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10 Best e.l.f. Primers For a Flawless Complexion

I’ve learned never to underestimate how important a good primer is for getting a flawless, long-lasting base for makeup. But it can get pricey, and I don’t always want to spend the big bucks for a good primer.

That’s why I love e.l.f.’s range of primers! They have something for every budget and skin type.

Best e.l.f. Primers: e.l.f. Poreless Putty Primer, e.l.f. Power Grip Primer, e.l.f. Power Grip Primer + 4% Niacinamide, e.l.f. Luminous Putty Primer, e.l.f. Matte Putty Primer, e.l.f. Illuminating Face Primer, e.l.f. Blemish Control Face Primer, e.l.f. Poreless Face Primer, e.l.f. Hydrating Face Primer, and e.l.f. Hydrating Primer Serum.

So if you’re confused about which e.l.f. primer to try, I’ve got you covered. Read on to discover the best e.l.f. primers for a flawless makeup look.

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The Best e.l.f. Primers

Whether you are looking for a liquid primer, putty primer, or even a multi-tasking primer/serum, these are some of the best primers e.l.f. has to offer:

1. e.l.f. Poreless Putty Primer

e.l.f. Poreless Putty Primer, handheld.

If you’re seeking a poreless complexion, e.l.f. Poreless Putty Primer is a fantastic option, as it’s one of the best-selling primers in the US.

This putty primer has a velvety texture that smooths pores and improves overall skin texture for a flawless finish.

e.l.f. Poreless Putty Primer jar open with clear cosmetic spatula in putty.

Suitable for all skin types, you can expect a super smooth base for your makeup application.

Infused with squalane, Poreless Putty Primer not only preps your skin for makeup but also nourishes and helps protect your skin from moisture loss.

e.l.f. Poreless Putty Primer jar next to sample on hand.

Applying this primer will ensure all-day wear without having to worry about your makeup slipping or fading.

e.l.f. Putty Primer Brush and Applicator

For an easy application, use elf’s Putty Primer Applicator with their putty primers for a seamless, airbrushed finish.

2. e.l.f. Power Grip Primer

e.l.f. Power Grip Primer

E.l.f. Power Grip Primer is a gel-based, hydrating face primer that smooths your skin and grips your makeup for a naturally dewy finish and all-day wear.

The sticky primer preps and smooths your skin with its gel formula that goes on your skin clear without any oils or silicones in the formula.

Enriched with hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid (sodium hyaluronate), this primer ensures that your skin stays nourished while keeping your makeup in place.

e.l.f. Power Grip Primer next to sample on hand.

The primer also contains niacinamide for brightening and balancing out your skin tone.

The primer’s formula is designed for all skin types so that you can enjoy a beautiful, fresh-faced look throughout the day.

3. e.l.f. Power Grip Primer + 4% Niacinamide

e.l.f. Power Grip Primer + 4% Niacinamide

If you’re looking for a primer enriched with skin-loving ingredients that really grips your makeup, look no further than the e.l.f. Power Grip Primer + 4% Niacinamide with its tacky gel-based formula.

Niacinamide is a popular skincare ingredient known for its ability and brighten the look of dullness and even out your skin tone, so the 4% niacinamide concentration provides these brightening benefits.

The primer also contains sodium hyaluronate, the salt form of hyaluronic acid, for hydration and moisture retention.

This gel primer is formulated for all skin tones: oily, normal, dry, and combination skin. Combination and oily skin types will especially appreciate the addition of niacinamide, which can help balance oil production.

e.l.f. Power Grip Primer + 4% Niacinamide next to sample on hand.

Power Grip + 4% Niacinamide goes on clear and provides a dewy, glowing finish that lasts all day while also providing a smooth canvas to anchor your makeup application.

This version of Power Grip with niacinamide feels the same on my skin as the original Power Grip Primer. The sticky gel formula grips my makeup well and helps it stay put.

4. e.l.f. Luminous Putty Primer

e.l.f. Luminous Putty Primer, handheld.

E.l.f. Luminous Putty Primer is a fantastic choice when you’re looking for that perfect glowing base for your makeup application.

This primer is lightweight, silky, and designed to give your skin a radiant glow.

e.l.f. Luminous Putty Primer  jar open with clear cosmetic spatula in putty primer.

Formulated with moisturizing squalane, hydrating sodium hyaluronate (hyaluronic acid), and vegan collagen, this putty primer helps plump and hydrate your skin for a flawless and luminous complexion.

When you apply Luminous Putty Primer to your face, you’ll instantly notice the smooth, silky texture that helps create the perfect grip and canvas for your makeup.

e.l.f. Luminous Putty Primer jar next to sample on hand.

It’s designed to help illuminate, plump, and hydrate your skin, ensuring your makeup stays in place throughout the day.

Remember that a little goes a long way with e.l.f. Luminous Putty Primer, so start with a small amount and add more as needed.

5. e.l.f. Matte Putty Primer

e.l.f. Matte Putty Primer, handheld.

E.l.f. Matte Putty Primer is a fantastic option if you’re aiming for a flawless matte complexion.

Its velvety formula helps absorb excess oil, ensuring your skin remains shine-free throughout the day.

This matte primer is formulated with white charcoal and kaolin clay to help mattify your skin while still allowing your makeup to blend seamlessly into your complexion.

e.l.f. Matte Putty Primer jar open with clear cosmetic spatula in putty primer.

Matte Putty Primer will help blur away imperfections and create a smooth base for your makeup application.

You’ll be amazed by how smooth and even your skin appears, creating the perfect canvas for your makeup.

e.l.f. Matte Putty Primer jar next to sample on hand.

Its matte finish is ideal for those with a combination or oily skin type or anyone wanting a no-shine finish, as it helps control shine and keep your face looking fresh and matte all day long.

It’s great for those hot summer days when you want to control the shine while keeping your makeup in place.

NOTE: If you can’t decide between e.l.f.’s putty primers in this post and want to try all three, you can get a trio of minis (0.14 oz each), which are convenient travel sizes of Poreless Putty Primer, Matte Putty Primer, and Luminous Putty Primer.

6. e.l.f. Illuminating Face Primer

e.l.f. Illuminating Face Primer

E.l.f. Illuminating Face Primer is a silky makeup primer that ensures long-lasting makeup and provides a luminous glow to your skin.

This primer stands out because its golden shade and pigments give your skin an instant glow and subtle golden shimmer.

e.l.f. Illuminating Face Primer bottle next to sample on hand.

This illuminating primer also fills in fine lines so your complexion looks smoother and more refined.

Whether you have dry, oily, or combination skin, the e.l.f. Illuminating Face Primer can be your go-to product for achieving a radiant complexion. Wear it alone or under makeup for a gorgeous glow.

e.l.f. Illuminating Face Primer vs e.l.f. Luminous Putty Primer

El.f. Illuminating Face Primer is similar to Luminous Putty Primer, as they are both brightening primers.

How are they different?

In addition to the fact that Illuminating Face Primer is a liquid and Luminous Putty Primer is a solid putty primer, Illuminating Face Primer has more gold tones and more shimmer, so it has a little more of a pearlized finish than Luminous Putty Primer.

7. e.l.f. Blemish Control Face Primer

e.l.f. Blemish Control Face Primer

E.l.f. Blemish Control Face Primer is a fantastic option for those looking to achieve a flawless complexion while addressing blemishes, breakouts, and acne.

This matte makeup primer has been formulated with skin-loving ingredients that help control breakouts and blemishes, prepping your skin for makeup application.

The primer targets acne with tea tree oil, salicylic acid, and vitamin E. Tea tree oil helps reduce inflammation and has antiseptic benefits.

Salicylic acid, a beta hydroxy acid (BHA), helps unclog pores, removes excess oil, and exfoliates dead skin cells.

e.l.f. Blemish Control Face Primer bottle next to sample on hand.

Vitamin E provides antioxidant protection that helps protect your skin from environmental aggressors while also softening your skin.

This primer is excellent for irritated, oily, and acne-prone skin. Its super lightweight sheer matte finish is also hydrating and smoothing.

The sheer coverage and matte finish provide a natural look while helping to preserve your makeup throughout the day.

This is the perfect 2-in-1 e.l.f. makeup product. You get the benefits of a makeup primer and acne treatment in one easy-to-use product.

8. e.l.f. Poreless Face Primer

e.l.f. Poreless Face Primer

If you want that poreless look, but the putty primers aren’t your favorite, or you just prefer liquid primers, e.l.f. Poreless Face Primer is the perfect choice.

This primer targets wrinkles, fine lines, and enlarged pores to create a smooth and even complexion. It creates the perfect canvas for makeup application.

e.l.f. Poreless Face Primer bottle next to sample on hand.

Poreless Primer is enriched with anti-inflammatory tea tree oil and vitamins A and E to nourish your skin while also helping reduce the appearance of wrinkles and other imperfections.

The lightweight texture is designed to fill in pores and control shine while leaving a natural-looking finish: not too matte or dewy.

This is one of my favorite elf primers since it leaves my skin looking flawless and smooth without feeling heavy on my skin. You don’t need to use too much product as a little goes a long way.

9. e.l.f. Hydrating Face Primer

e.l.f. Hydrating Face Primer, handheld.

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly primer to hydrate and moisturize your skin, e.l.f. Hydrating Face Primer is a great option.

Its hydrating formula helps keep your skin moisturized, so you don’t feel any dryness or tightness underneath your makeup.

Grapeseed oil evens out skin tone and offers antioxidant benefits. Grapeseed oil is non-comedogenic, so it won’t clog your pores or cause breakouts.

Vitamin A hydrates, vitamin C brightens, and vitamin E nourishes your skin.

e.l.f. Hydrating Face Primer bottle next to sample on hand.

Its lightweight consistency ensures that it won’t feel heavy or greasy on your skin.

This hydrating primer smooths your skin, and its sheer coverage leaves a natural finish that isn’t too dewy. My skin feels super soft and very moisturized after application.

Ideal for dry, normal, and combination skin.

10. e.l.f. Hydrating Primer Serum

e.l.f. Hydrating Primer Serum, handheld.

E.l.f. Hydrating Primer Serum is a multi-tasking primer and serum in one that hydrates and nourishes while prepping your skin for makeup.

This lightweight, fragrance-free primer serum helps plump and prime your skin, giving you a flawless complexion.

The hydrating primer/serum is infused with snow mushroom extract and hyaluronic acid in its salt form of sodium hyaluronate. These two key ingredients work together to hydrate and improve skin texture.

e.l.f. Hydrating Primer Serum bottle next to sample on hand.

Snow mushroom extract is known for its water-retaining properties, while hyaluronic acid provides long-lasting moisture and helps reduce the appearance of fine lines.

Aloe barbadensis leaf extract soothes irritation and has moisturizing properties.

e.l.f. Hydrating Primer Serum bottle open with dropper applicator.

This serum is lightweight and sheer, providing a natural hydrated finish without being too dewy.

I love the dropper applicator that you press to dispense the serum. Super easy to use. My skin feels so silky and very moisturized after using this primer serum!

Comparing e.l.f. Primers to Other Popular Primers

When it comes to finding the perfect primer for a flawless complexion, you may wonder how elf primers compare to other popular brands such as Tatcha and Milk Makeup.

Let’s take a closer look at these brands and see how they stack up against e.l.f primers.

Tatcha The Silk Canvas Primer

Tatcha The Silk Canvas Protective Primer and e.l.f. Poreless Putty Primer

One of the most popular luxury makeup primers is Tatcha The Silk Canvas Primer. It has a putty texture that smooths and blurs your skin’s texture.

Tatcha The Silk Canvas Primer is formulated with Japanese botanicals and silk extracts to create a flawless base for makeup application. And… it’s very pricey.

E.l.f. Poreless Putty Primer is an excellent alternative to Tatcha’s Silk Canvas Primer. It has a luxe velvety putty texture that smooths your skin, just like Tatcha!

Poreless Putty Primer nourishes your skin with squalane and blurs imperfections for a poreless complexion.

Check out this Tatcha The Silk Canvas dupe post for more Tatcha alternatives!

Milk Hydro Grip Primer

Milk Hydro Grip Primer and e.l.f. Power Grip Primer.

Milk Hydro Grip Primer is another popular luxury primer. It’s known for its hydrating formula and dewy finish thanks to hyaluronic acid and its ability to provide long-lasting makeup hold. But it’s not cheap.

E.l.f has a cost-effective alternative with their e.l.f. Power Grip Primer (it’s even a similar green shade).

Power Grip Primer also has hydrating hyaluronic acid in its formula and a dewy finish. It helps your makeup stay put all day at a much lower price.

For more Milk alternatives, see my Milk Hydro Grip alternatives post.

Benefits of Using Primer In Your Makeup Routine

There are many benefits to using a primer in your makeup routine, as it helps to prepare your skin and set the stage for a perfect makeup look.

First, what a primer can do for your skin: a good primer will improve the appearance of your complexion by filling in pores, fine lines, and other imperfections.

A primer should create a smooth canvas for your foundation, allowing it to glide on seamlessly and blend effortlessly. The result is a more even and polished look.

Some primers are formulated to address specific skin concerns like dryness, redness, or acne. Applying a primer can help to reduce the appearance of these issues while prepping your skin for makeup.

Another benefit of primer is its ability to help your makeup last longer.

By creating a barrier between your skin and foundation, primers can prevent your makeup from sliding or wearing off throughout the day. This means less frequent touch-ups and time spent worrying about your makeup.

Choosing the Right e.l.f. Primer for Your Skin Type

When it comes to achieving a flawless complexion, selecting the right elf primer for your skin type is essential. Here are some great primer options from this post for various skin types:

For dry skin, you’ll want a primer that is hydrating and provides a smooth base for your makeup:

If you have acne-prone or oily skin, opt for a primer that won’t feel too heavy or greasy on your face:

If you have combination skin, you will need a primer that can address multiple concerns, such as oiliness in the T-zone area and dryness in other areas of your face:

If you have normal skin, choose a primer to help you create a flawless canvas for your makeup. Choose an e.l.f primer based on the finish you prefer:

How to Apply e.l.f. Primers for a Flawless Complexion

Here’s a quick guide to help you achieve a perfectly primed face with e.l.f. primers.

First, ensure your face is clean and moisturized. Gently pat your skin dry and apply your favorite face moisturizer, letting it sink in for a few minutes. This will create smooth skin and a hydrated canvas for your primer.

Choose the right elf primer for your skin’s needs. Start by applying the primer to the center of your face and gently blend outward with your fingertips, a makeup sponge, or a makeup brush.

Give the primer a few minutes to absorb before moving on to the next steps of your makeup routine.

Remember, a little primer goes a long way! You only need a small amount to cover your entire face. Applying too much primer may cause your makeup to slide off or look cakey.

Once your face primer is absorbed, you’re ready to move on to foundation, concealer, and other makeup products.

The Best e.l.f. Primer

The best elf primer? That depends on your skin type and the finish you desire. My current favorite is Poreless Putty Primer for its velvety texture and natural, poreless finish.

Whether you’re looking for a lightweight, hydrating dewy option or a no-shine matte finish, e.l.f. has you covered with products that won’t break the bank.

Thanks to e.l.f.’s super low pricing, you can experiment with different primers to discover which works best for your skin type and take your makeup game to the next level.

For more e.l.f. Cosmetics products, check out my post on the best e.l.f. makeup products and the best e.l.f. skincare products.

Thanks for reading!


Friday 8th of September 2023

I have just recently discovered you site & I'm loving it!! You've given me lots of affordable choices. I can't wait to try them. And elf cosmetics-wow- who knew!!


Sunday 10th of September 2023

Thank you, I'm glad you are enjoying it! There are so many good finds, especially elf!!