Let’s face it: Even the best foundations, tinted moisturizers and BB/CC creams can sometimes look a little heavy. Sure, some are better than others, but those usually come at a price — sacrificing coverage for having our skin look like skin. Looking poreless usually means having to opt for a heavy foundation that covers not just discoloration, acne scars or blemishes, but also the areas of our skin we don’t mind allowing to shine through.
Instead of looking for that one holy grail do-it-all foundation, take a step back and start from the very beginning of every makeup routine. That’s right — start with the primer.
The REN Clean Skincare Perfect Canvas might look minimal, but it sure is mighty. While it doesn’t outright say it on the bottle — it’s labeled as a “silicone-free skin finishing serum” — it’s meant to be used as a primer. It helps diminish the visibility of pores, so the skin already looks like it passed through FaceTune way before foundation even enters into the mix. I personally use this around my nose, where my pores look largest, and down my T-zone, where I have a tendency to get oily throughout the day.
Let’s talk about the key ingredient this primer doesn’t have: Silicone. If you have oily skin, you’re probably all-too-familiar with the stuff. It’s in many mattifying primers and foundations for the sheer reason that it’s pretty effective and minimizing shine and making pores appear non-existent. However, silicone can sometimes pill, especially if there’s a silicone-based foundation being applied over it.
Instead of using silicone to mattify skin, Perfect Canvas employs Agave Tequilana extract for a smooth finish. Probiotics and hyaluronic acid help to diminish the appearance of wrinkles, dry patches and enlarged pores. The probiotic extract, in particular, helps speed up epidermal growth, and boosts the production of essential proteins and enzymes and promoting overall skin health. Glucans also help rebalance and create homeostasis by promoting skin-friendly bacteria and optimizing skin health. It’s a natural, cruelty-free and clean way to get a flawless face. Seriously, skip the Facetune and leave all the chemicals and harmful ingredients at the door.
While the primer can certainly be used alone for a pretty blurring effect, Dermstore recommends applying two to three drops to the fingertips and pressing them over the face and neck until the product has been fully absorbed into the skin. Afterwards, follow up with foundation or BB cream for a truly pore-less finish. Less is truly more: I get by on just two drops for my whole face, though I like to use just a drop to apply it in spots that need the most attention. If I’m not wearing makeup that day or think my skin doesn’t need any extra coverage, I mix this in with my moisturizer and SPF before I set off for the day.
I’m not the only one obsessed with this find from REN. Not only do reviewers insist that it’s worth the money, but some even swear it’s irreplaceable in their routine. Reviewers suggest pairing it with a water-based foundation to reap the full extent of the benefits of Perfect Canvas and some oily-skinned shoppers even said they don’t have to use powder when wearing Perfect Canvas underneath foundation. That’s some seriously high praise!
If foundation mysteriously slipping off halfway through the day is an issue, or if oily skin and larger-seeming pores are being annoying, try Perfect Canvas. Your skin (and the rest of your makeup drawer) will thank you.
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