Tested on animals:Yes
Stila's Perfectly Poreless Putty Perfector has a tongue-twister of a name, but, when applied before foundation, really works to reduce the appearance of pores because its soft-focus effect blurs minor imperfections. Its soft matte finish is ideal for combination to oily skin, including breakout-prone skin. Sounds good, right? Not so fast, as there are some trade-offs to consider.
Packaged in a slightly thick compact that houses a well-made synthetic sponge applicator, the putty has a semi-soft, slightly sponge-like texture. It's easy to pick up with the included sponge, your fingers, or, as Stila recommends, a brush. Specifically, Stila recommends using their Wonder Brush, a synthetic fiber brush whose bristles are stubby and densely packed for more concentrated application. Regardless of the application tool you use, Perfectly Poreless Putty Perfector presents the same issues, both good and bad.
The good is that whether applied with the sponge, your fingers, or a brush, you get a nice pore-filling, blurring effect whose soft tint works to help unify an uneven skin tone. Stila offers their pore-blurring product in five shades, almost all of which are workable—the golden peach Medium should be considered carefully, as it goes on rather bright and is difficult to tone down. Otherwise, the shade range serves those with fair to dark skin tones quite nicely.
Once set, this feels weightless—a bit surprising, as the texture in the compact appears thick. Because of each shade's tint, if you pair this with foundation (which we highly recommend), you'll need to be sure the colors mesh well so that your foundation shade doesn't look off.
We recommend pairing this with foundation because, applied on its own, the formula eventually "falls" into pores, making the larger pores look dotted with color. In contrast, when applied under foundation (as a primer of sorts), the results are considerably better. Skin texture is smoother, skin tone looks more even, and most important, pores look smaller—and stay that way for several hours.
Our recommended method of application runs counter to what Stila advises, as they recommend you apply Perfectly Poreless Putty Perfector alone or over foundation. When we applied this over foundation (again, regardless of the tool used) it not only disrupted our foundation, but also caused the treated areas to look a bit chalky, as if over-powdered with a lighter color than our skin, plus pores looked dotted with color rather than de-emphasized.
As far as Stila's claim of moisturizing properties, this really doesn't feel too hydrating—at least not for dry skin or dry patches. On the other hand, the powder-like matte finish isn't noticeably drying or dulling, either.
By now you can see what we meant by trade-offs. Perfectly Poreless Putty Perfector isn't for everyone concerned with hiding large pores, but if you're curious to see how its visual effects look on your skin, it's worth an audition. Just be sure to apply it before foundation, avoid applying it on its own, and you can judge for yourself how well this reduces and blurs the appearance of pores. When applied as we explained, we were impressed with the performance of this fragrance-free formula—but it can just as easily go the other way if you follow Stila's usage instructions.
- Makes good on its claim to reduce the appearance of pores.
- Enhances skin texture and tone when paired with foundation.
- Matte finish without making skin look dry or flat.
- Fragrance-free formula.
- Applied on its own or over foundation as advised, it collects in pores, requiring extra blending.
- Not advised for touch-ups on the go, as it visually works best when used as pre-makeup primer.
- Because of each shade's color, it can be tricky to ensure an even match with your foundation.