This is one of those products that you have to see (or use in this case) it to believe it. It works so differently than the other face primers I've used. You can literally see and feel those pores shrinking right before your eyes – I'm dead serious.
I have this Becca Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector in a super generous sample size from Sephora (100 point perks). I've been testing it for a few weeks now and still have a ton left so they pack quite a bit of product in this little tube. Becca says that this sweat- and humidity-resistant primer eliminates excess oil and mattifies skin for up to 12 hours. It is also silicone-, oil-, alcohol-, and fragrance-free (but not quite paraben-free as it contains Methylparaben).
I didn't have much expectation for this primer to begin with. I mean, every primer on the market claims to do this and that right? Only to find out later that it really doesn't. However, this Becca primer truly does what it says – it mattifies. It seriously mattifies. I was shocked the first time I used it because I'd never seen anything as mattifying! It's pretty extreme. It feels like all the oils are rapidly being sucked out of my pores and in turn resulting in the appearance of them becoming much much less pronounced. (It's like life was being sucked out of them!) In other words, my pores tighten and shrink and my skin becomes instantly matte right before my eyes!
The texture is of a silicony (but it is silicone-free), non-oily, off-white gel. It is thick and a little sticky upon touch but once applied on the skin it is quite weightless. It sets extremely fast to a clear finish and once it does, it will not move. I usually just apply a thin layer with my fingers, pat it in (do not rub) until it's completely dry then I stop. Rubbing or patting after it sets will only tug at your skin. My advice is to use the smallest amount possible to cover the affected area and do it in sections. I experience a tightening sensation along with a cooling/tingling effect (nothing alarming, just enough that you know the primer is doing something to your skin) after application which until now I'm still not sure if I enjoy it or not. It is great in a way that it works to the extreme, but sometimes it just feels a little too extreme, you know what I mean?
Now, the tricky part. Where and when to apply is the key to the success of this primer. I have combination skin, meaning my T-zone is usually oily but the rest of my face is normal to dry. When I applied this primer all over the face, it was not pleasant. My T-zone felt and looked wonderful but the rest of my face felt so tight and dry. So if you have dry skin, it is advisable to get a sample to try first to see if it will dry out your skin even more. As for me, I'm mostly using it sparingly as a spot primer on my T-zone as I cannot stand the dry feeling all over my face. It is also important to apply this primer over a clean and dry skin to prevent the product from balling up and streaking. If you are applying it over a moisturizer, make sure the moisturizer is completely absorbed first. The amount to apply is also important – too much and you will start seeing some dry patches, so as I mentioned, start with the least amount first and build up from there. You can also use this as a base for another pore-minimizing primer to completely conceal the appearance of pores so you don't have to use too much of Becca's and the drying feeling would be more tolerable.
The tight and dry feeling will, however, be subsided when you apply a foundation on top. The primer does help creating a perfect base by blurring fine lines and small imperfections and making my skin look smooth and even. My foundation goes on quite nicely and my makeup stays fresh for long hours but what impresses me the most is how it keeps my shine at bay! I literally don't need to blot at all! I'm curious how this primer performs on oily skin, though. I wonder if it would keep up its performance. I'd assume that you would still have to blot but maybe less often?
Overall, I can see this primer being beneficial to those who have combination to oily skin and those who are looking for a lightweight primer that will seriously mattify the skin and minimize the appearance of enlarged pores simultaneously.