Philosophy The Present

Review |Philosophy The Present Clear Makeup

When I first heard about Philosophy ‘The Present’, my curiosity was well and truly piqued. I mean, just look at what it says on the tube!

Philosophy The Present Clear Makeup Review

Philosophy The Present Clear Makeup, £22.50

Hopefully you can read that, but just in case you can’t:

Philosophy The Present: do you crave airbrushed skin? Do your wrinkles and pores deserve to appear minimized? Are you searching for a new foundation? Then we have a present for you.

Intrigued, I read more, and discovered that this product has three possible uses:

01. You can use it on its own, over oil-free moisturiser, to “help create a flawless looking complexion”. So…a bit like foundation, then, but without actually being foundation. This, naturally, was the main appeal for me.

02. You can use it UNDER your foundation, as a primer.

03. You can use it on its own “as an oil-free moisturizer for sensitive, problem skin”.

I read all of this and all I could say was HELL, YES. I DO crave airbrushed skin! My wrinkles and pores DO deserve to be minimized! I AM searching for a new foundation! I LOVE getting presents!

Clear makeup, it seemed to me, would essentially be MAGIC makeup. It would be makeup that makes you look amazing, while ALSO making you look like you’re not wearing makeup. Who WOULDN’T want that?

As it turns out, however, clear makeup isn’t so much like MAGIC makeup as it is like NO makeup. It’s the Emperor’s New Makeup, basically. And it makes you look… like you’re not wearing makeup. I don’t know about you, but I have no real need to spend £22 in order to look like I’m not wearing makeup – I can do that for free, thanks all the same.

I tried it every way the tube suggested. First, I tried it on its own, to create that “flawless complexion”, because obviously if that had worked, that would be The Bomb. But it wasn’t The Bomb. And it didn’t create a flawless complexion. Actually, it didn’t do ANYTHING, so I moved onto the second suggestion, which was to use it as a primer.

Honestly? I thought it was a kind of crappy primer. First of all, you have to apply it and then leave it for two minutes to “set”, before applying your foundation. Ain’t nobody got time for that. I dutifully waited out the two minutes (Read all about it! ‘Beauty Blogger in ‘Having to Wait for Primer to Set’ Horror!), then added the foundation, and, well, it might just be me, but I actually found it HARDER to blend my foundation over this. And once I’d done it? No real difference.

“This is the worst present ever!” I declared, tossing it into my makeup drawer, where I more or less forgot about it. Every so often, I’d pick it and give it another go, thinking THIS time it would be the miracle I’d hoped for, but of course, that never happened, so I came to view Philosophy The Present much like a present I’d had to buy myself, and which I hadn’t wanted anyway. So sad!

Then, one day a few weeks ago, I suddenly remembered there was a third way to use The Present: “as an oil-free moisturizer for sensitive problem skin.” Ah ha!

Now, I don’t actually HAVE sensitive problem skin. In fact, my skin’s probably the only part of me that ISN’T sensitive (See ‘I almost cried when the airline lady looked at me funny‘ for reference) or problematic. I decided to try it anyway, though, so I started using it last thing at night, after cleansing my face.


Guys, this is a crappy primer and a totally useless “foundation”, but it’s a GREAT moisturizer. Which is actually kind of a bummer, because I’ve almost used it up now, and it’s looking like I might have to commit myself to spending another £22: gah.

My expectations were low when I started using this as a moisturizer, so it took me around a week to start noticing a difference, and then a few more days after that to make the connection. It was the only part of my skincare routine I’d changed, however, so my very scientific conclusion from that is that The Present was, indeed, responsible for the changes I was seeing in my skin. These changes weren’t huge, dramatic ones. I didn’t suddenly start waking up looking like Miranda Kerr or anything like that, but there WAS still a noticeable difference (to me, at least) in the condition of my skin, which seemed smoother, softer, and just all-round NICER. I wouldn’t describe it as “flawless”, and I don’t really believe the product exists which could make me FLAWLESS (If there is, though, I’ll gladly shell out my £22 for it…), but my skin had been looking pretty dull and tired before I started using this, and now it was fresher, dewier, and a much better canvas for my foundation. (I can’t believe I just referred to my skin as a “canvas”… someone take away my keyboard!)

My conclusion? We got off on the wrong foot, Philosophy The Present and I, and but it all came good in the end, and now I’m looking forward to a long, happy, and moderately expensive relationship with it. So yeah, I’ll probably buy it again, in other words…

[You can buy Philosophy The Present here: be sure to come back and tell me what you thought of it!]
  • I love Philosophy 🙂

    August 17, 2014
  • Love Amazing Grace fragrance, less keen on the skincare. Maybe it just doesn’t agree with my sensitive skin.

    August 17, 2014
  • I’m looking for a new moisturizer, so I’ll have to see about getting a sample of this but as a moisturizer it sounds nice.

    Fashion and Happy Things

    August 17, 2014
  • Helen


    I am always looking for the perfect moisturizer. I’ll put it on my list.

    August 17, 2014
  • Maria


    I actually cracked up out-loud when I read “Ain’t nobody got time for that.”. And I also like the surprise weekend posts! Definitely a “present”!

    August 18, 2014