Hi guys! One of my most popular posts of all time was the e.l.f. Illuminating Face Primer. And e.l.f. has so many other primers available, so I picked up the hydrating primer to review!
Fun fact, I’d only used one other primer before the e.l.f. Illuminating Face Primer. So I was kind of clueless about the review. That review was about a year old, but I still feel like I don’t know a ton about primers. I actually bought this a few months ago, and between not wearing a lot of makeup, not feeling up to blogging all day, and using/testing other primers, I just never got around to the review.
As a reference, my skin is more normal/combo with an oily chin and roaming dry patches. I like using hydrating products, even in oily areas. Hydration refers to adding water into the skin while moisturizer creates a barrier over the skin to stop moisture loss, so oil does NOT mean hydration.
The price: This was $6.00. While this is one of the cheapest options for a primer, this is for 0.49 oz and many other drugstore-level primers have more product for the price. I know the Revlon Photo Ready primer is less expensive per ounce.
The packaging: The e.l.f. packaging is actually pretty decent, especially for the price point. It’s a minimalist design with a frosted blue container and chrome and white pump. The only text (e.l.f. Hydrating Face Primer) is a crisp black that complements the frosted finish nicely. The pump makes it really easy to use, and this is a tubeless/rising pump system so that as the product is used, the bottom of the container rises. This limits air exposure, but these systems do seem to have bulkier packaging for the amount of product you get.
I like the packaging overall, and my only possible suggestion is that the lid for the pump could also be frosted like the rest of the packaging, even if it didn’t have the blue background. Overall, it’s minor.
The product: Despite the blue container, this primer is an odorless whitish translucent gel. As far as gels go, it’s more on the liquid-y side, and it blends out very quickly because of that. It includes vitamins A, C, and E, as well as grape seed oil (anti-aging benefits).
The application: The primer goes on in a thicker layer over a smaller area rather than a thinner layer over a larger surface. Because of this, it feels very oily and slick at first, and it needs a few minutes to sink into the skin. For getting a lighter layer, I prefer dotting tiny amounts onto the skin rather than blending everything out from the center of my face, like most other primers. I usually use less than a full pump. I’d say that this is overall better for dryer skin.
This makes the skin feel soft and smooth more than really filling in pores or blurring imperfections or anything like that. It doesn’t have a super silicone-y feel like other primers do. It feels a bit more like skincare than a primer, since it feels like there’s moisture in the skin rather than something sitting on it. The skin also looks nicely glowy, healthy, and plump.
The wear: This doesn’t do much for my makeup’s longevity. As I said before, it is not a pore filler or anything else. This primer’s goals are more for helping the makeup application rather than the wear. It’s a bit harder to test out how long the hydrating effects last on my skin under makeup, but on its own these effects only last 2-3 hours on me.
The verdict: I’m not that crazy over this primer. I find it just a bit greasy-feeling and a bit annoying to apply, and it doesn’t do enough as a long-lasting primer. If my skin was a bit dryer, I might like it a bit more, but I’d maybe still want to use it with a second primer to target other concerns. This is just not for me.