10 moisturisers that you can wear under makeup for a flawless base

The best makeup primers you'll ever use

Beauty Crew Beauty Editor / April 05 2024

When it comes to makeup application, the skin care you choose to layer underneath can make or break a look.

Be it the sunscreen you wear or the serums you stack on, the products you choose matter, especially your moisturiser.  

Why? Well, when you play your cards right your moisturiser isn't just a hydrating final step in your skin care routine, it can also double as a makeup primer.

In fact, many celebrity makeup artist's are loyal to just one or two moisturisers, which they always keep in their makeup kits to help prep the skin prior to makeup application. It's just that important.

Want to find the moisturiser you can add to your kit and trust with the same conviction as industry pros with their ride or die formulas? Keep reading, ahead you'll find seven moisturisers that wear well under makeup...

2024's top 3 moisturisers under makeup

Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base, $40, Bobbi Brown
Charlotte Tilbury Charlotte's Magic Cream, $98, Charlotte Tilbury
Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré, $34.99, Chemist Warehouse

Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base
from $40 at Bobbi Brown

Developed by makeup artist Bobbi Brown and beloved by industry professionals and influencers alike, Face Base provides nourishing and plumping hydration that's intended to improve the appearance of makeup. We think celeb makeup artist Nikki De Roest said it best when she said: "this magical cream is a moisturiser and primer in one. It feels so nourishing and creates a perfect canvas for foundation."

Key features:

Contains vitamins B, C, and E 
Enriched with hyaluronic acid, squalane, and shea butter
Hydrating and plumping
Smooths and preps skin for makeup

Available at:

Charlotte Tilbury Charlotte's Magic Cream
from $98 at Charlotte Tilbury

Makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury used the magic cream on her celebrity clients for years to prep their skin before they hit the red carpet. These days us regular folks can pick up a jar of the stuff to emulate the perfect skin synonymous with Tilbury's signature makeup looks. The formula includes skin smoothing and plumping peptides, vitamins C and E, rosehip oil, hyaluronic acid, frangipani flower extract, camellia oil, aloe vera and shea butter. 

Key features:

Improves the look and feel of skin 
Calms, balances and hydrates skin
Contains peptides, vitamins C and E, rosehip oil, hyaluronic acid, frangipani flower extract, camellia oil, aloe vera and shea butter

Available at:

Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré
from $34.99 at Chemist Warehouse

A go-to for makeup artists like Pat McGrath and Lisa Eldridge, this French pharmacy favourite is rich in essential fatty acids and vitamins, which help to nourish and hydrate skin. The multi-purpose formula can also be used as a moisturiser, makeup primer, makeup remover, face mask and aftershave.

Key features:

Enriched with essential fatty acids and vitamins
Nourishes and hydrates skin
Multi-purpose formula

Available at:

Augustinus Bader The Cream
from $454 at Augustinus Bader

Celebrity makeup artist Pati Dubrof uses this exxy moisturiser on clients like Margot Robbie religiously prior to sending them down the red carpet. The industry first formula was developed by stem cell scientist Augustinus Bader and contains a complex that helps to strengthen and repair skin like no other. If you're after youthful skin that looks good in and out of makeup, this is the moisturiser to try. 

Key features:

TFC8® supports cellular renewal, stimulates collagen production, hydrates and soothes skin
Lightweight texture
Suitable for all skin types

Available at:

Olay Regenerist Whip Face Cream Moisturiser
from $29.99 at Chemist Warehouse

Lauded for its light as air texture and eight hour shine control, this budget-friendly moisturiser contains a slew of skin-loving ingredients and won't compromise your makeup throughout the day. It's enriched with niacinamide, peptides, carob extract and hyaluronic acid, which work to address signs of ageing in the skin. 

Key features:

Lightweight texture
Eight hour shine control
Contains niacinamide, peptides, carob extract and hyaluronic acid

Available at:

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream
from $66 at Kiehl's

Celebrity makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic has always been loyal to Kiehl's when it comes to prepping his A-list client's skin (think: Kim Kardashian). Why is he such a fan of this simple moisturiser? It's sensitive skin friendly, lightweight and hydrates skin for up to 24 hours after application without ever feeling greasy. It helps to smooth and soften the complexion over time too. 

Key features:

Hydrates skin for up to 24 hours
Smooths and softens skin
Sensitive skin friendly

Available at:

NIVEA Soft Moisturiser
from $9.99 at Chemist Warehouse​

Dubbed as a dupe for La Mer's face cream, this cheap and cheerful pick from Nivea helps to soften and smooth the complexion, plus, it keeps skin hydrated for up to 48 hours after application. It works on all skin types too, including dry and sensitive skin. It can be used all over the body but is especially useful as a facial moisturiser and makeup primer.

Key features:

Hydrates skin for 48 hours
Suitable for all skin types
Can be used on face, body and hands

Available at:

Bondi Sands Thirsty Skin Hyaluronic Acid Serum
From $15.99 at Myer

This environmentally-friendly bottle (think: cruelty-free, vegan and made from 100 per cent recycled plastics) is here to hit dehydration where it hurts. With a jam-packed formula combining the hot hydrating active hyaluronic acid with hibiscus flower and algae extract, this serum is determined to beat away the feeling of skin dehydration for up to 72 hours. The best part about this serum? It layers oh-so-perfectly, so you can even add another moisturiser on top if you’re looking to quench your skin for good. Or go solo, and pop on your makeup to enjoy the hydrated base below.

Key features:
Made in Australia 
Mineral oil free
Free-from: alcohol, parabens, sulphates and artificial fragrances

Available at:

Bioré Hydrate & Glow Moisturiser

from $13.99 at Healthy Life

This moisturiser from Bioré comes with an important reminder: not all good things have to cost an arm and a leg. This budget-friendly buy is bolstered with hard-hitting hydrators such as shea butter, avocado oil, glycerin and mannitol. And the best news? This nourishing natural-ingredient packed formula is cruelty-free and fragrance-free (a big sensitive skin tick of approval).

Key features:
Coconut water works to hydrate
Avocado oil rich in antioxidants 
Microbiome nourishing prebiotic formula

Available at:

SVR SEBIACLEAR Hydra Moisturiser

from $48.42 at iHerb 

If you often suffer from acne-prone skin, finding a moisturiser that doesn’t send your skin into oil overdrive can be a challenge. Thankfully we have French beauty to thank for calming our skin woes. This acne-prone skin friendly moisturiser is formulated with oil-reducing niacinamide to help with future breakouts. Not to mention this moisturiser is even backed with hydrophilic sugars that work to keep that uncomfortable tight, dried out feeling at bay.

Key features:
Contains dual-action niacinamide 
Omega ceramides moisturise 
Hydrophilic sugars work to calm dry feeling

Available at:

Got oily skin? These are the 8 best oil-free moisturisers for lightweight hydration.

Main image credit: @gracieabrams​

Briar Clark got her start in the media industry in 2017, as an intern for Marie Claire and InStyle. Since then, her keen interest in fashion and beauty has landed her gigs as a Digital Content Producer and Beauty Editor with titles like Girlfriend, Refinery29, BEAUTYcrew and beautyheaven. She loves the way seemingly innocuous topics like skin care and style have the ability to put a smile on people’s faces or make them think about themselves a little differently. A big believer in self love and experimentation, Briar has made a point of becoming the Australian beauty industry’s unofficial guinea pig for unusual treatments and daring hair trends. When she’s not testing out the latest beauty launches, Briar is big on broadening her horizons, mostly in the form of food but she’s also partial to travelling to new destinations both near and far (and of course, allocating an extra bag to bring their best beauty offerings home with her).

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