An honest review of the beautyblender Opal Essence primer

We tested the Opal Essence primer, which is designed to combat dry and dull skin. Here's what we thought.

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beautyblender first arrived on the makeup scene with its iconic magical hot pink beauty sponge of the same name. This application sponge quickly became a game changer in the beauty community and it was found to blend out liquid, creams and powders like a dream. Following this huge success, the brand released the Bounce Foundation, the RE-DEW setting spray and now a range of primers made to target a variety of skin types and concerns.

The beautyblender primers are designed to meet a variety of needs. Whether you have dry skin, oily skin or you're looking for an extra bit of sun protection, there's a primer in this range that could work for you. We've reviewed the primer designed for dry, dull skin called Opal Essence and here's what we thought.

Image: Instagram user beautyblender

The lowdown

What is a primer?: A primer is a product that you apply to your face before your foundation to help the foundation perform better. There are a number of different types of primer that can help with different skin issues such as large pores, dry skin or oily skin.

Does the Opal Essence primer work?: Yes, it hydrates the skin and preps it for makeup wear.

How much is it?: $48 for 30mL.

Is it new?: Yes, the beautyblender primer range drops June 2019.

Where can you buy it?: Sephora

What's it supposed to do?

If you have dry, dull, flaky skin, the Opal Essence primer could be your new best friend. It's considered to be a serum primer because it's designed to act like another step in your skincare routine as well as a primer. The product claims to help your skin look brighter, more radiant and more hydrated without making you look or feel too greasy. The Opal Essence primer is also infused with botanical extracts that beautyblender claims will keep your skin hydrated even while wearing makeup.

The verdict

Before reviewing the Opal Essence Primer, I had never found a primer that impressed me enough to make it into my daily routine. I would usually only reserve using a primer for when I was getting ready for a fancy event and wanted to amplify the effect of my foundation. But even then, I didn't really have a favourite product.

But things have changed. I've used the Opal Essence primer every day since I got it. Why? It perfectly preps the skin for makeup. Because it's a serum primer, it feels like I am applying an extra layer of hydration to my skin. It doesn't change the way foundation works on my skin, but rather it works with it. I've combined this primer with a range of face products and have not yet been disappointed with the results.

Applying the Opal Essence serum primer doesn't feel like a chore and it's quickly become a part of my daily routine. My skin looks plump from using it and turns dull skin into a beaming light of goodness.

I only use a small pea-sized amount for my entire face. It looks iridescent and has a gel-like consistency. When you apply it to the skin, it feels very thin and lightweight. I find that you don't have to wait for it to absorb into the skin, as it is so lightweight that it blends in with your foundation effortlessly. My skin stays hydrated all day long, even after spending eight hours in an air-conditioned office.

Image: Finder photography

What it looks like on the skin

I have normal skin that isn't too oily or dry, however, I think that the Opal Essence primer would work well for dry skin types as well.

Most days I wear the Bali Body BB cream on my face, so I thought this would be the perfect way to really test the primer. The BB cream doesn't offer much coverage but it can help your complexion look more poreless and plump. In combination with the Opal Essence primer, the effects of my BB cream are amplified. In these pictures, I have worn the Opal Essence primer for almost four weeks straight and my skin looks very glowy and hydrated.

Image: Finder photography

This photo was taken straight after applying the Bali Body BB cream and powder over the base of the Opal Essence primer.

When I'm going out, I like to wear foundation. Funnily enough, my current favourite is the beautyblender Bounce Foundation. Paired together, these two products work like a dream. The foundation is hydrating and makes my skin look poreless, and combined with the primer, the foundation performs even better. The primer also helps to extend the wear of the foundation as there are no dry skin patches for the product to cling to.

Image: Finder photography

This photo was taken 6 hours post application of the beautyblender Bounce Foundation, with the Opal Essence primer as the base.


Primers can differ in price, depending on what kind of ingredients you are interested in and what you want your primer to do. The 30mL Opal Essence primer will set you back $48. While it certainly isn't cheap, there are many other products on the market that go for double that price and this is a product that performs well.

When can you get your hands on it?

Mark your calendars because beautyblender's new range of primers is dropping in June 2019. You can shop the entire beautyblender range at Sephora.

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