If you’re a fan of the original POREfessional Makeup Face Primer from Benefit Cosmetics, then I’m pretty sure you were very excited to hear 2 new products were being added to the POREfessional range. These new Benefit offerings were created for oily-skinned gals, and both promise to control shine and take care of those pesky little pores.
If I remember correctly, the first product I ever used from Benefit Cosmetics was their famous POREfessional makeup primer. And I think it was one of the first primers on the market that helped with the appearance of enlarged pores and / or fine lines & wrinkles. I’m a Benefan – I love their Roller Lash Mascara, Hoola Bronzer, Girl Meets Pearl Illuminator, and countless other offerings from the brand.
As with most things in life, a brand can’t always get it right. Sometimes they launch a product that is a huge hit, and other times they launch something that is a bit of a miss. Unfortunately these new additions left me feeling rather disappointed.
I have combination skin, which means I have an oily T-zone and a dehydrated cheek area. During the hot Summer months, blotting is an unavoidable part of my day. And during the cold Winter months, my oily T-zone starts to calm down a bit and I have normal to dehydrated skin. Enlarged pores are the bane of my existence, and I’ve come to accept the fact that they will always be there. Technically speaking there isn’t much you can do about enlarged pores – you can make them ‘appear’ smaller buy using a pore-filling primer, but you can’t physically shrink them.
When I posted this Instagram photo I mentioned that I would test the POREfessional Matte Rescue Gel & Instant Wipeout Masks for at least 2 or 3 weeks before writing up my review. It is now 4 weeks later, and so I have a good idea of what I like and what I don’t like about each product. Please bear in mind – we all have different skin types, expectations, and experiences. The below products have received some rave reviews from other bloggers, but they unfortunately just didn’t work that well for me personally.
You know I always keep it open and honest here on the blog, even when a product is a PR sample that was sent to me for review. I would never, ever recommend that you spend your hard-earned money on a product that I don’t feel 100% happy with. That said, these products might work wonderfully for you.
Ok, so let’s take a look at the 2 new additions to the POREfessional product lineup:
BENEFIT THE POREFESSIONAL MATTE RESCUE ♥ R395,00
According to Benefit, the POREfessional Matte Rescue mattifying gel is your secret weapon against pores, it absorbs oil and instantly minimizes the appearance of enlarged pores . Many people think this is a makeup primer, but actually it’s the last step in your skincare routine – almost like a primer for your primer. So cleanse and moisturise as normal, and then apply Matte Rescue to ‘soften’ pores & mattify the skin.
This gel-based moisturiser-primer-hybrid feels extremely lightweight on the skin and sets quickly to a shine-controlling matte finish. Matte Rescue is a water-based gel, so not only does it make oily skin feel fresh and clean, but it also hydrates the skin ever so slightly. Usually mattifying skin care products leave my skin feeling tight and stripped of essential oils, but this one actually makes my skin feel softer and smoother with a natural matte finish.
The gel itself is a baby blue shade, but it doesn’t transfer any type of blue tint to the skin – instead it becomes clear soon as it’s rubbed into the skin. A pea-sized amount goes a very long way (the mattifying effect is instant) and so this 50ml tube should last you for quite some time. For interest sake, a full-size POREfessional Face Primer contains 22ml of product – so Matte Rescue is more than double the size.
Unlike the other ‘blur’ primers / moisturisers on the market, this POREfessional product doesn’t have a thick silicone texture that temporarily fills in enlarged pores. What I like about it is that it actually sinks into the skin rather than sitting on top of it like other pore-filling primers. Matte Rescue contains diamond powder (fancy, right?), which is supposed to create a soft-focus effect on the skin. It definitely does absorb existing excess surface oil, but I don’t find it blurs or ‘softens’ my pores at all.
Even though I have an oily T-zone, I also tend to have dry patches on my upper forehead that like to hang around for most of the year. I’ve tried exfoliating, and acid toning but it’s unfortunately something that I have to live with. My dermatologist recommended cortisone cream, but it’s only a temporary solution and I’m not that keen on cortisone. I’m happy to report my dry patches were no worse than normal when I used this mattifier, and I suspect it’s because it provides a bit of hydration since it is water-based.
The million dollar question is: Does it control oil throughout the day? Even though the mattifying effect of this gel is instantaneous (it’s quite impressive actually), after testing it for more than 4 weeks with various foundations and primers on top, I can’t say I’ve noticed a huge difference in the long run. I’ve worn Matte Rescue on hot days, rainy days, cooler days, busy days when I’m out & about, and I honestly can’t say this product kept me shine-free for longer than usual. For example: When I apply my makeup at 8h00 in the morning, I usually have to blot my T-zone around the 14h00 mark (sooner if it’s a particularly hot day). When I used Matte Rescue, my skin / finished makeup look did appear to be more mattified initially, but I still had to blot around the 14h00 mark.
Benefit recommends applying the original POREfessional Face Primer over the gel to ensure the skin is truly pore-free and prepped for your foundation. I decided to test this, so I used it with various primers, and without. The result? With a pore-filling primer my pores did look smaller (but that’s what they’re supposed to do), and my skin smoother but I didn’t find my makeup stayed shine-free for longer than usual.
Admittedly Matte Rescue hasn’t eliminated my need to blot completely (especially on a hot & humid day) but when used alone (without a primer) it did prevent my makeup from sliding around throughout the day. Do I think it’s necessary to purchase this product if you already own a mattifying primer that does a decent job of controlling oil? Nope – after adding this mattifier as an additional step to my skincare routine, I didn’t really notice my oil build-up was controlled for a longer period of time – especially when compared to my original POREfessional Face Primer, or any other primer for that matter.
BENEFIT THE POREFESSIONAL INSTANT WIPEOUT MASKS ♥ R405,00
We all know clogged pores around the nose, forehead, and chin can lead to breakouts and enlarged pores. According to Benefit, the POREfessional Instant Wipeout Masks exfoliate & clarify the skin, removes impurities, and tighten pores.
The POREfessional Instant Wipeout sheet masks come in an adorable little briefcase. The briefcase contains 8 sheet masks which can be used across the nose & cheeks, or on the forehead / chin to treat congested pores. Unlike other sheet masks, this one comes with a little turquoise button you need to press to release the pore-clarifying liquid into the sheet, this activates the mask.
As much as I love pretty packaging and innovative designs, it’s the actual product inside that needs to be top notch. The Instant Wipeout Masks contain mushroom extract (known to help clear pores) and have a strong menthol smell. Each mask is made of a textured fabric to help exfoliate the skin.
So you pop the pod to drench the sheet mask, and then peel the packaging apart to remove the ready-to-use mask. It’s not a full face mask, but rather a type of long strip mask that can either be placed across the nose & cheek area or across the forehead. My pore-rific problem area is across my nose and cheeks (not so much my forehead or chin) so the shape of the actual sheet mask is ideal.
I’ve only used 1 of the sheet masks so far, and I don’t see myself using the rest of them unfortunately. The very first time I used the Instant Wipeout Mask I wasn’t able to keep it on for the recommended 10 minutes. I don’t have sensitive skin at the moment but this mask stung like nothing I’ve ever experienced before – almost like an intense cold burning sensation. As soon as I applied the mask across my nose area, my eyes started watering – the sheet mask has quite a strong scent (menthol) and I think the ‘vapour’ started irritating my eyes. I left it on for as long as I could (I think I lasted for about 7 minutes) but the discomfort was too much for me, and I then removed it. I had a look at my pores and didn’t really notice a difference to be honest, but my skin was a bit inflamed. I rinsed my face, and fortunately the redness didn’t last that long. I have a relatively high pain threshold, and I’m not going to lie – this product was painful. Perhaps I have a sensitivity to one of the ingredients? Not sure… I’ll get Neal to use it tonight and will add his experience to this blog post. He has very oily skin, and so his pores are quite large. But he does have sensitive eyes, though, so we’ll see.
Benefit Cosmetics products are sold at Benefit counters in selected Edgars and Red Square stores (for a list of the stores, click here). Alternatively you can also buy some of their products in the Red Square online store.
I really wanted to like these 2 new products from Benefit Cosmetics, but unfortunately they just didn’t work out for me. Have you tried them? What are your thoughts?
I often wonder if, instead of dedicating a full blog post to a ‘negative’ review, I should perhaps just not feature the products that don’t work out for me at all. But then I think of the people who might be wondering if a certain product is worth it – and if I don’t feature the products that left me feeling disappointed, then noone will ever know that said product might not work for them either. I have no idea of that even makes any sense… What do you think?