Benefit’s Porefessional Primer: a makeup bag favorite

Anyone who reads my posts with any regularity has probably figured out that I have an ongoing love affair with primers.  I think it goes back to the days when I used to paint.  A perfectly prepared canvas was a thing of beauty and if set up properly, it made a world of difference.

I sort of take the same approach to makeup.

more primer than I usually use for the face

I have large pores on my nose and cheeks and so finding a primer that can fill those, and smooth out the canvas of my face before I start to apply the paint, er, makeup, is a good thing. 

The Pore Professional from Benefit Cosmetics is not a new product.  It has been around for a long time. It has been talked about in great detail by a lot of people. Some love it, some scorn it. Some have moved on to other primers. While i use many different primers, the Pore Professional is still one of the products I routinely return to use and like having in my dressing table. 

Ingredients: CYCLOPENTASILOXANE, DIMETHICONE, DIMETHICONE/VINYL DIMETHICONE CROSSPOLYMER, ISONONYL ISONONANOATE, SILICA, DIMETHICONE CROSSPOLYMER, ISODODECANE, PHENOXYETHANOL, POLYMETHYL METHACRYLATE, 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. N° 04932/N

Benefit Cosmetics

If you take a quick look at the ingredients list you will see the words Dimethicone-vinyl-dimethicone-crosspolymer.  I know my darlings, it is a mouthful. But it is an important mouthful.

Dimethicone-vinyl-dimethicone-crosspolymers are flexible silicon polymers consisting of dimethicone copolymers that are crosslinked. It acts as viscosity increasing agent, dispersing agent, and an emulsion stabilizer.

Again, a mouthful. I know, take a breath and reassure yourself that there will be no pop quiz later on. No one is going to ask you to break it down chemically, you just need to remember what that ingredient looks like so you can spot it on a label. And why would you want to? Because of what it means when it appears.

What it means essentially is that this primer is a silicone based primer. I know, a lot of big words to say something so simple.

You might be asking yourself, why does this matter?

It matters because like works with like. 

Have you ever seen your balsamic salad dressing separate into oil and water particles?  That’s because oil and water don’t mix, at least not without shaking and even then, they will separate out once the shaking stops.

Primers and foundations are the two ingredients you want to combine on your face.  Generally speaking there are silicon based primers and foundations and water based primers and foundations. There are exceptions, but this is true for the bulk of products.

No primer on left, primer on the right, you may need to zoom into a cheek to see the pore difference but the redness of my current chin blemish is reduced.

If you use a silicone based primer with a water based foundation it is a little like the oil and water in your balsamic dressing.  While you don’t have to constantly shake your face, you essentially have two products that don’t actually want to combine that you are trying to combine. They might klayer, but they aren’t going to be happy about it, and the unhappy layering can make even a good foundation act up.

If you use a silicone based primer with a silicone based foundation, things will go much more smoothly. The same is true for a water based primer and a water based foundation. So while discussing crosslinked copolymers may not be your idea of a good time, spotting Dimethicone-vinyl-dimethicone-crosspolymers  on your product labels will help you pair products for a much easier application.

This week I again used the Ulta Beauty Youthful Glow Foundation (The link will take you to the foundation review) and yes, those lovely cross polymers are present on it’s label, which means it plays well with the Pore Professional.

This primer does have a bit of a tint to the product, which I use to my advantage.  Most of my primer application is done across my nose and on my cheeks.  I don’t find it necessary to cover the entire face with it as I don’t have enlarged pores anywhere else. This does let me use less of the product and so each tube lasts longer. 

Because it is slightly tinted, I tend to add a small amount to areas of redness as well so that there is a more uniform look to my skin under the foundation.  I find this also lets me use less concealer a the blemishes are partially covered as well.

If I am going for a low makeup day, often times I will just use primer and powder and just skip the foundation all together.  It depends on how my skin is doing that day and what the day holds. It isn’t a terribly long lasting look as it needs the foundation to lock it in, but when your regular conference call turns into a zoom call, a little squeeze of primer quickly applied and topped with a dusting of powder is a super quick primp.

I’d say it is a no tool look, But I have never been good using the puffs that come in the powder compact. I love my No. 7 powder but I lose its little powder puff within a day or two of opening it. So even though I use my hands to smooth on the primer, I go with a powder brush for application, which makes it a one tool look. To finish it you can make it a three product day and add mascara. (Just make sure you don’t jab yourself in the eye with the wand as you are trying to find a shirt with no coffee stain on laundry day. Trust me, that will take infinitely longer.)

The Poreprofessional is a good product to do this with as it does have that slight tint to take down any redness and diminish signs of dark spots as well as filling in pores. It is also a matte product so there are no shiny spots left to glare into the camera. Overall it is a good primer and one I like keeping in my dressing table for rotation into my weekly makeup bag.  I was happy that I got to use it again this week and I look forward to using it the next time it circles back into my makeup bag.


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