dupe for Smashox Photo Finish.

https://youtu.be/-0mZRlaPPY0 (alternative link)

In case you've not heard of either product, Smashbox Photo Finish is a silicone-based primer that is used to diffuse the look of pores and fine lines on the skin. It is oil-free and gives a great smooth base to apply makeup.

Monistat Chafing Powder Gel gives relief and prevention from irritation from friction, like in the bikini area or inner thighs. It is not used for yeast infections.

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer--
  • $36 
  • 1oz
  • Online, finer stores where Smashbox is sold, like Sephora
Monistat Powder Chafing Gel--
  • $5.99 (I've seen it $7.99-$3.99)
  • 1.5 oz
  • Online, drugstores, box stores

Quite a price difference, right? Let's test them out:

Appearance-wise, they are very similar. Smashbox looks a little clearer and smoother.

Feel-wise, they feel the same when applied to skin.

They have similar ingredients, with Smashbox having more plant extracts. 

Once rubbed in, they work the same at blurring pores, with Smashbox drying to that smooth finish a little faster. Sometimes Monistat was a little too thick so less product had to be used (another bonus).

But how did they last? I found Smashbox kept makeup on a little longer, but the amount was not significant enough to make that big of a difference. While both products are prepared in different places by different companies, I could not find information on the quality of ingredients, to see if one was better prepared than the other.

I think the Monistat is a great alternative and you cannot beat the price. They are nearly identical. I've been using it for almost a decade, after a former co-worker finally spilled her secret to me. I shared it nearly 5 years ago on here, and it was one of my first Pinterest pins to be popular.

Have you tried the dupe?
What "dupe" would you like tested next?

Extra Elle:
  • I've got a bunch of weekend plans and hopefully some Christmas decorating too!


  1. I haven't tried it but I have heard about this dupe for years and years. Maybe I need to give it a go every now and then since it could break me out. I hope you have a great weekend!!! Get that tree up girl!

  2. well that's awesome! i don't use a primer but this is good to know for sure! future reference and all :)

    xoxo cheshire kat

  3. I never knew the Monistat could be a dupe for the Smashbox! Good to know! Have a great weekend, and I hope you get some well deserved rest!
    xo, Whitney and Blaire
    Peaches In A Pod

  4. I switched a couple of years ago and never looked back! Love it!

  5. I had never heard of this but cannot wait to try! Thank you!

  6. Wow. I can't believe they are a substitute for one another. Thanks!

  7. I think I've heard of using Monistat as a primer before, but I never quite believed that it actually worked. Thank you so much for testing these out! Hope you and the little ones feel better soon and that you enjoy every second of your fabulous weekend <3

    Green Fashionista

  8. Oh wow, that is unbelievable and for such a small fraction of the price too!

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

  9. Great post! Silicone primers clog my pores, so I can't use these unfortunately!

  10. great review..thanks for sharing...i never tried them but i'm so curious..i think we don't have in italy

  11. Love reading these! For the price point Monistat is an unbelievably great alternative!

  12. I've never heard of the Monistat being a dupe for the Smashbox primer but it sounds pretty comparable and you can't beat the price.

  13. Smashbox gave me tiny little bumps all over my forehead so I stopped using it, but that's crazy there's a dupe that's so much cheaper! Thanks for testing these out. I need to do my decorating this weekend, too. Hope you get to feeling better and have a great weekend!

  14. This is a great dupe! That price difference is amazing! Hope you feel better and have a great weekend!

  15. I never even knew a product like this existed. I had to re-read what it was used for. Especially when I see the word "Monistat" :) haha

  16. I've never heard of the Monistat one before, but that's a big price difference! Unfortunately the smash box primer makes my face beak out. Will be watching your video later!

  17. I have so many samples of the Smashbox primer...but I don't reach for it as much as I reach for their Primer Water. Great dupe review Elle!

  18. I am soo glad you did this! I read somewhere recently about the Monistat stuff being used as a dupe and really wanted to buy it. Now I will definitely have to!!

  19. I actually wont use Smashbox because it contains parabens. At least it did, three years ago when I tried it. Monistat doesn't. It's strange, but I can't say I'd be against giving it a try. (:

  20. I totally use Monistat on my face! I thought it was so weird at first, but it really works!

  21. Wow this is a crazy surprise to me! The price difference is pretty big. Thanks for sharing Elle!

  22. I've gotten samples of the Smashbox primer before but I've never been a fan. I don't love silicon primers. I just got the Nivea Mens Post Shave Balm to test out as a primer. I've seen it on YouTube and decided to try it. I'm wearing it today and so far so good!

  23. YAY! I'm definitely gonna give it a shot... why not for that price point?! :D

  24. never heard of monistat before. I have been using smash box now for 2 month and love it


  25. First of all I hope both you and the kids feel better soon. That sucks. Secondly, that Monistat sounds great and so similar to the 'Original'. I wouldn't really know how to use primer. I mean I kind of do, but anyway I might have to pick this up at WalMart tonight, also.

  26. The Monistat gel is such a great product! The difference in the benefits seems minimal and the difference in price is so big. Thanks for sharing! I hope you feel better soon. Have a great weekend, Elle!


  27. How great that it gives you a similar result despite being so much cheaper! :)

    Hope that you are feeling better and over your cold soon!

    Away From The Blue Blog

  28. I'd really like to try this...feel better soon

  29. Huh, that's pretty interesting! I personally didn't like the Smashbox primer, but I'll have to suggest this alternative to my girlfriends who do!

    Stephanie ● Sartorial Diner

  30. Hi again! I know I am a bit MIA like people say, but really, December is such a month, to finish as much as one can for holidays and beginning of 2016. I will probably be more active around the middle of January again! I have this Smashbox and barely wear it, but I loved to know that Monistat is quite the same and that price, wow! I will share this information with everybody who wears Smashbox! Thank you for that!

  31. For the price difference, this is a great dupe! I would never have known about this if it hadn't of been for you! Great post.

    Anything & Everything | Bloglovin'

  32. I received some of the Smashbox in one of my Ipsy bags and I have been wanting to get some more. I have heard this about the Monistat and LOL to you clearing it up that its not the one for treating yeast infections. :) I should get the Monistat first since it is only $5.99 and see how it works. I didn't know they had such similar ingredients, but that is good to know.


  33. Oh interesting, I never would have thought of that. Glad it works, and you're right the price is amazing! I don't wear a primer right now but maybe I should try the monistat gel!

  34. Looks like a good dupe! I just don't like primers that are silicone based, because they always give me pimples, so I'm still looking for the perfect primer to use on my own face, but also on my clients.

  35. thanks for sharing. budget friendly items are so important sometimes

    Inside and Outside Blog

  36. What a great dupe, thank you so much!

    xx Kelly
    Sparkles and Shoes

  37. Ah! What a great way to save a few bucks but still get a great result.

    xx katie // a touch of teal

  38. I find it crazy that this passed your standards. Okay -- I'm a believer now!

    7% Solution

  39. Now that is the definition of dupe! I've come across so many sites trying to do the same but it never actually is. I've never tried Smashbox anything before so I'm not exactly familiar with their products. But that Monistat is such a cool and unexpected find.


  40. Wow! I've never heard of this dupe! You can't beat the price. I'm going to have to try it!

    Doused In Pink

  41. I started using the Monistat last year and I just started using Smashbox. I have to say that I prefer the Monistat b/c I'm cheap! lol

  42. Awesome! I need to try this dupe for sure! Ps. sorry about the cold! Hope you're feeling better!

  43. Wow I have never heard that before, I'm in the market for a new primer I use the elf one but I wanted to try something new. The price seems right I might have to try this for myself.

    Curvy Mod


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