I'm a Primer-Obsessed Beauty Editor, but Come Winter I Replace It With These Ultra-Nourishing Serums

It’s key to keeping skin looking bouncy as a bubble.

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I'm a Primer-Obsessed Beauty Editor, but Come Winter I Replace It With These TK Ultra-Nourishing Serums
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The requirements for a winter primer are very different than those of a summer one. In the summer, I want something lightweight and gripping that will keep my makeup in place when it tries to melt down onto my neck and chest. In the winter, my dry complexion means that my skin looks dry and flaky after applying concealer or foundation and my pores are large and absorb the pigment, leaving my face looking like the surface of the moon. 

After nonstop testing, I’ve discovered a surprising solution: the best primer is actually a hydrating serum. These seven products in my skincare wardrobe double as equally effective winter skin primers. I use them day in and day out, regardless of whether or not I’m wearing makeup, but I’ve found that they layer especially well under my makeup, whereas many other skincare products do not create the ideal base.

Shop the Serums That Double as Winter Skin Primers: 

  • Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops, $49; sephora.com
  • Three Ships Beauty Dew Drops Mushroom Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin C Serum, $38; threeshipsbeauty.com
  • Drunk Elephant D-Bronzi Anti-Pollution Sunshine Drops, $36; ulta.com
  • Tatcha the Dewy Serum, $34; tatcha.com
  • Tower28 SOS Daily Rescue Facial Spray, $28; tower28beauty.com
  • Sunday Riley Pink Drink Firming Resurfacing Essence, $41 (Originally $48); nordstrom.com
  • Charlotte Tilbury Charlotte’s Magic Serum Crystal Elixir, $80; charlottetilbury.com

Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops

Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops

Sephora

Shop now: $49; sephora.com

I think of Glow Recipe’s Dew Drops as the original innovator in this product category that I’ve sort of made up; the niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, and watermelon formula blurs imperfections and hyperpigmentation (the bane of my existence). There is no leftover residue to speak of but it somehow creates the look of a very bouncy, very hydrated, glass-like complexion. It’s great on its own, but when I wear it under concealer, I spend the day basking in compliments. 

Three Ships Beauty Dew Drops Mushroom Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin C Serum

Dew Drops Mushroom Hyaluronic Acid + Vitamin C Serum

Three Ships

Shop now: $38; threeshipsbeauty.com

Three Ships Dew Drops are incredibly popular, and with good reason: The hyaluronic acid and vitamin C formula deeply penetrates the skin, provides noticeable hydration, and a smooth finish. Shoppers describe their resulting complexion as being “plump and glowy.”

Drunk Elephant D-Bronzi Anti-Pollution Sunshine Drops

Drunk Elephant D-Bronzi Anti-Pollution Sunshine Drops

Ulta

Shop now: $36; ulta.com

Drunk Elephant’s D-Bronzi Drops had their time in the sun a few months ago when they became inescapable on TikTok. I have come to rely on this product religiously for a subtle glow to warm my dull winter skin, so much so that I’m almost through my first bottle. These Drunk Elephant drops disguise my anemia, while smoothing my skin through intense yet light hydration and blurring imperfections and lines. 

I don’t seem to be alone in my adoration because the product is currently sold out on Sephora, so shop it at Ulta while you can. 

Sunday Riley Pink Drink Firming Resurfacing Essence

Pink Drink Firming Resurfacing Essence SUNDAY RILEY

Nordstrom

Shop now: $41 (Originally $48); nordstrom.com

My skin is very oily and breakout-prone, even when it’s dry to the point of potentially cracking. This has been a game-changer for my skin, as I use it a few different ways: The first is after toner, but before serum, the second is throughout the day, and the third is right before applying makeup. 

When used as part of my makeup routine, I spray it onto the pads of my fingers and gently pat it on my skin, or mist my face with it, using a BeautyBlender to make sure it’s dispersed evenly. Peptides, prebiotics, and green tea quickly make my skin feel like it just chugged a cup of coffee. My complexion is firm, redness and discoloration are minimized, and my skin looks as glassy and supple as a bubble. 

My makeup glides onto my skin so easily, it feels like painting glass. I end up requiring less foundation and because of it, the ultimate finish looks natural and healthy. 

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