Like Monistat chafing gel and numerous primers, this has silica powder suspended in a silicone base. It mattifies skin slightly, which "blurs" pored and wrinkles - just like how shiny highlighters make them look worse - without feeling as drying as most powders, or having a white cast or tint (on my super pale skin anyway).
- It's in no way a moisturizer or other skin treatment, unless you think your skin benefits greatly from said silicones with a little vegetable shortening added + silica powder. (Which I guess could be the case depending on what you're planning to add on top!)
So, I'm gonna compare it to Monistat gel.
- I just applied each to half of my face; immediate effect is identical to my eyes: less texture, which comes from cutting skin sheen without looking powdery.
I'll check in again in a couple of hours to see if I can tell any difference then.
UPDATE: well it's 4 hours later and I'd definitely be a lot shinier on both sides without anything - still no perceptible difference.
- As for "pore-filling" effect, the Clarins thicker texture feels more likely to have that, but I don't think either of these does actually. Looking in a 10x mirror I don't see tell-tale white dots in my pores (again, I'm very pale) on either side. I really think the actual skin surface is about the same, just blurred thanks to the cut sheen.
The fact that I can't see any difference with/without either of these under powder foundation seems to confirm that.
- Ingredients-wise the base is very similar, but the Clarins primer has hydrogenated vegetable oil among the top 5 or so ingredients, and many more ingredients much lower down.
- It's firmer and has a creamier/greasier feel, where the Monistat is (even) slicker, more slippery and feels a bit more powdery.
- So far I've never noticed any longevity-difference under makeup with either product.
- And I don't even see a visual difference with vs without either product under BareMinerals og foundation, in regards to pores. One of these days I'll try to do a proper half-face comparison. Also under different liquid foundations. As of yet I haven't seen it add anything under Mac face & body.
- As of now, only real use I see for either of these on the face is when you want to go without any base products, but still cut skin texture & shine a bit. If I were a man very concerned about gender presentation but also about my pores, this might appeal to me.
- Oh, bonus tip: the monistat gel on top of shiny lipsticks works the way that the Smashbox Insta-Matte Lipstick Transformer advertises that it works. That is, it gives a semi-matte finish (without the formula acting like an actual matte lipstick, so it doesn't make it more long-lasting, less transfer-prone or drying.)