Every week, fashion and beauty editor Jolene Khor, makeup artist Fiona Bennett, hair guru Christian Marianon, and beauty connoisseur Monica Saranya Selva De Roy — collectively known as The Clubbers — test drive the latest (and with hopes, the greatest) makeup, skincare, hair care, fragrance, bath and body drops to land in Singapore. Tools and brushes too. You get the idea. To buy in bulk or to take a hard pass? We give you the 411 so you never have to second-guess again.
In the spotlight this week:
Fenty Beauty Pro Filt'r Mattifying Primer

Is there anything quite as devastating as watching the makeup you spent so much time and effort perfecting melt off your face? And by noon? This happens way too often on our sunny shores, though it ought to be a predicament that one should be able to easily avoid with a primer. That's the thing. A good primer is a dime a dozen. For one to gain a stable spot on our roster, it has to extend the life of our makeup (naturally), conceal glaring pores (but of course), and smooth skin over (how else is our foundation going to stay on?) for an almost glass-esque complexion. Because we don't want to shine bright like a diamond, Fenty Beauty is trying to convince us that we have found love in its Pro Filt'r Mattifying Primer. This bad gal (get it?) supposedly glides onto skin to fight shine, to mattify, and to diffuse pores. The end result is said to be a soft-focus-like filter over skin that grips onto makeup. Or so it claims. The Buro. Beauty Club is on the case.
Best Thing Since Sliced Bread
I, like most women, have a love-hate relationship with my skin. For the most part, I'm blessed with favourable genes. Unless I screw it up (and by screw it up I mean sleep with my makeup on or am haphazard with my sunscreen application), acne is a myth and sun spots are manageable considering how much time I spend under the sun. Where it fails me is in the pore department. They rise with me and they're usually very friendly — they want to see and be seen, you know? Also, I can usually fry an egg on my nose by noon. That's how oily my skin can be, a condition no match to the best primers in the market.

Or is it? No Fenty Beauty product has disappointed me yet, a fact the Pro Filt'r Mattifying Primer manages to uphold. If anything, I'm an even bigger fan of the brand because of it. The formula is very light, and very liquid, though it dried swiftly to leave me with a smooth, matte complexion, ready for foundation. I first tried it with the Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation (also new). These two must be the most hardworking face makeup I've tried, maybe since forever. My face was practically one dimensional by the time I patted on my favourite Clé De Peau Beauté Translucent Loose Powder — that's how mattifying the products are.

Typically, I have to blot my face twice a day if I'm going to work and to dinner, which means that I need to get rid of excess grease once every six hours so my makeup doesn't slip and slide by the 12th hour. If I go to a kopitiam for lunch, I may have to blot three times. With the primer, I blotted a total of zero times. And yeah I had fish noodle soup for lunch at a hawker centre. By 10pm, my makeup had not moved a stitch. My blush, which is usually gone by this time is still flushed and fresh. Skeptical, I tried the primer again for a few days (with other liquid foundations) and similarly, my skin, particularly my nose, remained matte for far, far longer than usual. My only gripe is that by the evening, my pores started to show a little again and I can't blend more foundation over it or the primer will coagulate. 9/10.

Jolene Khor

Made for the Outdoors
I'm so used to dewy, slightly shimmery primers, I occasionally forget there is a market for mattifying primers, especially for those with oily skin. It looks like matte is coming back in big ways for everyone, with Fenty Beauty Pro Filt'r Mattifying Primer in the forefront. The formula is very liquid, very runny — one pump goes a long way. When I first put it on, I thought, "What is this sloppy mess?!" But when it dries, it has a beautiful, natural, velvet finish. Not powdery at all like another brand I have in mind. Though the formula is mattifying, it didn't feel drying, nor was my skin tight either. After I applied the new Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation and Pro Filt'r Instant Retouch Concealer, my skin was so matte I didn't even bother powdering it.

A full day went by and my skin remained quite matte, even around the T-zone. I have what many consider to be normal skin and under usual circumstances, I would get a bit shiny at the end of the day around the nose area. That didn't happen with the Fenty Beauty primer on. The next time I have a big occasion outdoors and I need to wear a full face of makeup, I would totally pop this primer on around the T-zone and my regular primer around the cheeks. This really is a made for combination and/or oily skin, so if that is you, go to Sephora and buy it!

Fiona Bennett

All the Good Things
Growing up, it took a while to accept that my skin type was something to manage, not a problem to fix. If it isn't the constant shiny appearance or the easily clogged pores, humidity makes it quite a struggle to keep makeup from melting off or even just sitting in place. It doesn't help that primers that cater to mattifying the skin tend to have a white film finish which can look a tad off with deeper shades of foundation.

While the original Pro Filt'r Instant Retouch Primer was already a favourite of mine, it wouldn't hold my makeup up for very long due to my skin type. The new Pro Filt'r Mattifying Primer contains the usual silicone derivatives that create a protective barrier over skin but introduces new ingredients that help skin retain moisture against foundations that could potentially dry it out. The blue agave extract for example, has great anti-inflammatory properties and is rich in vitamins and moisture.

I applied an all-over coat to start, topping up in areas like the T-zone and cheeks where my pores are more apparent. Compared to its predecessor, it has a lighter, more water-like consistency that dries down to a wonderful shine-free base for makeup. It works exceptionally well with the Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation and Pro Filt'r Instant Retouch Concealer. The primer stayed true to its promise and held my foundation together for about six hours with only two blotting sessions in between — for oily skin types, this is quite a big deal. It definitely has a soft filter which improves the appearance of my complexion but not particularly in enlarged pores or pitted areas of the skin. To be fair, one shouldn't expect a primer to do that anyway.

Christian Maranion

Just, Wow
Primers are instantaneous miracle-workers that work tirelessly in the background while they let other makeup stand out. They're the parent backstage cheering for their performing kid. They're the base to your makeup, the silent supporter of your everyday routine, but they hold the power to make or break the look you're trying to achieve. Rihanna goes and does it right with the Fenty Beauty Pro Filt'r Mattifying Primer.

This liquid will very easily become the star of your makeup routine considering how long-lasting it is. I tested it for 12 hours on average. Every single time, it zapped out the shine even from the most oily makeup products (M.A.C Cosmetics Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation and Revlon Colorstay Foundation) I own. It works well with all types of foundation (I tried liquid, stick, and cream) — they all glided easily on top of the primer. It works like the perfect oil-proof corrector, and still managed not to dry out my skin.

The primer sits well on top of the creamiest moisturiser too, such as the Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream I have. For the first time ever, I have in my hand, a primer that deserves an 8/10. The only downside: it's not an extremely mattifying product. I was still able to see some sheen here and there, though there were no massive patches of sweat or anything of the sort. Let's bear in mind, for the T-zone to remain matte for 12 hours might really be an impossible feat no matter how amazing the product.

Monica Selva De Roy
Fenty Beauty Pro Filt'r Mattifying Primer is available online and in Sephora stores.
The Clubbers
a.k.a. the people who will never lie to you, the beauty enablers you never thought you'd have, the voices of reason when logic goes out the window on payday, and when Sephora goes on sale.
Jolene Khor
Beauty Editor of Buro. Singapore
The fashion and beauty editor at Buro. Singapore swiped on her first glitter lip gloss at age 12 and have never looked back since — except the rare (only not so rare) occasions when she wants to feel better about her makeup skills as an adult. That kohl eyeliner look wasn't working out despite the fact that she was listening to The Cure and quoting Oscar Wilde. Her mother is thankful that K-beauty happened though that means her glow isn't just genetic. These days, her worst crimes are knocking out with full makeup on and forgetting to apply sunscreen on her neck. Old habits die hard.
Christian Maranion
Hair Specialist & Makeup Artist
Nine years. That's how long Christian Maranion has been in the hair game. Having honed his craft, he then began dabbling in makeup, finding equal joy in killing it at both. He has worked with the likes of Vanessa Fernandez aka Vandetta, Tabitha Nauser, and Charlie Lim. He also frequently collaborates with names such as Sephora, Elizabeth Arden, and Kat Von D to up their beauty game. Don't be fooled by appearances — though he may love dark humour and even darker outfits, he is a pocketful of sunshine.
Fiona Bennett
Makeup Artist & Hairstylist
Fiona Bennett is a makeup artist and hairstylist by profession, and a wife, mother, and part-time Kardashian expert when she's not hustling. Hailing from Australia, she reluctantly came to Singapore with her husband almost six years ago but she's grown to love it so much she wouldn't want to be anywhere else. She began her journey (sometimes by force) pinning her friends down to make them up before going out — only now she gets paid for it! You might find the self-proclaimed beauty-obsessed Fiona snapping up the latest products in the department stores on weekends. You name it, she has probably tried it.
Monica Selva De Roy
Henna & Makeup Artist
Monica doesn't have enough heads for the hats she wants to wear. When the sun's out, she's selling ultra cool tech that makes logistics look sexier than ever. Then, she slaps on some face cake to moonlight as an actress on Vasantham; from nasty stepmother to varsity mean girl, she's seen them all in the realm of antagonism. Oh, her makeup and henna businesses keep her busy during the weekends too. Amidst all this, she's finding time to test and review makeup — if that's not true love, what is?