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Elf Poreless Putty Primer Review: Does This Primer Make A Difference?

ELF is the queen of drugstore makeup. The brand never stops amazing high-end and drugstore fans alike. Everyone who likes makeup has heard of ELF and has either used it or will soon. ELF is a proud cruelty-free American brand and the maker of many successful dupes that rank high on makeup lists.

The Elf Poreless Putty Primer is currently the number 1 best-selling primer in America, but it is also sold by distributors worldwide, where it remains a popular option for those after a high-quality product without a brand premium, but is it worth it?

Do I Recommend ELF Poreless Putty Primer?

Yes! I love how this primer softens my skin and creates a lovely, satiny, smooth finish for my skin before I start my glow-up makeup routine! It’s super moisturizing (especially for the price point), so if your skin is really oily, I wouldn’t recommend this product. But, for everyone else, this is such a great drugstore brand — Elf always seems to deliver, and the Poreless Putty Primer is no exception!

What Is a Primer?

A primer is a corrective skin-toned flued most often used under foundation or other liquid and powder bases. It may also be used as a standalone product to fill up pores, conceal skin discoloration, blemishes, and other imperfections, to provide hydration, add light coverage, brighten skin, or control oil.

You can check out our Primer Guide here — we walk through everything you need to know about Primers!

As you can see, a primer has more than one use and versatile properties, so it’s always important to define your goal for it to help choose the right one.

How to Use the Elf Poreless Putty Primer

To apply the Elf Poreless Putty Primer, use a damp beauty blender and bounce it around the skin, followed by a primer-compatible brush to distribute the product evenly on the surface you want to be covered.

It is recommended to apply it evenly on the desired area and wait for the product to dry completely before applying a foundation of your choice over it. When applied correctly, this primer will cover your pores, no matter how big or small, and keep your complexion looking flawless.

If the product feels a bit dry or you feel like it could work better, a trick many recommend is to stir the product inside the bottle, making the blend more homogenous and easier on the skin. ELF’s promotional materials didn’t state anything about this, but it’s a tried and tested trick by lovers of this product.

ELF recommends using the Putty Primer Applicator for best results. Certain users find that it when it comes to using the product for different weather conditions, changing formulas works if you have a season with dryer skin and another with oilier skin. If that is the case for you, try cycling it with ELF’s Matte Putty Primer or the Luminous Putty Primer.

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Will the Elf Poreless Putty Primer Work on My Skin?

ELF has thought about this and came through with 3 different finishes which you can choose from. The Elf Poreless Putty Primer is mostly for a poreless flawless complexion, as the website says.

It is still catered for normal, combination, or dry skin as it doesn’t do any oil control. If your skin isn’t very oily, this may be the best option for you. If you do have oily skin, consider the ELF Matte Putty Primer. It mattifies the skin and provides excellent oil control, making it a hit.

For skin types that are particularly dry or need an extra touch of hydration, choose the Luminous Putty Primer. This version brings to the table a luminous finish for a glowing complexion, while still covering up imperfections and keeping your skin hydrated.

What Does the Elf Poreless Putty Primer Do?

Elf Poreless Putty Primer Before and After
  • Helps makeup last the whole day
  • Holds foundation together
  • Smoothens pores and skin imperfections
  • Hydrates


The ELF Poreless Putty Primer comes in a sturdy black unicarton with the ELF logo on the front and usage instructions on the front and back. This is a classic choice of packaging for ELF.

It doesn’t feel luxurious, but neither does it feel cheap. Once you open the box, you will find the product inside a little sleek packaging with a black lid. It’s easy to open and store due to its size. A little product goes a long way, so do not get scared by its size – this primer is small but mighty.

The e.l.f Poreless Putty Primer is small but mighty! It packs a moisturizing punch!

The Primer Formula

The ELF Poreless Putty Primer is a cream-based primer. It has a velvety feel to it, which translates onto the skin even after it has dried. It does not have any fragrance or tack to it.

Price Point

The ELF Poreless Putty Primer retails for a very fair price of 9 dollars. Primers tend to be an item that many recommend you splurge on high-end options, but ELF ensures you do not have to spend a lot to get the results you need. Of course, not everyone uses primers, but if you do, this is a bargain for the quality on offer.


  • Very fair and affordable price point
  • A little of the product goes a long way
  • Minimizes pores
  • Hydrates
  • Light-weight
  • No fragrance


  • It May not work for oily skin
  • The product has a unique texture which is not for everyone


If the formula isn’t your thing or you want to try something else, there are plenty of options. If ELF products are hard to find in your country, here are other solutions to cover your pores.

NYX Studio Perfect Primer


NYX is very often available in countries that do not have ELF in stores, making them a popular solution outside of the United States. As far as primer goes, the NYX Studio Perfect Primer also comes in the shades: lavender and green, so it you also need to color correct this is a good choice.

The basic one comes in a clear formula, so it won’t give you any additional color or coverage, which also skips the problems with shade matching. The lavender cancels out the skin’s dullness and brightens it, the yellow removes dull tones and the green balances out redness in the skin.

Nyx Studio Perfect Primer | Amazon

Prepare your canvas with our silky primer. The studio-perfect primer formula is easily absorbed, creates a smooth surface for foundation, and ensures the longevity of your makeup. 

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01/22/2024 09:21 am GMT

Tatcha The Silk Canvas


It is said that the ELF Poreless Putty Primer is an amazing dupe of this primer. If you want a high-end version for yourself or as an expensive gift, this is your choice. The Tatcha The Silk Canvas has an anti-age formula that protects skin from urban pollution, makeup, and clogged pores.

It is made to get your makeup to last through the day, while also reducing oiliness and giving a soft-focus finish. The Tatcha primer also helps diminishes the appearance of line lines and imperfections to create the perfect skin to use with any makeup application which will follow.

Tatcha The Silk Canvas Protective Makeup Primer | Amazon
$54.00 ($77.14 / Ounce)

Weightless, oil-free liquid primer is formulated with silk extracts to protect your skin from environmental pollutants and makeup, minimize clogged pores and help your look go on better and last longer.

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01/22/2024 09:07 am GMT

Makeup Revolution Conceal & Fix Pore Perfecting Primer

Makeup Revolution Conceal & Fix Pore Perfecting Primer

The British brand Makeup Revolution is very often easier to find in the UK, Europe and considering that the ELF Poreless Putty Primer is so popular and may be out of stock when you need a quick replacement, this is an alternative.

The primer creates an illusion of perfect skin and blurred pores, and it is meant to hold the makeup for the entire day while giving a nice velvety finish.

Makeup Revolution Conceal & Fix Pore Perfecting Primer | Amazon

Create the illusion of a smooth and poreless complexion with the Conceal & Fix Pore Perfecting Primer. 

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02/17/2024 01:23 pm GMT

Winky Lux Whipped Cream Primer

Winky Lux Whipped Cream Primer

This Winky primer comes in a far cuter and less minimalistic packaging than ELF’s. Its reviews so far are mixed, as some claim that there is some inconsistency between product samples, making ordering feel a bit like a lottery.

However, those who did not have issues with the product find this to be a mighty gold lid primer. If you prefer a creamier primer and are not fussed about it being lightweight, this could be a great solution for you.

Winky Lux Whipped Cream Face Primer | Amazon
$38.99 ($84.76 / Ounce)

Blended to sweet creamy perfection, Winky Lux’s Whipped Cream Primer is a magic primer and pore eraser that will give you baby-smooth skin with flawless lift and hold.

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01/22/2024 09:37 am GMT

Benefit POREfessional Primer

Benefit POREfessional Primer

While not being the most obvious dupe for an ELF product, this Benefit primer is still a very loved and sought-after item. It blurs out the pores and has similar claims to the ELF Poreless Putty Primer, but it comes in a tube instead.

This is a more expensive option, and Benefit’s primers tend to run out faster, but their effect on makeup is just as good as ELF’s, if not better. Try the magic out for yourself and see if it’s your thing!

Benefit POREfessional Primer | Amazon

The POREfessional Pro Balm works to reduce the appearance of pores and fine lines for smoother-than-smooth-looking skin. 

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01/22/2024 09:48 am GMT


Question: Is the ELF Poreless Putty Primer Worth It?

Answer: Absolutely! It has a great price point and goes above and beyond in terms of quality. Be mindful that if you have oily skin, it might not be your best match. If you want to conceal your pores and not break bank, this is a great solution. The ELF Poreless Putty Primer is a popular dupe for the Tatcha The Silk Canvas.

Question: Is it Good for Fine Lines and Wrinkles?

Answer: Yes, it is! But if you want more moisturizing qualities, it is best to opt for the Luminious Putty Primer, also offered by ELF. That being said, the ELF Poreless Putty Primer is believed to perform very well when as far as covering wrinkles, fine lines, and all other sorts of skin imperfections.

Question: Is it Good For Dry Skin?

Answer: Everyone’s skin is different, so it is always best to visit a store try it out yourself. The ELF Poreless Putty Primer is commonly regarded as a good choice for dry skin, as it leaves a slippery feel before applying the foundation which stops it from drying your skin further.
It is said not to have strong moisturizing qualifies, unlike the Tatcha The Silk Canvas primer, which it is a famous dupe to.

Question: Can the ELF Poreless Putty Primer be Used as a Primer for Eyes and Eyeshadow?

Answer: Absolutely! Many foundations and primers are often used as eyeshadow base in order to keep the colors from moving, creasing, giving fallout and also make them look much brighter than they would without a primer base.
The ELF Poreless Putty Primer is said to be great at this according to reviews, and ELF recommends this item for this purpose as well. It locks the eyeshadow in place for a long time, just as it does with the foundation.

Question: Does it Work for Mature Skin?

Answer: Most users who have compared both usually prefer the Elf Luminous Putty Primer for mature skin, as it has better moisturizing qualities that make it better at combatting fine lines, wrinkles and signs of ageing in skin.
Another alternative in the market by ELF is the Hydrating Face Primer, which promises to nourish and enrichen mature skin, while still helping keep makeup on for the whole day. The Hydrating Face Primer’s formula is enriched with vitamins and other nutrients.

Elf Poreless Putty Primer Review: Final Thoughts

At this price point, the ELF Poreless Putty Primer is a classic option, and for many a tried-and-true Holy Grail. The product does live up to its good reputation. There may be many different alternatives and solutions to keep the makeup on for the entire day, but the ELF Poreless Putty Primer gives an amazing canvas to keep the face looking flawless at a very affordable price point.

It may not have the fanciest packaging, but as far as primers and foundations go, it delivers where it really matters – making your skin look great.

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