Benefit Porefessional review, Best Foundation Primers EVER, foundation primers for acne prone skin, foundation primers for oily skin, Illamasqua Matt Primer review, Loreal Studio Secrets Primer, Magnesium hydroxide, Philips Milk of Magnesia as primer, pore reducing primers, silicone free foundation primer
Best Overall: Philip’s Milk of Magnesia (PMoM)
Wait, what? Yup, your eyes are not deceiving you. I’m sure you’ve seen this listed in some of my FOTD product lists. I have to give a shout-out to Jacki (aka lilpumpkinpie05 on YouTube), who turned me on to using a laxative aid as a primer on my face. Most primers and pore fillers have tons of silicone in them, and the ones that don’t tend to be pricey (hello, Tarte Recreate Primer). PMoM, however, does not contain silicone because it’s meant to be taken internally. At £3.49 a bottle at Boots, it’s also quite affordable and can be easily obtained. Most things that are safe enough to digest without adverse allergic reactions are safe enough for your skin. The magic ingredient in PMoM is Magnesium Hydroxide, which works as an antiperspirant in our deodorants, and is helpful as a topical treatment for canker sores. PMOM is also frequently used as a non-traditional treatment for oily skin and acne. I am completely satisfied with it as a primer, as it is keeps my face matte for longer regardless of which foundation I am using. It also reduces the appearance of my pores without contributing to break-outs.
To use PMoM as a primer, tip a small amount out into the blue cap and use a cotton pad to apply a thin layer to your face. Make sure that the application is even and there are no chunky white spots. Allow it to dry for about five minutes before applying your foundation. For absolute ace results, use with a water-based foundation.
Runner-up for Oil Control, Smoothing: Illamasqua’s Matt Primer
I was pleasantly surprised by this product. Have you ever applied something to you face and feel it instantly working as you smooth it on? Such was my reaction to this primer when I first applied it. I can feel it sucking up oil when I put it on, which gives me a lot of confidence in it. If you find putting Milk of Magnesia on your face a bit suspect (or if you are allergic), this is a good one to try.
Runner-up for Smoothing Large Pores: Loreal Studio Secrets Primer
Compared to many primers, this little jar of goodness is affordable at £11 (Boots, Superdrug). It has a milky gel-like consistency that I find far more effective than MAC’s Matt Gel. I have plenty of large pores in the area on either side of my nose. That area is also super oily and I find this primer to be helpful with both smoothing and pore-filling. It’s a little less effective at controlling oil, but I feel like I’m a big greaseball so this primer may work well for someone with combination skin.
See this FOTD of me wearing the Loreal primer.
♠ Benefit Pore Fessional Pore-Perfecting Primer (£23.50/$43.39, 22ml). Horrendously expensive for such a small amount of product, but that’s Benefit for you. I still don’t understand how they justify charging so much for their products! It does a decent job. If you’re into Benefit’s products or products with luxury price tags, then this is one for you. Wow, I sound enthusiastic, right? Anyway, I bought this last fall before I knew better. I sometimes layer this on top of PMoM when my pores seem particularly out of control.
♠ MAC Prep + Prime Skin (£18/$29, 30ml). I like to use this product on my clients because I find that it soothes any redness, smooths the skin and nicely prepares the face for an even application of foundation. It achieves all this with special effects silicones. It is lacking in the SPF department, but that is a plus for me especially when doing makeup for photography.
I’m always on the hunt for other recommendations, so let me know your suggestions!