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I’ll admit straight off the bat – I’m a primer girl. I don’t remember a time when I have deliberately applied my makeup without using primer. I’ve done so by accident before, but the icky, weird feeling of applying foundation on your face without the smoothing primer base underneath quickly alerts me to my oversight. I typically wipe off everything and start afresh because that’s how importantly I take my primers.

Imagine, then, my hesitance when I was challenged to go on an entire day with primer only on half of my face. I not only have to deal with the potential consequences of not wearing a primer, I also have to deal with the lopsided feeling of having only half my face experience those consequences.

But, for science!

The primer used for this test

I applied the latest and greatest hype in the beauty scene, the new Benefit POREfessional Pearl Primer, onto half my face.

The Benefit POREfessional Primer is not a cult classic for no reason, and the pore-smoothing formula was just what my acne scars and enlarged pores needed.

We’re willing to bet that you must have at least heard of the hype surrounding the Benefit POREfessional Primer before. If you are curious to try it or already enjoy it, but have a dull complexion that you want to brighten up: we’ve got some unbeatable news for you.

The new Benefit POREfessional Pearl Primer is actually the same oil-controlling, pore-minimising formula as the cult classic, but with an added pearlescence to brighten up your life!

It is designed to brighten dull complexions, but also provides oil control and reduces the appearances of pores in the same way that the original does so well.

I have a lot of acne scars and enlarged pores, so a primer like the Benefit POREfessional Pearl Primer, with pore-blurring and texture-smoothing effects, is doubly important for my skin type!


benefit porefessional pearl primer 1

This is my face after I’ve just completed my morning skincare routine up to my sunscreen, and this is when I would typically apply my primer.

My skin has been very dry since my recent trip overseas to a wintry country, and although I’ve done my due diligence with moisturising sleeping masks, and a ton of moisturiser before I begin my makeup, I still noticed dry patches on my face throughout the day, and I wasn’t producing as much oil as I usually do.

benefit porefessional pearl primer 3

The primer in itself actually has a very subtle glimmer suspended within, so subtle that my camera couldn’t quite capture it properly.

The glimmer was not strong on the face and instead translated to a nice boost of brightness and radiance on the skin – exactly what I needed to start my work day.

benefit porefessional pearl primer 4

Since using fingers and makeup brushes are the two most common ways of applying foundation, I tried both of these techniques out on both sides of my face.

The difference was more clearly felt with fingers – I felt like my foundation didn’t go on as smoothly on the side I hadn’t applied primer, and my fingers were tugging at my skin rather than gliding over it.

With makeup brushes, the tugging feeling was more muted since makeup brushes are softer than fingers, but it was still there and I did not like it.

benefit porefessional pearl primer 6 1

You can definitely see an added brightness on the primer half of my face as compared to the half without. I thought I looked more energised and awake – at least on that half.

As expected, my pores with the Benefit POREfessional Pearl Primer looked smalled and blurred, as compared to the half of my face without primer at all.

My makeup looked more even, silky, and matte on the side with the Benefit primer than without. You can see how my blush seems to melt in better with my foundation when the primer was underneath.

Wear test

By the time I walked back from lunch, my face on the half without primer was beginning to feel a little icky and I was itching to reach for a bit of blotting paper (I resisted).

benefit porefessional pearl primer 7

At 1pm, after walking out and back for lunch

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Despite my drier skin,I definitely started to see more shine on my non-primer side, which really goes to show the importance of primer in helping with oil control!

I only got home at 11pm that day, and this was how my makeup was doing by that time:

benefit porefessional pearl primer 10

At 11pm, almost 16 hours after I had first applied my makeup

Take note that I didn’t blot my face with anything for the whole day. I also didn’t touch up my makeup in any way, so it’s remained completely unaltered since 7.30am that morning.

benefit porefessional pearl primer 9

You can see that the brightening effect of the Benefit POREfessional Pearl Primer has still held up strong for the whole day. The primer half of my face looked significantly brighter than the other half, and my pores still looked smaller.

The half of my face without primer looked greasier and I couldn’t wait to take it off as fast as I could. You can also see how my foundation has been caking up along the sides of my nose and around my mouth to a worser extent on the half without primer.

My verdict?

As I had expected before I began on this challenge, I certainly would not be foregoing my primers anytime soon.


Behold, its attractive pink packaging.

Having to go without primer on one half of my face really hit the point home to me that the texture of your primer really matters in how smoothly your foundation goes on. The Benefit POREfessional Pearl Primer provided an excellent base for my foundation to just glide on and stay in place.

To primer or not to primer? With me, always primer.

The Benefit Cosmetics POREfessional Pearl Primer (22ml) retails at SGD54, and is available at Benefit Westgate Boutique, Sephora, Shilla Duty Free, Lazada, and Zalora.

Just want a taste before you go for the full thing? The mini-sized version (7.5ml) is available and retails at SGD21.