Clinique Pore Refining Solutions Instant Perfector Review

by Emma | Last modified: March 7, 2021
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Pores. I know nothing can truly get rid of them, but that hasn’t stopped me from searching for products and doing expensive lasers and peels to help minimize their appearance. Although treatments at the dermatologist’s have helped with the texture on my skin, I find that the pores on my nose are especially tenacious. I have (mostly) made peace with the fact that I will live with these pores for the rest of my life, but since the nose is on the center of the face and draws more attention, I’m always looking for ways to make my pores seem less noticeable.   

While I appreciate the blurless effects of primers, I’ve never liked the way they feel on my skin. The silicone shield that many primers create ends up drying out my skin and can also feel a bit suffocating. While researching for a pore product online, I came across Clinique’s Pore Refining Instant Perfector on The product didn’t draw rave reviews from the experts, but  it still won high praise from community reviewers. Reading through their comments, a lot of their issues mirrored my own. Many of them were not looking for a primer to wear under foundation but wanted a product that would target and improve the appearance of larger pores on the nose. 

Based on the community reviews, I decided to buy the product. I was still a  bit skeptical since the oils on my nose can be quite stubborn, but at $22.50 for a tube, I decided that it was worth a try. 

First Impressions

The product comes in two shades: Invisible Light and Invisible Deep as well as a translucent option in Invisible Bright. What is most striking is the tiny packing. At .5 fl oz, there isn’t a ton of product, but once I started using it I soon realized that a little goes a long way. 

When the product first comes out of the tube, it is dense and almost clay like. I find that a quarter pea-size is more than enough to cover my nose. I apply it after washing, moisturizing and putting SPF on my skin. While the product can be easily applied by swiping it down the nose, I took a hint from one of the reviewers who mentioned that they like to “push” the product into pores like spackle. I find that this technique works well, and then I use my finger to lightly blend in any leftover product. Once I apply it, there is an instant mattifying effect, and it looks as though I powdered my nose even though I haven’t. The finish is both silky and powdery, and when I run my finger down my nose it feels smooth.  

Pros and Cons

This product does a great job in greatly reducing the size of pores on my nose. Since the product is so concentrated, I only have to use the tiniest bit to cover the areas where my pores are most visible. While this product looks great under makeup, I find that it mattifies so well that I often skip foundation on my nose, and instead focus on areas of my face such as covering the  redness on my cheeks. Although this product does have a tint, it is very faint, so I don’t use this as foundation per se. However, I do notice that the redness on my nose is a bit dialed down whenever I use this product. 

I find that I don’t need to powder my nose after using this product, but those with really oily skin may need an extra finish powder on top. When I apply this first thing in the morning, I find that it really holds up during the work day. I only see just a tad bit of oil peek through at the end of the day, which is something I’m totally fine with. Once I apply it, the product stays put and does not transfer to other areas of my face. 


I don’t think the Instant Perfector  is intended to be an all-over primer. It would take a larger quantity to cover the entire face, and considering how dense the product is, I imagine that it would be drying.

lucent skin

There’s also a very limited shade selection. And although this product isn’t intended to provide coverage, those with darker skin types might feel left out. Considering that this product does have a powdery finish, I suspect that using Invisible Bright will slightly change the color of the skin tone when applied. Something to watch out for if you’re using it on an area such as your nose. 

Final Takeaway

If you’re looking for a product to instantly mattify an area of your face in a very focused manner, then I think the Instant Perfector is a great product to use. Although it comes in a tiny tube, don’t be fooled by its diminutive packaging. The product is concentrated and even the smallest amount will create a veil over large pores, concealing texture and taking away the shine. Its small packaging makes it ideal for travel, it can be easily stashed in your purse and used for touch-ups if needed. 

Disclaimer: This website is supported by its readers. I may earn commissions from qualifying clicks or purchases.