We enjoy the effervescent puns of philosophy’s ad copy—whimsy aside, their “hope in a jar” moisturiser actually works, too—so when we heard that the American brand’s new skincare range would go by the playful moniker “total matteness”, we knew we had to test it out.
Our one-line verdict? Skip the pore refiner and zero in on the hero product, the pore eraser.
pore-minimising & mattifying cleanser + mask
Let’s rewind and begin with the all-important first step in any grooming regimen. The “pore-minimising & mattifying cleanser + mask” (quite a mouthful, and yes, all lowercase) has the pleasing hue and consistency of sesame paste thanks to its glacial clay base, and can be used as a daily wash or weekly mask.
We tried it at the end of a long day, and loved the soft suds it yielded when mixed with warm water. Philosophy says the formula is supposed to draw out impurities and sop up excess sebum, and that it sure did. Better yet, it did not leave our skin with that tightly drawn feeling that is the dubious hallmark of overly-astringent cleansers. Because a dollop is plenty for your entire face, this is a good investment for your bathroom cabinet.
oil-free mattifying pore refiner
The aforementioned “oil-free mattifying pore refiner” was a let-down, at least for us. Billed as a skin-brightening lotion infused with lentil seed extract to “strengthen the pore wall and keep pores clear”, we swiped it across our faces with a cotton pad like we would a regular toner. To our consternation, our skin turned pink with irritation—not a good look. For what it's worth, we did pass it on to a friend for a second opinion, and her feedback was more encouraging. We suggest getting a trial set before deciding on your purchase.
oil-free mattifying pore eraser
We've saved the best for last. The “oil-free mattifying pore eraser” passes muster on all counts: packaging, texture and results. The glass dropper dispenser makes for a hygienic and minimalist object of beauty, so to speak, and the velvety serum quenched our thirsty skin and felt lovely under the arsenal of products we piled on post-application. Fast-forward a week and our cheeks had acquired the proverbial glow—almost as if we had a perpetual Gaussian Blur filtering across our miens. A repeat purchase for sure.
Check out the new philosophy total matteness range at Tangs Beauty and all Sephora Singapore outlets.
The “oil-free, mattifying pore eraser” retails for $65, “pore-minimizing & mattifying cleanser + mask” for $45 and “oil-free, mattifying pore refiner” for $41.