Pores are a part of life and our skin. We co-exist with them. But if the pores on your facial skin are large or if their visibility simply annoys you, especially when you are hoping to achieve a smooth canvas on which to apply your makeup, you have options. Allow pore minimizers to come to your rescue as they have mine.
My pores are relatively normal and they never really bothered me much... until I received separate samples of both The Estee Edit Pore Vanishing Stick and Milk Makeup's Blur Stick. I alternated each color-less product during my morning routine to lessen the appearance of the pores on my face and that's when I noticed how much I preferred a reduced pore, minimal shine look.
Previously, I would use a serum, moisturizer, and concealer where needed; I usually add a light dose of liquid foundation when I want full coverage. I always finish with MAC Studio Fix Powder for a smooth, clean look. I don't usually contour or do dramatic highlighter; I save the drama for lips and eyes.
Now, I have fully integrated these pore minimizers into my daily routine and I use the two aforementioned products interchangeably.
Estee's Pore Vanishing Stick and Milk's Blur Stick have different looks, but they do the same job incredibly well... at least on my partially oily, partially normal skin that isn't prone to breakouts.
The Estee Edit Pore Vanishing Stick, $28, Sephora.com
As part of my routine, I swipe either The Pore Vanishing Stick or The Blur Stick before I apply my serum and moisturizer and it acts like a invisible layer of mattification that effectively blurs pores. Sometimes, I add it after my moisturizer fully absorbs. It depends on my mood and preference for the day.
Experiment with both options and see which gives you the better result. I find the result to be rather similar regardless of when I apply the pore minimizer.
Essentially, these pore minimizing sticks are mattifying primers. They absorb oil and leave you with a smooth, matte, and shine-free canvas while "blurring" pores. They are not actually making them smaller; they just make them less visibly prominent. One swipe and I can see the difference when I look in the mirror while getting ready.
Blur Stick, $36, MilkMakeup.com
I sometimes use the Milk Blur Stick on lazy days. It just gives me a smooth, "no makeup," and almost flawless look when I don't feel like doing powder and concealer or when I just want my skin to breathe. While it looks light beige in the tube, it's color-less on skin. My skin is matte AF after two or three swipes, though!
Whether or not a pore minimizer works for you, your skin type, and your pores is a matter of trial and error. I was never really pore-adverse but once I started using a pore minimizer every day, I was happy with the noticable results.