Pores are the Kardashians of the beauty world—they don’t do much except exist, yet everyone is obsessed with them. Unlike the Kardashians, however, most people seem hell-bent on making their pores disappear. Bad news: Your pores can’t magically vanish (or even get smaller, for that matter). They can, however, look like they’ve disappeared—all it takes is a good skincare regimen and a few key makeup techniques.
We’re focusing on the latter today, with the help of makeup artists. And as for you, pores—see ya never (or only when we take off our makeup).
Meet the Expert
- Daniel Martin is a celebrity makeup artist and Global Director of Artistry & Education at TATCHA. His clients include Olivia Palermo, Elizabeth Moss, and Jessica Alba.
Keep scrolling to find out how to make pores disappear.
Prep Your Skin
The key to making your newly airbrushed complexion actually believable starts before you even apply foundation. (Trust us—trying to buff foundation into dry, dull, or flaking skin is nobody’s idea of a good time). Make sure your skin is hydrated and prepped for makeup by sweeping a hydrating toner or toning pad across your face beforehand, like Martin does.
“If I’m dealing with a client who has large pores, I try to neutralize the skin as much as possible so that whatever foundation I use doesn’t ‘sit’ on the skin after hours of wear,” he says. His general rule of thumb? No matter what you use on top of your skin to refine your pores, nothing will work unless your skin is properly hydrated first.
Martin swears by the Pore Tightening Cooling Pads from Korean beauty shop The Face Shop, but any toner, micellar water, or light exfoliating pads will work. We like Bioeffect's Micellar Cleaning Water.
Tap in Primer
Silicone is the ingredient that gives some of your makeup and skincare products that slippery, smooth-as-silk feel. Primers that contain silicone will “fill in” your pores and create a smooth canvas for your foundation, but make sure you’re applying them correctly—as in tapping, not rubbing. “Silicone can break up with too much rubbing or tugging, which will cause the product to roll and peel off the skin,” Martin says. “Tapping stabilizes the area.” He says you can do this with a small Beautyblender ($20) makeup sponge, or even just your ring finger. The same goes for concealer—tap, never rub.
Buff to Blur
When it comes to covering pores, the key is to buff your foundation in a circular motion—Martin says this is a great technique to blur the appearance of larger pores. Use a large, fluffy brush with a slightly rounded head for best application. Martin says he swears by IT Cosmetics's Heavenly Luxe Complexion Perfection Brush #7 ($49); we also like Sigma’s F80 Flat Kabuki Brush ($25).
If you’re not one for primers, try to choose a glow-giving foundation that has blurring properties. Martin says he’s been obsessed with Dior’s newly reformulated Dior Diorskin Forever Skin Glow Foundation ($52); it's mattifying without being dulling, and also refines your pores over time. Some Byrdie favorites include Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder Youth-Boosting Perfect Foundation ($46), L’Oréal Paris Visible Lift Blur Foundation ($20), and CoverFX Custom Cover Drops ($29), which you can mix with your moisturizer or primer.
A sheer wash of powder will finish off your newly poreless complexion—just avoid HD powders if you’re going to be photographed or in a well-lit place. Why? They can reflect light, especially with flash used in a dark room. Stick to translucent formulas, like Well People’s Bio Brightener Invisible Powder ($20); it has subtle radiance-boosting properties and gives you a soft-focus finish.