Glisten up! Get that lit-from-within luminosity with these illuminating primers for a beam-boosting base…
Ace your base with our pick of the best illuminating primers (
Image: e.l.f. Cosmetics)
Do you know the secret to Insta-ready radiance? An illuminating primer.
That’s right, if you’re skipping this step in your makeup routine, you should definitely switch it up as a radiance-boosting primer will not only help to give a natural-looking glow, but also create the perfect canvas for flawless makeup application.
Light-reflecting particles and micro pearls blend with skin-nourishing vitamins and botanical ingredients like aloe vera to condition and brighten your complexion.
We’ve rounded up the best illuminating primers for every budget so you can get the airbrushed finish, no filter needed…
Best illuminating primers 1. Smashbox Photo Finish Vitamin Glow Primer Best for brightening
It enhances your glow for natural radiance
It’s important to take your vitamins every day, and your complexion is no different. Like a smoothie for your skin, this illuminating primer is packed with goodness, including vitamins B, C and E.
This daily dose of vitamins will work to refresh, brighten, and revitalise your complexion, enhancing your glow at the same time.
The cruelty-free, water-based gel also softens skin to make an excellent base for your makeup application. No wonder it’s a fan favourite. One said: “I thought this product was amazing and you can actually see the glow.”
2. Stila Lingerie Souffle Skin Perfecting Primer Sun-Kissed Best for hydration
Get a post-holiday-worthy glow with this illuminating primer that’s packed with light-refracting pearls to enhance and highlight the high points of your face.
The primer also works as a bronzing gel to add a hint of healthy colour to your complexion. This weightless, water-based formulation will hydrate, soothe and blur imperfections, too.
One glowing review read: “Everything felt smooth and there is a nice little glistening touch added that works really well for summer makeup/dewy looks.”
3. Illamasqua Beyond Veil Primer Best for dry skin
It can be worn alone or under makeup
Get smooth, flawless skin with this lightweight gel formula that blends in for beautiful luminous lustre.
Not only does it brighten your skin and leave a natural-looking glow, it also helps to keep your complexion hydrated for a gleaming youth-boost.
One fan said: “The texture of this is gorgeous. It’s a primer but I wear it alone as a base and it gives a subtle but gorgeous healthy glow to my skin. Colleagues have even commented that my skin is glowing! It’s like a gel consistency and a little goes a long way. Lovely packaging with an in-built spatula for application (to avoid dipping your hands in the pot!)!”
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4. e.l.f. Cosmetics Illuminating Face Primer Best for sensitive skin
We’re huge fans of the gentle formula
A silky, lightweight illuminating primer, this reflective formula will leave you good to glow.
Gentle enough to use on all skin types, it doesn’t contain any nasties, and is vegan-friendly and cruelty-free.
Pop a small bit on before your makeup to create a radiant, flawless base for a long-lasting look. All for under a tenner? We’re sold.
One Amazon review read: “I use this primer everyday for a healthy glow – it goes on smoothly without the stickiness of some other primers. Lovely product.”
5. Models Own Face Base Face Primer Best for oily skin
It has a beautifully creamy texture
Get glowing with this lightweight, creamy illuminating primer that gives tired skin the kiss of life.
It also offers colour-correcting properties so your face is the perfect canvas for your makeup. It leaves a healthy glow but has a matte finish, so is a good choice for oily or combination skin.
6. Collection Primed and Ready Illuminating Primer Best budget-friendly primer
Give your skin a dewy glow
This brilliant budget-friendly option comes from cruelty-free brand Collection, and offers a shot of liquid radiance in a tube.
It creates a dewy glow thanks to gorgeous gold reflective pearls, and helps to keep your makeup looking flawless throughout the day.
One customer wrote: Really pleased with this. Does the job and is an excellent price compared to some brands. I’ll be buying this again.”
7. Natio Ageless Illuminating Primer Best for mature skin
It helps to improve your skin while creating a flawless base
Rich in organic rosehip and vitamin C, this illuminating primer provides a flawless base for makeup application while also delivering a dewy glow.
The rosehip will help repair and nourish your skin, while aloe vera works to refine your complexion, creating a brightened, healthier-looking finish.
One fan said: “I love this primer… It smells amazing and leaves a layer of silk on your skin. No nasties inside. It doesn’t really ‘cover up’, but makes the skin look glowing.’
8. Becca Backlight Priming Filter Best for makeup wearers
This one is perfect for a subtle glow
Renowned for its radiance-enhancing products, Becca’s illuminating primer is a cult favourite – for good reason.
Loved by Insta influencers, beauty editors and bloggers alike, it’s a glow-boost in a bottle. Rich pigments work to effortlessly enhance your complexion, creating a photo-filter effect for a naturally luminous and flawless finish.
One happy customer said: “Really like this, one pump and it gives a lovely subtle glow. I’m using less foundation too, which is a plus. In the summer, I think I’ll get away with some of this and a concealer.”