A bit like that old adage that you’re never more than 6ft away from a rat in London (wahh) or that six degrees of separation rule that means that you probably are a royal after all (it happened for Danny Dyer so…), chances are you’re never far from a tiny blue tube of Benefit POREfessional at any given moment. The UK’s bestselling primer, the mattifying, foundation-anchoring pore filler has been throwing t-zones into soft-focus for over six years, but now it’s got a glowy big sister to quite literally steal the limelight. Benefit POREfessional Pearl Primer , £27.50 will launch in its full-sized incarnation in January, but for now you spread a mini version on your mug and see how you get on. Here’s porefessional opinion (sorry) on the pearly new queen in Benefit’s primer crown…
One of the most popular pore-minimising primers on the planet has had a brightening, radiant update. Here’s our verdict on the new glow-giving version of the classic turquoise tube…
What does it do?
Like the original, the silicone based formula blurs pores and blotchiness while smoothing out skin texture, in addition to mopping up oil throughout the day and keeping foundation where you put it in the first place. So far, so same same, but the difference on initial squirt is that pearl primer is slightly looser in texture, and a gleamy baby pink rather than a plain old beige as per the standard POREfessional. Like it’s blue sibling it’s oil-free, but it’s got more luminosity going on, and the pink tone is intended to have an all-over brightening effect.
It felt a bit creamier than primer the elder, and while I’d normally concentrate POREfessional on my nose and chin, I went all out here, applying post-moisturiser and pre-foundation. If you hate the feel of silicone on your skin, this will give you the creeps, but then you knew what you were in for with the POREfessional family. It’s the silicone that does the smoothing and the pore shrinking (not actually but aesthetically), so dimethicone is at the top of the ingredients list, but it’s thankfully not weighty or chalky feeling on the skin, and it didn’t ‘pill’ either, which is a plus for a silicone heavy primer layered over skincare.
My main bugbears are redness, enlarged pores and blackheads around the nose area, and on initial application this toned the lot right down, and I used less foundation than I normally might to firefight any skin issues. No retouching was required throughout the day which is akin to small miracle in a commute + centrally heated office situation, and my skin did look a bit more radiant, but then again that could be because my foundation is actually sticking around and doing its job. Benefit also recommend patting it on over makeup throughout the day to dial up the brightness, but for me this is overkill - if my foundation’s in place I’d rather not disturb it, and also I’m in danger of turning into some kind of silicone waxwork if I load this stuff on any more. A little smidge is all you need.
Who is it for?
Those that want to look ‘matte but not flat’ and find pore-minimising primers too cakey or dull. Also, if you want to throw a veil over pores and blackheads while dampening down midday sebum, it’s handy for that, plus it allows makeup to glide on in less time, so if you’ve not got time to meticulously apply and touch up (who really does?), it can be a face saver. As above, however, if you despise the sometimes smothering feeling of silicone, or notice that your skin breaks out when you wear it, cease and desist.
A welcome lift and skin-surance to keep makeup intact while temporarily putting pores into hiding. Particularly helpful for tired days, special occasions, weddings, epic work days etc. It’s not exactly cheap, but then POREfessional fans will agree that a little goes a long way, and for the time being you can try out the mini version which should keep you going for a good few months and give you a taste for pearly pore camouflaging.
Buy a mini POREfessional Pearl Primer before the big one launches, £10.50 for 22ml