It is like smearing watery white glue on your face. Total Matteness brings about positive effects. When I use my Clean and Clear blotting sheets I still get a lot of oil, but when I look in the mirror I can't even tell. My face is totally matte: no shiny light bulb nose, greasy cheeks and chin...and my makeup is intact! It is pricey though.
I absolutely love this stuff!!!! My face is extremely oily and this keeps me matte for hours longer than anything else. It doesn't last a whole work day but It lasts way past lunch time... nothing blotting papers or powder can't fix. I hate putting so much stuff on my face because of my oily skin but this is really lightweight and sinks into the skin to absorb the oil. I don't really see any pore minimization but I use something else for that. I wish it wasn't so expensive but I will repurchase once I'm out which I hope isn't soon because I'm trying to work through some other stuff and only using this on special occasions.
THIS REVIEW IS FOR THE MATTIFYING PROPERTIES, NOT THE PORE-MINIMIZING PROPERTIES :)
When I was buying one of my two go-to oil control primers the saleslady asked me if I'd ever tried this. I hadn't, so she took me back for a sample.
She put a little of the running, slightly transparently white on my finger and I tried it on my face in a mirror. I didn't have any makeup on that day so it was a good day for a tester :) It went on lightweight and I couldn't feel it on my face. It dried up the oil in that spot so I figured what the heck and I bought it. She assured me it's the "best" product out there for oil control. A person's face cannot be more oily than mine IMO. T-zone? I WISH lol. More like an O, A, 8, and M zone combined.
THE GOOD: so lightweight I cannot feel it on my face. I have to reapply once during the day (in summer). I can easily see how once per day would be enough for most people. It doesn't take much to cover my face because of its thin consistency. I can put makeup over it more easily than with my other two products, because it's lightweight and blends more easily. I also like that if I put my powder over it before it dries it doubles as a very light, very sheer foundation and powder combo :)
I like the packaging. It's in a 1 fl. oz. glass bottle with a medicine dropper.
It's pretty much odorless.
***I should mention one of the ingredients is an AHA***
I can't yet speak to the poor-minimizing claim as I'm not really using it for that reason and therefore not paying attention.
THE BAD: It's pricey - $40 at Ulta, not on sale. I'll probably only use this in the summer and at work (because it's so lightweight, and it gets hot in the lab which makes my face leak oil) and on special occasions. I'm not sure how often Philosophy items go on sale. It may be cheaper online, too. It doesn't take a lot of product to do the job, so I imagine I'd go through it more quickly than most people because I reapply on my lunch break everyday (very oily skin and work in a hot environment).
THE UGLY: Can't think of anything ugly about it except that it sort of resembles something else that is lightweight, and translucent-white that you would not want to carry around in your makeup bag.
Overall, LOVE this product!