Estee Lauder Idealist Pore Minimizing Skin Refinisher Review

Estee Lauder Idealist Pore Minimizing Skin Refinisher Review

IMBB Sponsored Product Review

When it comes to being unique, being adventurous, and having “Out-of-the-Box” thinking, in the Beauty Blogosphere, IMBB wins hands down! Let’s face it, IMBB is not just a blog, its a well-structured organization and a well-known entity, but what makes IMBB this awesome is the brains behind it –Sanjeev and Rati! Salute your stunningly innovative ideology and creative concept! I am sure all the contributors feel loved, cherished and appreciated by this grande gesture!!

This is my first skin care review, so please bear with me.


Now, I have 3 major issues with my oily skin:

1. Sensitive and acne-prone skin – Acne means occasional eruptions as well as marks and blemishes of prior ones.
2. Open pores.
3. Dark under eye circles.

With these big problems to address, I am least bothered about issues like ageing or wrinkles because the above-mentioned issues are nagging enough for me to bother adding to the woes!I have always wanted to re-look my skin regimen. I do occasionally try new things, but feel too scared because of my sensitive acne-prone skin reacts to changes – and not nicely!

Imagine spending a fortune on a high-end brand to realize it backfired. After all, brands here are not as forthcoming with testers. So God said, “Don’t worry Gurrl! I will work some magic for you!” And Magic did happen – in the form of sponsored reviews from IMBB!

So, I picked Estee Lauder’s Pore Minimizing Skin Refinisher.

Estee Lauder Idealist Pore Minimizing Skin Refinisher 2

Product Description:


  • Pores look 1/3 smaller.
  • Refinishes skin texture.
  • Fast-acting serum delivers dramatic skin resurfacing benefits. Skin looks virtually poreless, clear and even-toned. Feels soft and smooth.
  • For all skin types.

Now, Estee Lauder Research takes skin refinishing to a whole new level of perfection with this state-of-the-art. Fast acting treatment. Turns skin to silk – instantly. Penetrates deep within surface layers to deliver our most dramatic skin resurfacing benefits ever. Speeds fresher, healthy-looking skin cells to the surface with 3X more of the non-acidic skin refinisher of our previous formula. Makes enlarged pores look virtually invisible with our revolutionary pore diminishing technology. All, to help give back the skin you were born with. Unbelievably soft and smooth. Incredibly clear and even-toned.


INR 7204 for 75 ml.

Estee Lauder Pore Minimizing


The product comes in an aquamarine coloured plastic bottle (looks like glassy) – which makes it easy to carry. The bottle comes packaged in light aquamarine cardboard box. Both are extremely pleasing to the eye.  The bottle has a gold detailing, gold cap (with EL insignia) and a gold pump. The pump ensures hygiene to the product being dispensed. Also, breakdown of sensitive ingredients is lowered since they do jot come into contact with air.  The pump can be taken off, if required – I see myself doing that once the bottle reaches it lag end – to get to the last drop of the product!! Being plastic, product is travel friendly and the detailing ensures a luxe feel to the product.  The box has a leaflet with details of the product in different languages.

Estee Lauder Idealist - Pore minimizer Skin Refinisher

My Experience with Estee Lauder Idealist Pore Minimizing Skin Refinisher:

My main idea for choosing this product was for it to work on the gaping pores on my cheeks. The Estee Lauder SA did clearly update me that the product will not make the pore disappear, but reduce them to 1/3rd of their original size and the effect will be visible in 14-15 days. I have been religiously using it since September 03 – its been 3 weeks – 21 days.

Considering its so expensive, I contemplated using it only on the problem area – on the pores rather than the whole face, but thought it would not be a wholesome review if I do that. I am glad about the decision – read on to find out why 🙂

EL - idealist - pore Minimizing Skin Refinisher

So, I religiously apply the product on my face and neck – one pump of the product is sufficient for this. The consistency is gel-like and gets readily absorbed by the skin. Refer pictures for the same – there is no residue or white cask left behind.

The product is a serum – hence, needs to go under the moisturizer – directly on the skin. The product instantly gives a smooth and shine-free look which might be because of the silica/mica content. The net result is that one can try using it as a primer itself (skipping moisturizer) – however, the product is not designed for that purpose and is a skin care product rather than a cosmetic one.

After 3 weeks of using this, my skin DID feel better and more even toned, even a little luminous. However, the real test is the problem areas and the before and after pics.

I share with you some horror snaps – up close photos of my skin and the open pores.  Please do not get scared and do read the full review!! 😉

EL - Idealist - Pore Minimizing Skin refinisher 2

I share with you closeup of the open pores on my cheeks on Sept 03 and Sept 23. The pics on the left is “before” and the right is “after.” Do you see a difference? Okay, its not a trick question, yes, I did expect a drastic difference, but I do not see it. My pores look a little reduced, but not significantly so.

EL - Idealist Pore Minimizing Skin Refinisher

I was a little (okay, a lot) disappointed, till yesterday evening when I was trying a new lipstick (yes, yet another one) and something clicked in my head. I instantly put on my laptop to download the photo and compare it with this photo from September 10 in Shopper’s Stop while trying a lipstick (yes, yet another lipstick!!!!).  On top is the picture from September 10 and below from September 23. By the way, in the picture from September 10, I have a thin layer of MAC Matchmaster on – which doesn’t seem to be helping me much. The picture from September 23 is bare faced. NOW, DO YOU SEE THE DIFFERENCE??? I was amazed. My spots have drastically reduced, skin is less ruddy and more even toned. I was ecstatic!!! See, when we see gradual changes, we do not note them ourselves. However, like they say – a picture is worth a thousand words! Acne marks are my big problem area. In my quest to pursue the “Pore Minimizing,” I forgot the “Skin Refinisher” benefit totally! I am so glad I used it on my whole face rather than just the gaping pores.

To sum this up for you:

Pros of Estee Lauder Idealist Pore Minimizing Skin Refinisher:

  • The product did not break me out – a big yay!!!!
  • Post 3 weeks, the skin was more even toned, smooth and almost luminous.
  • In 2 weeks, my pigmentation and ruddiness was drastically reduced – almost 65-70%
  • In 3 weeks, the pores were slightly reduced in size – however, the difference was not drastic.
  • The product also helps control shine.
  • The product cosmetically also creates a smoother skin surface.

Cons of Estee Lauder Idealist Pore Minimizing Skin Refinisher:

  • The serum has a citric fragrance which kind of reminds me of a Garnier product I used decades ago – which had broken me out. So me no likey!
  • At that price point and with that positioning (Pore Minimizer), I expected better results on my pores in the given time period.

IMBB Rating:


Though the pore minimizing wasn’t that visible, I feel the product did a remarkable job in the “Skin refinishing” aspect. Had the product been positioned as a Spot corrector or Just skin finisher – I would definitely have rated it higher; however, it worked really well on two claims but not as effectively on one claim – hence deduction of 1 point.

Will I Repurchase Estee Lauder Idealist Pore Minimizing Skin Refinisher?

Yes, despite the price, considering the pigmentation on my face, I would like to continue using this and maybe a longer usage – read 2-3 months may prove beneficial towards pore minimizing as well!!  So, what is your skin care grouse? And have you found your Holy Grail product yet?

Estee Lauder Invisible Fluid Makeup
Estee Lauder Pure Color Vivid Shine Lipstick – Poppy Love
Estee Lauder Signature Lipstick – Coral Kiss
Estee Lauder Ingenious Color Palette
Estee Lauder Idealist Even Skin Tone Illuminator
L’Oreal Dermo-Expertise Skin Genesis Pore Minimizing Skin Re-Smoother
Elizabeth Arden Visible Whitening Pore Minimizing Toner
Clinique Pore Minimizer Instant Perfector and Pore Minimizer Thermal-Active Skin Refiner
Ayur Deep Pore Cleansing Milk
The Body Shop Tea Tree Pore Minimiser
Pond’s Dry Skin Cream
Shahnaz Husain Oxygen Skin Treatment Cream
Maybelline Clear Smooth Minerals Instant Skin Perfecting BB Cream
Origins Mega-Mushroom Skin Relief Soothing Face Cream


54 thoughts on “Estee Lauder Idealist Pore Minimizing Skin Refinisher Review

  1. Nice review Kulpreet 🙂

    For skin problems, I go for medical brands rather than cosmetic ones because they are much more effective and at lesser price.
    I use ” Refinity ” lotion ( by cosmederm, marketed by Dr. Reddy’s) which has 15% AHA.

    1. *thankyou* Swati!

      I have never taken that approach – though it does make sense! hmmmmmm…. BTW..WHat problem area does Refinity address Swati?

      1. Hello KK,

        Since Refinity has 15% AHA, it is a multipurpose lotion/cream. It acts on acne, reduces pores, reduce wrinkle lines, increases skin elasticity & collagen, refines compleaxion.

        I just love it *pompom*

  2. loved the review with your detailed pics to explain the before and after *clap* *clap* but that’s too expensive naa until someone pays for it rofl

    1. rofl rofl rofl I agree Parmita! I would not have picked it by myself coz of the price! And thats our big problem – we dont get decent testers in our country to try an expensive product before taking a call on buying it. *pan* *pan*

      However, having used the product and seen how effectively it has cleared my skin, I do think I will continue to buy it. Each bottle is likely to last a long time coz all you need is 1 pump for each application. And i have realized in the last couple of months that you can buy the best of makeup and foundation, but there is no replacement for good skin….and that needs good skincare too! *preen* *preen*

      And IMBB is a great platform to review such products and help others who might be looking for something as effective!

    1. *thankyou* Vrinda! You had it at the first sentence! Im glad you liked the review and the writing!

      And how can you say something like that?? Pretty?? I got scared looking at the pics while scrolling down!!! rofl rofl rofl rofl

  3. All I can say is just WOW….what a fab review this is? Hats off to you Kulpreet..believe me I just enjoyed reading the entire article…grt job *clap* *clap*

    1. *thankyou* *thankyou* *thankyou* Melissa! Im happy that the pics *scared* *scared* didnt scare you from reading the article!! rofl rofl Its so great to have your effort being appreciated! *happy dance* *happy dance* *happy dance*

    1. *thankyou* Apeksha for the encouragement! Yes, its did seem to be very effective on the skin and the blemishes. ThankGod I took the call to apply it on my whole face! *happydance* *happydance*

    1. Yes, it did make a difference. *haan ji* *haan ji* And its so good that I was able to evaluate it basis the photographs!

      And I like the bottle too…the colour is so pleasing to the eyes! *hifive* *hifive*

  4. Price *scared* *scared* *scared* but its effects and your efforts *jai ho* *jai ho* *jai ho*
    Very comperhensive Review, well supported with pics *specs* *specs* *specs*

    1. *thankyou* Yogita for appreciating the effort! I did want to make it as blatantly clear as possible because when it comes to skincare, only words do not help. Seeing is believing! Yes, price is *scared* *scared* *scared* but results do speak for themselves! *haan ji* *haan ji*

      1. Hehehe, it’s not me. It’s the three ladies at IMBB- Rati, Jomol and Neha- who are to be praised. They approved the plan and all of them are generous at heart. 🙂

        1. Looks like Generosity runs in the family…the IMBB family!!

          Three cheers *announce* *announce* for the 3 ladies – Rati, Jomol and Neha!!! Hip Hip Hurray!! Hip Hip Hurray! Hip Hip Hurrrrrrraaaaayyyyyy!!! *clap* *clap* *clap* *clap* *clap* *clap* *clap* *clap* *clap* *clap* *clap* *clap* *clap* *clap* *clap* *clap* *jai ho* *jai ho* *jai ho* *jai ho* *jai ho* *jai ho* *jai ho* *jai ho* *jai ho* *jai ho* *jai ho* *jai ho* *jai ho*

    1. OMG!!! *thankyou* *thankyou* *thankyou* for such appreciation! I am just learning from all the lovely ladies on IMBB! I was so scared coz I have never reviewed skincare before. *scared* *scared* Im glad you liked it so much! *happy dance* *happy dance* *happy dance*

  5. Superb kulpreet.. *clap* Such detailed review I got to know today am not the one suffering big pores and blemishes on face.. *hifive* *cry* Initially i ws waiting for ur review as i ws considering it to be in my winter skin care regimen bt nw l feel its better to invest in current skin care range.. *scared*
    Your efforts and results are clearly visible lady.. mind blowing.. *clap* *jai ho*

    1. *thankyou* Neetu! You are always so encouraging and appreciative of the effort put in! *thankyou* *thankyou* *thankyou*

      Even I used to feel like Im the only one with blemish marks and open pores – each time you go to the parlour and the person sez – you should get cleanup done, bahut open pores hain, etc, etc!!! Its sooooo irritating. Especially when I have 2 little kids at home and very little time to spare on beauty treatment! But with this one I did feel the skin clearing up, become more even toned and you already have the photo of the recent acne eruptions and the blemishes. You used the right term “invest” – yes, its pricey but an investment into your own skin! No amount of makeup, ligthing, etc , etc can replace good skin!

      1. Thants again so sweet of u to say so beautiful mumma.. *jalwa* *puchhi* I wonder hw you manage 2-2 kiddos with IMBB and other stuffs.. *jai ho* Anyone can notice my daily scheduule of running behind 18 mnths toddler day n night, and struggling to make routine for bf, lunch n dinner apart frm other stuffs.. *ghost* *ghost*
        Shopping for skin care is an investment for me know.. *scared* I ws actually trying to say thatI am not much influnced by this EL pdt, as you told it does ordinary job of pore minimising and skin clearing which is pretty normal for any oily/combo based skin care pdt. *scared* *scared*
        Haan if hubby gifts it to me then most welcome.. *hihi* *hihi*

        1. Oh! I got it wrong! *headbang* *headbang*

          Dont know about your hubby but mine needs to be whacked on the head and taken to the counter to get my “gift”!! rofl rofl rofl

  6. again a great review Kulpreet..whether its lippies or any other prroduct, u r bang on…like the way u hv shown the before and after effect….its too pricey, will skip BUT m drooling over it.. *drool*

    1. *thankyou* *thankyou* Anuradha! Im so happy to read your words because though I have become comfortable with makeup (read lipstick) reviews but skincare is totally different. You cant show the colour on, *nababana* product swatches dont help *nababana* ….the only thing which helps is results. And results have to be seen – not talked about. Im glad that I was able to nail it! *happy dance* *happy dance* *happy dance*

  7. woohooooo i couldn’t believe that you are writing this for the first time *hihi* *hihi* amazingly written the best explanation is the pics *clap* *clap* ohh my god i could see such a big drastic change in the lower pic … your skin looks amazingly improved *woot*

    1. *thankyou* Megha! Yes, I got lucky that this product worked so well for me!! *hifive*

      You would feel that all my products are great. But it isnt so! Reality is that I too come across duds from time to time. But its so much more fun to write about the great ones and share them rather than the effort to write about a dud. But I think it is our duty as beauty bloggers to share the duds also so that others dont end up wasting money on it! I’ll ensure I put in a mixed bag going forward! *haan ji* *haan ji*

  8. *thankyou* *thankyou* Saloni for the appreciative words!! Yes, even I was surprised by the difference. Th funny thing is that I had not even noticed it till I happened to take this pic to show to a friend the new lip colour. And the Shopperstop picture was there by chance coz I always click a picture post trying a shade to see if its working for me….coz you cant really make out much in the mirror with the store lighting! And I am sooooooo happy!! *happy dance* *happy dance* *happy dance*

  9. super awesome review kulpreet . i also odnt like the lighting part in malls . it makes it difficult to recogine the real colours whether its a liptick or a foundation or a compact . how do you manage to choose the right colour in store lightings ? please help . it would be gracious .

    1. *thankyou* Preeti! Glad you liked the review!

      Yes, the mall lighting is generally extremely horrible for makeup selection…you cant make out the colours unless they are really off. For things where your life depends on it like foundation (you cant afford to pick the wrong shade) do 2 things, ask the SA to apply the foundation / powder / bronzer on your face – take a hand mirror, go out of the shop into sunlight and check with the hand mirror. Better still, take close up photos (from cell cam or something) in sunlight and check for yourself.

      For lipstick, you could do the same, alternatively, ask SA for a good lighting spot, they generally know of one spot where lighting is good – check in that. in Shopperstop Inorbit Mall, the YSL counter has one panel which comes off to reveal full on bright white light…I use that to take photo of the lippy and if I like it for sure, I pick. Else I download the pic on my laptop and then decide. And pick it in my next trip.

      For lipstick, do not go by hand-swatches. All colours look pretty on hand but may not look nice on face. Plus the skin on the hand is very different from the lips, so texturally also, the lipstick would have a diffrent feel on hand.

  10. Hey Kulpreet,
    Nice review… Surely there is a difference. But don’t lose heart. I read in a book that skin care products take time to show proper results like below –
    New skin care regimens take time to work-
    1. Acne Fighters: six weeks to three months.
    2. Skin Lightening: six to twelve months.
    3. Anti-aging: three months.
    so may be, this one will also show the desired results in the coming weeks 🙂

    1. Thanks for the Heads up Ashu!

      I understand that skincare takes time to show a difference. Its just that the Company SAs dont really state those time frames…2 weeks is what I was informed. But yes, maybe that is a tad unrealistic for drastic changes. I do intend to keep using the product. Will probably append a comment to this article 3 months down with my findings!

  11. This is really a great & detailed review, KK, congrats on your IMBB Sponsored product, and it looks like it has really helped you as far as refining the skin goes. 🙂

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