After my raving success with Bioderma Sebium Pore Refiner, I became a primer believer and convert. I had heard that Maybelline was coming out with a new face primer, Baby Skin Instant Pore Refiner, and set out to find it to try.
Maybelline claims this primer visibly smooths out the skin to give a pore-less appearance. They suggest to wear it under makeup for better application or even to wear alone to make the skin look smoother. The product is held inside a mint tube with a screw cap and holds 20 mL of product. I bought this for a little over $5 USD.
This primer is a clear gel with a consistency similar to a thin petroleum jelly. It has no scent. I usually apply an amount about the size shown above and smooth all over my face, concentrating on my pore heavy areas (inner cheeks and nose). The feeling is quite strange, it feels a bit oily and slippery once smoothed over. My guess is because of its heavy silicone base.
Dimethicone, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Stearyl Heptanoate, Caprylyl Glycol, Silica Silylate, Propylene Glycol, Pentaerythrityl Tetraisostearate, Prunus Cerasus Extract / Bitter Cherry Extract.
You can see it does a pretty good job smoothing out lines I have on my dehydrated hands. But enough of the hand test, you want to see it on the face, right?
LEFT SIDE: no primer, RIGHT SIDE: primer
In the picture above I applied the primer onto the left side of my face (your right) and my right side (your left) I kept primer free. Can you tell the difference? In person the effect is a little more apparent. I do notice this make my pores blur out and my skin seem a bit smoother. I am wearing foundation in this picture as the effect wasn't very noticeable on bare skin for me to show you.
I don't like this product. For a few reasons: the first being I don't like the way it feels. Applying it feels greasy and like I just put on a layer of invisible gunk that sits on top of the skin. It does not even compare to the soothing, coolness of Bioderma's product. Even though Maybelline suggests this could be worn alone just to smooth out the skin, I would never wear it that way because I dislike the feeling of it and don't find it makes my bare skin look noticeably different.
Secondly, I feel like the overall effect isn't very noticeable, unless you are the type of person that judges skin at a microscopical level. I won't say it is ineffective at smoothing out the skin as that would be untruthful, but after I end up applying concealer, powder, bronzer and blush, I could not see a huge difference between the two sides of my face.
And finally, I found this primer made me hideously oily. In all fairness, Maybelline does not claim this product to control oil but I did not expect it to push my sebum production into overdrive. About three hours in and I was very slick. Not good.
All in all, this product was a dud for me and I wouldn't recommend it. It doesn't break me out and it does blur out my pores but after I follow through with my normal makeup application the effect is practically unnoticeable. The NARS Light Reflecting Powder gives me a similar effect without the extra oil production. You may like it if you have normal to dry skin and all you expect from a primer is to perfect your skin's texture. If you are looking for oil control or longevity, this is not for you.
Next time I won't be so hasty in giving in to newly released products and instead go for something that would better cater to my needs. Perhaps something like La Roche Posay Effaclar Matte or Vichy Normaderm Total Mat Anti-Shine Mattifier...