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While I’m happy that my oily skin is apparently going to ward off wrinkles more than those with dry skin, I’m not so thrilled with the other side effect that comes with shine: large pores. I’ve always had big pores and as I age they’re becoming more and more visible. Not to mention, looking after large pores is kind of a full-time job.

And while beauty aisles are overflowing with pore-minimizing products, they aren’t all created equal. Luckily, I’ve tried my fair share of them and created a need-to-know list. Here are the must-haves for when you want to blur, smooth, shrink and clean out your large pores.

Urban Decay Optical Illusion Complexion Primer, $38

Emily MacCulloch

Having a top-notch primer is key to making your makeup go the distance, which can be a challenge when you have large pores that often become more visible with makeup.

This Urban Decay primer has become my every day go-to, I seriously can’t function without it. The first time I applied it I was pleasantly surprised by how my skin looked before I even applied makeup. It’s super silky, helps my foundation go on smoother and its light pink hue brightens my often tired-looking complexion.

I only apply it to the centre of face and then buff it out over my cheekbones as those are the areas that are in the most need of blurring. The formula contains argan, rosehip and meadowfoam seed oils to moisturize the skin and while it boosts hydration, it doesn’t leave my skin feeling heavy. It also does an A+ job of keeping my makeup on all day which is no easy feat as my oily skin makes my makeup slide off by midday.

Bobbi Brown Instant Detox Hawaiian Sea Water & White Clay Mask, $55

Emily MacCulloch

 

There are so many clay masks on the market that help clean out decongested pores (and I’ve tried at least 90% of them) but this one from Bobbi Brown is my absolute fave.

Containing a blend of Hawaiian sea water, sea salt and Amazonian white clay, it digs deep down into pores to clean out toxins and impurities. And unlike most clay masks, this one isn’t extremely tight on the skin when it dries which means it won’t leave your skin parched.

Instead, when you rinse it off your skin feels super smooth, hydrated and most importantly pores are clean and minimized. I use this mask at least one a week to keep breakouts at bay and keep my skin clean and happy.

Benefit The POREfessional Pore Minimizing Makeup, $40 (available May 25th)

Emily MacCulloch

Out of all the pore-minimizing foundations out there, this is the first one I’ve tried that gets the right lightweight texture down pat. It has sheer to medium buildable coverage which is just what large pores need as anything too heavy might go on well, but after a few hours formulas with a lot of coverage tend to highlight pores.

Housed in the bottom of the bottle is a pore-blurring sponge which I love using for touch-ups but I prefer to use a flat top foundation brush for application to really buff the foundation onto my skin for a more airbrushed finish. The texture is a little on the watery side, which is actually a plus as it makes the formula more pliable to buff and blend. And don’t let the lightweight texture fool you, it controls oil and mattifys the skin for eight hours. I always dust a translucent powder through my t-zone to set it (NARS Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder is A+) and I know I’m in good hands for at least a couple hours without worrying about touch-ups.

Shiseido Ibuki Smart Filtering Smoother, $29

Emily MacCulloch

While I’m a fan of blotting papers (I always have a pack in my purse for blotting emergencies), this pocket-sized smoother has become my new must-have.

While it works really nicely under makeup, its touch-up powers are unbeatable. You’ll often find me dabbing it over my t-zone for a mid-afternoon skin pick-me-up and it’s now replaced my beloved blotting powder. While I still love blotting powder, it can sometimes get cakey and settle into pores, especially if it’s been reapplied a couple times throughout the day. A couple dabs of this lightweight serum mattifies the skin for up to six to eight hours thanks to an innovative formula that contains oil targeting micro powder inside the liquid. Instantly mattifying skin and absorbing excess oil, it truly is like a filter in a bottle.

Vichy Idéalia Day Care Moisturizer, $45

Emily MacCulloch

Using the right makeup is a no-brainer for blurring pores, but skincare (especially your everyday routine) can also play a big role. While I love my skin to be glowy, sometimes illuminating moisturizers can be a bit of a nightmare on textured skin with large pores.

This new Vichy moisturizer is actually meant for textured skin as it targets fine lines and pores. Containing antioxidant superstars like fermented black tea and blueberry extract to combat free radicals, it’s hydrating enough that my skin feels soft and supple post-moisturizing but lightweight enough that it doesn’t clog my pores or leave me with extra, unwanted shine. I’ve been using it for about a month or so and I’ve noticed a big difference in my overall skin texture and luminosity and my pores do look a little less visible. The line also contains a great peel that you can use nightly to help remove dead skin cells and even out texture.

You know what they say, the proof is in the selfie.

Emily MacCulloch