Dupe or Not? | Physician’s Formula Spotlight Illuminating Primer vs Becca Backlight Priming Filter

Hello, everyone! Today, I’m sharing a post comparing my beloved Becca Backlight Priming Filter to the Physician’s Formula Spotlight Illuminating Primer, which is somewhat new to my collection.

I haven’t done a dupe post in a very long time, mostly because I don’t really like owning two products that are very similar to one another at the same time. If I’m going to be spending money on something, I want it to be vastly different from what I already own, ya know what I mean? However, when Stashmatters told me that the Physician’s Formula Spotlight Illuminating Primer is a similar product to the Becca Backlight Priming Filter, I knew I had to try it. I’ve loved the Backlight Priming Filter for the last two years. My dry skin will take any glow it can get, and if I can find a cheap product that performs the same as a high-end version, I will take it!

I find Physician’s Formula products to be ridiculously expensive for drugstore makeup, so I always wait for a sale before I buy their products. This was originally $23.99 at Shoppers, but after watching it for sales, I eventually bought it for $12.99, which means it was more than half off. I basically had no choice but to snatch it up! Read on to see how I think these products compare.

Flatlay of the Physicians Formula Spotlight Illuminating Primer Becca Backlight Priming Filter



The Becca Backlight Priming Filter retails at $47 CAD for 30 mL, while the Physician’s Formula Spotlight Illuminating Primer retails at around $20-$24 for 30 mL, depending on where you purchase it. Both primers are made in the USA.

These are both primers which are meant to be worn underneath foundation, but the packaging of the Physician’s Formula primer does say that it can be worn above foundation as well. While some primers control oil and others make foundation last longer, these primers are meant to give your complexion a subtle glow.


The Becca Backlight primer claims to contain three filtering luminescent pearls that are used to create a diffused radiance that catches the light and gives you a soft, glowy look. It helps to blur any imperfections, and the Vitamin E helps to minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

The Physician’s Formula Spotlight Illuminating primer claims to contain contains five filtering luminescent pearls that blurs and corrects the complexion give you a bright and radiant finish. On top of that, it holds a Vitamin A & E antioxidant blend that helps to reduce redness.

As you can tell, the descriptions of these products are very similar, down to the “filtering luminescent pearl” technology!


Close up of the Physicians Formula Spotlight Illuminating Primer Becca Backlight Priming Filter pumps



Clearly, Physician’s Formula decided to take a page from Becca’s packaging, as both products come in a frosted glass bottle with a pump . Aesthetically speaking, the packaging of both products is really pretty. The packaging of the Becca primer feels a lot more expensive, particularly the pump and the cap, because it is a lot more expensive.


There are a lot of similarities between these primers, but also a lot of differences! Visually, both primers are a champagne shade, but the Becca primer looks to be lighter when swatched heavily. This actually doesn’t make a difference in the end, because once the products have been spread across the face, they look the same.

The texture of the primers is quite little different. The consistency of the Becca primer is a lot thinner, with almost a slippery texture. I find it a lot more hydrating. For this reason, I prefer the feel of Becca primer because it feels nicer on the skin, but in terms of application, both products blend into the skin well, and sit nicely under makeup.

Without foundation on top, these are fairly easy to tell apart. As a test, I asked my husband to squeeze a little bit of one of the primers onto my hand while I had my eyes closed, and then I opened my eyes and guessed which one it was. It was VERY easy to figure out which one was on my arm just by looking at it, just because the consistencies are so different. This test obviously isn’t foolproof, but I think it was enough to illustrate how different they are.

Close up of the Physicians Formula Spotlight Illuminating Primer Becca Backlight Priming Filter liquid
You can already tell from the product I’ve pumped out that the Physician’s Formula primer is going to be a lot more reflective

Both products contain shimmer to create the dewy, glowy effect when you wear it under foundation. First off, let’s compare the products on its own, without foundation on top. When you spread both primers out without sheering it out completely (like in the photo above), the Becca looks like a slightly illuminating primer while the Physician’s Formula primer almost has a metallic finish, like you would expect from a liquid highlighter. Don’t let this scare you, because it doesn’t look quite so intense once you have applied it all over the face.

Once applied, I found that the shimmers in the Becca primer look a lot finer on the face, while the shimmers in the Physician’s Formula primer are definitely more apparent up close. In that way, the Becca primer looks a lot more natural. However, nobody is going to get SO close to your face that they can see the size of your shimmers. I do think that if you have any textures or large pores, the Physician’s Formula primer may unfortunately highlight these issues.

Swatches of the Physicians Formula Spotlight Illuminating Primer Becca Backlight Priming Filter

Swatches of the Physicians Formula Spotlight Illuminating Primer Becca Backlight Priming Filter sheered out
This is what the products look like sheered out. They are both a little more intense in real life than I could capture on camera.

Despite the fact that one looks more natural than the other when you look at these products on its own, most people are going to wear them underneath foundation. I tested these primers out by wearing one on the left side of the face and the other on the right side, with the same foundation on top, and I couldn’t tell both sides apart. The Physician’s Formula primer side was definitely more shimmery under sunlight, but in indoor lighting, they are indistinguishable.

One big difference between the two primers is the scent. The Becca Backlight Primer a really nice, subtle sweet lemon scent that I love, although it does not last on the skin. The Physician’s Formula primer smells really strange…almost chemical-y or plastic-y? It’s not strong, but it’s not a good scent either – luckily, it fades as soon as you apply it to the face. Luckily, you can’t smell it when it’s applied to the face. On the other hand, the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector has quite a nice, subtle sweet lemon scent.

I feel like the Becca primer does have longer lasting power, as my skin looked dewier with the Becca primer after 12 hours of wear. With that being said, the Physician’s Formula primer lasts well under my foundation for a full day without breaking down strangely; it just doesn’t look quite as glowy at the end of the day.



Becca Backlight Priming Filter: Water, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Mica, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Tocopheryl Acetate, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Extract, Panthenol, Silica, Carbomer, Ethylhexylglycerin, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance, Iron Oxides (CI 77491).

Physician’s Formula Spotlight Illuminating Primer: Water/Eau, Dodecane, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Glycerin, Brassica Campestris/Aleurites Fordi Oil Copolymer, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Glyceryl Stearate, Peg-100 Stearate, Polyisobutene, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylene Brassylate, Panthenol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hexylene Glycol, Peg-7 Trimethylolpropane Coconut Ether, Tocopheryl Acetate, Disodium Edta, Sorbitan Isostearate, Retinyl Palmitate, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Tin Oxide, Tocopherol, Carmine (Ci 75470), Iron Oxides (Ci 77491), Mica, Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891).



-Formula: Both look very similar under foundation
-Colour: Physician’s Formula Spotlight Primer looks darker right out of the bottle, but both primers look the same once sheered out
-Lasting Power: Becca Backlight Primer has better lasting power


-Price: Physician’s Formula Spotlight Primer is much more affordable
-Consistency: Physician’s Formula Spotlight Primer is thicker
-Formula: Physician’s Formula Spotlight Primer is more glittery
-Wear: Becca Backlight Primer feels more hydrating and seems to last longer on the skin
-Scent: Physician Formula Spotlight Primer has a strange almost chemical scent; Becca Backlight Primer smells of sweet lemons

Ultimately, would I saw that this is it a dupe? There are a lot of differences, and the formula is not exactly the same to me. If I were to compare both products without taking price into account, I have to say that I still prefer the Becca primer. With that being said, at almost a third of the price, the Physician’s Formula Spotlight Illuminating primer really gives the Becca primer a run for its money. Ultimately, it gives a very similar effect to the Becca primer, and is a fantastic substitute for anyone who has always wanted to try the Becca Backlight Priming Filter, but was put off by the price.

Have you tried either or both of these products? Did you feel that they were dupes?


8 thoughts on “Dupe or Not? | Physician’s Formula Spotlight Illuminating Primer vs Becca Backlight Priming Filter

  1. That’s a nice comparison! I am gonna check the physician’s formula one even though I think I’ll like the becca one better but it’s more expensive :p

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great comparison post! I bet they both look beautiful on the skin when applied. I love products like these. I have dry skin too, so I need all the help I can get!

    Liked by 1 person

      • Oh definitely! I use one everyday, pretty much. I rotate between MAC Strobe Cream, L’Oreal Lumi Glotion & the L’Oreal Visible Lift Luminous Serum Tint. The last two are kinda like the Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Ohh, I’ve had the L’Oreal Lumi Glotion on my wish list forever! It’s the first time I’ve heard of the L’Oreal Luminous Serum Tint though, so I’ll have to look it up. I didn’t realize that they were similar to the CT Flawless Filter, I’ve also had that on my wish list forever, haha! Thanks for the recommendations!

          Liked by 1 person

          • The Luminous Serum Tint has been around a while I think, and it’s a bit more subdued than the Lumi Glotion in terms of pearl & shine. If I had to pick one, I’d probably go with the Lumi Glotion but both products are lovely!


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