Photo: Robin Derrick/Trunk Archive
Like almost everyone, my skin changed dramatically once I turned 30. My dark circles were darker, my blemishes took longer to fade, and the creases around my mouth and eyes grew deeper. Any "miracle" makeup I tried did the opposite of plumping up my skin, instead settling into my skin, caking up, and making me look older. In our selfie-obsessed culture, I've also become more aware of how my face looks in photos.
Maybe it's the world's love of selfies that’s caused a flood of blurring products to rain down on my desk. From primers to beauty balms to products that promise to erase my pores and disguise my crow's-feet — one brand after another swears that their product works better than an Instagram filter.
How? With silicone. Sure, it’s controversial when it comes to skincare (it can clog your pores), but if you’re looking for a quick fix, it'll fill in your pores, blurring acne scars and hiding wrinkles. Makeup artists swear by silicone-based primers to get their celebrity clients red-carpet-ready since whatever you put on top blends better and lasts longer. Completely clear and practically weightless, they're also ideal for a makeup minimalist like myself. I've tried a bunch; these are the best. (That said, everyone’s skin is different, and those with oily or particularly dry skin might have to experiment to find their favorite.)
Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser Primer ($7)
This easy-to-use primer blurs blemishes and deters oil.
Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm ($34)
You can use this anywhere, but it works real magic on your legs. The barely shimmering pigment washes over any redness, wrinkles, bruises, or veins, and antiaging ingredients tighten and lift the skin, too.
L’Oreal Visible Lift Blur Blush ($13)
A creamy cheek tint that comes in peach, pink, and berry shades, this one manages to minimize flaws and deliver real color, without being too heavy.
Kiehl's Micro-Blur Skin Perfector ($35)
Applied under makeup, this acts like a retouching wand, providing the perfect canvas for your cosmetics. Repeated use will result in a smoother complexion over time.
Smashbox Photo Finish 24 Hour Shadow Primer ($20)
This slightly tinted primer is meant for your eyelids. It hides dark shadows, keeps eyeshadow from sliding off, and can even make colors look brighter.
Lancôme La Base Pro Pore Eraser ($38)
Great for oily skin, this mattifying product minimizes imperfections and evens out skin texture. It also reflects light, to deliver a candlelit glow.
Mally Poreless Face Defender ($40)
This one isn’t new, but if you haven’t tried it you should. Celebrity makeup artist Mally Roncal uses this completely clear product on her clients as a finishing product in lieu of powder for a diffused, flawless look. The best part is you can reapply all day on top of your cosmetics to keep lines and shine at bay.