Even in my 30’s, oily skin, which accentuates my not so small pores, continues to plague me. Add to that the Summer heat and humidity and things can become a hot mess real fast. I’m always up for trying something that will help control the situation. Enter some conveniently packaged (and hopefully effective) pore blurring and mattifying sticks. Pore and oil control in stick form? Thought that was so neat! I’m excited to bring you guys another battle as I compare how each of them performed. My biggest area of concern in terms of enlarged pores in this area at the top of my cheeks just below my eyes. Oh, and let me apologize ahead of time for the close-up shots of my face but hey, what better way to show if the product actually works?
First up in this battle, we have the Caolion Pore Sebum Control Moisture Stick which is described as a “sebum-controlling moisture balm that helps maintain makeup like it was freshly applied.” It promises to cover pores, smooth uneven skin, moisturize, and soothe while promoting natural radiance through hydration. It is designed to be used before or after makeup application.
This pore blurring and mattifying stick is packaged in a pink and white twistable tube. Although the product itself also appears to have a pink tint, it actually applies clear. It has a smooth, non-sticky balm like texture. Once applied to the skin, it imparts a refreshing, cooling sensation that feels quite nice. And it absorbs very quickly. When I touch my face I cannot detect anything which is nice. Also, there is no fragrance but the faintest hint of scent that can probably be attributed to one of the ingredients.
The oil absorbing agent in the Caolion stick is silica while I’m guessing that the pore blurring ingredient is a silicone (listed as Bis-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane). Despite the inclusion of silicones, the product doesn’t have an overly “silicone-y” feeling to it which is pleasant. I’m not always the biggest fan of silicone heavy primers. In other words, there’s not too much slip. Regarding it’s ability to control oil, I’d say it does a fairly good job. When I use the stick I do notice a moderate improvement in overall oily-ness. On the other hand, I was less than impressed with the product’s pore blurring capabilities. Granted my pores are on the larger size (and look even bigger this close-up) but I expected more.
Ingredients: Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Bis-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, Sodium Stearate, Xylitol, Zanthoxylum Piperitum Fruit Extract, Pulsatilla Koreana Extract, Usnea Barbata (Lichen) Extract, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Brachychiton Acerifolius Flower Extract, Coceth-7, PPG-1-PEG-9 Lauryl Glycol Ether, Potassium Alginate, CI 16185.
The Caolion Pore Sebum Control Moisture Stick contains 0.2 oz of product and retails $16.00 USD.
The Estee Edit Pore Vanishing Stick is an “easy, glide-on stick to blur the look of pores and minimize shine and oil.” It is designed to be used alone or as a primer under makeup. Estee Lauder promises that with a single swipe, pores appear blurred, skintone looks more even, and shine and oil are reduced.
I received this trial size with a Sephora purchase. Like the Caolion stick, the Estee Edit version comes packaged in a twist-up tube. As you can see, the product itself is two-toned. Estee Lauder says that this dual-action formula has an outer core of oil-absorbing powders and an inner core with a sheer pigment that fits all skintones. I can’t really tell if the pigment actually has any color to it because when I swatch it against my skin it is completely translucent.
First of all, this Estee stick definitely does a nice job of leaving the skin feeling silky smooth. Like the previous stick, it also contains silica. But the main pore blurring/primer ingredient is dimethicone (a silicone) and you can definitely feel it. While it does not absorb into the skin the same way as the Caolion stick does, it does work a little better at blurring the appearance of pores. In terms of controlling oils, it did an O.K. job, probably giving me an extra hour or two before I’d usually have to blot. Also worth noting that despite swatching translucent, I do feel that the Estee Edit Pore Vanishing stick adding just the hint of color to my skin.
Ingredients: Dimethicone, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Polyethylene, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Silica, Dicalcium Phosphate, [+/- Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides]
The full size Estee Edit Pore Vanishing Stick contains 0.24 oz and retails for $28.00 USD.
The Nudestix Matte + Blemish Pencil is “an amazonian clay pencil balm that instantly absorbs facial sebum/oils to mattify oily zones, detoxify and improve clarity without drying-out skin.” This product is a little different than the other two in both packaging and formulation. As you can see, it is a pencil format and comes with a sharpener, all housed in a mirrored tin container.
Formulation wise, it is not a pore blurring and mattifying stick as such. That is, it does not promise to do anything with pores. It does, however, promise to keep oils and spots at bay. It contains the active ingredient salicylic acid which is supposed to help with inflammation, prevent blemishes and breakouts. Additionally, unlike the previous two sticks, this one is designed to be used on bare skin. While nudestick doesn’t say whether it can be used under makeup, it does specifies that it should not be used over makeup.
There aren’t that many reviews of the Nudestix Matte + Blemish Pencil out there. However, I do recall reading one where the reviewer complained of not being able to wear makeup over this product without piling. I can see how that may happen with the primary ingredient being paraffin which gives the pencil it’s waxy feel. Luckily, I did not have that problem. My foundation worked fine over this (but I did it use it over large areas). The pencil also contains a silicone (Cyclopentasiloxane).
My favorite way to use the Nudestix is on small areas of the face where I may be experiencing breakouts. I think it does a great job of sealing in blemishes, so to speak, while also treating them. The concept is similar to using a concealer that contains an acne fighting ingredients. In my experience, however, those kind of products tend to give me a very cakey look. I much prefer to apply this treatment product because it goes on clear and then add my regular foundation and concealer on top.
Ingredients: Paraffin, Isododecane, Polubutene, Cyclopentasiloxane, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Cyclohexasiloxane, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Cyclohexasiloxane, Simmondsai Chinesis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Ozokerite, Ceresin, Hydroxystearic Acid, Silk (Serica) Powder, Stearic Acid, Tocopherol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Palmitic Acid, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract.
Conclusions: Personally I tend to prefer primers that have a creamier based like the Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer and Diorskin Forever and Ever Base (reviewed here). That being said, I cannot deny the convenience of these pore blurring and mattifying sticks. They are quick, easy to use and extremely portable. My favorite of the three is probably the Nudestix just because I like it for blemishes. The Estee Edit Pore Vanishing Stick isn’t bad and, lastly, the Caolin Pore Sebum Moisture Stick was my least favorite. It just didn’t do that great of a job with pores, in my opinion.
Is your skin oily or dry? Do these pore blurring and mattifying sticks interest you? What’s your favorite way to keep oils away and conceal pores?
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