BECCA Backlight Priming Filter Is Worthy of Backups Upon Backups

Published in: Becca, Makeup, Product Reviews

In photography, backlighting drives me bonkers…unless it’s something I’m trying to do on purpose, which I’m usually not, but in the case of BECCA Backlight Priming Filter ($38 for a 1-oz. bottle), I have absolutely no problem with it.

Oh, my goodness! Where do I start? There are just so many things I like about BECCA Backlight, notwithstanding the $38 price, which doesn’t qualify as drugstore bargain awesome sauce, but still… I fully intend to use every last drop (and then may even crack open the bottle to get a little more).


BECCA says that Backlight functions like a filter thanks to these things called Filtering Luminescent Pearls, which are supposed to make pores and fine lines look smoother and your whole skin sitch more radiant.

And yup, it does that. It’s got that whole signature BECCA luminescence thing going.

becca backlight swatch

Swatches of BECCA Backlight unblended and blended (for reference, I wear BECCA foundation in Bamboo)

On my skin, Backlight, which came out earlier this fall, looks like a pearlescent beige with the pearl turned waaaaay down. Less shimmery than a BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector, it’s only lightly luminous and glowing, so it doesn’t look like I’m sweating.

Now, even though it’s classified as a general purpose primer, it doesn’t exist solely to extend the wear time of your foundation, concealer and complexion makeup. It specializes in blurring pores, illuminating, moisturizing AND prepping and priming your skin so that anything you layer on top of it goes on smoother.

I use it as a lightweight, illuminating, pore-blurring lotion to prime my face before I apply my foundation, or whatever else I plan to layer on top. I don’t notice it significantly extending the life of my complexion products when I use it with them, but that’s fine by me because that isn’t something it’s designed to do.

Fascinatingly, it somehow manages to illuminate my skin without emphasizing my pores, which is a rare thing indeed, so this is like a magic potion you can keep in your makeup bag.

nars mekong eye closeup

Here I’m wearing BECCA Backlight mixed with foundation and under-eye concealer

I’ve been going through a matte skin finish phase this fall, which is why it took me a while to climb aboard this glowing train, but now that I have, I’m glad I did. I’ve used Backlight a bunch of different ways over the past couple weeks, and there hasn’t been a way I haven’t liked. Depending on how you work it, you can maximize or minimize its luminescent power.

For full-on, high-power luminous luxe, I wear it on bare skin with just a wee bit of concealer and/or tinted moisturizer on top to help with any discoloration or dark circles.

becca backlight

Or, sometimes I’ll mix it directly with my foundation (which it lightens about half a step), and apply that to my skin. Then I’ll set that with a not-too-powerdery powder (MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural is my favorite).

Sometimes I’ll even mix it with my under-eye concealer, too, to also get that glowing effect under my eyes, which is what I did for the portrait pic in this post, by the way.


Alternately, when I only want a hint of subdued luminosity, I’ll apply a layer of Backlight, let it sink in, and then apply either a medium- or full-coverage foundation on top. Then I’ll set the whole thing with powder.

becca backlight

I think Backlight is positively gorgeous and fantastically flexible, and it’s already made its way into my everyday routine. I can’t recommend it enough. Try it next time you hit up Sephora or Ulta (it’s also available online).

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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  1. Chelsea says:

    You look so radiant! Love the sound of this. I need to figure out what to buy with my VIB $20 card still, hmm…

    By the way, Quincy seems to be recovered! I need to take him to the vet next week for more bloodwork, but he’s filled out, and jumped successfully onto the couch today. His fur is also extra fluffy and soft 😀

    • Karen says:

      I’m so happy to hear that QB is doing better. 🙂 Don’t you just love when the furbabies have super soft fur? Ahh, so sweet. I hope you buried your nose in it for a minute or five (that’s what I do with Tabs, lol!).

      • Chelsea says:

        He definitely got some love! All three of the fur kids got treats together this morning, but Mina didn’t quite understand Quincy’s baby carrot.

  2. Lulle says:

    Your skin looks so radiant in this pic! I usually prefer a matte or natural finish, but this could help with powder foundations that can look a little too dull, especially when my skin is dryer in the winter.
    Lulle recently posted … Thanksgiving Makeup Capsule: what I brought on this Holiday trip

  3. Jess Lim says:

    How does this compare with other primers like Hourglass, Tom Ford or Charlotte Tilbury? Thanks

  4. Holly says:

    I’m newer to illuminators & generally prefer a more matte look, so this sounds ideal for me. The flexibility is appealing as well; I’ll add it to my Sephora wish list!

  5. Bearby says:

    Hi Karen,

    I am sold seeing how beautiful it looks on you! By the way, you always have perfect hair. I would like to see a tutorial. Please…..

  6. Rachel R. says:

    Wow, that luminizes beautifully.

  7. MizzJ says:

    Wow that is epic level glow! Love it!
    MizzJ recently posted … A Book Devoured: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

  8. You really look radiant (and poreless) in the pictures, so pretty! I don’t like glow on myself, maybe because I am quite “glowy” by nature, so I don’t think it would work well for me though.
    LindaLibraLoca recently posted … „I love my P2“ collection – We may not have Boots, but…

  9. Lauren says:

    You look gorgeous!!! I’ve been in a huge matte phase for the past 37 years, actually, but seeing this photo of you…Santa has an idea for me!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lauren,

      Thank you! Do you live near a counter that has BECCA? Maybe get a sample first to see if you like the sheen. I think it’s very pretty — just glowy enough. 🙂

      I hope that you’re having a good week so far. It’s cold and over cast here today!

  10. I really don’t need any more radiance (my oil glands take care of that all by themselves) but I do love my new BECCA mattifying primer, it’s the bomb!
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … Tutorial | How I create my signature smokey eye look in six steps using just two colors

  11. Kim says:

    Why are you doing this to me??! HAHA! Pore blurring and glowy? Who can say no to that? Now I have to actively try to forget that I read this post and saw these pics. 🙂

  12. Amber says:

    I have this and can’t seem to make it work. Though I didn’t try mixing it in my foundation, so maybe I’ll do that. It was super glowy on me, like if I used a Shimmering Skin Perfector all over lol. Might have to swipe it back from my Mom and try again. You look absolutely radiant in that pic Karen!!
    Amber recently posted … LUSH Holiday | 2015

    • Karen says:

      Hi Amber,

      Yes, try mixing just a teeny, tiny bit into your foundation. Or, you can use it just on certain areas of the skin where you want glow, and leave the rest bare (or use another non-glowy primer). Let me know how it works out for ya!

    • Nicole says:

      Hey Amber,when I was buying this the SA have me a tip. She told me to mix it with my usual primer. Tones it down & it will last
      Longer. I really like it. Try to ” borrow” it back for a minute. 🙂

  13. Nicole says:

    I picked this up during the VIB sale. I like mixing it with a moisturizing primer because I need the hydration. But, I love it too! I’ve not tried it on ” no makeup ” days. Nice idea! 🙂

  14. Erin says:

    This sounds pretty good. Have you tried it over foundation as a highlight? I’m all for pore blurring and illuminating with a hint of moisture.
    Erin recently posted … Georges Duboeuf 2015 Beaujolais Nouveau

  15. KK says:

    Looks gorgeous on you!! I’m drying to try her backlight eye product too!

  16. Monica says:

    Beautiful glowy finish! I’ve always been scared of luminous primers but I might try this!

  17. JCarbonel says:

    wow Karen, your skin looks STUNNING!

  18. Poupinadia says:

    Oulala, troooooooop beeeeeeeelllllllllle 🙂
    Poupinadia recently posted … Friday Ankara Madness #10, Au top les imprimés !!!

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