We Tested Drugstore Primers and These are Our Honest Results

We recently decided to put a selection of the top-rated, best drugstore primers to the test. Lots of people are watching their spending right now and with most people staying home or wearing masks when they are out, makeup seems less important than ever. We still want to look our best, but might not be willing to spend top dollar. Can we find the answer in drugstore formulations?  We tested them so you don’t have to!

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Maybelline Master Prime by Face Studio

best drugstore primer

What it promises:

      • Blur + Redness Control
      • Water soluble base
      • Skin perfecting
      • Lasts all day

The Results:

The packaging of this product is an obvious dupe of Smashbox Photo Finish Reduce Redness although that’s where the similarities end. Master Prime is a thinner, lighter colored formulation that goes on very smooth and can be worn on it’s own unlike the Smashbox primer with it’s heavy green color. I actually prefer the Maybelline version for that reason.

Final score: 9/10, would purchase again

Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser  

best drugstore primer

What it promises:

      • Insta-blur technology
      • Pores look reduced, skin looks smoother
      • Non-comedogenic & fragrance free
      • Instantly blurs the look of pores, without clogging them
      • Transparent gel formula, smoothes on clear
      • Smoothes & refines skins appearance

The Results:

When I initially saw this product, it reminded me of its sister product ‘Baby Lips’, which made me nostalgic, I loved that stuff!. This product has super cute packaging, and overall it works really well. I typically only use concealer in my makeup routine, and I did notice my pores were less noticeable when using it before concealer application. I always get nervous that products are going to make me break out, however after using this product for a few days, I have not experienced that issue.

Final score: 8/10, would recommend

Covergirl Lid Lockup Eyeshadow Primer

best drugstore primer

What it promises:

      • Shade is 100 Universal
      • All day crease proof eyeshadow security
      • Preps lid for all day wear
      • Maximize the wear & intensity of your eyeshadow
      • Dries quickly

The Results:

I went into trying this product already having a favorite eyeshadow primer. I typically use Too Faced Shadow Insurance as my shadow primer, and I love it a lot. What stood out about this product was its application wand, I didn’t need to use my finger to apply it to my face. Especially during this time, I want to avoid touching my face as much as possible. I easily went in with a beauty blender and prepped my lids, still no creases as I write this! It gets the job done.

Final score: 9/10, would recommend

Maybelline Master Blur Stick

best drugstore primer

What it promises:

      • Pore minimizing primer
      • Shade is 100 Universal/transparent
      • Forget filters! Achieve smooth, even, and poreless looking skin in an instant!
      • Preps skin for foundation and makeup application

The Results:

I had really high hopes for this product, but I honestly don’t think it’s for me! It’s packaged like a chapstick, and you run it over your face, and rub it in with your hands or a beauty blender. I can’t help but worry about the bacteria that collects on the product each time it rubs against your skin. After I applied my concealer, it appeared blotchy. This product was not my favorite.

Final score: 5/10 wouldn’t recommend it

Elf Luminous Matte Makeup Primer w/ Acai Berry

best drugstore primer

What it promises:

      • ”Lit from Within”
      • Create a fresh & natural glow with this lightweight makeup primer
      • This makeup base primes the skin for long wear, & also moisturizes, brightens, and refines skin appearance
      • Silky formula leaves skin fresh & natural looking
      • Enriched with Acai + Vitamins C & E

The results:

I think Elf has really stepped up their game recently, their section in stores seems to keep growing bigger and bigger. Not to mention they are super affordable, and they have sleek packaging. I liked this primer, the scent is super light and not at all what I was expecting. It was  almost refreshing, like lotion. My concealer went well with this product, and I’m excited to add it to my collection.

Final score: 9/10,  would recommend

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What are your holy grail face and eyeshadow primers? Share with us in the comments!

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