The Best Illuminating Primers For a Dewy Finish This 2020

Discover how to get dewy glowing skin with the best illuminating face primers

Every beauty look starts with the right prep steps. If you’re going for a healthy glow, you want to start strong with a luminous base. Your art will only be as good as your canvas, so using the right primer is critical to achieving a dewy look.

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Primer vs Moisturiser

It may seem like overkill to add another layer of hydration over your moisturiser in order to achieve a radiant finish. But primers designed to achieve a supple, nourished look do more than just hydrate. Illuminating primers diffuse light to add a youthful, bright glow to the skin while ensuring makeup stays locked in place for all-day wear. Your primer is essentially insurance for your complexion products, making your choice of primer paramount in the outcome of your look.

Primer and moisturiser aren’t an either/or decision. These two products work together to provide a smooth, even base for makeup. Properly hydrated skin is less likely to leech all the hydration from your primer, leaving the formula intact to form a smooth surface barrier for makeup application. When it comes to a dewy look, it’s always best to double up.

What is an Illuminating Primer?

An illuminating, shimmer, or glow face primer is a primer designed to enhance radiance within the skin, perfect for lacklustre complexions. Illuminating primers don’t just benefit those with dull skin; they can add luminosity to dry skin, dewiness without shine to oily skin, and a youthful touch to mature skin.

What Does Illuminating Face Primer Do?

To effectively illuminate the skin, these face primers often contain light-reflecting particles, which impart a natural glow without adding a glittery and artificial look. Illuminating primers might also deliver other benefits, such as hydrating the skin to boost radiance and increasing makeup longevity.

How to Use Illuminating Face Primer

A face primer should bridge the gap between skincare and makeup. That’s why you should apply primer after your moisturiser and before your foundation. Simply apply a pea-sized amount to your fingertips and gently tap the product into your skin, concentrating on areas you want to brighten. If you have oily or combination skin, avoid applying illuminating primer to your T-zone, as this can accentuate shine. Once you’ve applied your primer, you can stop here and let the primer boost your skin on no-makeup days. Or continue with powder, liquid, or cream foundation.

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What is the Best Dewy Primer for Oily Skin?

Just because you have oily skin doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a dewy and luminous complexion. The excessive production of sebum can often leave skin looking dull. By using an appropriate shimmer primer, you can boost radiance in your complexion without causing shininess or oiliness. To find out more about choosing a primer for your skin type, take a look at Are You Using the Right Primer for Your Skin Type?

The Best Dewy Primer for Oily Skin

For oily skin, we recommend Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat Blur Primer, which is a gorgeous illuminating primer designed to give a natural dewy look to all skin types, including oily complexions. This non-comedogenic face primer helps smooth and blur imperfections, and improve both skin tone and texture. At the same time, a subtle golden shimmer adds instant radiance. This lightweight primer is suitable for all skin types and can be worn alone or underneath makeup without ever forming a greasy residue.


What is the Best Illuminating Primer for Dry Skin?

Dry skin is prone to looking lacklustre, with makeup clinging to dry patches for an uneven finish. An illuminating primer not only helps impart a healthy glow to the skin but also will create the perfect canvas for makeup application.

The Best Illuminating Primer for Dry Skin

For dry skin, we recommend Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Hydrating Primer. This product is bursting with hydrating ingredients to help replenish the skin, enhancing luminosity from the inside and on the outside. Providing long-lasting hydration for up to 48 hours, this nourishing face primer can even be applied over makeup to smooth out any dry patches for a perfectly flawless complexion.


What is the Best Illuminating Primer for Mature Skin?

As skin ages, collagen production slows down, leading to a drier and duller complexion. The best way to turn back the clock on ageing skin is to boost hydration levels and enhance radiance for a natural and youthful glow. Adding a light-reflecting primer to your beauty routine is an easy way to boost luminosity while smoothing imperfections such as fine lines and wrinkles.

The Best Illuminating Primer for Mature Skin

Jane Iredale Smooth Affair Facial Primer & Brightener is a great primer for a dewy finish. It’s packed full of anti-ageing ingredients for mature and ageing skin. Bursting with nourishing peptides, the primer minimises the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and enlarged pores while brightening the skin and preventing transepidermal water loss. Alternatively, try Designer Brands Rise and Prime Luminescent Primer, a light-diffusing primer containing Green Tea, Aloe Vera, and Vitamins A, C, and E. These antioxidants perform a thorough skin renewal while protecting it against harmful environmental aggressors. Improving both skin tone and texture, this illuminating primer is perfect for instilling a lit-from-within glow.

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    • Jane Iredale Smooth Affair Facial Primer & Brightener


What is the Best Primer for a Dewy Look?

The Best Primer for a Dewy Look

If you’re after the overall best primer for dewy skin, M.A.C Cosmetics Strobe Cream is a strong contender, becoming a cult classic in the beauty industry. This shimmer face primer suits all skin types and skin tones, designed to banish dull, flat, and tired skin. This multipurpose face and body moisturiser and primer can be worn over and under makeup or be mixed in with foundation for a dewy finish. Another firm favourite is Estée Lauder Perfecting Primer The Illuminator, a lightweight primer created to smooth, hydrate, and brighten the skin. It can be applied throughout the day on top of makeup to boost radiance, or worn alone for a subtle glow.


Don’t delay achieving the glow of your dreams. Rocking a lit-from-within luminosity is as simple as a few quick swipes of any of these glow-boosting complexion perfectors. You’re all set to glow forth and conquer your day when you start with a stunning, dewy look!

Ever wanted to get your daily makeup so on point it looks like you work for M.A.C Cosmetics? Well check out these routines from M.A.C. Cosmetics staff members and pick up some hot new beauty tips...


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Makeup Tutorial: For a Glowy, Natural and Fresh-Looking Makeup Look



So, let's recap the Best Illuminating Primers For a Dewy Finish

  1. Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat Blur Primer

  2. Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Hydrating Primer

  3. Jane Iredale Smooth Affair Facial Primer & Brightener

  4. Designer Brands Rise and Prime Luminescent Primer

  5. M.A.C Cosmetics Strobe Cream

  6. Estée Lauder Perfecting Primer The Illuminator




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