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Home>Blog>10 Face Serums That Act As A Primer Too

10 Face Serums That Act As A Primer Too

MIRA BEAUTY • updated Oct 26, 2020
10 Face Serums That Act As A Primer Too

Double-duty serums that mimic primers are the way to go

We die for a good twosome product, here at MIRA. By that we mean, a product that is a multi-tasker. You've heard about lippies that can work as a creamy blush option, scrubs that morph into masks, and eyeshadow palettes that can highlight your cheekbones in a pinch.

Newsflash: The right face serum can double as a makeup primer, too. That means you can skip a step and save time - and money - since the serum also acts as a primer.

How is this possible, you ask? Well, for example, after your skin is cleansed (check out the 10 Best Face Washes for Glowing Skin), and you’ve applied your serum and moisturizer, you will use just a drop more serum to act as your facial primer. This small second application provides a layer of protection, that serves as your makeup primer.

The result: A silky and matte canvas that is prepped for foundation and powder, blush and eye makeup, too. If this sounds good to you (because we are sold), read on, as we've selected a bunch of our fave serums, that also pack a primer punch.

Gressa Skin, Minimalist Corrective Serum Foundation, $62

Minimalist Corrective Serum Foundation by Gressa
Source: Gressa

Gressa’s 2-in-1 serum and foundation is a beauty lover's dream come true. This liquid-to-luxe velvety formula creates a translucent veil of weightless coverage with only two drops. It’s got all-natural ingredients like broccoli seed and botanical extracts, that marry your skin-care and foundation steps into one easy application. The end game: a buildable, flawless finish primed for makeup.

Pixie by Petra Glow Tonic Serum, $24

Glow Tonic Serum from Pixie by Petra
Source: Pixi

Glow Tonic Serum from Pixie by Petra exfoliates, hydrates, and nourishes your skin, thanks to ingredients like glycolic acid, aloe vera, and ginseng. The ultra light-weight formula refines skin, restores radiance, and boosts circulation, so your skin is primed for foundation, bronzer, blush, a lippie - whatever your heart desires. The pastel bottle is so dainty - and lovely to look at - you'd think it belonged in Tinker Bell's vanity.  

Skin Love Glow Elixir by Becca, $48

Skin Love Glow Elixir by Becca
Source: Becca 

This Becca brand serum is actually a one-and-done primer, too. It boasts a robust  “antioxidant smoothie,” containing algae, honey, and peony - and demands your skin soak it up (and it gladly will). The super-potent formula is also enriched with brightening molasses. There is zero greasy residue, thus a perfect primer for flawless and lasting makeup application. The sage green bottle seconds as bathroom decor.

Revitalift Miracle Blur Instant Skin Smoother SPF 30, $17.97

Revitalift Miracle Blur by L'Oreal
Source: L'Oreal

This drugstore pick is one of our faves and has been rumored to give off instagram filter-worthy vibes. Miracle Blur erases visible lines, wrinkles, and uneven texture. Good news, it works well for all skin types and readies your skin for makeup application. However, this product can totally stand alone, if you feel like laying off the foundation and blush - and having a naked face day (yes, it's that good). In fact, L'Oreal boasts, "It’s NOT a moisturizer, NOT a foundation, MORE than a primer; it’s the first of-its-kind instant skin smoother."

e.l.f., Hydrating Face Primer, $10

Hydrating Face Primer by e.l.f.
Source: e.l.f.

Another drugstore wonder product is e.l.f.'s Hydrating Face Primer. The texture goes on creamy like a serum, then quickly dries down to a gorgeous matte finish, minus any bothersome stickiness - setting the stage for your personal makeup routine, no matter how big, or small. It also delivers food-for-your-skin, including, vitamins A, C, and E. We give it extra stars because it's vegan.

Glossier, Priming Moisturizer, $22

Priming Moisturizer by Glossier
Source: Glossier

If you're like us, there are definitely days, when we not only want, but need to keep our skincare/makeup routine quick, simple and super streamlined - so a serum that acts as a primer is a glam Godsend. Glossier's Priming Moisturizer is a buildable hydrating creme hybrid. The moisturizer is infused with hyaluronic acid, plus a calming anti-redness complex that quenches your skin. That said, let's talk primer: it minimizes the appearance of pores and smooths out texture to prep skin for makeup. Major props to Glossier for both an oil-free gel variant and a rich cream option.

The Ordinary, High-Spreadability Fluid Primer, $7.90

High-Spreadability Fluid Primer by The Ordinary
Source: The Ordinary 

First off, absolutely love the price point, here. Anything under 10 bucks is a winner in our book, but this product actually delivers, too. The serum-like formula from The Ordinary works with your makeup to intensify its spreadability, making sure your face receives full-coverage. Plus, it demands the color (foundation, blush, bronzer, eyeshadow - whatever you fancy) stays in place and evenly balanced. This is a great option to use before applying Pat McGrath's highly pigmented, futuristic makeup.

Fenty Beauty, Pro Filt'r Instant Retouch Primer, $32

Pro Filt'r Instant Retouch Primer by Fenty
Source: Fenty Beauty

RiRi approved - this oil-free multitasker works like a serum and primer in one - and instantly downgrades shine, without making your skin feel dry, or look chalky. The universally flattering super-subtle peach tint diffuses pores and delivers a blurring effect comparable to your favorite influencers' selfie filters. We love this product, because it paves the way for optimal foundation application and longer wear. Shop Fenty Beauty on MIRA.

Maybelline, Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser, $7.49

Source: Maybelline
Baby Skin by Maybelline

Oh baby! This classic drugstore pick blurs imperfections and lines, plus erases pores. The result: Your face is primed for a quickie makeup fix on a crazy morning, when you need to get out of the door ... five minutes ago - trust us, we feel you - we've been there. Oh, even better, it's lightweight and breathable, plus provides all-day moisture. Check out our favorite serums for a glow-up.

ilia, True Skin Radiant Priming Serum, $52

True Skin Radiant Priming Serum by Ilia
Source: Ilia

This clean, silicone-free priming serum from ilia absolutely creates a beautiful base for makeup application, but that's not all. The formula combines hibiscus extract, aloe, and beta-glucan to moisturize and soothe skin, plus protect it against daily environmental factors. It gets better, the serum also has a tightening effect that blurs pores and fine lines - and at the same time, improves the texture of your skin. Your face will look so good and glow-y, before you apply makeup, that we truly understand if you make it, an effortless plain-Jane chapstick and mascara day - that's how fresh-faced you'll look. However, if you opt for the makeup works, that's cool too - True Skin Radiant Priming Serum has you perfectly prepped.

Find more luxurious serums that double as a primer on MIRA.