Which Tula Primer is For You?

TULA recently launched a new primer called “Brighten Up” and it’s got quite the buzz on social media. You are probably familiar with their first primer “Face Filter” that launched last summer. When selecting a beauty product and you see two options by a brand, it can be a little confusing. You are torn between old and new and which type works best for you. Today, I wanted to break down the components of both and what each primer does for the skin.

Now before I share the details on each, always remember that TULA means “balance.” There are options that can be better suited for your skin, but if you have Face Filter and have a breakout, that’s totally fine. TULA’s goal as a skincare brand is to balance whatever skin issues you have going on to bring your skin back to its normal state. However, you can select the primer that’s going to work best with your makeup that day. I use both of the primers, but swap out depending on pregnancy issues. This pregnancy, my skin has been EXTREMELY dry with some blemishes on the cheek area. This is so different than my usual, as I typically breakout in the t-zone and don’t struggle with too much oil or too much dryness. Keep that in mind when I explain which one I use for what!

Top Questions:

Q: Can I mix the primers together?

ANSWER: Serums can be layered. You don’t have to pick between a Vitamin C serum or a Hyaluronic Acid serum. You just layer both. And while I’m sure you could mix or layer the primers {tell me if you have!} I wouldn’t. The texture of each primer is key to how they create a canvas for makeup. If you were to mix, I would actually apply to the specific area of your face that needs that specific primer. People do this with masks all the time. They may apply a clarifying charcoal mask to their t-zone and a hydrating mask to their cheeks. If you really wanted to use both, I’d apply in those sections. However, you may find the areas with Face Filter, to be a bit more “glowy” given the color corrector.

Q: What is the order of application?

ANSWER: Wash your face, tone, apply your eye cream, apply your serums, apply moisturizer, apply sunscreen, LET DRY, apply primer, apply eye balm. Primer comes after sunscreen, but you want your sunscreen to set in for a few minutes before you immediately go into primer mode. Apply your morning skincare routine, and then go make your coffee, come back and get started. After your primer, you can apply your TULA eye balm.

Q: Will they clog my pores?

ANSWER: They both have a non-comedogenic formula that won’t clog your pores, so you are safe with both options! However, if you are acne-prone, you will probably prefer Brighten Up as that is a primer focused on smoothing the skin’s texture, which is key to applying foundation/concealer over a blemish.

Let’s chat about the primers! Be sure to reference the photos above. I applied both primers to rose petals as they are so delicate and have fine lines, so you can see how both react. 

Face Filter


Radiance for uneven skin tone and redness. Calms skin. Great for dry or dull skin.

These are the things you need to think of when you think Face Filter. You can read my original review here.

This primer is made with:

  • Chia seeds: increase the appearance of luminosity
  • Licorice: evens the look of skin tone
  • Turmeric: decreases appearance of redness and inflammation
  • Probiotics: help skin retain moisture

It has color-correcting properties, so you can see the bronze-effect it gives. Start with “less is more” with both primers. You’ll want to start with a small amount with this primer, so you can see how much of the color correcting effect you want. I would say 50% of users use this as a CC Cream {it isn’t a foundation or a standalone makeup product} but with the skincare and color-correcting properties, you can wear it as one on light makeup days.

SUMMARY: I reach for this most often on days my skin feels dull. If my skin is dry or my skin tone is uneven, this one immediately makes me feel like I’ve had a hydrafacial. Mature skin will also love this as the chia seeds increase luminosity!

Brighten Up


Smoothing, calming, and brightening. Balances blemish/oily-prone skin. Similar to a silicone primer but silicone-free.

If you are someone that loves the feel of a silicone-primer so your skin can get 100% smooth, you’ll love this primer. Although made without silicones, it has a totally different texture than Face Filter. Face Filter feels like a serum+moisturizer combo, and this feels like a mask to smooth blemishes and texture. If you are more oily, this primer is for you! I gave one to my photographer, Angie, as I always like to hear other opinions before I blog. This is her response.

This primer is made with:

  • Probiotics: help maintain balance
  • Yuzu: helps brighten the skin’s appearance
  • Willowherb: helps calm blemish-prone skin

SUMMARY: I reach for this on days I am struggling with texture {tiny blemishes, blackheads, etc.} or a breakout. While Face Filter gives major radiance before application, Brighten Up gives a smooth canvas before you apply your foundation. Personally, I’ve never loved silicone primers as I find they “ball up” under my makeup. This doesn’t have silicone, so it doesn’t do that. Start with a dime-size amount when applying.

TIP: You can apply this to your chest area before wearing a tank or v-neck blouse. It will smooth any fine lines or uneven skin tone you have.


  • Non-comedogenic
  • Cruelty-Free
  • Balance the skin
  • Formulated without: Parabens, Sulfates, Phthalates, Mineral Oil & Petrolatum, Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Releasing Preservatives, Triclosan, Retinol,  Gluten, Fragrance
  • Both can be used for any skin type or tone, but they serve different needs. For me, personally, I use both depending on how my skin is reacting. If I break out, I use “Brighten Up” or if my skin feels dull or I have self-tanner on, I use “Face Filter.”
  • Can be purchased with discount code KATEY for 15% off

I use both just depending on what I’m dealing with, as I have more reactive skin. Typically, I don’t deal with too much oil or too much dryness {minus pregnancy!}, so I treat with primers based on how my skin is. If your skin is consistently dry or oily, then you could be totally fine with just one option.

I hope this review helps you break down which one that would fit in your makeup bag best! Have you tried the new one?!

  • My TULA code for 15% off is KATEY

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1 Comment

  1. I want to try Tula’s products! Their packaging is so cute! ❤️✨

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    Published 21 Feb 20Reply