13 Best Illuminating Primers Of 2024+Buying Guide (Makeup-Artist Approved)

Get that perfect glass-skin look with these amazing illuminating primers.

Reviewed by Nyssa Green, Makeup Artist
Written by Srijani Roy Chowdhury, MA (Journalism & Mass Communication), Certified Style & Image Consultant
Edited by Krati Darak, MBA, Certified Skin Care Coach
Fact-checked by Madhumati Chowdhury, MA (English Literature)  • 
All products recommended on StyleCraze are independently selected by our editorial team. If you make a purchase through any of these links, we may receive a commission. Learn more about our product selection process here.

If you have been looking for the best illuminating primer, look no further. A primer plays an important role in your makeup routine. Not only is it pore-filling and smoothens out your skin but it also literally “primes” and preps your face for the layers of makeup to follow. It minimizes your pores, conceals your blemishes, and evens out your skin tone to give that flawlessly smooth base for your makeup. Now, along with all the benefits of a regular primer, an illuminating primer, as the name suggests, brings out your natural skin radiance as well.

If your face has been looking dull and lifeless no matter what makeup products you use, an illuminating primer may do the trick for you. You just need to apply it after moisturizing your face, and before your foundation or concealer to make your makeup last longer and make you look fresh and dewy all through the day. To help you select one for yourself, we have shortlisted the 13 best illuminating primers to keep you glowing naturally.

Top PicksCheck Price
Best Anti-Aging benefits: NYX Professional Makeup Honey Dew Me Up Primer
Price on Amazon
Best Lightweight Formula:L’oreal Pari Magic Lumi Light Infusing Primer
Price on Amazon
Best For Color Correction:Physicians Formula Spotlight Illuminating Primer
Price on Amazon
Best In Natural Ingredients:Jane Iredale Facial Primer & Brightener
Price on Amazon
Best Matte Finish: Benefit Cosmetics The POREfessional Pearl Primer
Price on Amazon
Best Fragrance-Free Formula: Dr. Brandt Skin-Changing Science No More Pores Luminizer Primer
Price on Amazon
Best Antioxidant Protection:Juice Beauty The Organic Solution Phyto-Pigments Illuminating Primer
Price on Amazon
Best Hypoallergenic Formula: Seraphina Botanicals Camelina + Strobe Luminizing Primer
Price on Amazon
Best Sheer Coverage: Laura Mercier Pure Canvas Illuminating Primer
Price on Amazon
Best Alcohol-Free Formula:Catrice Cosmetics Prime And Fine Dewy Glow Finishing Spray
Price on Amazon

Top 13 Illuminating Primers For Glowing And Radiant Skin

1. Best Anti-Aging benefits: NYX Professional Makeup Honey Dew Me Up Primer

4.2

Achieve luminescence like never before with this nourishing glowy finish primer. A little product goes a long way and helps keep your makeup intact throughout the day. With ingredients like rose, lavender, and jasmine extracts, this primer offers soothing qualities. Honeydew as a natural antiseptic works great for people with sensitive skin. It also contains hyaluronic acid for ample hours of hydration of the skin all-day long. The most unique aspect of this illuminating primer is that it comes with light-reflective gold specks that provide incredible radiance and exceptional results. Go through this reviewer’s experience featured in this video to check the detailed review of this hydro grip primer.

Pros

  • Anti-aging properties
  • Contains light-reflective gold specks
  • Soothing and hydrating ingredients
  • Contains skin-strengthening collagen
  • Antiseptic properties
  • Long-lasting wear
  • Cruelty-free

Cons

  • Some may find the syrupy consistency too runny and oily.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Use a moisturizer before applying this primer to avoid running the risk of sporting dry and lackluster skin.

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

This product has garnered over 5,740 positive reviews on Amazon, and the number continues to grow.

2. Best Lightweight Formula: L’oreal Pari Magic Lumi Light Infusing Primer

4.3
L’Oreal Paris Magic Lumi Light Infusing Primer Image: L’oreal Paris

The first step to ensure that your makeup stays on throughout the day and looks as flawless as possible is to find a primer that’s best for you. This drugstore primer brightens your complexion and evens out your skin tone while minimizing the appearance of large pores, blemishes, dark spots, and other such skin anomalies. A liquid formula that blends into the skin seamlessly, it flatters all skin tones and is suitable for all skin types. You can use this blend in 3 ways — as a basic primer under your foundation, as a feature-enhancing highlighter, or on its own for a dewy, fresh look. According to the reviews, this product also works amazingly on mature skin types.

Pros

  • Pore-minimizing formula
  • Can be used as a highlighter
  • Lightweight formula
  • Liquid blend
  • Minimizes pores
  • Evens out skin tone
  • Suitable for all skin tones and types

Cons

  • It contains parabens and sulfates.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Pat or press the primer onto your skin instead of rubbing to make the product sink in and not sit on the surface of your skin.

3. Best For Color Correction: Physicians Formula Spotlight Illuminating Primer

4.3

A pastel-peach shade that’s bound to get you hooked, this dewy finish illuminating primer is the only friend your makeup products need. It’s also a color-correcting primer and it comes with 5 unique filtering pearls that provide an enviable glass glow and improve your skin tone. It also contains antioxidants, which help your skin to heal on its own because who wouldn’t want youthful-looking skin forever? Additionally, it comes with Optical Blurring Agents that reduce the appearance of pores and spots to reveal a smooth skin. It’s a safe choice for people with sensitive skin type as it is clinically tested and approved by a dermatologist. Follow this video to learn more about the Physicians Formula Spotlight Illuminating Primer from this tester’s experience.

Pros

  • Color correction
  • Age-defying properties
  • Comes with 5 unique filtering pearls
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Dermatologist-tested
  • Gluten-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Cruelty-free

Cons

  • The smell may be overwhelming for some.
  • It may not feel as lightweight as expected.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Dip a cotton ball in milk or olive oil and wipe your face with it to remove the makeup primer. Rinse your face off with lukewarm water.

4. Best In Natural Ingredients: Jane Iredale Facial Primer & Brightener

4.4
jane iredale Smooth Affair Brightening Face Primer Image: Jane Iredale

They say that we should never judge a book by its cover, but perhaps this one time, we can. This dermatologist-tested high-end primer is as effective and wonderful on the inside as it is elegant on the outside. What makes it stand apart is that it helps your skin retain its natural moisture. With a handful of natural ingredients like apple, white tea leaf, grapefruit, and radish root extracts, it comes as no surprise that it is a nourishing face and eye primer! Once applied evenly all over the face, it helps makeup settle better for long periods. It also minimizes the appearance of wrinkles and pores while illuminating your face. What’s more? This product is not tested on animals, which makes it a good fur-friendly option for all. Check out this reviewer’s experience in this YouTube video to learn more about the Jane Iredale Facial Primer & Brightener.

Pros

  • Filled with nourishing natural ingredients
  • Helps skin hold on to moisture
  • Minimizes wrinkles and pores
  • Can be used as an eyelid primer
  • Wheat-free

Cons

  • It is expensive.
  • It may not be a vegan product.

protip_icon Trivia
Jane Iredale uses apple extract, coconut alkanes, and royal jelly to smooth out the skin and increase its elasticity.

5. Best Matte Finish: Benefit Cosmetics The POREfessional Pearl Primer

4.5
Benefit Cosmetics The POREfessional Pearl Primer Image: Benefit

A compact illuminating primer that can fit into even the tiniest makeup pouches, this mattifying primer is an excellent choice for those looking for a subtle and natural-looking radiance. This matte primer minimizes large pores to make your skin look smooth and even, and helps makeup stay on longer. The creamy, velvety-smooth, and flawlessly-blending formula reveals unblemished and immaculately smooth and clear skin. As it is an oil-free primer, it will never feel greasy and offers a natural finish with a dash of pearly pink radiance. Reviewers on Amazon have highly praised this minimizer primer’s texture and its effectiveness.

Pros

  • Non-greasy
  • Oil-control formula
  • Lightweight formula
  • Compact packaging
  • Matte finish
  • Suitable for all skin types

Cons

  • Slightly expensive
  • It may appear cakey after too many layers of incorrect application.

6. Best Fragrance-Free Formula: Dr. Brandt Skin-Changing Science No More Pores Luminizer Primer

4.5
Dr. Brandt Skin-Changing Science No More Pores Luminizer Primer Image: Dr. Brandt Skincare
Now 26% Off

We’ve often heard about how lentils are good for our health as they are an excellent source of protein, they’re rich in iron and folates, and low on calories, haven’t we? However, did you know that lentil seed extracts help in refining pores? This Luminizer Primer by Dr. Brandt is infused with lentil seeds extracts that reduce the visibility of large pores and white tea tree oil present in it cleanses your skin deeply. It is also formulated with a Soft-Focus technology, which uses optical diffusers to blur pores and blemishes. It’s a luxuriously creamy blend that sets on your skin without feeling heavy and leaves your skin polished and glassy. The brand does not conduct animal testing, which makes this product a good option for ethically conscious consumers.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Creamy formula
  • Formulated with Soft-Focus Technology
  • Fragrance-free
  • Hides pores and skin imperfections

Cons

  • It may feel greasy for people with oily skin.

7. Best Antioxidant Protection: Juice Beauty The Organic Solution Phyto-Pigments Illuminating Primer

4.3
Juice Beauty Phyto-Pigments Illuminating Primer  Image: Juice Beauty

If you are making a conscious effort to choose eco-friendly products and organic ingredients for your skin (because your skin does deserve the best), your best bet would be this flawless primer. It’s a lightweight primer that glides on your skin like butter and is formulated with a host of natural ingredients. Its key ingredients include aloe leaf juice, coconut alkanes, grape seed oil, sunflower seed oil, witch hazel extract, and many more. Are you convinced yet? Once you try it, you will immediately realize that it is the perfect base makeup for your foundation and you’ll be happy to note that it blurs the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Also, this is not tested on animals and is a good fur-friendly option for all.

Pros

  • Suitable for all ages
  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Antioxidant protection
  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free
  • No parabens and sulfates

Cons

  • It may not conceal pores properly.

8. Best Hypoallergenic Formula: Seraphina Botanicals Camelina + Strobe Luminizing Primer

4.6
Seraphine Botanicals Luminizing Primer Image: Seraphinebotanicals

As the name suggests, you can strobe like a rockstar and stand out in any crowd with a little help from luminizing primer. Ideal for everyday wear and all occasions, this flawless primer instantly brings dull skin back to life. It creates a perfect base for foundation and can also be applied on top of foundation for a more intensified look. Yes, it allows you to break tried and tested makeup rules to maximize luminescence. It contains rose hydrosol and camelina seed oil, which makes it a silky smooth formula and blends well.

Pros

  • Hypoallergenic
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Nutrient-rich formula
  • Vegan
  • No parabens
  • Gluten-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Non-oily
  • Hypoallergenic

Cons

  • The scent may be too strong for some.

9. Best Sheer Coverage:Laura Mercier Pure Canvas Illuminating Primer

4.3
Laura Mercier Pure Canvas Illuminating Primer Image: Laura Mercier

The Laura Mercier Pure Canvas Illuminating Primer is lightweight and offers a mattifying effect on the skin. It blurs the appearance of large pores, fine lines, and blemishes for a soft-focus radiant finish. The statement-making formula is enriched with microalgae and blurring powders that condition the skin and offer an even-looking complexion. The matte primer helps reduce excessive shine and provides long-lasting makeup coverage.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Matte finish
  • Soft-focus finish
  • Long-lasting effect
  • Paraben-free

Cons

  • None

10. Best Alcohol-Free Formula: Catrice Cosmetics Prime And Fine Dewy Glow Finishing Spray

4.3
Catrice Cosmetics Prime And Fine Dewy Glow Finishing Spray Image: Catrice

We love to spend hours binge-watching makeup tutorials, don’t we? The most satisfying bit is when the professional makeup artist sets the face with a setting spray, isn’t it? If you too would like your makeup to look as flawless as theirs, why don’t try this setting spray? This spray isn’t just a finishing spray, you can also use it to prime your skin or fix any mistakes that you may have made. The spray is transparent with a dewy finish and dries instantly. Don’t forget to give it a good shake before using it. Nyssa Green, a professional makeup artist with 20 years of experience, states, “I love this one because it can be used to set or prime!”

Pros

  • Primer, fixer, and setting spray
  • Fast-drying spray
  • Alcohol-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Vegan
  • Gluten-free
  • Cruelty-free

Cons

  • The fragrance may be intense for some.

11. Best Preservative-Free: E.L.F Illuminating Face Primer

4.2
e.l.f. Cosmetics Illuminating Face Primer Image: E.l.f

All leading celebrity makeup artists will remind you time and again to invest in a flawless primer as it helps your makeup stay on for extended periods without feeling heavy or wearing off. You can go the extra mile and get yourself an illuminating face primer like this one as it transforms your face from a dull, lackluster tone to a glowing canvas for applying makeup. The silky texture of this expertly crafted glitter primer spreads evenly and conceals wrinkles, blemishes, and large pores. Even a little amount of the product goes a long way in offering a healthy glow to your face.

Pros

  • Long-lasting wear
  • Brightening formula
  • Conceals large and clogged pores
  • Brightens skin complexion
  • Paraben-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free

Cons

  • Some may find it extremely glittery.
  • It may not flatter duskier skin tones.

12. Best Shimmer Finish: Mineral Fusion Minerals On A Mission Illuminating Primer

4.1
Mineral Fusion Minerals On A Mission Illuminating Primer Image: Mineral Fusion

This luminous primer adds an exquisite touch of radiance and glass glow to your face. It is infused with shimmering gold flecks that offer a subtle but discernible luminosity.. Ideal for day or night wear, and for all skin types and tones, the creamy texture of this formula retains the skin barrier, conceals wrinkles, lines, pores, and dark spots to even out your skin tone and make it appear brighter. It also contains nourishing ingredients like vitamin C and orange fruit oil, aloe leaf oil, and shea butter, which improves skin health significantly. As it is a hypoallergenic primer, it is suitable for sensitive skin type as well.

Pros

  • Contains gold flecks
  • Helps even tone the skin
  • Evens out skin tone
  • Intense shimmer radiance
  • Contains vitamin C
  • Vegan
  • Gluten-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • No parabens or phthalates

Cons

  • It may take a long time to dry.

13. Best Hydrating Primer: Skinlab by BSL Lift & Firm Instant Radiance Booster

4.3
Skinlab by BSL Lift & Firm Instant Radiance Booster Image: Skin Lab By Bsl

Wouldn’t it be amazing to find a primer that also firms your skin? This hydro grip primer does that for you. It contains hydrolyzed elastin and collagen amino acids that firm up your skin and improve skin tone. The sodium hyaluronate keeps your skin hydrated and soft while a generous dose of vitamin C and E offer anti-aging properties. This illuminator is a buildable formula that can be worn under foundation or on its own for a healthy and natural glow that lasts throughout the day.

Pros

  • Hydrating qualities
  • Evens out skin tone
  • Skin-firming properties
  • Anti-aging
  • Cruelty-free
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Some may find it slightly oily.
*The prices provided in this article are based on the latest available information. However, they may vary due to changes in pricing by the seller and/or promotional offers.

While each and every illuminating primer comes with its own set of qualities, finding one that’s best-suited for you may be a little tricky. Take a look at these pointers that may help you settle on one.

How To Buy An Illuminating Primer

What Does An Illuminating Face Primer Do?

An illuminating primer works much like a primer does, but also comes with one added advantage. Like regular primers, illuminating primers protect the natural skin barrier, conceal pores, blemishes, and dark spots, fill out fine lines and wrinkles, even out your skin tone, and make it smooth and supple for makeup application. Illuminating primers are also formulated with light-reflecting ingredients that add a radiance and glow to your skin.

How To Choose An Illuminating Primer

  • Texture

Illuminated primers act as a base for foundation and make it look like your face is glowing from within. This is why it is important to choose a formula that glides effortlessly without hindering the foundation application.

  • Lightweight

Choose a lightweight illuminating primer that settles on your skin instantly. You should apply it after a moisturizer and before your foundation. If it feels heavy on your skin, there is no doubt it will look heavy and cakey as well.

  • Drying Time

A good illuminating primer dries quickly and instantly lends a radiant finish and luminescence to your face. If it takes too much time to dry, your foundation may not settle as well as would have liked it to. Most illuminating primers can also be worn on their own, and as they act as the only barrier between your skin and environmental pollutants, you should look for one that dries quickly. A slow-drying primer may also make your face look oily.

How To Apply An Illuminating Primer

Step 1: Apply a moisturizing lotion all over your face.
Step 2: Once it dries, take a pea-sized amount of primer and apply it as dots all over your face.
Step 3: You can apply extra product to certain areas you want to highlight such as your cheekbones and the bridge of your nose.
Step 4: Spread it out evenly all over your face.
Step 5: Wait for it to dry.
Step 6: Apply your foundation or concealer for it to set it.

Infographic: Tips To Make The Most Of An Illuminating Primer

A good-quality primer is key to long-lasting makeup. However, with an illuminating primer, you get the best of all worlds. It helps you achieve a dewy base for flawless makeup. Check out the below infographic for tips on making the most of your illuminating primer.

Tips To Make The Most Of Illuminating Primer

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Get the high-quality PDF version of this infographic.

Download Infographic in PDF version

The Bottom Line

Hear us out. Primers are important for concealing blemishes and making your makeup last long. There is no other makeup item that can do what a primer does. It acts as a barrier between the skin and the makeup items while blurring the pores and dry patches on the face. The NYX Professional Makeup Honey Dew Me Up Primer is great for those looking for a dewy, luminous look. The Benefit Cosmetics The POREfessional Pearl Primer helps you cover large pores and helps you achieve a soft radiance. But if you are looking for a formula that helps combat excess shine, try the Laura Mercier Pure Canvas Illuminating Primer. The best illuminating primers are fast-drying and hypoallergenic that do not clog the pores. They are lightweight and non-greasy and help you create the perfect base for makeup. However, avoid primers that have harsh chemicals like parabens and sulfates. There are multiple other options available such as a silicone primer, airbrush primer, and a diffusing primer that may cater to varied makeup needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best dewy primer for oily skin?

The Maybelline Face Studio Master Prime Primer Makeup and Catrice Cosmetics Prime And Fine Dewy Glow Finishing Spray are considered some of the best dewy primers for oily skin.

What is the best illuminating primer for dry skin?

The L’oreal Paris Magic Lumi Light Infusing Primer and Benefit Cosmetics The POREfessional Pearl Primer are good for dry skin.

What is the best illuminating primer for mature skin?

Juice Beauty The Organic Solution Phyto-Pigments Illuminating Primer is a good primer for all ages.

What is the best primer for a dewy look?

The NYX Professional Makeup Honey Dew Me Up Primer is the best-selling primer on Amazon for a dewy look.

Why Trust StyleCraze?

Chaitra Krishnan is a makeup and beauty enthusiast and deeply passionate about reviewing the best products in these categories. Based on her knowledge and careful research of thousands of user reviews and feedback across multiple platforms, she has curated this list of the best illuminating primer for you. These are safe on the skin, leaving you with a smooth finish and a beautiful dewy appearance.

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