I’ve tried so many Aldi dupes now and found them to be pretty hit and miss. I wasn’t a fan of their Too Faced dupe mascara, or their take on Benefit’s Hoola bronzer. But their hot cloth cleanser is a great dupe for Liz Earle, and their fragrances are great too – like this Tom Ford inspired scent.
For me to truly accept a product as a dupe, it has to match the quality of the higher end brand, not just have inspired packaging. But this primer really does live up to it’s luxury alternative.
Priced at £5.99, the Lacura Snapshot Ready Primer is clearly named after the £29.50 Smashbox Photo Finish Primer. The legendary product was originally released in 2000, created to minimize the need for touch ups during photo shoots.
The German budget retailer is pretty well known for their ‘inspired’ products, from Jo Malone-esque candles, even to Domino’s cookies. If you missed the similarities in the name of the product, you only need to glance at the bottle of each primer to see where Aldi looked for inspiration.
I actually picked up a miniature version of the Smashbox primer, which was still £12 – so double the cost of the Aldi dupe for half the product. At this point, I and my bank balance were both hopeful the Aldi primer would be a winner.
Both primers are silica based primers with a clear gel-like texture. I’ve long been a fan of Benefit’s Professional for this same silky formula. I applied the Smashbox primer to the right side of my face and took notice of how well it glided on to the skin to blur imperfections and the appearance of blemishes. A small amount of product spreads well and feels immediately soft to touch.
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Vegan and cruelty-free, the lightweight primer offers a velvety texture that’s infused with vitamin A and E, and offers a smooth and flawless base on which to apply my foundation. I then used the Aldi dupe on the other side of my face and found the formula to be stickier in texture, leaving a tackiness on the skin. However, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as it can help the rest of your makeup adhere to your skin properly.
The stickiness does dry after a couple of minutes so it doesn’t feel uncomfortable on the skin, providing a matte base ready for makeup application.
The oil free primer also contains vitamin A and E like the Smashbox version, and is cruelty free. I found that my makeup went on well with both primers, which had blurred my pores and made my skin look like I was wearing an Instagram filter.
Aldi joked: “Get your skin looking picture perfect with this Lacura Snapshot Ready Foundation Primer. Whether you’re using this alone or under make-up, your selfies will never be the same again.” More than 100 shoppers have rated the Aldi first five stars, saying it’s like ‘face magic’.
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One wrote: “A Smashbox dupe! Just like the real thing. Smooths out skin ready for makeup. Feels wonderful.” Another added: “Face Magic. Remove a nice product. Slightly sticky after application, needs to be left a minute or so before applying foundation. Good value for money.”
“Just as good as Smashbox but at a fraction of the cost,” said a third. While another said: “Identical to Smashbox! Superb primer – after using the Smashbox one for years switched to this one and saved a fortune and really could not tell a difference between them. Helps make up to glide on easier and tames my oily skin. Well worth a try – you won’t regret it!”
I’m a big fan of the Aldi primer and do think it performed just as well as the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer, meaning shoppers can save around £23.50 on their next beauty buy.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.