Best Drugstore Dupes for High-End Primers

Drugstore Primer Dupes - ELF Poreless Putty Primer - Tatcha Silk Canvas Primer Dupe

Let’s talk about PRIMER. Prepping your skin is just as important as the makeup you use on it, if not more so. Having the perfect canvas is key to ensuring a flawless makeup application. What’s the point of dropping $$ on your foundation if your skin underneath is just going to look awful?

Primers are definitely important, but which to use? There are tons of great options, from super pricey premium brands to affordable and attainable drugstore finds and quite a few flawless dupes.

I’ve done a ton of research and rounded up the BEST drugstore dupes for the most popular high end primers on the market. Full disclosure– I haven’t tried all of these… but I’ve read tons of reviews and gathered the most popular opinions from some of the most trusted beauty bloggers out there! Plus, at these prices, you can just easily try them all and see for yourself!


Premium Product: Tatcha Silk Canvas Primer, $52
Drugstore Dupe: Elf Poreless Putty Primer, $8

I haven’t tried the Tatcha Silk Canvas Primer, but a few of my girlfriends use it and are obsessed. I had heard whispers that the ELF Poreless Putty Primer was a flawless dupe for the Tatcha Silk Canvas Primer, but it had sold out lightning fast. A couple of weeks ago, ULTA restocked it and I got my hands on one. LOVE it! It’s a great, super effective primer.

Premium Product: Smashbox Primer Oil, $42
Drugstore Dupe: NYX HydraTouch Oil Primer, $9.49

The Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Oil is a good option if you suffer from dry skin and want to infuse your face with a burst of hydration before your makeup application. This lightweight facial oil will give you a glowy, dewy finish and is good if you need some extra moisture. It won’t fill your pores or help cover anything, but it’ll give you a smoother base.

The NYX HydraTouch Oil Primer does the same exact thing and promises the same benefits, for a fraction of the price.

Premium Product: Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer, $54
Drugstore Dupe: NYX Angel Veil Skin Perfecting Primer, $11.29

The Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer is an oil-free primer that blurs imperfections and reduces redness, pores and wrinkles.

NYX Angel Veil Primer has been a well-respected dupe for ages now… people absolutely love it! Both promise a silky texture and lightweight formula that delivers super smooth skin.

Premium Product: Smashbox Primer Water, $32
Drugstore Dupe: Milani Make it Last Primer Spray, $8.99

Smashbox Primer Water is a great hydration boost to prep your face or refresh your makeup throughout the day. It’s a great multi-purpose spray and has great reviews. I personally like to double prime if I use a primer water, so I’d much prefer a dupe, tbh.

The Milani Make it Last Primer Spray is a great dupe for the Smashbox Primer, even the packaging is practically identical. The Milani spray claims to work for 16 hours which is kind of amazing!

Premium Product: TooFaced Hangover Primer, $34
Drugstore Dupe: Rimmel Fix & Perfect Pro Primer, $12.79

TooFaced Hangover Primer is one of the OGs of makeup primer… it’s been around for ages and has a cult following.

Rimmel Fix & Perfect Pro Primer seems to be hard to track down in the US, but I did find it! Reviews claim that it’s a great pore filler that doesn’t feel too silicone-y, which is great.

Premium Product: Smashbox PhotoFinish Minimize Pores, $39
Drugstore Dupe: ELF Poreless Face Primer, $10

If you want to minimize pores, beauty bloggers swear by the Smashbox Photo Finish Minimize Pores primer. It claims to reduce the look of flaws and pores and to control oil for 8 hours.

The ELF Poreless Face Primer claims to be America’s #1 Primer… which I find to be interesting lol. Not sure if that’s true, but that has to mean it’s worth a try, right?

Premium Product: BECCA Backlight Filter Face Primer, $39
Drugstore Dupe: Physicians Formula Spotlight Primer, $15.99

The BECCA Backlight Filter Face Primer is really more of an illuminating base than anything. Use it if you really want that glow-y, dewy finish to your makeup.

I love Physicans Formula and the Spotlight Primer is a fantastic dupe for the BECCA Backlight Face Primer! (Also for the Charlotte Tilbury Wonderglow, honestly!)

Premium Product: Smashbox Photo Finish Primer, $36
Drugstore Dupe: NYX Studio Perfect Photo Loving Primer, $13

The Smashbox Photo Finish Primer has been one of the top primers forever basically. If you need to control oil and keep your face matte, go for this!

The NYX Studio Perfect Photo Loving Primer is packaged almost exactly like that Smashbox and is just as effective for a fraction of the price.

I’d love to know– what’s your favorite primer and does it have a great dupe you’d recommend? Hit the comments and let me know!

BTW– if you love this post, you should definitely check out:
9 Great Full-Coverage Drugstore Foundations
Best Makeup Dupes From the Drugstore
9 Flawless Setting Powders Under $10

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