Sunday Riley

Effortless Breathable Tinted Primer

1.00 fl. oz. for $ 48.00
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Brand Overview

The claims that come with this silicone- and talc-based primer sound amazing, but, in essence, this is simply an average primer that isn't nearly as revolutionary as Sunday Riley makes it out to be!

What supposedly makes this product unique is that it contains something called "Rejuvenox," which purportedly keeps the primer "drenched in oxygen." The ingredient that likely makes up Rejuvenox is perfluorodecalin, which can dissolve and deliver oxygen to the skin. Sunday Riley says this ingredient reduces wrinkles, moisturizes skin, and even has an anti-acne benefit.

There is limited research showing that, in certain formulas, perfluorodecalin has the potential to reduce fine lines and improve the skin's barrier function (Source: International Journal of Cosmetic Science, June 2006, pages 135–150). On the flip side, however, when oxygen interacts with the skin, it almost always loses one of its electrons, turning it into a damaging free radical. Although this formula isn't likely to cause excessive free-radical damage, it also isn't likely to provide any measurable benefit.

Science talk aside, this fluid product comes in a pump-style container and looks quite opaque when it first comes out, but once blended it's very sheer. It comes in three shades—Light, Medium, and Deep—and all are sheer enough to work on their intended skin tones. On bare skin the effect is a subtle evening out of the complexion. It also feels lightweight and moisturizing, and serves as a good base for makeup (makeup adheres well to it), but in our case, it didn't significantly improve makeup wear time.

When all is said and done, this is an average primer, with only a small amount of beneficial ingredients. It's not bad, but why pay this much when there are other primers that cost the same or less and that are packed with skin-care goodies like antioxidants and skin-identical ingredients that all skin types need? You can find them on our list of Best Foundation Primers.

  • Sheer coverage helps even out the skin tone.
  • Feels lightweight and moisturizing.
  • Provides a good base for foundation makeup.
  • Claims for the benefits of "Rejuvenox" are exaggerated.
  • Lacks the antioxidants and other beneficial ingredients found in other foundation primers.
  • Overpriced for what you're getting.
Jar Packaging: No
Tested on animals: No

Oil-free, oxygen-rich Effortless Breathable Tinted Primer is a multi-purpose wonder! Rejuvenox keeps this perfecting primer completely ventilated and drenched in oxygen. Sheer, porcelain-smooth coverage can be worn alone for a hint of color and even-toned radiance or layered under Sunday Riley foundation to extend the wear.

Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Talc, Perfluorodecalin, Stearoxy Dimethicone, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Glycerin, Mica, Nylon 12, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Bentonite, Steareth-20, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide 7, Sodium Hyaluronate, Cyclomethicone, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Butylene Glycol, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Hexylene Glycol. May Contain: Iron Oxides, Titanium Dioxide, Ultramarines

Sunday Riley is a brand that has captured the attention of many with its mix of luxury-positioned skincare products and its ties to today's top fashion designers. This coupling, plus the brand's cult-like status among beauty editors, has led many of our readers to ask us whether Sunday Riley products are deserving of the hype. The answer: Yes and no.

Often noted in Sunday Riley's products is the NV-5 Ageless Complex. Despite the number 5 in this trade name, the complex contains a mix of seven plant ingredients: prickly pear extract, blue agave, lady's slipper orchid extract, opuntia tuna fruit, cactus extract, aloe, and a type of yeast extract (Saccharomyces cerevisiae).

We explored the research on each of the ingredients in the NV-5 Ageless Complex. While all of them have some benefit for skin, they're not ingredients that have comparative benefit to long established ingredients such as retinol, vitamin C, and niacinamide, for example.

This brand has some intriguing products and many of them contain beneficial ingredients that are packaged to maintain their effectiveness, but there are a few missteps in terms of highly fragrant formulas. Even the highly rated products are on the pricey side for what you get, but at least if you choose to indulge you'll know which products are worth buying.

Sunday Riley products are available at several online retailers, as well as at Sephora stores.

About the Experts

The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.

Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.

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