Sunday, March 4, 2018


Since my skin can get pretty oily, I am always on the lookout for mattifying products. Preferably ones that tackle the problem from within my skin and not just on the surface on my skin (like applying powder). So when I saw the Clinique Pore Refining Solutions Stay-Matte Hydrator, that's a mouthful, I really wanted to test it out! I had never really used an expensive product for my oiliness, so I was really excited to test it.
It comes, like all Clinique products, in a pastel green box. Inside the box is, of course, the product. The Stay-Matte Hydrator comes in a pump, that's a plus. The bottle feels solid and it doesn't feel like drugstore pumps which it shouldn't, since you pay more for this than a drugstore product. When you pump the product out, the pump feels sturdy, like the cap. I don't feel like this hydrator is made of cheap plastic.

But enough about the packaging! Let's talk about the product. the hydrator has a gel-like white color. It's not white white as a cream, it's less opaque, I guess that's because it is an oil-free formula. The product goes on smoothly and does not contain perfume. It smells pretty much like nothing. When it's pretty much all absorbed into the skin it feels velvety, my face looks matte, but it's not a miracle product that made my face look poreless. I don't believe that any product really can make your face smooth like a baby's skin, unless it's something that fills up your pores temporarily until you wash it off.

The claims of this hydrator is that it mattifies instantly, hydrates and curbs the excess oil and shine for 8 hours. "Even T-zones feel fresh, stay comfortably matte. Instantly refined the look of pores with unique light-scattering optics. Over time, pores seem smaller. Non-acnegenic." That sounds pretty much like a dream, doesn't it?

I have used this product pretty much all summer last year. During the summer my face gets very greasy if not sweaty. It didn't make my face less greasy though the claims are that the hydration, but I have to say that the "condition" of my skin is very extreme during the summer, my face gets very very greasy and if it's hot there might even be some sweat drops on my forehead. I almost used it up and I put it away. I pretty much forgot about it until I was cleaning out my makeup drawers last weekend. I decided to finish the product and write something about it.

I remember I got pretty frustrated with this product, because I had really high hopes and expectations. Could I finally have found THE product to make my pores less visible and my face less shiny throughout the day? But I did not. Though it did make my face instantly matte, it didn't keep my face matte for 8 hours, what are they talking about curbing excess oil for 8 hours? Why did I lay so much money for a product that doesn't live up to its claims? I didn't see my pores being refined.. So I was pretty upset. Though I love the pump and the feel of the sturdy packaging, I was using this product every day a bit frustrated, because it did make my face instantly matte, but it just didn't keep it matte. So when it was almost done, I put it aside and stopped using it.

And when I saw it last weekend, I decided to give it one more go until it was all finished and here we are.

Like before, the product applies very smooth and instantly mattifies my face. It doesn't mattify my face extremely, that it makes my face look like frosted glass, but it's matte with some sort of healthy glow underneath. So it's living up to it's claim with the light-scattering optics. It is supposed to be applied as a moisturizer in your skin care routine, after the pore refining serum. For me, the hydrator has a too light of a texture for me. I feel like after an hour or so after application, the hydrator doesn't hydrate anymore, not because my skin feels tight and dry, but that's just how I feel about most gel-textured moisturizers, I feel like the product isn't there anymore and does nothing for my skin anymore.

This is what my hand looks like before I apply anything. I haven't used my hand cream yet and since the weather outside is so frightful, my hands are pretty dry đŸ˜¬.

I haven't used a lot on my hand, because I'm running low, but I figured it was enough to show you how the product makes your skin look.

After I applied the product my skin looks like this. Where I applied the product the skin doesn't appear as dry anymore and the surface looks smoother. My skin doesn't look super matte, but it isn't glowy either. I made some closeup pictures to show you what I mean.

As you can see my skin looks pretty much like normal skin, but it also is reflecting the light a bit. It looks healthy.

In this picture you see what the hydrator does. On the right side, closest to the edge of my hand, you can see that the skin is still dry and on my knuckle the light is  reflecting almost as if my skin is a mirror. In the middle of the back of my hand, where I put the hydrator, you can see that it's more matte.

The product does make my skin look beautiful, but does it keep doing that for 8 hours? For me, no. It does not. It makes my skin beautifully matte right after application, but after a while the effect is gone. It hydrates my skin pretty well, but I'm not blown away by the hydration. As for instantly refining the look of pores: No. It doesn't do wonders, it might be a optical thing, that the light scatters in such way that my pores look less visible, but I apply foundation on top of it, so the light scattering properties are as good as covered after I apply my foundation.

I think maybe the pore refining line of Clinique might live up to its promise if you use the entire line, but I only got this product.

Final verdict: I think the hydrator does a beautiful job mattifying my face after application, this does not hold up for 8 hours, but it does hold up for several hours, depending on what zone (my T-zone gets greasy much faster for example). I do feel like I'm less greasy at the end of the day during the winter, but I still think that only using this hydrator isn't enough hydration for me, I like to put a simple moisturizer underneath it. I also love how the hydrator makes my skin feel, it gives a beautiful velvet feel and finish to my face. Making your pores look more refined and less visible isn't only depending on the use of one product, so I don't think it's fair to have too high expectations when buying this product (though the name of the product does make you have high expectations of it).
Like I said, only using this product to refine your pores won't work. I think with good skin care, priming and setting all together you can make your pores less visible and your skin much smoother.

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