You have to have a wet rag when caulking. Always keep your finger wet when smoothing out the caulking. Caulking does not need priming before painting . I personally try to get a 35 yr warranty caulk and go for the less expensive but I also pay attention to the buying the ones that sell the most. Caulking does get old if it's been sitting around a long time.
When I only have to do a little bit and don't use up a whole tube.... put tinfoil around nozzle and then wrap with seran wrap also and rubber bands to keep it air tight. It should be re- usable after months.
I also prefer using white for the simple reason that I can see where it is going on . I don't like the clear caulking.
I'll tell you a bit about silicone vs latex caulk next. HUGE diff!