I've Been a Beauty Writer for Years—This Magical Primer Is the Best I've Used

Sunscreen and primers have become two of the most important parts of my beauty routine. I’ve become an ardent SPF user for obvious "protecting my skin against damage and cancer" reasons. And primer is always key for helping foundation go on smoother and look flawless—even more so when you have large pores and skin that's 40 years old like mine. I can’t stand it when my foundation seeps into my pores and settles into my lines. No, thank you. Lately, I’ve been seeing more and more products that are a combination of SPF and primer, and if I can take a step away from my routine, I’ll happily welcome it! This is why I was so excited to get my hands on Saint Jane Beauty's Luxury Sun Ritual Pore Smoothing SPF 30 ($38). 

Saint Jane is a brand that I’ve been a fan of since its debut in 2019. The Hydrating Petal Cream ($68) has become a part of my regular moisturizer rotation, and I love the Bright Repair Eye Cream ($65) and the Luxury Lip Cream ($28) (Amen is my shade), as well. 

Call it psychic or wishful thinking, but I had wondered when the brand would come out with a suncare product. It turned out even better than I had imagined because it’s a multipurpose product. It’s a mineral sunscreen (which is my favorite kind) and contains 10% zinc oxide, but what sets it apart from so many other sunscreens and SPF primers is the inclusion of powerful botanicals, which is something that the brand is famous for.

“Flowers are my muse for Saint Jane, and Luxury Sun Ritual was no exception,” explains Saint Jane Founder Casey Georgeson. While creating the product, she was drawn to petals that thrive in the sun, so jasmine, hibiscus, and desert rose made perfect additions (along with the antioxidant green tea). “Not only are they incredibly nourishing and hydrating, but we've also harnessed their innate ability to naturally protect themselves from harmful UV rays and environmental stressors in warmer climates,” she says. These natural SPF boosters provide an invisible and innovative shield that protects the skin.

Georgeson began her career developing makeup brands like Marc Jacobs, Kat Von D, and Disney x Sephora, so how the brand’s skincare works with makeup is always at the top of her mind. She says that Luxury Sun Ritual is a “true multitasking SPF 30” that not only protects the skin from the damaging effects of the sun, but also smoothes pores and deeply hydrates the skin. Seriously, what more could you ask for in a product? “I started developing this SPF more than two years ago and had some pretty high expectations for this formula,” Georgeson admits. “I wanted it to be supercharged with flower actives, meticulously clean, and completely sheer and invisible on all skin tones.” She also wanted it to work under makeup, never cause breakouts, and “also beautifully blur pores,” which she says is a “constant struggle” and something I personally can relate to.

Like Georgeson, I make Luxury Sun Ritual the last step of my skincare routine. I’ve definitely become “open-minded” when it comes to my makeup routine and will either do a light or medium coverage foundation, or even just wear a primer. Sometimes I even go bare-faced! This is still shocking to me, as someone who always wore full-coverage foundation. A lot of the time, I’ll just wear the Luxury Sun Ritual by itself! I am a changed woman.

When I do wear foundation, which has strictly been La Mer The Soft Fluid Long Wear Foundation ($140) for the past three months (I’m obsessed), it sits on my skin like a dream, thanks in part to the primer. 

The formula is truly weightless and blends into the skin seamlessly, but with real staying power. The scent is absolutely divine, and one of my favorite features of the primer. (I’ll be crossing my fingers for a fragrance next, Saint Jane!)

Then, there is the aesthetic. Like all of Saint Jane’s products, the packaging is gorgeous. This is something that isn’t a big deal to me when it comes to beauty products, but when a brand nails it, it just makes the experience of your skincare routine more magical. Seriously, how beautiful is this baby? If you’re looking for a primer that will make your skin feel and look heavenly and protect your skin from the sun at the same time, you have to buy this immediately.

5 More Primers I’m Obsessed With

If you are a fan of the SPF/primer combo, this Thrive Causemetics one is another great choice. It has a clear, velvety-matte texture, so I find it works great under mid- to full-coverage foundations for smoothing out my pores and fine lines. Winner!

When I want to switch things up and use a non-SPF primer (and use SPF separately, duh), I find myself always reaching for this one by Milk. I love the gel formula and how it makes my skin feel like it’s quenching its thirst. The ingredients contain blue agave extract, which helps lock in makeup, as well as pore-smoothing niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, hemp-derived cannabis seed extract, and aloe to boost moisture and give that glow. Perfect for summer.  

Looking for a primer that will help your makeup stay on no matter what? Don’t sleep on this one from Pop Beauty. It’s all in the brilliant “magnet” name. I love prepping my skin with this when I do full glam. You can’t beat the price, either. 

I love what Youthforia is doing in the beauty space, and this primer is no exception. Not only does it help soothe and prep skin for makeup, but it also protects it against digital pollution, like that blue light we literally stare at every day through our little screens. It also contains sebum-controlling ingredients, so you don’t have to worry about your makeup disappearing into face grease by the end of the day. 

This Dior primer also contains sun protection, as 5.50% octisalate and 7.23% titanium dioxide protect against UVA and UVB rays. It also boasts a nourishing botanical—wild pansy extract—so your skin is getting those moisturizing benefits at the same time.