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Elf Primer Line Guide: Which Is The Perfect One For You?

Out of all of the drugstore and affordable cosmetic brands out there, I think ELF has the best products. And others feel the same way since ELF is said to have the most popular primer in the US. Another reason why ELF primer is so popular is that they have a large variety of formulas that are made for practically every skin type. Their primers can also impact the way your makeup looks, such as making your foundation more luminous.

So, what are ELF’s primers? Here, we will break down all of ELF’s primers, what they do, and who they’re meant for.

Jelly Pop Dew Face Primer

Jelly Pop Dew Face Primer

This primer is perfect if you want that lovely dewy finish. It was a gel-like texture that hydrates your skin all while gripping your foundation, ensuring it lasts all day. Even if you don’t plan on wearing makeup, this primer will create that coveted dew finish and will smooth your complexion.

This primer is made with skin-healthy ingredients such as niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, watermelon extract, and vitamins A, C, and E. The primer smells like watermelon and doesn’t leave a sticky residue.

Pros

  • Ideal for many skin types — it will moisturize dry skin and the gel texture is gentle on oily skin
  • Foundation applies beautifully and blends easier
  • Makeup lasts longer
  • Great packaging, the pump works well

Cons

  • Stores are often sold out
  • Some complained about the strong scent
  • It may be too thick on the skin for hot temperatures
  • Not ideal for mature skin

Poreless Putty Primer

This has been voted the best primer in America and is a cheaper dupe to the Tarte Timeless Smoothing Primer that I also reviewed and still use.

This not only grips your makeup but this primer decreases the look of pores and other imperfections, so your skin stays flawless all day. It’s ideal for many skin types (except oily skin, there’s a separate mattifying primer), especially if you have large pores.

One of the reasons why this primer is so popular is because of the velvety texture. It applies smoothly across the skin and blends seamlessly. This primer is formulated with squalane to grip makeup and prevent moisture loss.

Pros

  • Wonderful packaging
  • Feels creamy and hydrating on the skin
  • Dries like a powder
  • Makes skin look healthy and truly does reduce the look of imperfections
  • Cruelty-free
  • Squalane is a wonderful multi-use ingredient
  • Affordable
  • Ideal for all skin types, though it works best on dry skin (there is a mattifying formula for oily skin)
  • Anyone can use it, regardless of skin tone

Cons

  • Doesn’t come with a safety seal, which personally freaks me out
  • Stiff to the touch, may need a tool to scrape out the product
  • Has a slight scent
  • Isn’t as effective for oily skin (again they have a separate mattifying formula)

Matte Putty Primer

MATTE PUTTY PRIMER

I kept mentioning the mattifying primer in the last section, so I wanted to immediately mention it as an alternative for oily skin types. The primer is made with white charcoal and kaolin to mattify the complexion, absorb excess oil, and prevent oil breakouts.

Like the original Putty Primer, this formula has a velvety texture that blends easily and minimizes the looks of pores and other imperfections. Your makeup will also last all day and you have no worries about excess oil breakouts.

Pros

  • Skin will look flawless
  • Your foundation will last all-day
  • Minimizes the look of pores and other imperfections

Cons

  • Some reviewers say ELF makes better mattifying primers

Luminous Putty Primer

Luminous Putty Primer

If you want a poreless effect with hydration, you’ll love the Luminous Putty Primer. This primer is infused with hyaluronic acid to deliver a dose of moisture to your skin, ensuring your skin stays hydrated all day. Plus, your makeup will last all day with this primer.

The primer blurs the appearance of pores and other imperfections, so your skin has a lovely dewy look and a flawless canvas for foundation application.

Pros

  • Skin has a gold-tinted glow that’s extremely beautiful
  • The perfect primer for dry skin

Cons

  • Many reviewers expected a natural glow and complained there’s glitter in this primer

Mint Melt Cooling Face Primer

Mint Melt Cooling Face Primer

This primer has a gel texture that cools dry skin and grips foundation. This primer is extremely hydrating, perfect for dry skin and anyone who gets irritated skin. The cooling texture feels good on inflamed skin and this primer has a sweet mint scent. It’s formulated with antioxidants and hyaluronic acid to protect the skin and lock in moisture.

This primer glides on smoothly and blends easily. Even though it’s a gel hydrating primer, it doesn’t have a sticky feeling. You can wear this primer under makeup and alone for the perfect dewy glow.

Pros

  • Smells great
  • Not tacky
  • Refreshing and cooling
  • Leaves a nice glow on the skin that looks natural
  • Works well with all foundation formulas
  • Makeup will last all-day
  • Get a lot of product, even for the price point

Cons

  • Many reviewers complained that their skin didn’t absorb the gel
  • Not good for oily skin
  • Doesn’t decrease the look of imperfections

Matte Oil Control Primer

Matte Oil Control Primer

I keep seeing this one as an alternative if the Mattifying Poreless Putty Primer doesn’t work for you. This primer is infused with tea tree oil and kaolin clay to clean skin and control shine. Your complexion will be mattified, perfect for foundation application. The formula is lightweight and it also blurs the appearance of pores.

Pros

  • Blurs pores and other texture issues
  • Mattifies the skin without drying it
  • Great smell (smells like tea tree oil, I personally love the smell)
  • Blends well
  • Makes the foundation last longer

Cons

  • Not ideal for mature skin will crease your lines

Hydrating Primer Serum

This primer is infused with snow mushroom and hyaluronic acid to retain moisture and prevent water loss. This primer is best if your skin is not only dry but completed dehydrated. It’s fragrance-free and lightweight, perfect for those who have sensitive skin. Your skin will not only be moisturized but completely prepped for foundation application.

Pros

  • Perfect daily primer for dry skin

Cons

  • Reviewers don’t recommend applying this with a brush or sponge because the product builds up easily — always use your fingertips

Glow Up Primer Serum

Glow Up Primer Serum

This primer is the best of both worlds. It hydrates the skin while giving your complexion a lovely luminous glow. It also perfectly preps your skin for foundation application. Even though it’s a serum, it feels lightweight on the skin. Infused with goji and hyaluronic acid to keep skin nourished while retaining moisture.

Pros

  • Perfect to wear alone or under foundation
  • Has a very slight shimmer, but doesn’t leave your face sparkly. Instead, leaves your face with a natural glow
  • Lightweight
  • Dries down, so your face doesn’t feel sticky
  • Won’t break out your skin
  • Lasts all-day

Cons

  • Not good for sensitive skin

Moisture Lock Primer

Moisturizer and primer, all in one product. Formulated with shea butter and jojoba oil to moisturize the skin. Leaves skin with a nourished canvas that’s ready for foundation. Melts into the skin and is long-lasting.

Pros

  • Great packaging
  • Applies evenly
  • Doesn’t leave skin feeling tacky
  • Has a slight blurring effect
  • Hydration effects last all-day
  • Locks in foundation well
  • Great for dry skin
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Not good for oily skin
  • May peel on the skin

Soothing Primer

This primer will calm all dry and problematic skin types. It’s formulated with vitamins B5 and E as well as aloe to nourish, soothe, and calm irritated and inflamed skin. This primer will also give your skin a smooth canvas for foundation application. It helps your makeup last a long time.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Slight cucumber scent that smells great
  • Great for all skin types
  • Slight blurring effect
  • Helps makeup apply beautifully
  • Your foundation will last a long time
  • Doesn’t set in lines
  • Smooths out the complexion

Cons

  • Feels tacky
  • Some reviewers complained about the packaging, that it’s easy for the product to dry around the dispenser
  • Reviewers complained the primer flakes off

Hydrating Face Primer

Hydrating Face Primer

Gives your skin a smooth canvas for foundation while hydrating the skin. It’s infused with vitamins A, C, and E as well as a grape to hydrate the skin and improve your complexion. Also available in a large size and a travel size.

Pros

  • Great daily primer
  • Some reviewers said it also works well as an eyeshadow primer, though I would proceed with caution when using it on your eyes
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to apply

Cons

  • Reviewers complained it made their skin feel oily

Brightening Lavender Face Primer

Brightening Lavender Face Primer

If you have uneven skin tone, this primer uses lavender to neutralize your skin tone. It’s especially effective on skin that has discoloration due to blemishes and rosacea. It also helps to neutralize yellow skin tones.

Even if your skin is even-toned, the lavender will help to brighten your skin and is the perfect correction for dull skin. Even with the brightening effect, it has a matte finish. Ideal for a variety of skin types, but it’s especially great for dry skin due to its creamy texture.

This primer is lightweight, smooths out your complexion, and will grip the foundation so it lasts all day.

Pros

  • Only need a little bit of product to cover your entire face
  • Spreads evenly and easily on the face
  • Makes the skin look brighter
  • Smooths out the complexion
  • Foundation is easier to apply
  • Great for dry skin and also good for texture issues
  • Good for many skin types, including dry and oily skin

Cons

  • Many reviewers complained about the packaging, saying the product is difficult to pump

Hydrating Primer Mist

Hydrating Primer Mist

Do you prefer applying primer as a mist and not a cream or gel primer? If so, you’ll love this product! This mist soothes the skin and creates a dewy canvas for foundation application. You can also use this mist alone as a pick-me-up throughout the day for softer skin.

Pros

  • Feels very refreshing
  • Helps foundation last all-day
  • Mist is light

Cons

  • Doesn’t apply evenly, will have to spread the product with your fingers after spraying
  • Not a good setting spray
  • Reviewers complained the bottle runs out quickly

Poreless Face Primer

Poreless Face Primer

This primer will make your face look flawless, perfect before foundation application. It not only smoothes the complexion and your pores, but it can also be used as a treatment. The primer is infused with vitamins A and E as well as tea tree oil. It will also give your skin a healthy glow, even when worn under foundation. Also available in a large size.

Pros

  • Skin looks and feels smooth
  • Your foundation will last all-day

Cons

  • Many reviewers said only half of their product was full
  • Has a strong lemon scent

Beautifully Bare Luminous Matte Makeup Primer

Beautifully Bare Luminous Matte Makeup Primer

Do you have oily skin but still want a beautiful glow? ELF is solving both of your problems with this Luminous Matte Primer. This primer is lightweight and offers subtle moisture benefits while refining the complexion. It’s formulated with skin-healthy ingredients such as vitamins C and E as well as acai.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Creamy formula
  • Reduces the look of pores, fine lines, and wrinkles
  • Some reviewers said this also works as an eye primer, but I wouldn’t recommend using it on the eyes

Cons

  • Feels tacky
  • Some reviewers said other ELF primers, such as the Poreless Putty, work better than this

Mineral Infused Face Primer

Mineral Infused Face Primer

This primer will simply create a smooth base for foundation application, ensuring your foundation will last all day. It has a weightless silky formula that is ideal for all skin types. It refines your complexion, blurring the look of fine lines, wrinkles, and more. Also available in a large size.

Pros

  • This is probably the best ELF primer for mature skin
  • Smooths out imperfections
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Reviewers complained about the small bottle and the primer doesn’t last long
  • Some reviewers also complained about the packaging, saying the product was hard to get out of the bottle

Illuminating Face Primer

Illuminating Face Primer

If you truly want a glow, use this primer. Your face will look luminous with a subtle shimmer. It’s a great primer for all skin types, because of the weightless formula. This primer refines your complexion, reducing the look of fine lines, wrinkles, and other imperfections.

This primer blends smoothly and will ensure your foundation lasts all day.

Pros

  • Makes skin look dewy and luminous
  • Blurs the look of various imperfections
  • Works well with many types of foundation

Cons

  • Many reviewers complained about the yellow glitter, saying it was too much shimmer

Tone Adjusting Face Primer

Tone Adjusting Face Primer

Do you struggle with serious redness and are looking for a color-correcting primer? If so, try this green-tinted tone-adjusting primer. In case you’re not familiar with color correction, green tones counteract red tones, neutralizing the skin.

This primer is good for practically all skin types. It applies smoothly and will make your foundation last all day. Also available in a large size.

Pros

  • Good for all skin types, including sensitive skin
  • Lightweight
  • Smooths out imperfections
  • Even the small size lasts a long time since you only need a little bit of product for application

Cons

  • Won’t decrease the look of redness alone, you’ll need to use this with a foundation and/or color corrector
  • Many people don’t like the texture, says it feels watery

Prep and Blur Stick

Prep and Blur Stick

If you prefer a creamy stick formula primer, you’ll love this product. This stick primer blurs the appearance of pores, fine lines, wrinkles, and other imperfections. You’ll have a smooth base for foundation application. The primer is available in a universal color that works for all skin tones. This primer is especially great for oily skin; it’s formulated with witch hazel to absorb oil.

Pros

  • Blurs the look of pores and other imperfections
  • Leaves skin feeling smooth
  • The texture of the stick is silky and finishes like a powder
  • Mattifies oily skin and hydrates dry skin
  • Colorless
  • Can be worn alone and under makeup

Cons

  • Doesn’t absorb into the skin; rather, it piles up on top

FAQs

Question: What Does a Primer Do?

Answer: At its basic, primer creates a barrier between your skin and the foundation to ensure your face makeup lasts longer. Many primers also create a base to smooth out your complexion. ELF offers many primer formulations for all skin types. For example, they offer hydrating primers for dry skin and mattifying primers for oily skin.

Question: What’s the Best Way to Apply Primer?

Answer: It depends on the type of primer you’re using. I usually apply a primer with a flat foundation brush, though some of these primers, such as the Poreless ones and the serum-based primers, are best to apply with your fingertips.

Question: Are These Primers Available in Different Shades?

Answer: All of these primers are available in one, universal shade. Most are colorless, except the ones that are luminous (usually have a gold-like color) and the ones meant for color correcting.

Elf Primer Line Guide: Bottomline

ELF is one of the most famous drugstore makeup brands out there. They offer many primers, such as ones that hydrate the skin and create a dewy look, while others absorb excess oil and leave you with a matte complexion. Their most famous primer is the Poreless Putty Primer, which also reduces the look of pores.

We hope this ELF Primer Guide helped you pick out the best primer for you!

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