Feb 172014

Sunday Riley Primer box1

I’ve really enjoyed using the Sunday Riley Effortless Breathable Primer ($48/1.0 fluid ounce) on those days when I want an absolutely flawless complexion that lasts until removed. Over the past several months, it is not unusual for me to be in several series of meetings and dinners that run up to 18-20 hour days. I simply don’t want to look ragged or tired as the day wears on, despite how I might feel. When it really matters, I’ve depended on Sunday Riley’s Effortless Breathable Primer to make sure that my skin looks incredible for the entire time.

Sunday Riley Effortless Primer1

Sunday Riley’s primer is available in three shades: Light, Medium and Deep (I’ve been using Light). As you might guess, this sheers out to near-invisibility. Yet there is an ever-so-light flaw-reducing property that acts like a very subtle veil. It’s a beautiful effect, and with a bit of powder I think I could almost wear this alone. So color choice does matter, although nearly not as much as a foundation.  The effect lasts all day, working hard to prevent those little “something somethings” from peeking through.

Sunday Riley Effortless Primer2

This is an ideal workhorse product. The texture is very light and fine. A very slight (orange-ish?) scent fades quickly. The texture is elegant, and it feels literally like nothing. As the name suggests, you won’t know you have it on. It’s less noticeable than serums, sunscreens, and anything else that you might wear under foundation. It’s certainly lighter than any foundation.  The product leaves a very slight, skin-like sheen that dries down to a near-matte. It seems to have some oil-absorbing properties, because when I wear it, my foundations do not get glowy until after 15 hours or so of wear (your results will vary with your skin type).  In other words, this product is a cosmetically elegant, “Confident-on-the-Red-Carpet” primer. I love it.

Sunday Riley Effortless Primer3

This liquid primer comes in a packable plastic bottle with a pump top. Primer swatch of the Light, to show how it sheers out:

Sunday Riley Primer big swatch1

Here’s a comparison to the color/texture differences with some other primers. First, the yellow color-correcting Make Up For Ever HD Primer in #6 (yellow), Guerlain’s Meteorites Perles, Burberry’s Fresh Glow, and Nars Radiance Enhancing.  Except for Make Up For Ever’s, these all sheer down to near-nothing color. Nonetheless, comparisons are always useful so I thought I’d include these.

Sunday Riley Swatches2

A little more about the product (click to enlarge):

Sunday Riley Primer box2

Ingredient list (click to enlarge):

Sunday Riley Primer box3

Overall, the Sunday Riley Effortless Breathable Primer is an A+ primer. It has a noticeable texture-refining effect that reduces pores. It gives foundations that would otherwise fade and shift very noticeable long-wear properties. It helps hide flaws, and textual issues. It’s gorgeous, has a refined texture, and gives me the confidence to face the most scrutinizing eye. One of the best primers on the market.

Available at Nordstrom.com and Barneys.com.

This primer was sent to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review. This post includes affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup).

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  15 Responses to “Sunday Riley Effortless Breathable Tinted Primer Review”

  1. Woww sounds awesome! Can’t wait to try it!

  2. Me gusta la textura, parece muy ligera 🙂

  3. I’ve been curious about this primer/tinted moisturizer for a long time, so I really appreciate reading your thoughts on it. You don’t have any idea of how it compares to Tom Ford’s Illuminating primer, do you? I don’t remember seeing a review of that by you, so perhaps you haven’t tried it…but I thought I’d ask. Thanks.

    • I tried a sample of Ford’s. It’s nice, and is advertised as having skincare. Fords feels more moisturizing to me. SR’s really feels undetectable and has a hint of coverage.

      • I just caved and bought Ford’s version, so my dry skin and I are happy to hear that you found it more moisturizing than the Sunday Riley version. 🙂 That said, I do like that SR’s primer has some coverage and so could be worn alone…oh dear, I can see I haven’t ruled it out yet. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on both.

  4. Very pretty. I wonder how it compares to the tinted BB creams. I just picked up a Lancome one that I love!

  5. Have you also tried Nu Skin tinted moisturizer with SPF15?

  6. Had this before, it arrived and I found the content inside separated so badly that violent shakes couldn’t help it. I just tossed it.

    • Awww, that breaks my heart–at least exchange it for a good one? I’m posting this review quite late–I received my last October. It’s very nice–I haven’t been shaking prior to application and it’s very good.

  7. Happy to see your review. I had considered this a number of times…your review pushed me over the edge – ordered!

  8. Do you think an N/NC 10 could use this alone?

  9. I’ve been using this primer, sometimes alone (without foundation) & sometimes over Chanel CC cream, on good skin days for the past few months. Then I’d apply concealer & loose powder, and I’m good to go. It is hot & humid here in Singapore & I’ve combination skin with oily T-zone. Despite this, this primer lasts almost the entire day, even after paper-blotting the face during the day. I’d say it is somewhere between a primer & a foundation. Wish they have Sunday Riley here but sadly, I’d have to find ways to get it when my current one runs out.

  10. Hello
    I am looking to buy this primer after so many rave reviews – how would you compare this to the Hourglass Mineral veil that is also a favourite of many bloggers?
    Thank you

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