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Can You Use Face Serums as a Makeup Primer?

They say a flawless makeup look starts with a good skincare routine, which begs the question: can a serum work as primer for makeup? Below, we delve into what you need to know about using face serums as makeup primers. 

Understanding Face Serums

Face serums are formulas made with potent concentrations of active ingredients that target specific skin concerns. Looking through options online or in-store, you’ll find a huge range of products serving a multitude of purposes.

For example, there are vitamin C serums like the  Vitamin C Boost Serum. These work to brighten and fade the look of discoloration while providing anti-aging benefits and antioxidant protection against free radicals. You also have hydrating serums like the  Hyaluronic Pure Boost Serum. Hydrating serums draw water to the skin, promoting a super soft, supple complexion. You can find even more serums on the market, including those targeted towards issues like blemishes, enlarged pores, redness, and more. 

Face Serums vs Makeup Primers

Face serums and makeup primers serve different purposes. When applied to the skin, a makeup primer can temporarily blur and soften imperfections and create a smooth base for makeup application. It can also work like a glue for your makeup, ensuring your look doesn’t smudge or rub off before the end of the day.  

On the other hand, a face serum works to enhance your natural skin and target certain issues. That said, by improving the look and feel of your complexion, a face serum may work in a similar fashion to makeup primers. 

Can Face Serums Double as Makeup Primers?

Face serums aren’t primarily designed to work as makeup primers. That said, certain serums can work similarly to primers by creating a smoother canvas for flawless application. Choose the right formula, and you may be able to ditch your makeup primer for a more streamlined routine!

You should keep in mind, however, that a serum won’t be as effective as a primer in terms of helping makeup last for longer periods of time. A serum can create a good base for makeup application, but it won’t be as effective as a long-wear makeup primer.  

If you’re looking for a face serum that doubles as a makeup primer, you’ll want to focus on formulas that promote smooth, supple skin. These types of serums will be especially beneficial for those that struggle with makeup clinging onto rough patches and creating uneven texture. They are also ideal for those that want to soften the look of fine lines for a more youthful makeup look. Look for serums made with hydrating and moisturizing ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, ceramides, squalane, and lightweight oils.

Application Techniques

While makeup primers go on after your moisturizer, when using a serum as a primer, you’ll want it to be appliedbefore your moisturizer. This will ensure you get the optimal benefits of the formula, both as a serum and as a primer. 

Additionally, if you’re using a hydrating serum, consider applying it while your skin is still damp after cleansing. This allows the humectant (like hyaluronic acid or glycerin) to draw the water deep into the skin for the best plumping results – which means you’ll create the softest base possible for makeup application! 

Once you’ve applied your serum(s) and moisturizer, you should allow everything to absorb for at least 5 minutes prior to starting your makeup routine. 

Tips for Optimal Results

Here are some final tips to ensure you get the best results when using a serum as a makeup primer:

  • Consider layering multiple serums to create a great base for makeup application while also targeting multiple skin concerns.
  • To keep your skin in the best shape possible, consistently apply your serum(s) in the evening and on days when you aren’t wearing makeup. 
  • For special events and long-wear needs, you may still want to enlist the help of a primer to ensure your look stays put.