REVIEW: Philosophy – The Present UPDATE

Philosophy The Present

I don’t have much luck with primers, the ones everyone raves about just don’t seem to work on me. Philosophy The Present, is an invisible (ie clear) skin perfector and oil-free makeup primer.

I read the first part of the blurb and thought Oooh, ‘camouflages fine lines and wrinkles‘ this sounds good.

You’ll look like you have perfect skin, even if you don’t with The Present. It works as a colourless skin perfector that camouflages fine lines and wrinkles as well as pores and gives the skin a flawless airbrushed appearance.

But then I read the second part and thought, now this is different!

The Present also allows you to sleep beautifully in the evening as its unique formula helps seal in your treatment products and moisturisers and provides natural antibacterial benefits, all while providing a beautiful, natural airbrushed finish.

Although I’m not overly bothered about looking airbrushed while I’m sleeping…


Apply to a clean, dry face. Product must be allowed to absorb for a full two minutes before applying makeup.

This is the first Philosophy product I’ve tried, although I’ve seen the ‘Hope in a Jar’ moisturiser kicking about for years. I’m going to start to use this tomorrow and will see how it goes. Here’s hoping it’s nothing like the evil that is NanoBlur!

Philosophy The Present Skin Perfector 60ml  £22.00 John Lewis
Philosophy Website

23rd June 2015

UPDATE:  10th July 2015

A few weeks of everyday use and I ‘kind of’ get why people rave about this primer. It does do what it claims and it will set your foundation for the day and leave your make up looking much the same as when you left the house.

The thing is, it works a bit too well.

The texture can only be described as liquid Pritt Stick – and because of its stickability factor, I’m almost wondering if it’s produced in the same factory as the famous glue.

Do let it dry, the blurb says 2 minutes but wait a couple more until it’s no longer tacky to the touch.

I would agree that it does help to blur out lines and it doesn’t sink into or emphasise, pores (I’m looking at you, NanoBlur).

Foundation glides on smoothly on top and there’s no ‘balling’ or movement. Your foundation WILL stay put.

I applied my usual Liz Earle’s Sheer Skin Tint as a matt foundation on top, and true to its word, The Present kept it matt perfect all day.

The problem is, it just looked too matt and mask like. I also felt I it gave my face a slightly white, ashy appearance. I think darker skin tones will really struggle with this product for that reason.

Another thing, because of the thin, matt film, you haven’t really got room to blend blusher, contouring powder or bronzer once it’s applied. I found cream blusher and bronzer formulations fine, but using powder on top is tricky, there’s no room for manouvre.

No need for face powder at all. Your make up will be matt and set enough, powder on top would be insanely ageing. As we get older, we need a little shine peeping though.

I might try and experiment with a few overly glowy foundations and just ‘spot apply’ the primer and see how it goes.

I haven’t tried The Present on its own, for a no make up look but I will, I’ve got to make that £22.00 worth it!

This would be a fabulous primer if you have excessively oily skin and find your make up slides off during the day.

Which reminds me, during the hottest day of year (so far) last week, when it reached 34C, my foundation didn’t budge an inch and there wasn’t even a tiny bead of sweat on my upper lip. Sure, I looked 5 years older with a dry-looking mask like face, but at least I didn’t look like a shiny boiled beetroot in the heat – for a nice change!

I have read that Philosophy might be discontinuing this primer, although John Lewis certainly had loads in stock when I was there. As it’s such a loved product, I wouldn’t be surprised if a few tubes don’t end up on eBay at ridiculous prices, if you’re a fan, stock up now! Or buy one, sell one.


  1. July 10, 2015 / 11:05 pm

    I hate when I look like a boiled beetroot! Not cute!

  2. July 10, 2015 / 11:12 pm

    Believe me, it was a first!
    Makes you realise how many layers of primer and make up celebs wear under hot, bright lights.

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