Thursday, 22 May 2014

Benefit The POREfessional Pro Balm (review)

Benefit The POREfessional Pro Balm

This is the U.K.'s best-selling primer. Now, if that wasn't a fact, I'd question it as I'll say right here and now: I'm not that impressed. There's nothing inherently wrong with this (rather expensive) face primer, it's just I've used better products that minimise the appearance of pores and give me a more polished look better than The POREfessional, yet they cost less to buy!

From any twenty-five pound primer I expect class-leading performance and while there are many positives, I want to get the negatives out of the way first:

It's Eco Unfriendly
While no make-up primer I've ever tried is truly natural, this is worse than many as it contains four colourants as well as parfum, numerous silicones and other potentially-suspicious ingredients. On top of all that Benefit partakes in animal testing.

Not Oily Skin Compatible
many complimentary reviews have stated that it's not a drying primer, which I agree with (many primers can leave skin feeling a little parched). However, on oily skin such as mine, I find it leaves a film that never goes away, no matter how little I use.

Pores Are Still Visible
Oily skin = large pores. I'm not expecting miracles here, but if other general-use primers can disguise them, I expect a product designed to tackle this very issue to be a master. And it isn't. My pores are no less visible after application than they were before!

That Price!
Many people wouldn't think twice about the price, but I firmly believe you're paying for the name rather than the performance with this product. Boot's No7 primers are mostly better than this (although some are accused of being drying, but not on me!) and they range in price from just £10.50 to £19.50.

Benefit The POREfessional Pro Balm

Now that's out of the way, here are the positives aspects of The POREfessional primer:

Very Silken Formula
The texture is amazing, no question. It's silky smooth and ultra soft for a really indulgent-feel. It's not heavy-feeling like you might expect, either; it's lightweight and easy to spread wherever you want it. It's also suitable for applying both underneath make-up and on top for late afternoon touch-ups.

Au Naturelle-Look
It also goes on invisibly despite the colourings included. I was worried the dye would tint my face, but I didn't need to, it's not a BB cream. While I'm not impressed by the pore-disguising ability, it does give your face a slightly smoother look. It's very subtle, almost as if you're wearing nothing at all, so fans of the bare-naked look will love this.

No Spots Here
This has never given me blemishes – which I can't say for all primers! – I even accidentally slept with it on once, and suffered no ill effects. It helps that it's oil-free (including a reassuring lack of mineral oils) and being made by Benefit you know it's high quality, even if I personally don't think it's all that effective.

To summarise it's fair to say I don't get what all the fuss is about. I've read many positive reviews and I don't doubt their voracity, but I'm just of a different opinion. It doesn't do anything for me. The fact it costs so much is almost like rubbing salt on an open wound. I don't often try a product with such high expectations, but it seems when I do I always come away disappointed!

Too many undesirable ingredients
Luxurious texture
Doesn't cover pores effectively

Oily face looks no less oily

Too expensive


Brand: Benefit

Size: 22 ml
Price: £24.50 (£111.36/100 ml)

Manufactured: United States

Ingredients: Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Dimethiccone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Isononyl Isononanoate, Silica, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Isodedecane, Phenoxyethanol, Polymethyl Methacrylsate, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Cyclohexasiloxane, Tocopheryl Acetate, Fragrance (Parfum), Mica, Iron Oxides, (CI 77492), Limonene, Iron Oxides (CI 77491), Iron Oxides (CI 77499), Triethoxycaprylylsilane, BHT

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