Every Celebrity Secretly Uses This Mattifying Balm Instead of Setting Powder

by | Sep 12, 2022 | Beauty, Industry

J Lo and Mally Beauty Poreless Face Defender

It’s Ru Paul and J.Lo-approved.

BYRDIE: A picture-perfect, seamless makeup look may sound like a myth reserved for celebritiesred carpets, and movie sets—but it doesn’t have to be. Mally Beauty’s Poreless Face Defender ($38) is a bit of a secret weapon for celebrity makeup artists. Known for creating a flawless, shine-free effect, this product has become a favorite on TikTok, and even mega influencer Mikayla Nogueira has given it her seal of approval.

For Mally Roncal, former celeb makeup artist and founder of Mally Beauty, the product’s popularity isn’t exactly a surprise. “This product is truly universal for all skin types, and I love that it puts a stop to makeup meltdowns,” she tells Byrdie. “It eliminates oil without caking or disturbing the makeup underneath.”

She’s used it on countless celebrity clients, “especially those known for their natural glow like Alicia Keys and J.Lo,” Roncal says. She adds, “RuPaul is a big fan, too. He uses it all over—even on his bald head!”

No matter where you put it, this product is designed to blur your skin’s texture and eliminate extra shine without a cakey finish, and according to TikTok, it does not disappoint. Ahead, all the details on this product, the hype surrounding it, and our honest review.


BEST FOR: Priming skin or setting makeup

PRICE: $38

PRODUCT CLAIMS: Shine-free finish that is never cakey

WHY WE LOVE IT: Simple application process and a lasting formula

The Product

Roncal’s inspiration for the Poreless Face Defender came from a slightly critical—yet relatable—place. “Shortly after I had my twins, I was watching a red carpet on television and everyone looked white and dry like Casper the Friendly Ghost,” she says. “I couldn’t stand it, so I created the first-ever clear formula that didn’t look thick or cover up skin.” And in 2005, the Poreless Face Defender was born.

Mally Beauty Poreless Face Defender
Mally Beauty Poreless Face Defender $38.00


The clear gel’s blurring powers make it a great option for anyone looking to touch up their skin, lock in their makeup, or prevent excess shine. The key is to gently pat the formula onto your face with the included sponge for a blurred finish. Roncal adds, “if you have texture issues underneath your eyes and any time you put powder there it looks crinkly and funky, use Face Defender instead. You can also use it around your lips to prevent lipstick bleeding or feathering.”

The Hype

On May 10, TikTok account The Beauty Radar posted a video of the Poreless Face Defender, questioning, “Why hasn’t this product gone viral?” 1.6 million views later, it’s safe to say the product has gotten the kudos it deserves.

@thebeautyradar Replying to @ilovemommymilkers000 dupes? #nyxbuttergloss #nyxglosses #blackhoneydupe #virallipglossvideos #glossylipgloss #drugstoremaleup ♬ Efecto – Bad Bunny

On May 23, TikTok’s favorite makeup expert Nogueira shared a clip of the Face Defender’s shine-reducing powers, adding in her own review of the product. “I would argue that it works,” she said of the product after applying it to one side of her face to make her makeup more matte.

Kylie Larsen, another makeup TikToker, tried the product on July 1. Sharing her review to TikTok, she raved about its efficacy. “Skin is smooth, the pores are blurred, and the skin isn’t oily,” she explained after using the product.

@kyliekillzzzz Reply to @anmc31 PREVENT CAKEY MAKEUP W/THE @mallybeauty ♬ original sound – Kylie Larsen

TikToker Hannah St Luce also tried out the product on her account. “It instantly blurs and keeps shine at bay,” she said of the Poreless Face Defender. “[It] leaves a soft and smooth finish.”

@hanstluce @mallybeauty Poreless Face Defender. Lightweight formula that instantly blurs pores and fine lines  #lifeisbetterwithmakeup #porelessprimer #makeupup #primer #makeupreview ♬ original sound – Hannah St Luce


The overall consensus? If you want to blur your pores and set your makeup sans any shine, this product is a must.

My Review

Hannah tries Mally Poreless Face Defender
Hannah Kearns

Blotting the Mally Beauty Poreless Face Defender on feels a little surreal. A high-tech, clear product, it seems like you aren’t doing much of anything—at least, until the product blurs out your pores. Applying the Face Defender didn’t completely disguise my breakouts, but I noticed major improvement along my nose, AKA where my pores are most noticeable. I do think the more drastic results that TikTok loves so much might be reserved for those who are combatting shine as opposed to visible pores. In that sense, I didn’t see as major of a difference (my face was pretty shine-free already). Still, I’d rate this product highly and reserve it as a go-to for any future times I might anticipate some extra sweat or humidity.

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