Beauty Review: Urban Decay Urban Defense Complexion Primer SPF 30

We all know the importance of sunscreen. I even based one of my very first blog posts on it (click here for details). Yet I know so many beauty mavens out there that actually skip on the sunscreen as it can mess up their makeup.

Can’t blame them really. Conventional sunscreens out there tend to be ultra greasy and leave a harsh whiteness on the complexion, which can be especially unflattering on camera.

Well I have great news for you… Urban Decay’s Urban Defense Complexion Primer comes with a built-in SPF 30 protection, so you won’t have to sacrifice skincare in the name of makeup!

Urban Decay Urban Defense Complexion Primer SPF 30 Review Sephora Middle East Dubai Beauty Makeup Bog The Tezzy Files Blogger UAE Lifestyle primer tutorial.jpg

What is the Urban Decay Urban Defense Primer SPF 30?

The Urban Defense Complexion Primer SPF 30 is one of the newest primers under the Urban Decay banner, having launched in the early half of this year.

The elementary functionality of a primer is to act as a makeup base to smooth out the complexion, and this particular product promises to do just that, as well as condition the skin and give it the added SPF 30 sun protection.

“Tired of searching for a sunscreen that would protect her skin without leaving any stickiness or white cast, Wende decided to create her own. Like a force field, this crystal-clear primer feels like nothing you’ve ever tried and protects your skin from whatever the day throws at you. SPF 30 guards against the sun, and our invisible-on-the-skin formula doesn’t leave a trace. Urban Defense not only protects, but also primes and smoothes skin as it minimizes the look of pores—so makeup applies better and lasts all day. ” –


How the Urban Decay Urban Defense Primer is different:

  • SPF 30: Makeup with skincare in mind, this is definitely the biggest plus-point for me!
  • Key Ingredients: This primer has a number of ‘conditioning’ ingredients that are rarely seen in others. This includes sesame seed extract, tomato fruit extract, squalane and bisabolol (derived from the Brazilian candeia tree).


Product Packaging

In tune with all things Urban Decay, the packaging of this primer is very eye-catching.

The clear, matte bottle comes with the brand’s signature gunmetal cap and base. I love the fact that the bottle is made of plastic, making it far more durable for the makeup bag.

Another noteworthy thing about this bottle is that it comes with an airless pump, resulting in minimal product wastage. Urban Decay really does go all-out with their packaging design!

Each bottle comes with 30 ml of product.

Tezzy’s Experience with the Urban Decay Urban Defense Primer SPF 30

This product has the look and feel of clear silicon gel. On first application, it has a cooling effect on the skin, and glides on easily.

I would prefer applying this primer with the tips of my fingers to really work out an even application. The primer does have a tendency to ball up if used in access.

When using it under makeup, I use a thin layer and allow it to set for a good 2 minutes before applying foundation.

I’ve also used this product on its own as a clear SPF protector over my regular face cream.

This primer has a mattifying effect on the skin, making it ideal for UAE summers, and what I like best is that it doesn’t feel drying at all. It definitely does a good job at smoothing out the complexion, like you’ve switched on an angelic filter of sorts.

However, when it comes to stubborn pores, I have used primers that do a better job at pore reduction.

If you are looking for a primer to even out the skin tone and perhaps even wear on its own, this product is for you. However, if you are on the lookout for full-on coverage this primer is more on the medium to light.

The Pros

  • One of the few primers on the market with built-in SPF.
  • The airless pump ensures efficient product use.
  • The packaging is gorgeous! The bottle is super sleek and made of durable plastic, thereby making it ideal for travel.
  • The formulation is clear, and therefore suitable for every color.
  • Can be used on its own as an SPF protector.
  • Works well at instantly smoothing out the complexion.
  • It has a faint, feminine scent.
  • It doesn’t feel drying.
  • A little goes a long way, so this 30 ml bottle can easily last you a good 6 months or more with regular use.

The Cons

  • This product has a tendency of piling up under makeup when used in access. Moderation is key, just one pump of product will easily suffice for the entire face.
  • This product does not work well with oil-based foundations. The textures can clash badly. Best to stick with water-based formulations when using this primer. Or if you have dry skin like me, pair it with a stick foundation.
  • Does not reduce the appearance of overly large pores.

Product Pricing & Availability

The Urban Decay Urban Defense Complexion Primer SPF 30 retails for AED 149.

It can be bought in dedicated Urban Decay stores, and is also available in all Sephora stores across the Middle East. You can buy it online at