e.l.f. Luminous Putty Primer–Popular Poreless Putty Primer Goes Luminous

Of all the types of makeup products available, primer is the one I’ve been the least interested in overall. In my experience, most of them don’t do anything for me at all, or cause my makeup to look worse than it would without any primer. So many people swear by primers for creating a good base for their makeup, I occasionally get curious and try one. 

Lately I’ve been feeling bored with my standard matte look and decided to try a couple of products that would give me some glow. There are a lot of glowy primers on the market, and I decided to try one even though that’s not something that I’d normally be interested in with my combination skin. I enjoy a lot of e.l.f.’s products, so I ordered their Luminous Putty Primer. 

E.l.f. released the original Poreless Putty Primer a little over a year ago and that primer was wildly popular. I remember searching for it in stores every time I went shopping for months and it was always sold out! Once I found it and started using it, I didn’t notice any difference in the appearance of my pores, smoothness of my makeup, or wear-time of my makeup when I used that primer. 

Late last year, e.l.f. released the Luminous version, as well as a Matte version, of Putty Primer. I wasn’t interested at first, but lately I’ve felt the need to switch things up and thought I’d give the Luminous Putty Primer a chance. It definitely wasn’t what I expected. Please keep reading to learn more about my experience with this primer. I have combination skin and recognize that this product may behave very differently on other skin types. 

Product claims directly from ElfCosmetics.com

Our best-selling primer goes luminous! This primer delivers a soft, radiant base for your makeup application. What we love:

  • Infused with hyaluronic acid and vegan collagen to help plump and hydrate the skin.
  • Velvety texture glides effortlessly over the skin, smoothing over imperfections for a poreless effect.
  • The ultimate grip on makeup.

Disclosure: IntegriBeauty includes affiliate links within product review posts. I receive commissions for purchases made through these links at no additional cost to you. Additionally, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. IntegriBeauty is independently owned and all products discussed within IntegriBeauty product review posts are thoroughly tested and given honest reviews.

Other product details

  • Price: $8.00
  • Net weight: 0.74 oz.
  • Made in China
  • Cruelty-free
  • Vegan
  • Special ingredients that add hydration: 
    • Squalane
    • Sodium Hyaluronate (sodium form of hyaluronic acid)
    • Vegan Collagen (derived from synthetic sources)
  • Best for dry or combination skin types (according to e.l.f. Cosmetics)
  • Shelf life: 6 months
  • Ships to USA and Canada only
  • Where to buy: ElfCosmetics.com or Amazon.com
  • Overall rating: 6.0/10
    • Ease of application: 10/10
    • Luminosity: 4/10
    • Pore-filling: 6/10
    • Grip on makeup: 2/10
    • Price: 8/10

Please note that I am not a makeup artist. The opinions expressed in this review are my own, as a regular person that loves makeup. 😉

Ease of application

This primer is packaged just like the original Poreless Putty Primer, in a small jar. This packaging seems ideal to me because the primer is thick (a squeeze tube wouldn’t work) and the wide opening allows easy access to the product even once it gets low.

While the product is thick, it’s also very soft and easy to get out of the jar. I usually get a tiny amount at a time and pat it over each part of my face so I don’t end up getting too much. I’m always concerned that applying a primer over my sunscreen will disturb the SPF and affect my level of protection, but it’s easy to gently pat this primer into the skin instead of rubbing it in.


My understanding is that the primary function of this primer is to provide a luminous base. This product is very pretty; it’s definitely luminous and is a subtle gold color (no glitter, more of a fine shimmer). Once applied, you can still see that subtle glow on the skin.

Unfortunately, that luminosity almost disappears under every foundation, BB cream, and tinted moisturizer that I’ve applied with it. If I apply setting powder too, then the luminous effect of the primer is basically undetectable. I’m very disappointed by this because it appears to be such a beautiful product. One could certainly wear this primer on its own without any coverage products, but I’m not sure if I like the way it looks alone on my fair skin. I think it would probably look better on someone with a medium skin tone.


Like e.l.f.’s original Poreless Putty Primer, the Luminous Putty Primer is meant to give the skin a poreless smooth appearance. I’ve done side-by-side comparisons with this product to see if the side of my face with the primer applied has less visible pores, or smoother looking skin. To a degree, I agree with the pore-filling claim. I think my pores are slightly less obvious when I wear this primer, but it is only a minimal difference. 

As for the smoothing claim, I have to disagree completely. This primer sometimes makes my skin look textured or dry in areas where there is no texture or dryness. Again, I’m very disappointed by this, but not terribly surprised since I had a similar experience with the Poreless Putty Primer.

Grip on makeup

Another one of the claims for this product is that it provides the “ultimate grip on makeup.” When I see that a primer is supposed to “grip” makeup, I take that to mean that it will keep my foundation from breaking up as quickly, and just generally extend the wear-time of my makeup. 

Unfortunately, I do not notice any sort of “gripping” effect with this primer. My makeup appears to wear exactly the same whether I’m using this primer or not. I gave the product two points for this category because many reviews claim that it does extend the wear-time of makeup. I’m guessing that it is more effective on dry skin. 


E.l.f. Luminous Putty Primer is $8.00. E.l.f. makes many different primers and this price is consistent with the others. For anyone that finds this product to work well for them, I think this price is very fair. However, since it didn’t deliver on the claims on my skin, I had to take a couple of points away for price. The small benefit I get from this product is not worth even $8.00 to me. 

I know this review was brutal compared to most of my product reviews. I usually love e.l.f. products, but e.l.f. Luminous Putty Primer was a big miss for me and I always want to be honest with my readers.

While I am not a fan of this product, I recognize that it works well for a LOT of people. It currently has a 4.3 star rating on ElfCosmetics.com and 4.5 stars on Amazon. If you have a normal or dry skin type and are interested in this product, I think it’s definitely worth trying!

If you’ve tried this primer, please let me know what you think of it! Have you tried any other luminous primers that are more visible under foundation, or are better for combination/oily skin? Please comment below with any feedback! 🙂


Share Post on Social Media

2 thoughts on “e.l.f. Luminous Putty Primer–Popular Poreless Putty Primer Goes Luminous

  1. Hi Lauren! Thank you for this review! It’s good to know when a product doesn’t come up to the hype, even though it gets great reviews from others. Like you, I have combination skin, and frankly, I’m not looking for any kind of glow as I seem to have mastered that without any additional products! lol I do use the original putty primer from e.l.f. and I do like it. I apply it with a dry sponge, using the flat side of the sponge, swiping it across my face. I hope this isn’t disturbing my spf, but I think it’s okay as I let my skin care, including spf dry on my face for about 10 minutes before applying primer and foundation. One thing I read online is that this e.l.f. Luminous Primer can be used on the high points of the cheekbone as a subtle highlight AFTER foundation and blush. I would definitely give that a try! Thanks again for your honest review. I appreciate all you do to research and test a product for us!

    • Hi Nancy, thanks for commenting! I understand what you mean about not needing any extra products to add more glow. I used to get so greasy, but not as much anymore. I still have combination skin, however I’ve noticed that the amount of oil has decreased. Hopefully all that niacinamide I’ve been using in my skincare products is really working! Do you use products with niacinamide in your skincare routine? If not, I highly suggest it! 🙂 I’m so glad you’re still enjoying the Poreless Putty Primer, but for some reason it just won’t work for me. You mentioned your application method in a comment on a different post and I tried it, but still didn’t care for that primer. I do appreciate you sharing your experience though! I’ll have to try using this Luminous version as a subtle highlight as you suggested. I’m very curious to see if it works! Thanks for sharing that tip!


Leave a Reply to Nancy Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.