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Beautycounter Makeup Primer Review

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Beautycounter has been discontinued! Read about what happened to Beautycounter (and when it might come back) here. In the meantime, I have lots of great recommendations for Beautycounter product swaps linked in this post. Also, be sure to join my email list so you can be the first to know when your Beautycounter favorites come back.

When I started using Beautycounter 5 years ago, they had makeup basics like tinted moisturizer, cream blush and mascara, etc. But that was about it. Over the last few years, Beautycounter has STEPPED.IT.UP. in their makeup game. They’ve come out with a clean mascara that actually works, an amazing foundation and concealer, great lipsticks and glosses, liquid cream eye shadow, among tons of other fun products including their first ever priming serum!

I love this product because one issue I’m always trying to solve is making my makeup look glowy because I have very dry skin. And, getting makeup to stay on the full day when it’s incredibly hot and humid in North Carolina is difficult. The Beautycounter primer has helped with both issues.

The short story: Typically, primers are known for filling pores to create a smoother palette for your makeup, but that’s not how Beautycounter’s makeup primer works. This one is super breathable and lightweight, and doesn’t block your pores. It’s also made to enhance your skin over time, while also improving your makeup look and wear.

I’m a fan. Let’s get into more details!

Beautycounter Makeup Primer Review
Beautycounter Glow First Priming Serum Review

Beautycounter Makeup Primer Review: Glow First Priming Serum

Beautycounter’s Glow First Priming Serum was designed to extend the wear of your makeup and make your skin glow (without looking greasy), while also improving your skin’s complexion over time. This means that even though this is made to enhance your makeup, it also acts as a serum on your skin, which creates a lasting difference while you continue to use it. WIN-WIN.

I’ve always appreciated that Beautycounter does their best to get the most out of each product. If they can turn a makeup product into something that gives your skin better results naturally over time, they do.

Check out these results from when they tested the primer!

Beautycounter Glow First Priming Serum Results


Beautycounter is 100% transparent about the ingredients they use (and don’t use). These are the main ingredients in the priming serum, but you can see the rest here.

Jojoba Esters

These are known to mimic your skin’s natural oils, so they help promote lightweight moisturization but don’t make skin oily. Hydration is always the goal, because this is part of what makes skin look youthful. The tiny bubbles in the primer burst once the product is dispensed and infuse your skin with hydration that plumps and smooths. Ain’t that nifty.


This is derived from red algae and tara gum to help smooth skin’s surface and improve makeup wear.


These are the best part! These provide defense from skin-drying environmental aggressors. They’re also clinically shown to help brighten and even your skin tone, while also increasing elasticity and improving the overall appearance of your skin. Sign me up.


Smoothing under foundation

The thing I’ve noticed right off the bat is that my skin looks SO smooth even before I apply my foundation. I notice more of a glow, especially when I compare one side of my face with primer and one without. Then, when I apply my foundation it blends more easily and my skin looks even smoother. I already loved the Skin Twin Foundation, but this levels it up. It also works great with my Dew Skin tinted moisturizer.

Beautycounter Primer Ingredients

No scent

I’m very sensitive to scents, and I was a little worried this would have one since it’s gel-based, but there’s not noticeable scent at all.

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Helps with makeup transfer

I have issues with oil soluble mascara (even though I love Beautycounter’s, I still struggle with this), but the primer helps with that! It isn’t perfect, but if I put a little on my lids and under my eyes, I notice that it helps with some of the smudging I always get from oil soluble mascara.

Don’t have to use with makeup

Even though it’s designed to enhance your makeup and make it last longer, it can be worn without makeup for the same glowy look. If you don’t like foundation, wearing the primer top of your daily SPF (this is my pick) and you’ll notice skin look so much smoother just with that.

Not sparkly

I was a little worried this would look TOO glowy or even sparkly, but it doesn’t. No shimmer involved.

Great for ALL skin types

This was made for all skin types, mostly because the idea is that you do your entire skincare routine first, then apply your SPF, and then use the primer. It should be the last part of your skincare routine, and then if you want to wear makeup, follow with that.  I’ve not heard of any issues with it causing irritation, but of course, if you notice an unusual breakout, stop using it for a little while, just like any new product you introduce. Then, try it again to see if the same thing happens.

Super safe

Like all Beautycounter products, this primer meets all of the *very* high standards Beautycounter has for all of their products. They tested this primer obsessively for heavy metals. It also does not contain any cyclic silicones, which are common in primers, but linked to reproductive and/or developmental toxicity.

Responsibly sourced mica

Mica is one of the ingredients that gives us the glowy and shimmery look many makeup companies are after, but it’s also known for being a pretty horrible source of child trafficking and human rights abuses. Beautycounter has committed to source their mica 100% responsibly.

Sustainable packaging

The primer bottle is made of glass, so it’s widely recyclable. Beautycounter has a goal to make all of their packaging 100%
recyclable, refillable, reused, or compostable by 2025!

Beautycounter Makeup Primer Review Pros and Cons


Haven’t noticed a huge difference in my makeup wear

Granted, we’ve had 98% humidity here in Winston Salem, so it’s hard to know. I haven’t felt like I noticed a huge difference in how long my makeup lasts. I have some friends that say they do, however! Personally, the benefits are more along the lines of my complexion smoothing versus long lasting wear.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking to up your makeup game, want a more dewy look or smoother makeup application, I HIGHLY recommend. This isn’t a must-have for a makeup routine, but I do think it makes enough of a difference to try it out yourself. I’m using it daily and like it! Shop the Glow First Priming Serum here!

Here’s another photo of my employee, Hannah, wearing the primer! No filter, no highlighter. Impressive, right?

Beautycounter Priming Serum on face

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