Review: NARS Pro-Prime Instant Line & Pore Perfector
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A few weeks ago I heard NARS has a new addition to their Pro-Prime lineup – an Instant Line & Pore Perfector. Of course my ears immediately perked up for that. Erases lines and pores, you say? My skin texture is still pretty rough from breakouts, and while I’m pretty excited about my skin being less oily than it used to be, less oil seems to mean more lines. I’m not really interested in giving my skin a plastic, doll-like texture (which I think we can agree would be kind of creepy) but I’m all for evening it out a little bit. The product descriptions seems to fit the bill for that:
This artist essential helps to smooth the appearance of fine lines and reduce large pores to create an even surface for makeup application. Hyaluronic acid filling spheres help deliver a smoothing effect.
It also touts antioxidant benefits provided by vitamins A, C and E, and a mattifying effect that doesn’t dry out the skin. On paper it sounds like a must-have, so of course I had to try it.
This little primer comes in a tube that you could easily mistake for a lip balm. It’s made of a plastic similar to their eye primer – sturdy with a soft, matte-feeling finish. The cap snaps on very firmly, so I’d have zero worries about it falling off. The product twists out just like a lip product or stick concealer. The one thing that surprised me – and therefore I assume might surprise other people – is the size. This thing is seriously tiny – 3.25 inches long, and about as big around as my pinky finger. For size reference, here it is next to an iPhone and a bottle of YSL Teint Touche Eclat, with the product extended all the way up (though I’d been using it for about a week when I took the photo):
So basically, this is definitely not intended to be used as an all-over face primer; instead, it’s more something to use on areas with uneven texture. Luckily it doesn’t seem to need a ton of product for each use, but I’ll try to report back on how long it takes to use up all .05oz/1.4g.
If you’re reading this, probably what you really want to know is “does it work?”. Since pictures are supposedly worth 1000 words (I’m still wondering who determined the exchange rate?), I’ll give you a photo with possibly the most awkward angle ever. The most obvious pores on my face are just to the sides of my nose, so I tested it over those areas. In this photo, I’m wearing my usual primer and foundation (Hourglass No 28 and YSL Teint Touche Eclat). On my right (the left side of the photo) I used the NARS Line & Pore Perfector, and on my left (right side of the photo) I didn’t.
Lucky for you, I’ve got a pretty good variety of skin texture issues going on, so I was able to to test it a few different ways:
- Visible pores – it didn’t completely erase them, but softened the appearance quite a bit
- Fine, shallow expression lines – it works really nicely on these too, and made the horizontal expression lines across my forehead pretty unnoticeable. I applied it to my undereye area after concealer, and it softens those small creases pretty well too
- Deeper expression lines – I tested it on the vertical line between my eyebrows (I apparently squint a lot, need to remember to actually wear my sunglasses) and it softened it a tiny bit, but it was still plenty visible.
Zit cratersAtrophic acne scarring – like deeper expression lines, it helps a tiny bit but not a lot, at least on the larger ones. It does help hide shallower indentations and small icepick scarring.
Basically, this worked best on things that weren’t large/deep enough to create a shadowed area on my skin. Deeper expression lines and pitted scarring are helped more by a highlighter and/or light-diffusing powder, at least for me.
Application & Wear
I’ve been applying this straight from the stick (after primer and before foundation), and then patting it with my finger around the edges. It goes on colorless with a bit of a matte effect, and has a dry-ish silicone texture. It does visually even out skin texture even without foundation, but I decided to take the photos with makeup because the effect was easier to demonstrate that way. I’ve also applied it after foundation and it looked good that way too. The product is fairly thick, so it can tug at your skin if you press down too hard with it. You don’t need a lot though, so there’s really no need to do that.
The product description claims that it mattifies and absorbs oil, but my skin hasn’t been producing enough oil lately for me to confirm or deny; sorry ’bout that. I can say, though, that it doesn’t dehydrate or dry out my skin, which is sometimes a problem I have with mattifying products. It doesn’t cause any weird blending issues with my foundation, and it doesn’t seem to shorten or extend my foundation’s wear time (though I don’t have any problems with that anyway).
Another thing it doesn’t do is clog my pores (yaaaaay!). Thicker silicone primers like Benefit Porefessional or Too Faced Primed & Poreless usually start to clog my skin up after a few days, so I’m really glad to find a pore-hiding primer that doesn’t. I haven’t compared the ingredient lists yet to see where the difference is, but whatever, as long as it works, right?
In Short: I wouldn’t necessarily say this is a miraculous, life-changing product, but I’m happy with the results. I’m a bit concerned about how long the product will last so I may save it for special occasions.
NARS Pro-Prime Instant Line & Pore Perfector ($28) is available at nordstrom.com, sephora.com, and narscosmetics.com
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