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Splurge or Save? Tatcha The Silk Canvas Protective Primer vs. e.l.f. Poreless Putty Primer

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

While both Tatcha The Silk Canvas Primer and e.l.f. Poreless Putty Primer are not new to the market, I’ve been wanting to compare the two since I’ve heard from many beauty bloggers that e.l.f.’s primer is a close match to the beloved Tatcha primer.

Primer is one of those products that I sometimes forget about, but when you find a good primer, it reminds you how it can really improve the look and wear of your makeup. So the question is, should you splurge on Tatcha or save on e.l.f.? Read on to find out how they performed!

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Tatcha The Silk Canvas Protective Primer

Tatcha The Silk Canvas Protective Primer

Tatcha The Silk Canvas Protective Primer is a product that just exudes luxury, and for the price, it should. While the price is a bit steep, part of the price is, in fact, the luxury experience that Tatcha sells along with its products.

The Tatcha Story

Tatcha uses secrets of the modern-day geisha’s simple beauty rituals in their products. Their products are scientifically formulated and center around Hadasei-3™, anti-aging superfoods from the Japanese diet: green tea, rice, and algae, an antioxidant complex that supports a youthful radiance.

The final step of the geisha’s beauty ritual is to apply Bintsuke, a fine layer of melted Japanese wax, into her skin. This wax creates a smooth canvas, that reduces the appearance of pores and provides a base to help makeup last all day. Tatcha explores a modern vision of this step with The Silk Canvas Protective Primer.

The Silk Canvas

The Silk Canvas is a multi-tasker that can be used on the face, eyes, and lips. The primer contains silk extracts to reduce the appearance of pores, fine lines, and other imperfections. Silk powder allows makeup to be applied evenly with shine minimized. It also provides a soft-focus finish and allows makeup to last longer. The formula is also meant to be a barrier between makeup and skin, which helps to reduce clogged pores which can lead to breakouts. Anti-pollution natural active ingredients support the skin’s barrier function while helping to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.

Once I purchased The Silk Canvas, I finally understood why the price is so high. It comes packaged in a beautiful box with a separate instruction sheet. The primer comes sealed in silver foil (reminiscent of camera film) for freshness.

The primer has a heavier feel than expected even though the net weight is only 0.7 oz. Also included in the box is a disc-shaped spatula to apply the primer. The disc has a line on it which indicates that the amount of product needed. You use this line as a guide when swiping the primer from the container.

The primer has a beautiful scent, the same scent found in many other Tatcha products that I’ve tried. This product is made for all skin types and is cruelty-free. It is also a Clean at Sephora product, meaning that it is formulated without over 50 ingredients, including sulfates (SLS and SLES), parabens, and phthalates.

Related: Luxury Beauty Gifts Worth the Splurge

The Silk Canvas – Performance

I’ve used this primer with different brands of makeup, and makeup always looks better with it as opposed to without it. It really helps with the application of drier foundations, such as Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup. I usually wet a makeup sponge to apply the Estee Lauder foundation, but when I apply The Silk Canvas prior to makeup application, Double Wear applies much smoother and evener. Does makeup wear longer? It’s hard to tell, but I love the finish it provides. Pink and gold pearl provides a slight glow and evens skin tone.

Tatcha The Silk Canvas Protective Primer

You only need to use a very small amount of The Silk Canvas. Tatcha suggests using a rice-sized amount for your entire face, although I found that I needed to use a little more than that. It can be used alone or under makeup of all kinds, including cream, liquid and powder makeup. I must admit that love this primer, and although it is expensive, it is a beautiful product.

Tatcha The Silk Canvas Protective Primer Swatch
Tatcha The Silk Canvas Protective Primer

e.l.f. Poreless Putty Primer

e.l.f. Poreless Putty Primer

e.l.f. Poreless Putty Primer is formulated with a velvety texture to smooth the skin and reduce the appearance of pores. The primer helps takes hold of makeup to make it last all day while helping to retain moisture in the skin. It appears very similar to The Silk Canvas, perhaps with a little more peachy color than The Silk Canvas.

e.l.f. Poreless Putty Primer
e.l.f. Poreless Putty Primer (using Tatcha spatula)

Whether or not e.l.f. Poreless Putty Primer was formulated to complete with The Silk Canvas is unclear, but it has some of the same ingredients as The Silk Canvas. These ingredients include camellia sinensis (green tea) leaf extract, glycerin, and squalane for moisture. It contains (rice) bran wax, and while a different ingredient, Tatcha uses rice ferment filtrate (sake) in its primer.

This formula applies smoothly and provides an ideal base for makeup application. Tatcha’s Silk Canvas. e.l.f. notes that after application you should wait 30 seconds before applying makeup so that the primer can set. Made for all skin types, cruelty-free and vegan.

The question is, is it a replacement for Tatcha The Silk Canvas?

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

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

I tested both The Silk Canvas and e.l.f. Poreless Putty Primer (Universal Sheer) with different foundations and found that they both performed well with the liquid foundations that I use. I also did a split face test and applied each to one side of my face. Tatcha is so smooth and hydrates my skin so well that it beat out e.l.f. on those two characteristics, but e.l.f. performed VERY similarly to Tatcha.

SIZE: Even though e.l.f. Poreless Putty Primer appears much smaller than The Silk Canvas, there is more product in the container: 0.74 oz vs. .7 for The Silk Canvas. Definitely a plus for e.l.f.

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

TEXTURE: I found that the texture of e.l.f. wasn’t quite as smooth as Tatcha and it didn’t blur quite as well.

PERFORMANCE: Both primers performed very well with all-day wear. By the end of the day, certain areas of my face would show my pores slightly more with e.l.f. Poreless Putty, but these areas were minimal.

PRODUCT EXPERIENCE: That is where the similarities end. You have to take into consideration the entire product experience that Tatcha provides, with its beautiful packaging, scent, and silk-based ingredients. Tatcha is also selling a story that I’m sure resonates with many of its fans. I’ll admit, I am one of them. I haven’t tried a Tatcha product that I don’t like.

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While e.l.f. Poreless Putty Primer is not exactly the same as Tatcha The Silk Canvas, it comes pretty darn close and I highly recommend it not only because of its affordable price tag but also for its performance.

If you love the luxury product experience and can afford the price, Tatcha The Silk Canvas Protective Primer is a beautiful luxe product that is the perfect base for makeup.

Have you tried both or either product? What do you think?


Saturday 15th of January 2022

I have both and use both. I do like the smell and feel of Tatcha, but e.l.f works just as well. I use Tatcha for special occasions and e.l.f for every day use. Love them both!