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Best Makeup Grippers As Tested By A Pro Makeup Artist

As a professional makeup artist, I see a lot of products and I consider myself pretty knowledgeable about new additions to the beauty world. I’ve been doing this for 16 years and have been an avid skincare devotee since I went through puberty. I’m consistently testing new products on clients, models, and myself. 

However, when I heard about the idea of a makeup “gripper”, I was like HUH? I had never heard the term and when I learned it was meant to act as a primer, but with serious skincare benefits, I was skeptical. I’m not a fan of primers (too thick! too many steps!), but I was game to test these out because of those aforementioned skincare benefits.

There are a bevy of products that help make your makeup last and as an editorial and commercial makeup artist I’m always finding the best way to make my work stand the test of time. And, because of my aversion to primers, I’m all about something that can keep makeup in place without clogging pores. The good people at Glow Recipe gave me two of their favorite grippers to try: Blithe’s InBetween Makeup Prep Essence and Gesgep Preparing Mask. Read on to see how they worked.

Blithe Inbetween Makeup Prep Essence 


I’ll preface my experience by saying that I am ALL about skin prep — I mist, I oil, I SPF. But despite my best efforts, I’ve found that my lightweight serum foundation can slip around when I apply it in the morning. Which made me all the more curious about the Makeup Prep Essence.

I decided to test this before heading to a fashion party — I figured a long night of networking and rubbing elbows with colleagues would be a great test for how well my makeup “stuck.” A dropper-full of this bouncy serum absorbed quickly into my skin, which I loved because I was worried it would feel sticky. After tapping it in, I noticed a subtle tightness (a good kind) that made my skin feel firm and smooth. 

I used a flat nylon brush to apply my foundation —I typically only use foundation on areas of my face with redness. With the Makeup Prep Essence, I found I got more coverage and I wound up using less product than I normally would. I then tapped on cream highlighter with my fingertips and buffed on cream contour and blush with a makeup brush. I found that the natural “melty” textures of the cream products adhered to my skin better. And the best part was that I didn’t have that heavy feeling you get when you use a traditional primer.

Looking back on photos from the event, I noticed my skin looked polished and even — despite the sweaty heat from the crowds and a steady flow of vodka sodas.

Gesgep Preparing Mask 


It’s not often that I have 30 minutes before getting ready to prep my skin, but last night I had a date, so I figured now was as good a time as any to give my complexion a little boost. I showered and applied Gesgep’s serum-packed sheet mask while I painted my toes. After lacquering my little piggies red, I lay back on the couch and let the citrus-packed essence in the mask do its job. Upon removing the mask, I rubbed the remaining product into my skin. My skin felt taut, cool, and silky. While I would normally moisturize after a mask, I let the serum be and went on with my makeup routine.

I wanted my skin to feel even more touchable and natural because *hello first date* so I appreciated that the serum allowed me to use the bare minimum of my foundation. I applied my face makeup with my fingers to give my skin extra suppleness. I noticed that a little product went a long way because the mask made it stay exactly where I wanted it to and blended evenly onto the areas where I need less coverage. 


I was nervous that I would miss my usual moisturizer and oil, but the hyaluronic acid in the mask added that extra boost of hydration my regular skincare would have given me. As an added bonus, the pearl powder in the serum gave a diffused luminescence to my skin, leaving me looking polished and ready to knock my date’s socks off. I stayed fresh feeling throughout dinner up until our smooch goodnight. This isn’t necessarily an everyday prep product because of the lead-time but it feels nice to use for a special occasion.

The Verdict: While I usually find primers to be heavy and bulky, the idea of a makeup gripper is exciting to me. I’m all about not only how the skin looks, but also how it’s being treated and how it feels.  What I love about grippers is that they are treatments masquerading as cosmetics. They prep the skin in a lightweight way and add longevity to your makeup routine. Dare I say they “gripped” my admiration?

What do you think about makeup grippers? Have you tried them before? Tell us in the comments!

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