These Serums Make Your Makeup Look Amazing

Best Serums to Wear Under Makeup

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Good skin care is the best way to prep your skin for makeup. For most people, this prep is about layering moisturizers and sunscreen. For others like me, it includes face serums! I’m talking about serums you can wear under makeup.

Face serums are among my favorite skincare products. And I’ve managed to spill them over to my makeup routine and let me tell you, I’m loving the results. Here’s how they help your makeup.

If you already have a skincare routine you do before makeup, you can include a hydrating serum into your routine as the first step. Serums keep your skin hydrated and plump underneath so your foundation looks smooth and not patchy or flaky.

Moreover, if you don’t like layering a lot of products in hot summer weather, you can try face serums, which double as liquid moisturizers, to layer under makeup. You can then skip moisturizer directly, especially if you have oily skin.

Lastly, and this is my favorite way of using them, you can apply face serums, especially brightening glow serums directly under your foundation to achieve a radiant base and a dewy finish makeup.

When your makeup routine is involved though, not every serum works. Keep reading for some of my absolute favorite serums to wear under makeup.

Serums to Wear Under Makeup

1. Motif Power Brightening Bicelle Serum

Motif Power Brightening Bicelle Serum - Best Serum To Wear Under Makeup

This is a glow serum to help brighten the skin and minimize skin discolorations. It’s incredibly rich in active ingredients like azelaic acid and bakuchiol. It has such a skin-loving consistency that I love using it in my makeup routine. The finish of the serum is so beautiful and lately, I’ve been wearing it under Chanel Les Beiges Water Fresh Tint.

And because it has such a glowy, radiant finish, the serum makes my makeup look dewy too. It smells amazing and the slightly thicker texture makes me skip moisturizer on days when my skin isn’t so dry! It’s like the best glow serum you can wear directly under makeup, especially if you have dry skin.

Key Ingredients: Azelaic acid, bakuchiol, niacinamide
Size: 1 oz/30 ml
Good To Know: Cruelty-free, vegan

2. Dr. Barbara Sturm Glow Drops

Dr. Barbara Sturm Glow Drops - Best Serum To Wear Under Makeup

Speaking of glow serums for luminous makeup, this is an all-time favorite splurge that is worth every penny. It’s actually a potent anti-aging serum that’s rich in antioxidants and has both instant and long-term skin benefits. But the texture of it makes it so convenient to use in your makeup routine.

The lotion-like serum absorbs fast but leaves behind a nice, radiant base to layer makeup on. The great part is that you can apply it on the under-eye area as well, which helps with your concealer too! It can even be used as a touch-up highlighter over makeup!

Key Ingredients: Purslane, wild rose
Size: 1 oz/30 ml
Good To Know: Fragrance-free, cruelty-free

3. La Roche Posay Hyalu B5 Hyaluronic Acid Serum

La Roche Posay Hyalu B5 Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum - Best Drugstore Serum To Use Before Makeup

If you generally have dry skin and you’re experiencing dehydration, or flakiness under foundation, consider using this hyaluronic acid serum. It’s among my all-time favorite hydrating serums to instantly plump up my skin. It’s non-greasy and non-sticky, and you only need a minute to see your skin absorb and freshen up.

Note that if you have very dry skin, you still need to apply moisturizer on top of it. Because unlike most serums here, this one is almost water-based as opposed to creamy. But there’s a huge difference in my complexion between when I apply this under my moisturizer and when I don’t.

Key Ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, vitamin B5
Size: 1 oz/30 ml
Good To Know: Oil-free, non-comedogenic

4. Caudalie Resveratrol-Lift Instant Firming Serum

Caudalie Resveratrol-Lift Instant Firming Serum - Serums To Use Under Makeup

If you have wrinkles and fine lines and are looking for a serum to wear under makeup to help you with those, you’re going to get addicted to this! This is a firming face serum made with skin-plumping hyaluronic acid, peptides, collagen, and brightening resveratrol.

But it’s so beautifully formulated that it instantly fills in wrinkles like a wrinkle filler and gives you a smooth, bouncy face. It doesn’t interfere with your foundation at all. But it doesn’t give you a super glowy base either. It just softens your skin, minimizes the appearance of fine lines, and gives you that lit-from-within glow. It’s suitable for all skin types, including oily and acne-prone.

Key Ingredients: Resveratrol, hyaluronic acid
Size: 1 oz/30 ml
Good To Know: Vegan, non-comedogenic

5. Dr. Jart Cicapair Tiger Grass Camo Drops SPF 35

Dr. Jart Cicapair Tiger Grass Camo Drops SPF 35 -  Best Serum To Use Under Makeup

This is such a genius formula that it’s equally multi-tasking as the viral Cicapair Tiger Grass Color Correcting Treatment. This is a face serum that doubles as a color corrector. It’s green-tinted so it neutralizes redness instantly by adapting to your skin tone. But it also feels incredibly hydrating for the skin.

It’s infused with Centella Asiatica to calm the skin and it has mineral SPF 35, which makes the serum easy to wear under makeup without needing anything else! You can use it as a color corrector before applying foundation but you can also use it alone instead of it. It works like a low-coverage foundation. Talk about multi-purpose.

Key Ingredients: Centella Asiatica, niacinamide
Size: 1 oz/30 ml

6. Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops Serum

Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops Serum

If you prefer something skin-focused that doubles as a primer, this one works amazingly well. It’s a hydrating and brightening face serum that packs hyaluronic acid and niacinamide. The consistency is so satisfying and fast absorbing. And the glow drops are so subtle and naturally radiant.

The serum is such an easy-to-use formula that you can even mix it with your foundation because it doesn’t mess with your finished look. The light-reflecting particles are not too obvious, so the serum blends seamlessly into your skin and looks amazing under makeup.

Key Ingredients: Niacinamide, watermelon
Size: 1.35 oz/40 ml
Good To Know: Vegan, cruelty-free

7. Natasha Denona HY-GEN Energising & Hydrating Primer Serum

Natasha Denona HY-GEN Energising & Hydrating Primer Serum - Serum To Wear Under Makeup

And speaking of primers, if you need something like a gripping primer to actually create the perfect glowy canvas to layer makeup, try this skincare makeup hybrid. It is a primer in serum form, so it makes foundation application a breeze and with its illuminating finish, gives you a dewy finish makeup.

On the flip side, because this is a primer, it doesn’t look as good when you use it alone. Because the glowy finish, though beautiful under the foundation, can make skin imperfections such as pores a bit more visible. But that’s also why it looks amazing under high-coverage foundations like Estee Lauder Double Wear.

Key Ingredients: Glycerin, hyaluronic acid
Size: 0.68 oz/20 ml
Good To Know: Cruelty-free

So these are the best serums you can wear under makeup. If you haven’t found what you’re looking for here, below are things to keep in mind.

What types of serums should I wear under makeup?

Hydrating and plumping face serums made with hyaluronic acid work great under makeup. Daily serums such as antioxidant serums and vitamin C serums also work great as they usually don’t ruin your makeup.

In terms of texture and consistency, lotion-like and creamy serums are the best ones to use under makeup. And in terms of finish, glowy finish serums pair amazingly well with any kind of makeup.

What types of serums should I avoid wearing under makeup?

Certain face serums can actually make your makeup look bad by messing up the consistency of the foundation or causing pilling.

Night serums and treatment serums like retinol serums or salicylic acid serums are usually not suitable to use under makeup. The priority with those types of serums is treating skin issues.

Most of the time, the texture just doesn’t sit well under makeup. There’s a reason why most of them are to be used in your evening routine where no makeup is involved!

What is the best way to apply serum under makeup?

Wash your skin with your cleanser to start with clean skin. Apply your toner and wait for it to absorb and dry. Now, apply an even layer of your serum of choice.

If it provides enough glide and your skin type allows you to skip moisturizer, you can just go ahead and apply your foundation directly on your serum.

If not, wait for your skin to absorb the serum, then apply your moisturizer, and then apply your foundation.

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