I’m sure you can tell from the title, but today I’ll be talking on the topic of glowy makeup primers. So if you’ve been a long-time, long-time reader of mine you may remember that I never really had much use for primers before last year. (And technically, I still don’t use traditional primers or products that are marketed as primers, I should say.) However, I have come to realize the benefits of applying a product that provides both hydration & subtle sheen to my dull, dry skin before I apply my base.
(If you’re unsure of what a primer is or why it’s used, check out this helpful article from HuffPo.)
So today I’m going to give you a peek at some of my favorite glowy makeup primers, and the best news is that you can pick up most of them at the drugstore! I’ve talked about most of these items on the blog before so I won’t go into great detail here; instead I’ll link you back to any relevant posts if you need or want greater detail.
Let’s get started!
MAC STROBE CREAM IN PINKLITE
I talked about my love for this product way, way back when I first started this blog; this was my hydrating primer of choice whenever I used Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation. This has been around in MAC’s line forever, and it’s now available in five varieties of pearl to compliment different skin tones. I have Pinklite, which is the original shade, and I apply this either all over my face or just to the high points before I put any base product down. It doesn’t stay too tacky for long, but leaves the skin with a smoothness & softness. The pearl in this is quite subtle, but when your skin hits the light you can see this beautiful, natural sheen. No glitter, no shimmer, nothing that obvious. I love it!
You get 50 mL for $34.00, or 30 ml for $14.00 in the mini size.
This is my newest purchase from this list, and this is part of a larger range that Aveeno just brought out called MaxGlow. I believe there’s also infusion drops & masks in the range, but when I saw this in Walgreens I knew I had to snatch it! This is a bi-phase product with a thin oily consistency that you shake before use. I massage this hydrating oil into my skin before makeup and it leaves behind the most natural subtle sheen. Do not expect this to give you the kind of glow a highlighter would though. This is more of a skincare-makeup-primer-in-one item that helps build the foundation of glow; you will need to layer this with other glowy products to really bring out its full potential.
You get 45 mL for about $20.00 (depending on where you buy it).
L’OREAL true match LUMI GLOTION natural glow enhancer
I featured this prominently in a post last year about drugstore alternatives to the Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter, as well as the next product I’ll mention. The Lumi Glotion probably has the most pearl of any of the products listed in this post, and it has a lovely creamy consistency that gives you such a beautiful, healthy look to the skin. (I do find I have to slightly shake the bottle before squeezing the product out since it can separate a little.) I usually alternate this product with the next product I’ll mention. For more detailed info, check out the post linked below.
Like the Lumi Glotion, I also featured this in my drugstore alternative – Charlotte Tilbury post. This is a skincare/makeup-hybrid product that gives you a little moisture & a little pearl. The consistency here is definitely much thinner than the Lumi Glotion, and the radiance level is definitely lower. But it’s formulated to target fine lines and wrinkes so if that’s a concern for you, it could be the perfect product to apply all over the face or to your high points before you apply makeup. For more info on this product, please refer to the post linked under the Lumi Glotion.
Just for the record, I 100% still stand behind the Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filteras a glowy primer & highlighter. I just didn’t include it here since I’ve spoken about it sooo much already; I didn’t want to be too repetitive for you guys!
Do you have any favorite glowy makeup primers I should know about? Let me know in the comments!
Since my last post on the CharlotteTilburyPillowTalkLipstick dupe was so well-received, I decided to bring the brand back to the blog. This time we’re talking about another of my favorite CT products, the HollywoodFlawlessFilter! I first spoke about my love for this product in this post, and since then my obsession has not abated 😊. But I know not everyone wants to or can pay upwards of $40 for (essentially) a glow/highlighter product, so I wanted to tell you about some cheaperdrugstorealternatives that give a similar effect. It just so happens that both alternative products come from L’Oreal, but that wasn’t necessarily planned.
So let me refresh you first on what exactly the HollywoodFlawlessFilter is, and why I love it. Then we’ll talk about the drugstore alternatives & compare.
CHARLOTTE TILBURY HOLLYWOOD FLAWLESS FILTER – Shop here
$44.00 for 30 ml
Available in 7 shades
Cruelty- free formulation
Darlings, my Hollywood Flawless Filter is a customisable complexion booster with the versatility of a primer, the mega-watt glow of a highlighter, and the perfecting properties of your favourite digital filter. Ingredients help to soft-focus, illuminate skin and makes lines and pores appear smoother.
WHAT MAKES HOLLYWOOD FLAWLESS FILTER MAGIC:
• The ultimate high gloss, high glow celebrity-skin-filter-in-a-bottle! This was born on the red carpet makeup, inspired by technology, for real life, in real time that looks amazing on-screen or off.
• Smoothing airbrush polymers roll over your complexion for a poreless-looking, creamy finish.
• Glossy Oil is a lightweight moisturising oil that reflects and adds light to your face where you need it.
• Finely milled powders soft focus, makes lines and pores appear smoother which means it only ever looks as amazing in real life, as it does on camera.
• Porcelain Flower Extract is a brightening ingredient derived from a Thai flower with natural antioxidants and anti-inflammatories to enhance microcirculation and brighten skin.
• Ideal for superstar-lit skin whether you want a subtle glow or a mega-watt complexion.
This is an amazingly high–shine product that I apply either under my makeup and/or over the top of my makeup, specifically targeting the high points of my face. It gives the most beautiful, dewy & almost juicy look to the skin that I’ve never experienced with any other makeup product until this point. It’s not glittery or shimmery in the slightest; it’s much more wet-looking, which to me is the pinnacle of sophisticated highlighting. I can see how this would play off the cameras on the red carpet very well. Charlotte really knows what she’s doing!
1. L’OrealVisibleLiftLuminousSerumTint – Shop here
$14.99 for 30 ml
Available in 5 shades
24 Hour Hydration. A touch of sheer radiant color. Smooths fine lines and wrinkles.
Give your skin a beautiful boost of hydration and a touch of radiant color with L’Oréal Paris Visible Lift® Luminous Serum Tint. The lightweight and sheer tinted moisturizer for mature skin smooths fine lines and wrinkles, while evening skin tone. This serum moisturizer is infused with key skincare ingredients such as nourishing oils and Vitamin E. L’Oréal Luminous Serum Tint delivers instant hydration to dull, tired skin while improving skin instantly and over time. Apply the glow serum all over the face to revive radiance for a healthy complexion that stays fresh all day long.
I have to give credit to TheCriticalBabe on this one. I read an earlier post of hers where she spoke about how the L’OrealVisibleLiftLuminousSerumTint gives a similar-type effect on the skin as the FlawlessFilter does. I have to say I agree, but the LuminousSerumTint feels just a bitmoremoisturizing than the FlawlessFilter believe it or not. However this product is marketed as ‘skincare + makeup’, so perhaps it shouldn’t be as surprising. To me, the LuminousSerumTint is like the shy little sister of the FlawlessFilter; itdoesn’thaveasmuchimpactorsheen as the FlawlessFilter on first swipe, but youcanbuildthelayersupabittoresembleasimilareffect on the skin.
I got shade 801Pearl which is a pinky, luminous tint that was probably designed to impart moisture & glow only. There are 4 other skin tone shades that perhaps provide a bit of coverage as well, but I can’t speak to those.
2. L’OrealTrueMatchLumiGlotionNaturalGlowEnhancer – Shop here
$14.99 for 40 ml
Available in 4 shades
Highlighting glow lotion. Effortless illumination. For an all over natural glow look.
L’Oréal Paris True Match® LUMI Glotion instantly hydrates and luminizies skin for an all-over, fresh, natural glow. The highlighting formula delivers an illuminating color tint to enhance your skin’s natural skinglow for a healthier, brighter complexion. True Match® Lumi glow lotion formula is infused with Glycerin and Shea Butter for all day continuous hydration.
Available in 4 shades for all skintones, True Match® LUMI glow lotion can be worn alone, under foundation, or target areas for a more luminous effect.
I’d say the description on the Glotion more closely mirrors the description of the FlawlessFilter, as it seems to emphasizetheglowy&brighteningaspects of its formula rather than the hydrating, skincare-infused SerumTint does. This is definitely a glowy product that gives off a lovely sheen, but its not glowy in exactly the same way as the FlawlessFilter, just so you’re aware. Again, the FlawlessFilter gives an almost wet appearance to the skin; the Glotiongivesamoreshimmeryeffectontheskin. It’s a very refined shimmer though, but if you’re adverse to anything like that on your skin then I’d skip this one.
I got shade 901Fair, but there are 3 other skin tone shades as well. Like any of the products spoken about in this post, this isnotatraditionalcoverageproductintheslightest. I think the shades correspond more to undertones, so fair skins don’t look orange & deep skins don’t look ashy, if that makes sense.
So to recap, both L’Oreal alternatives give a similar effect on the skin as the FlawlessFilter does. Theyarebynomeansexactdupes, buttheyaregreatoptionsatamuchsmallerpricepoint. If you want something more moisturizing, I’d go with the LuminousSerumTint; if you want something slightly more shimmery, then go with the Glotion. If you want something that resembles the FlawlessFilter as much as possible, then again I’d go with the LuminousSerumTint. Or just go ahead and treat yourself to the FlawlessFilter! It’s an amazingly beautiful product that I think is one-of-kind.
Have you tried the HollywoodFlawlessFilter yet? Or any of the L’Oreal products mentioned here? Do you have any cheaper alternatives or dupes I should know about? I’d love to know!
Check out my post on a great alternative to PillowTalkLipstickhere.
Check out my shopping guide to CharlotteTilburyhere.
If you keep up with my blog you know that I’ve spoken about my dry skin several times here. If you are a newer or first-time reader, well hello! I’m Erica and I have dry and sometimes rough-textured skin. It’s a key factor that influences how I shop and buy face products like foundations and concealers. So it stands to reason that I have been searching for the best tinted moisturizer for years.
In the past I was a big fan of the well-loved IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream, which I know is much more than just a tinted moisturizer. I loved the coverage, the finish it gave my skin and the intense hydration it offered. Unfortunately though I had to stop using it. Quick story time. If you’ve never used the IT Cosmetics CC Cream before, normally it smells faintly of lemons. However, I bought one tube from Ulta that smelled horribly as soon as I opened it. I returned it quickly and got a second tube: same horrible smell. I thought to myself, perhaps there’s a bad batch at Ulta. I’ll wait for a bit, use something else up, and then repurchase it. I finally bought a mini tube some time later that was fine for a few weeks, but then I went to use it again and that horrible smell was back. No joke, it smelled like I was spreading a fart on my face. Not cool IT Cosmetics. (Has anyone else had this experience by the way?)
I’ve been wearing Estee Lauder tinted moisturizers and BB creams for years now. Most recently I’m at the end of my Double Wear All Day Glow BB Moisture Makeup, which provides a lovely finish and glow to my skin but sadly not enough moisture for my liking. It seemed like the perfect lightweight moisturizing base always eluded me. So when my mother told me that the Bobbi Brown SPF 25 Tinted Moisturizing Balm was hands-down the most hydrating face product she had ever used, I was enthralled. She had bought a pot years ago and absolutely loved what it offered her dry skin: hydration, nourishment, & natural glow.
It’s all I needed to hear. I picked up a tub at a Blue Mercury store, but it was a little hard to track down to be honest. At Lord & Taylor they told my mother that the Moisturizing Balm is being discontinued, yet all the shades are still available for purchase on Bobbi Brown’s official website. I tried finding some additional information online but I couldn’t find anything that said this product is being phased out. It’s still available for purchase on Amazon as well, but it seems the stock is low so just be aware.
Here is the official description, claims and benefits from Bobbi Brown’s official website.
Product description – $60.00 for 1 oz./30 ml.
A lightweight foundation alternative for dry, dehydrated skin, this formula is ultra-rich and blends easily, giving skin a dewy look with light coverage.
Who is this product for?
Those with dry skin who want an incredibly emollient tinted moisturizer with sun protection too that’s great for layering over other skincare favorites.
Broad spectrum SPF 25 helps protect skin against damaging UVA/UVB rays. Argireline® peptide boosts skin’s natural collagen production and clary sage ferment strengthens skin’s protective moisture barrier. Water-in-oil emulsion creates a uniquely rich and emollient balm texture that helps promote immediate and long term moisturization.
How to use the product
Apply as you would a moisturizer all over the face using your fingertips or the Foundation Brush (sold separately) for a more finished look.
How I use the product
I apply just as described above. Using my fingers, I swipe and blend in the product all over my face just like I would with a moisturizer.
My thoughts on…
Packaging: I feel two ways about the packaging; a slightly weighty glass component that’s sleek-looking with a matte black cap. On one hand, I think it’s quite beautiful and chic. On the other hand, I think it’s totally inconvenient and cumbersome. I’ll never travel with it unless I decant some of it into another container, which I never, ever bother doing.
Rating: 3.5/5 ⭐️
Application: It goes on like a dream and blends right into the skin with a few swipes or circular motions of my fingers. As the brand claims, it’s extremely emollient and feels much more like a moisturizer than it does a base product. I have not used this with a beauty sponge or makeup brush, so I cannot attest to how the product would apply then. I also should mention, this product has a pronounced scent when you first apply it which may or may not be a problem for some. My mother describes it as being reminiscent of Noxzema products, so think of camphor or eucalyptus. The smell definitely dissipates after you apply the product. I love the smell personally.
Rating: 5/5 ⭐️
Coverage: This does not provide much coverage at all, but then again it doesn’t claim to do that. “Lightweight foundation alternative” and “light coverage” are right in the product description. It just subtly evens out your skin tone, so if you have problem areas or blemishes you will absolutely need a good quality concealer to pair with this. Personally, light coverage is not a negative for me. Overall my skin is usually well-behaved, so whatever base or foundation I’m using tends to be lighter coverage anyway. I reserve my medium-to-high coverage products for concealing.
Rating: 2/5 ⭐️
Finish: What this lacks in coverage it makes up for in the finish. After you apply it all over your face, you’re left with beautifully moisturized skin that radiates with this natural, healthy glow. There’s a subtle sheen that bounces off the product that’s just perfect in my opinion; unlike any other face product I’ve used before. The product definitely has some tackiness to it that doesn’t completely 100% dry down. That being said, if you blend it in really well it will feel the same as if you’ve applied a really nourishing moisturizer a few hours before. You can still feel the softness or slight tackiness but the majority of the product will have dried down.
Rating: 5/5 ⭐️
Shade selection: There are 7 shades in this range: Alabaster Tint, Extra Light Tint, Light Tint, Light to Medium Tint, Medium Tint, Medium to Dark Tint, Dark Tint. When inclusivity in the makeup world is as important as it is now, this is not an ideal scenario. Brands, both high-end and affordable, are expected to produce fuller ranges of base products that cater to a wider spectrum of complexions. It would be preferable if Bobbi Brown would offer more colors in this range, however, remember again what kind of product this is. It wasn’t formulated to be a true foundation but a “foundation alternative.” It’s a very specific product that is not intended to perfectly match your complexion in order to provide coverage; its primary role is to offer hydration and some SPF to dry skin.
I will say though that the colors run quite dark and quite yellow. I first tried out the Light Tint in store, which if you had told me was the Medium Tint I would have easily believed you. I ended up going with the lightest shade, Alabaster Tint, which is still yellow but at least much lighter than the Light or Extra Light Tint. To be honest, the yellow undertone doesn’t show on my skin either in natural light or in photos, again proving the point that you don’t need a perfect match to use this product. I would recommend trying this in-store if you can, as the color swatches online are misleading.
Rating: 4/5 ⭐️
Longevity: Surprisingly this has more longevity than you’d expect from such a lightweight product. I wore this out on a sunny, warm day for several hours and when I returned home and looked in the mirror, I still could see the effects of this product on my skin which was truly impressive. I’ve tried this both with and without a primer underneath; the base primer really boosts the longevity, as you would expect. So if you want this product to last the longest it can, use your favorite primer underneath.
Rating: 4/5 ⭐️
Price: This stuff is super expensive at $60.00 for 1 oz. or 30 ml. of product. There’s no way around that. While I truly love this product, I don’t quite understand why it is as expensive as it is. If you compare it to another higher-end tinted moisturizer, like the Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer for instance, you get 1.7 oz. or 50 ml. of product for $45.00. I have not used the Laura Mercier product so I cannot attest to its effects or quality, but you can’t deny that the difference in quantity & price between both products is significant.
Rating: 3/5 ⭐️
I have to say my mother was right about this one. This is absolutely the most hydrating face product I have ever used. I love it so much because I feel like it was formulated just for me and my skin needs. I like lighter coverage products that offer moisture and glow to my skin, and this does it all. So is the Bobbi Brown SPF 25 Tinted Moisturizing Balm the best tinted moisturizer for summer? For me, definitely yes, and perhaps for others with dry or dehydrated skin who don’t mind splurging a bit. I just wish the packaging was a little less bulky and the price was lower. I will most likely continue to use this into the fall and winter since my skin will only become more dry as the weather becomes colder.
Would I repurchase this in the future (assuming this isn’t being discontinued)? Despite my love for it, I’m not sure at this point. I would like to try some more inexpensive tinted moisturizers to see if they could give me the same level of glow and hydration at a lower cost. If anyone has any affordable tinted moisturizer recommendations, please, please let me know in the comments below. I’d love to know!
Have you tried the Bobbi Brown Tinted Moisturizing Balm? If so, would do you think of it?