e.l.f. Discovery

What is the Difference Between e.l.f.'s Face Primers?

By Brooke Sager

A stunning makeup application all starts with a smooth canvas and happy, hydrated skin. Now, what if we told you there was a makeup product that helps you achieve this smooth-as-e.l.f. base while working to grip your makeup in place?

Enter face primer: an often overlooked step in many makeup routines, but one that really makes a big difference in your application and final makeup look. You may be asking yourself, “what is a face primer, what exactly does a face primer do and do I need to use one?” And the answer is, e.l.f. yes!

Applied after your moisturizer and before your makeup, a face primer helps create a smooth base for your foundation while working to lock your gorgeous makeup look in place. Makeup primers come in a variety of formats and textures—from liquids, to sprays, sticks, putties and gels. They also come in a range of finishes, including dewy, matte and luminous; some formulas even help target specific skin concerns and deliver acne-fighting benefits, extra hydration or help mattify oily skin for a shine-free finish. Many face primers are also bursting with ingredients that work overtime to hydrate and nourish your skin to reveal a healthy-looking complexion (even on those makeup-free days).

We’re proudly the #1 face primer brand in America—and that’s because e.l.f. Cosmetics’ wide range of makeup primers all feature high-quality, affordable formulas that are enriched with skin-loving ingredients. Now here’s the big question: which one should you choose?

We’re here to break down all the deets of three of our fan-favorite face primers—our Power Grip Primer, **Putty Primer **and new Stay Cool Primer Stick—so you can choose the best option to help you get an extra grip on your makeup and achieve your desired finish.

Stay Cool Primer Stick

Do your makeup a solid and say hello to our coolest new primer: the Stay Cool Primer Stick. This gel primer stick delivers a burst of hydration while prepping your skin for a super smooth makeup application and a dewy, healthy finish. Infused with refreshing aloe water, plus hyaluronic acid, spring water, coconut water and marine water, the chill-as-e.l.f. formula has a watery feel and delivers a cooling sensation that soothes skin, all while gripping your makeup in place.

This glide-on solid hydrating primer stick delivers a quick, mess-free application, making it a great option for those on the go. It also plays nicely when mixed with other primers.

How to Apply the Stay Cool Primer Stick

  • Slightly twist the bottom of the stick to reveal the primer.

  • Swipe primer stick across freshly cleansed skin.

  • PRO TIP: apply to your under eye area and really bask in that melting, ice-like feel!

  • Blend in with a clean finger, makeup brush or sponge.

  • Follow up with the rest of your makeup look.

Liquid Poreless Putty Primer

The Liquid Poreless Putty Primer is a silky liquid face primer that seamlessly glides over your skin, gripping makeup for long-lasting wear and giving you a poreless-looking finish.

If liquid face primer isn’t your thing, it also comes in a solid formula, Poreless Putty Primer. Our putty primers come in a variety of formulas based on your skin needs including luminous putty primer, acne-fighting putty primer, and mattifying putty primer.

How to Apply Putty Primer

  • Using your finger or the scoop end of the Putty Primer Brush and Applicator, scoop a dime-sized amount of primer out of the compact.

  • Using your finger or the brush end of the Putty Primer Brush and Applicator, apply a thin, even amount of makeup primer across your moisturized skin concentrating on those areas of your face where you have more texture and/or pores.

  • Because of the texture of this primer, you do not need to wait for it to set before applying your foundation.

  • Apply the rest of your makeup look.

Power Grip Primer

Power Grip Primer is a gel-based primer that has a sticky consistency (if you saw the Stickiest Star at the Big Game, then you know!). It grips your makeup for long-lasting wear while also hydrating your skin. The translucent gel smoothes your look to perfection while improving the overall look and feel of your skin.

This face primer is also available in a 4% niacinamide formula that helps evens out skin tone and brightens the look of dullness all while keeping the same super stickiness that people love.

How to Apply Power Grip Primer

  • Use a dime-size amount of primer onto your fingertips.

  • Rub your fingers together to warm it up and feel the super stickiness of the primer.

  • Using your fingertips, pat the gripping primer into your moisturized skin concentrating on those areas of your face where makeup typically fades the fastest. The warmth of your fingers will help the product melt into your skin for a smooth and even application.

  • Allow 30 seconds before applying makeup so that the primer can properly set.

  • Apply the rest of your makeup.