The 5 Most Popular Primers on InStyle in 2022

Some beauty products are timelessly popular, like eyelash growth serums or dewy skin moisturizers. While those remained as popular as ever this year, there was one underdog product that rose to the forefront (at least among InStyle readers): primers. 

I first noticed the growing interest in primers back in February, when readers simply couldn’t get enough of Kjaer Weis’ The Beautiful Primer despite the relatively expensive price tag. Its dozens of five-star reviewers are one thing, but I actually put it to the test and became absolutely enamored with the rich-girl skin it gave me. 

Similar products from brands like Tula, Dermablend, and E.L.F.  proved that this spike in interest was not a fluke — InStyle readers and shoppers stocked up on primers across the board. Below are the five standout primers of 2022.

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Left: Wearing The Beautiful Primer on a bare face. Right: The Beautiful Primer under a medium coverage foundation.

The Most Popular Primers in 2022

Tula Filter Primer


Shop now: $36–$38 (Originally $38–$60);

The non-comedogenic primer is also a skincare product, thanks to licorice, an ingredient known for its complexion-correcting abilities. While that is a nice bonus, the combined 9,700-plus five-star ratings and reviews from Tula, Ulta, and Amazon combined focus on the glow it imparts, the concealer-like blurring effect, and the way it smooths skin and fills in wrinkles. All of these benefits made it by far the most popular with InStyle readers

A 75-year-old shopper said Tula Filter Primer is so effective, they “use [it] as [their] foundation and it works perfectly. The light tint adequately evens out skin tone and provides a nice base for other make-up.”

This comes in four sheer, tinted shades and a color-free universal shade. Right now, the Supersize version is 40 percent off, making it cheaper than the regular one-ounce version, so shop accordingly. 

Dermablend Insta-Grip Jelly Primer Face Makeup


Shop now: $25;

As Grace & Frankie came to an end earlier this year, the show’s makeup artist, Bonita De Haven, shared with Vogue some of the hero products for Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin. Primer was a major product in Tomlin’s look, specifically Dermablend’s Insta-Grip Jelly Primer, which also has over 1,100 five-star ratings on Amazon. 

After reading through over 100 reviews, I can tell you this is especially a hit among older shoppers and people who want to reverse the look of wrinkles. It’s so effective in the latter that one shopper wrote, “it fills in all my wrinkles and holds makeup well… [it’s] a facelift in a bottle.” 

Another reviewer said that although they are 79 years old, and this primer makes them “look about 65.” People are equally as impressed when it comes to its function as a makeup-wear extender. “It’ll biologically fuse the makeup to your face,” a final reviewer said. 

E.L.F. Hydrating Face Primer


Shop now: $8;

E.L.F. Hydrating Primer sits at the sparsely populated intersection of a superbly low price point and thousands of five-star ratings (over 17,000 to be exact.) If you’ve ever experienced the magic of the frequently sold-out or back-ordered Putty and Power Grip primers, then you already know you’re in for a treat. 

The formula is packed with hydrating and softening ingredients that somehow manage to “keep [skin] looking matte.” 

A 68-year-old reviewer said “it’s great for older skin,” thanks to the way it helps makeup go on “much more smoothly,” with markedly less noticeable fine lines. 

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