When there’s a lot of hype around a product on TikTok, I am typically pretty sceptical about it until proven otherwise. Only a handful of products I’ve tried after having seen them all over social media have ever lived up to their expectations, namely the Embryolisse moisturiser, Revolution Pro liquid blushes and Dr Jart Cicapair.
Well now, you can add the Elf Power Grip Primer to that list, because – and not to be dramatic – it’s changed my life.
I’ve used a number of Elf products over the years, and I’m a massive fan of their 16HR Camo Concealer, so I was very excited to hear that the primer has been dubbed a ‘dupe’ by shoppers.
The Power Grip Primer is said to be ‘even better’ than the Milk Hydro Grip Primer, which is priced at £35 for 40ml, compared to Elf’s 30ml for £10. The products share at least seven ingredients, including niacinamide and sodium hyaluronate – a derivative of hyaluronic acid.
On the Elf website, it’s racked up more than 3,000 five star reviews, with one saying it’s a ‘definite dupe’ of the Milk Primer, while another said they personally ‘believe it’s better’. A third even went so far as to use Elf on one side of her face, and Milk on the other, and said they ‘couldn’t tell a difference’.
While I’ve never used the Milk primer myself, I already know that I don’t need to. The Elf Power Grip Primer is the best I’ve used, and for £10, it’s fantastic value.
The product is a gel-based ‘ingredient-driven’ face primer, which comes in a pump action tube. While it appears blue in colour, once applied onto the skin, it’s completely translucent, making it the ideal makeup application base for all skin types and skin tones, as well as being fragrance free.
I find that two pumps of the product is the perfect amount to give coverage across my whole face. I apply it evenly with my fingertips, as the warmth allows for the primer to melt into the skin. It’s got a cooling effect, which makes it perfect for summer, but what’s more is that it will lock your makeup into place all day – even if you have oily skin like me.
It’s got a sticky, gel-like consistency, and should be left to sit on the skin for around 30 seconds before applying foundation. The product goes very tacky, almost glue-like which smoothes and blurs your complexion while gripping your makeup to help it last longer. Water-based and oil free, it offers a smooth base for makeup application without the use of silicones, which also means that it won’t clog your pores.
Makeup definitely goes on better with a sponge over a brush with this primer, and I’ve found that it works more effectively with liquid or cream products over powder. The gel primer gripped my foundation – I’m still using the Estee Lauder Double Wear – and gave my skin a soft-focus effect. Because of the hyaluronic acid, it helps retain moisture for a plump complexion, and I like how it gives my matte foundation a more satin finish while still controlling my oily areas and keeping my makeup in place all day.
The first time I used this primer, I gasped, and even Jake commented on how flawless my skin looked. I’m rarely this impressed by a product because I trial so many, but this has fast become a non-negotiable in my beauty routine. I don’t think I could be without it now.
Once on, my makeup doesn’t go anywhere. If I’m outside in the sun all day, I expect to find my oiliest areas starting to show signs of wear after eight hours, but it hugely supports the longevity of foundation, and would be perfect for all-day events like weddings or festivals.
Usually priced at £10, it’s typically stocked at Boots, Superdrug, ASOS and Elf – it goes out of stock just as quickly as it arrives, so it’s always worth shopping around to see if you can find it because each of the retailers appear to receive stock at different times. For example, I picked it up at ASOS when it was out of stock everywhere else, but at the time of writing, it’s out of stock on ASOS, but available everywhere else.