MILAN, ITALY – SEPTEMBER 26: A model poses in the backstage of the Hui fashion show during the Milan Fashion Week – Spring / Summer 2022 on September 26, 2021 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Rosdiana Ciaravolo/Getty Images)

I was never really much of a primer girl pre-pandemic. Beyond wearing one to add radiance or keep my makeup in place ahead of a long haul event (read: weddings, sweaty summer nights on the dancefloor, music festivals), I never really reached for them on the regular.

But recently, I discovered the transformative power of wearing a glowing primer on its own. After months spent watching my full coverage foundations gather dust, I decided to apply a small amount of primer to my tired complexion in a bid to feel just a little more put-together.

It proved the perfect halfway point for days spent working from home, when a little radiance is all that’s required. I still enjoy an illuminating layer beneath my makeup, but on bare-faced days, a primer provides a soft, natural filter for my skin without adding weight.

Here are some of the best glowing primers I’ve tried, to wear with makeup or without.

Mecca Max Bring On Bright Illuminating Primer, $22 SHOP NOW

This cost-effective option might be light on the wallet, but it provides a heavy dose of glow that really lasts.

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter, $65 SHOP NOW

This was the first primer that I really, truly fell in love with. The formula delivers a glossy radiance to my skin, eliciting compliments each and every time I wear it.

Chanel Le Blanc De Chanel Multi-Use Illuminating Base, $69 SHOP NOW

This multi-use base imparts a subtle halo to the skin, leaving the complexion even and hydrated.

YSL Beauty Touche Éclat Blur Primer, $75 SHOP NOW

If your pores are as apparent as mine you’ll love this formula, which blurs and smooths the skin as it primes.

Laura Mercier Pure Canvas Primer – Illuminating, $56 SHOP NOW

If you’re in serious need of a serious hit of radiance, this primer instantly transforms a dull complexion.

Tom Ford Illuminating Primer, $120 SHOP NOW

For sheer coverage that minimises redness, one layer of this luxe primer refreshes even the complexion.

By Terry Brightening CC Serum, $128 SHOP NOW

A cult favourite for a reason, this luminous By Terry serum adds hydration and colour corrects the skin, nixing dark circles and sallow areas.

La Mer The Hydrating Illuminator, $115 SHOP NOW

With a formula that contains La Mer’s legendary Miracle Broth™, expected a smooth, soft complexion that reflects the light for a natural glow.

Hourglass Ambient® Light Correcting Primer, $63 SHOP NOW

If you prefer an oil-free option, this Hourglass cream works to neutralise the skin tone, adding a layer of light to your complexion without weight.