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Beauty/Makeup/Face/Primers
Top 10 Illuminating Primers

The Key To A Dewy, Radiant Complexion Starts With One Of These Illuminating Primers

The Key To A Dewy, Radiant Complexion Starts With One Of These Illuminating Primers

When the weather starts to heat up, we like to match the warmth with a healthy, natural glow. That’s where an illuminating primer comes in! Prolonging your makeup while boosting radiance, an illuminating primer adds just the right amount of shine and shimmer to enhance your complexion's inner twinkle. With summer on the horizon, we thought it only fair to bring you the best illuminating primers to shop from right now. Whether you use it as a base for your foundation or you wear it alone, there’s no question that the following picks will leave your skin glowing and radiant. And, lucky for us all, not only do these products provide illumination, but they also have the key benefits you’d expect out of a primer. They smooth out fine lines and wrinkles, even out skin tone and texture, and minimize the appearance of pores. Honestly, the illumination is just an added bonus that completes the radiant look. Shop our Top 10 illuminating primers ahead! Opening image: @becca.cosmetics

Did you enjoy our 10 Best Illuminating Primers? Just wait till you see our 10 Best Liquid Highlighters!

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April 8, 2019

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Top 10 Lists serve as unbiased shopping guides to the most trusted product recommendations on the internet. Products are scored and ranked using an algorithm backed by data consumers find most valuable when making a purchase. We are reader-supported and may earn a commission when you shop through our links.

The Rankings


Benefit Cosmetics The POREfessional Pearl Primer

Our Score

USERS SAID: "Love the illuminating look! Just the right amount of glow to look natural, keeps me matte, and creates a perfect canvas for foundation. Basically everything is the same as the original but it has a pearly shimmery base."

FROM THE EXPERTS: In a self-evaluation study of 100 women, after 1 week, 90% said complexion looked brighter, 91% said it minimized the look of pores, and 96% said it created soft-matte radiance.


Juice Beauty PHYTO-PIGMENTS Illuminating Primer

Our Score

LOVED FOR: A smooth, lightweight formula that easily blends to create a natural look

WHAT IT DOES: This primer hydrates the skin and controls oil with coconut alkanes and organic glycerin, all while blurring fine lines and wrinkles.


L'Oreal Paris Studio Secrets Magic Lumi Light Infusing Primer

Our Score

BEST FOR: Dry and normal skin

HELPFUL TIP: For extra radiance, use a small amount as a highlighter by dabbing on key areas.


Jane Iredale Smooth Affair Facial Primer & Brightener

Our Score

WHY YOU NEED IT: This primer goes on like silk and is big on anti-aging properties.

USERS SAID: "When I finally noticed that I needed a primer to help with my foundation, I was very pleased with the results from Smooth Affairs. You only need a tiny amount to cover your face. And it's so light and smooth that it should be a staple for every makeup user, especially those of us with aging skin who need some extra help."


NYX Professional Makeup Honey Dew Me Up Primer

Our Score

BEST FOR: Neutralizing discoloration and redness in your skin

LOVED FOR: A super hydrating formula (with honey!), a yummy smell, and luxurious gold flecks


Charlotte Tilbury Wonderglow Face Primer

Our Score

USERS SAID: "Honestly obsessed with this holy grail product! It makes me so glowy and radiant, and I love the smooth texture of it. I feel like I need less foundation when I use this first! I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to live without it!"

HELPFUL TIP: You can use this product under your foundation, on its own, or on top of your foundation.


e.l.f. Studio Mineral Infused Face Primer

Our Score

BEST FOR: At just $6, this primer is the budget buy of your dreams.

LOVED FOR: This lightweight primer makes your skin feel super soft and look totally refreshed.


Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat Blur Primer

Our Score

USERS SAID: "Makes my foundation glide on like a DREAM and makes my face look so flawless and perfect. Also, saves the amount of foundation I use by half. Need I say more?"

WHAT IT DOES: Corn oil, apricot kernel oil, passiflora oil, and rice bran oil smooth and soften your skin without making it greasy.


Laura Mercier Radiance Foundation Primer

Our Score

LOVED FOR: This primer does all the things—plumps, moisturizes, illuminates, and so much more. 

FUN FACT: Laura Mercier created the industry's first primer in 1995, then "reinvented" it to create this product.


Becca Backlight Priming Filter Face Primer

Our Score

USERS SAID: "Love this for the dewiness and the glow. it really makes a big difference. I feel that I can use less foundation because this primer gives me a really nice and glowing complexion. It mixes nicely with my foundation too, and makes the foundation look even more smooth."

WHY YOU NEED IT: Putting on this primer is basically the equivalent of Photoshopping your skin.

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