Clinique Pore Refining Solutions Vs MAC Prep + Prime Skin Refined Zone Treatment – Which One is the Best?

Clinique Pore Refining Solutions Vs MAC Prep + Prime Skin Refined Zone Treatment – Which One is the Best?

By Mimosa B.

“Oh Mimosa has a face
And on her face she has some pores
With a pore pore here
And a pore pore there
Here a pore, there a pore
Everywhere a pore pore!”

Yes ladies, if we can merrily sing about Old MacDonald’s mundane farm full of animals, well I can jolly well sing about my ordinary pores because let’s face it, I have them…and they’re not going anywhere!

Clinique Pore Refining Solutions Vs MAC Prep + Prime Skin Refined Zone Treatment

See the thing is, no matter how much we learn to live with them, left to our own devices, we would have them gone, thus yielding to flawless surfboard-smooth skin; so velvety smooth that we wouldn’t require the dozen products that are accessible to us and life would be a whole lot simpler. Well, I have been holding on to this thought for quite some time and now through some years of research and a dose of much-awaited wisdom, have I realized that these tiny little things we perceive as flaws actually make us human. I mean can you imagine how abnormal you would look if your skin had that airbrushed look all the time? It looks good in magazines but in real life can look unnatural. Yes even our much-sought after heroines have pores, fine lines, the works, so we can rest at ease knowing it’s all good provided we give ourselves a little TLC and age gracefully. Don’t get me wrong here, I’m sure a lot of you have blessed skin that evokes compliments and are compared to porcelain dolls and that’s great because you’re just lucky, but eventually the tell-tale signs of ageing do creep in and we have to face the harsh reality. Do skin imperfections make us less beautiful or less desirable or make us weep even at the very sight of our faces sans makeup? No.

What some of us can do is embrace the signs of ageing caused by a myriad of factors and with the help of a few products (who stick by us through thick and thin), reduce the appearance by camouflage or if we’re lucky minimize the flaws to some extent. It’s not wrong to want to refine ourselves and long for improving what we have. In fact it shows just how much you love yourself to want to do that. With more exposure to beauty products and technology, it is natural to strive to enhance ourselves in the attempt to look our ravishing best. Just as we were taught as kids to study harder in hope of good results, or were told by our mums and grandmothers to oil our hair regularly to achieve longer stronger tresses, we are also told to invest in pampering ourselves with good treatments now and then to look more beautiful. When I say invest I don’t necessarily imply money but time too by taking care of what you already have. Hallelujah DIY tips!

Clinique Pore Refining Solutions Vs MAC Prep + Prime Skin Refined Zone Treatment

Now, I have fairly decent skin (not the greatest I know) but consider myself fortunate with what I am in possession of. I can crib around the clock as to why am I the ugly duckling or I can say well let’s make me better eh! Let’s face it most of us are confident and happy in our own skin but there are those times when we want more and so be it ladies! If I was to spill the beans on what I am not ecstatic about with regards to my face, then hands down it would be my open pores. We all have pores which are necessary to secrete sebum from the sebaceous glands that makes its way up the pore to the skin’s surface, resulting in natural moisturisation.  It’s God’s foolproof system which cannot be altered, but thanks to technology (man-made products) or nature’s kitchen (home DIY), we can tamper with so as to not end up looking like orange peel. My open pores rest happily on my nose, the apples of my cheeks and a few on my bindi spot otherwise known as the glabella. Do I love them? No. Can I get rid of them (non-surgically I mean)? No. Can I reduce the appearance? Hell Yeah!

Here are two pore refining products that I use only when I need to go out (with or without makeup), you know, just to massage my alter ego in my pursuit to look so-called flawless even if it is just for a few hours. As Cinderella lived her fleeting moments of sheer joy at the ball till the clock struck twelve and then soon after turned back to her normal unglamorous self, I too use these items to enjoy my moments of short-lived fame. Why do I have two pore serums you ask? No real reason really other than telling myself the same reason why we have more than one body lotion. I use them both on different occasions 🙂

Clinique Pore Refining Solutions Vs MAC Prep + Prime Skin Refined Zone Treatment

Product Description:

1. Clinique Pore Refining Solutions Instant Perfector and
2. MAC Prep+Prime Skin Refined Zone Treatment Soin.


1. Clinique costs $21 but costs me slightly more in India (approx.1747.00 INR) for 15 ml
2. MAC costs $22 for 15 ml.

Product Claims:

1. Clinique: Look smooth and virtually flawless with pores that appear more than 50% smaller instantly. Natural-looking matte finish lasts up to 8 hours. Resists sweat, humidity. Finger-dot or blend over pore alone, over makeup, for touch ups.  Comes in two skin shades: Invisible Light and Invisible Dark. They also have an Invisible Bright for subtle brightening.

2. MAC: A light, oil-free emulsion that helps cloak visible pores while controlling oil and shine.  Applies “wet” for a gentle micro-exfoliation: dries instantly to create an invisible, long-lasting natural matte finish. Ideal for the T-zone.


Nothing extraordinary to mention here. Typical Clinique green and MAC black packaging. Both products come in similar looking tubes with nozzles.

My Experience with Clinique Pore Refining Solutions Vs MAC Prep + Prime Skin Refined Zone Treatment:

I will start with Clinique. After thoroughly cleansing my face of grime, etc., I apply a small amount of this on my problem areas i.e. glabella, nose and cheek apples and as suggested by the product, finger-dot it on. This dabbing on technique is like filling up a hole ensuring that the product goes into the pore and then I lightly blend it. Once I know that the product’s settled in the pores, my skin instantly looks smooth. I use the “Invisible Light” shade.  What I love about this is the satiny matte finish it lends to my skin.  The slight tint of colour makes it brighten up my face and I wear it directly on my skin or over moisturizer when I don’t want any makeup on. I look fresh and velvety matte. As a mattifier, this is brilliant. I personally don’t like wearing foundation too much and keep it only for certain occasions but you can use this as a great primer under makeup. I can’t stop touching my face when I have this on. Pores reduce drastically on instant application. As I mostly use this sans makeup, I admire the coverage.  It looks like I have slightly powdered my face; lasts about 5-6 hours (average), maybe more depending on your skin type.

Clinique Pore Refining Solutions Vs MAC Prep + Prime Skin Refined Zone Treatment

MAC is a gel formula which absorbs easily too and reduces the appearance; however, I have noticed that it doesn’t last as long as Clinique; maybe that’s my skin. As this is a gel, I simply blend this in with pressing down strokes. This does mattify to some extent. I just use this to reduce the size of the pores and mostly use this under makeup. This does not have much coverage which is fine as my primer and foundation which go on top of this do the trick.

So in a nutshell, I use Clinique mostly without makeup and it provides good coverage and the MAC under the primer and foundation as it gives me lighter coverage. So depending on whether I’m wearing makeup or not, I use accordingly.

Clinique Before and After:

Clinique Pore Refining Solutions Vs MAC Prep + Prime Skin Refined Zone Treatment

MAC Prep and Prime Before and After:

Clinique Pore Refining Solutions Vs MAC Prep + Prime Skin Refined Zone Treatment

Pros and Cons:

Clinique pore perfector

Would I Repurchase Clinique Pore Refining Solutions/MAC Prep + Prime Skin Refined Zone Treatment?

Since I don’t wear foundation all the time, I would definitely purchase the Clinique one for that extra coverage on my pores as well as that powdery finish, almost like a BB cream. The MAC is okay to wear with other products and I won’t buy this again as the Clinique would suffice for all occasions. However, I’m keen to try the Benefit Porefessional as an alternate pore minimizer.

IMBB Rating:

Clinique: 3.5/5
MAC: 3/5


So knowing that I can’t magically erase my open pores, I’m okay with that, hence I’m pretty much comfortable going out minus makeup. But these temporary minimizers do work wonders and there’s no harm in making that extra effort to be “virtually flawless” when need be. However, if any of you have come across a product that closes pores forever and ever, give me a shout! I’m all ears!


Clinique Pore Minimizer Instant Perfector and Pore Minimizer Thermal-Active Skin Refiner
Clinique Even Better Skin Tone Correcting Moisturizer SPF 20
Clinique Take The Day Off Makeup Remover
Clinique Turnaround Instant Facial Masque
Mac Prep + Prime Skin Base Visage
MAC Prep + Prime Transparent Finishing Powder
MAC Prep + Prime Face Protect Protection Visage SPF 50
MAC Prep + Prime Colour Correcting Cream SPF 30 – Recharge
MAC Prep & Prime BB Cream SPF 35
Too Faced Primed Face Primer and MAC Prep + Prime Lip Primer
The Body Shop Tea Tree Pore Minimiser
Nivea White Repair Pore Minimizer Foam
Best Facial Pore Minimizing Products
Estee Lauder Idealist Pore Minimizing Skin Refinisher


12 thoughts on “Clinique Pore Refining Solutions Vs MAC Prep + Prime Skin Refined Zone Treatment – Which One is the Best?

  1. Very clearly and precisely written!! Love your style of writing 😀 As for me, I love using the Benefit Porefessional one! But I think I’ll give the Clinique one a try 🙂

  2. Mimosa…u really did make me laugh there. Me and Old McDonald are the firmest of friends right now….I can even sing the rhyme in my sleep. And i do agree…it is the little imperfections which make us appreciate the perfection. If we all had the airbrushed look, nobody would want an airbrushed look. Its just like putting a kala tika on an otherwise perfect, flawless face. Loved your comparison…chart and all…just like in college. Lovely review as always, Mimosa…

    1. Laughter is the best medicine and always works for me Arpita 🙂
      Yeah did a lot of charts in Uni and work too and thought it would help compare easily.

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