Beauty Diaries

Beauty Bugle

Follow me on twitter @tiva7 on instagram .prativa.govender or check out my website at

Is this a dupe?

Is this a dupe?

Hi beauties this is a new series I have started on my blog that I plan to do twice a month. It’s called Bosso Ke Mang, which means Who’s the Real Boss? It’s the title of a song made famous by South African rapper Hip Hop Pantsula, also known as HHP. In this series, I take two similar products and put them to the test and decide which is better in my opinion. NB. These views are based my own experiences and in no way infer that the brand rubbish and is in no way intended to bash the brand across the board. It is simply a case of, one product is better or one didn’t work for me.


When Smashbox released its Photo Finish Primer‎ Water I raved about it to death! You know when you like a song, and you play it until you can’t listen to it anymore, yes, it was like that. That obsession was and still is very real. It was revolutionary in my mind; I hadn’t seen anything like it on the market.


Then, while at Sandton City, I came across the Victoria Secret store. 

Victoria Secret Angels, guys love them, girls want to look like them? Well, most girls I know. Guess that’s why their beauty products say: ‘Supermodel Approved’ I mean, who wouldn’t feel sexy putting on bronzer that a model wearing a million rand bra has given the thumbs up!

Whenever I go to the Victoria Secret store, there’s always no stock of make up, it usually sells out so I guess this brand is popular and affordable

But on the day I went there, there was a small shelf that had some stuff on that day and my eyes darted towards this clear bottle filled with clear liquid. I saw the bold and large writing on the label ‘PRIME’. I couldn’t believe it. There was indeed another primer water and it also claimed to set make up.


So I picked up the Victoria Secret Make It Last Primer and Make up Setting Spray thinking yes, this is a VS Angel in a bottle.

I tested it out this primer water setting spray over two weeks, going in with a very open mind. I have always believed that my job when reviewing products is to always have an open mind and I’m brutally honest and NEVER buy into the hype. If you have been following me, you know . . . it’s real!

If a product is on par or great, you know I’m going to go to the Soweto tower, shouting it out, then bungee jumping because I’m crazy like that.


So this primer water/setting spray is supposed to be runway-proof. 


Photo: The Supermodel Approved Victoria Secret Prime and Set Make Up spray has huge claims it doesn't live up to.

Victoria Secret Make It Last Primer and Make up Setting Spray claims to be an AMAZING primer and setting spray: It’s not.

Ensures budge-proof make up for up to 8 hours: No

Under make up, provides a smooth and seamless application of make up: Your skin does fell smooth at first

Over make up, helps hold the look – It feels like you have smeared glue stick all over your face and that really does last all day, so I guess that claim is true if you think about it that way.



VS: The bottle is clear plastic and it has a pump with a fine nozzle

Smashbox: The bottle is clear plastic and has a fine nozzle.


Photo:  The VS sprays tends to squirt out liquid from time to time.

VS: The nozzle has to be pressed twice in order for the product to spray out. This results in an irregular and uneven distribution of the mist and the mist is not as fine. Because the mist is powerful, you get a shot of cooling primer on your face. It’s refreshing but not hydrating.


Photo: One pump and the Smashbox primer water prays out the nozzle.

Smashbox: You press the nozzle once; the nozzle prays an even, super fine mist on the face. It’s also cooling and refreshing.


Photo: The VS sprays a fine mist.

VS: I found that once I sprayed it on my face, it dried down tacky very fast and stayed tacky. My foundation application was anything but seamless and looked patchy. It broke down my foundation in about 30mins after setting my make up. I do think that the uneven and distribution of the mist is a major factor in the Victoria Secret Make It Last Primer and Make up Setting Spray not working for me and the gloop that makes it sticky.


Photo: The Smashbox Primer Water sprays a very fine and even mist

Smashbox: Once sprayed onto the face, it dried tacky at first then set into a smooth canvas that was ready for foundation application. Foundation went on smoothly; my full coverage make up was sealed when I spritzed my face after application.

VS: Price: At R195, it is cheaper than the Smashbox Prime water and you get 4ml extra (just saying)

Smashbox: Price: R400 for 116ml. Yes, it’ssssspensive.


VS: There is only one Victoria Secret store in Sandton City, Johannesburg and often there is limited stock, so it’s not readily available. I do not know if there are any other stores in South Africa. I believe Johannesburg has the only store.

Smashbox:  There are various Smashbox counters at selected Edgars and Woolworths stores and you can buy Smashbox products at or  Smashbox Primer Water is more easily available.


VC: No detectable fragrance and while there are no ingredients listed on the bottle, I didn’t detect any alcohol nor did my face sting or go red when I used it.

Smashbox: It smells like grass, but the scent goes away. It has no alcohol, parabens or silicone.


To be fair, I think, the Victoria Secret Make It Last Primer and Make up Setting Spray may work better with a light, sheer coverage foundation that doesn’t have to mix with too much product. But unlike the Smashbox Photofinish Primer water, it doesn’t give you a glow, which is odd, because those VS Angels glow like Goddesses!

 And the Real Boss is . . .  Smashbox Primer Water! #Bosso



Have you tried the Victoria Secrets Primeand Set Make up spray? Did you have better luck than me? I'd love to hear your thoughts?



Beauty Bugle

Disclaimer:  Excerpts taken from original post on my personal blog.

Who else is obsessed with M.A.C products?
Broadway Nails ImPress Press on Manicure

Related Posts


Add comment

URLs in comments are automatically disabled.
SPAMMERS, please don't waste your time! SPAM comments will be manually deleted

Security code





S5 Box