I've been a long time fan of the original Benefit The POREfessional Face Primer. It is one of the very first primers dedicated to disguising the appearance of pores. It is a classic, a cult-favorite, and one that is always within reach on my makeup table. If that tells you anything, I'm currently using the 44 ml (1.5 oz) special edition jumbo size! Yes, I love it that much. It does the job exceptionally well at blurring pores but I have to say it is quite mediocre when it comes to oil-controlling. So when Benefit announced the launch of their new product in The POREfessional line that promises to not only “overpower shine and absorb surface excess oil” but also to “instantly minimize pore appearance“, I was ecstatic to say the least! Knowing how great the original primer is, I was more than certain this was going to be my next favorite! I didn't even bother doing a research online because I was that certain. Well, lesson learned (for the umpteenth time!), you just must read reviews before making any purchase when it comes to makeup and skincare!
Let's chat good stuff first.
Appearance. I'm a sucker for Benefit packaging; there's no denying it. The POREfessional: Matte Rescue Invisible-Finish Mattifying Gel comes in a super shiny squeeze tube with a design of their famous spy girl who supposedly has come to rescue you from oily face and pesky pores.
Texture. Love it! A translucent light blue water-based gel that takes zero effort to apply. The lightweight formula basically glides on the skin while leaving a moisturizing and refreshing feel once set. It truly dries down to an invisible finish.
Scent. It has the same sweet, lovely, slightly fruity scent as the original POREfessional primer does. The scent vanishes after some time, though.
Amount. You actually get more than double the amount of this product than the original POREfessional primer and it's $3 cheaper! (50 ml/1.6 oz for US$28 VS 22 ml/0.75 oz for US$31) A little goes a very long way, too, so I suspect this very tube to last months.
Now let's talk the critical part: performance.
Oil control. I will admit that I really do love the initial feeling once the product dries down. My skin feels refreshed and supple but the product does ever so slightly to curb shine. I honestly do not witness a significant mattifying effect whatsoever. I was expecting a complete matte finish but I was left with a dewy-matte instead (more dewy and much less matte to be specific). I have combination skin (oily T-zone and normal-dry the rest of the face) and this product did not deliver the matte finish that I was hoping for.
Pore blurring. What bothers me even more is the fact that it does absolutely zero at blurring enlarged pores. I feel like it didn't even try to! I didn't bother taking before and after pictures because the results were pretty much the same pre and post application. Pores before, pores after. No change. I even tried doing layers thinking that I perhaps didn't use enough. Again, no difference. The diamond powder added in the formula for a “soft-focus pore-blurring effect” obviously has no discernible effect on me.
The only way I could get this to work a little better is when I follow the brand's optional suggestion which is to apply the POREfessional: Matte Rescue Invisible-Finish Mattifying Gel first, then follow with the POREfessional primer. Only then does it seem to offer me both oil control and pore blurring results. It simply doesn't work on its own, but it seems to amp up the performance of the original primer by extending the mattifying and pore minimizing effect.
I did have high hopes for this product but it simply didn't deliver. Imagine if it could do as advertised, it would be the primer to end all primers! Regardless, I still recommend you check it out in person before deciding if this is the right primer for you. Despite my rather disappointing experience, there are some praising reviews out there so surely it must work on certain groups of skins. You just never know! :)