Closeup of young woman with face serum dripper.

Photo By: shutterstock/ECOSY

As the focus of power in the beauty community shifts between skincare and makeup, it can be hard to find a happy medium—and with so many new releases it can be hard to keep up. A quick search of Instagram’s beauty hashtags will provide a plethora of flatlays, products, and opinions—but one constant, shared by both makeup and skincare enthusiasts, is serum.

Serums typically consist of concentrated acids and/or actives that deliver ingredients and results in a more direct and effective way—like enhancers or wellness shots for your skin. From exfoliation to hydration, it seems like there are few things serums can’t do. With their unique textures and combinations of ingredients, serums can be great as makeup primers—tacking up the skin for a smooth application of product on top while delivering those same skin benefits as well.

Serum being extracted from bottle with flowers in the background.
Photo By: shutterstock/ A.A. Smirnov

Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum: Star of beauty blogger shelves and Sephora VIB birthday gifts alike, this brightening serum is the OG. Delivering hydration, brightening factors, and a hyperreal glow, this serum is sure to bring out the best in your skin and your makeup look. Using gentler active ingredients for skin radiance, it’s perfect for day or night use and amazing for all skin types. It smoothies and evens the skin’s surface and gives skin a glow that even the most matte foundation couldn’t mask—truly your skin, but better. Your skin, but best. And, rest assured, while it’s working as a primer it’s working to heal your skin too. ($79)

Woman applying makeup to her face.
Photo By: shutterstock/S_L

Milk Makeup Pressed Watermelon Serum: Another burst of brightening hydration, the Milk watermelon serum stick will enhance your skin and help your makeup last. Preferred by oily skin types (but great for all), this solid serum is less messy to apply and great for on the go. It probably won’t make your skin as tacky as a liquid serum, but it’ll provide a bright and hydrated base for foundation while targeting your skin underneath. In Milk’s classic twist-up packaging, it’s sure to last you awhile, too! ($24)

Liquid foundation bottle next to brush and sponge on pink background.
Photo By: shutterstock/Room’s Studio

e.l.f. Foundation Serum: It was only a matter of time before the two worlds truly collided, right? e.l.f.’s serum foundation has been a hot summer product, and for a good reason. Packed with vitamins and a hint of tint, this hybrid serum bridges the skincare-makeup gap. It’s sure to keep your skin hydrated and glowing day and night, guilt-free. ($8)

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