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Philosophy The Present Clear Makeup, 2 Ounce

This multitasking formula feels lightweight and functions as a foundation primer, colorless skin perfector, skin barrier protector and oil-free moisturizer.

Key features

  • Leaves skin with an airbrushed finish
  • Natural antibacterial benefits

Honest reviews


Good for Men/Women–No Makup or Full Makeup.

I get so tired at looking at people who refuse to do even the bare minimum to keep themselves presentable to the world. Terrific you don’t want to do skin care. Then wear a veil. Because when I do business with you, I don’t want to see your ugly uncared for skin. This product meets the bare minimum standard for those “silly rabbits” who think they can exist in this competitive world with only the pure light of their souls shining out. It also makes an excellent primer for none-breakthrough long daywear for the smart ones in the bunch. You know, those sadly vain individuals who actually make the effort NOT to be scary? My super sensitive skin tolerates this well. Highly recommended.

Winifred Wallagrass, ME


Goes on really goopy like I’d imagine Elmer’s Glue would feel.Never really sinks in or sets up so when foundation is applied (even after the requisite 2 minutes), it streaks on in big, greasy lines and is impossible to blend in. The result is a big mask of goop that feels horrible.Yes it will eradicate lines, only because it’s so thick and therefore covers everything.I’ve never had success with this. And I really gave it the old college “go” -I nearly got halfway through before just tossing it in the trash because I can’t use it anymore -it’s useless to me. It just looks AWFUL. I had much more success with Covergirl Simply Ageless Serum primer w/Olay and Sally Hansen Natural Beauty Luminizing Face Primer. They’re much thinner, set up faster and provide a nice canvas for makeup.

Susana Northbrook, IL

Fantastic Primer

The tacky consistency makes this product a PERFECT makeup primer, especially for oily skin. Slippery silicon primers mixed with oily skin is just a mess and makeup tends to slide off the face. The Present allows the makeup to really stick to the face and stay put. I will never use anything else for primer!EDIT:-Downgraded one star after using a different foundation.-Certain foundations, when used with this primer, do not blend well at all (Revlon colorstay in particular for me).

Dona Speed, NC


Just o.k…..Gives a chalky finish, and seems to clog my pores. Usually a big fan of Philosophy products, but no this one.

Chelsea Rohnert Park, CA

an essential item if you know how to use to correctly

I purchased this product on a recommendation. the first time I applied it, I used too much…it made my skin tacky…even after allowing it to set for 5 min. after application. the trick to using this primer is this: you only need a modest amount to get the desired affect. after applying, do allow it to set for a few minutes. then apply foundation (or powder if that’s your thing). remember that by using this primer, it will minimize the amount of foundation you need…making your foundation purchase last longer. this primer didn’t make my face look cakey when my makeup was worn, and it gave my foundation “staying power” through out the day. easy to remove at night with your selected beauty regemin cleanser. I will be purchasing Philosophy’s “the present” again in the future.

Gayla Nisswa, MN

Good product not a miracle for me

This seems like a good product. If you’re used to wearing liquid foundation like I am then it’s not going to be a miracle product but it does make the foundation that you do wear look smoother. I will most definitely use this for special occasions under my foundation when I want to look flawless! I have some discoloration and other marks, this product doesn’t conceal any of that but I don’t think it is meant for that. I think it would work best on those who wear mineral powder foundation or no makeup at all, needing just a subtle improvement. It aslo seems a bit drying and the next day my skin is a little flakey so if you have dry skin I suggest wearing an oil free moisturizer underneath.

Bridgette Salem, UT

not what i expected

i got this thinking it’d be the perfect primer and will smooth my skin and make me flawless, but no, it doesn’t really do anything but keep my skin feeling hydrated all day long. if you got large pores or uneven texture to hide, i say PrimeTime by bare minerals or Velvet Skin by DHC both work 100times better.

Maribel Grainfield, KS

Excellent primer, but beware…

I’ve been using this primer underneath my cream foundations for about a month now. I’m 40ish, have the skin that goes along with the age, plus melasma. It does an excellent job as a primer, as long as you let it set up for several minutes. The directions say to give it two minutes, but honestly, you should give it more like 10 minutes. If you don’t let it set up/absorb properly, your foundation isn’t going to look as smooth, which completely defeats the purpose of using a primer. I knocked off a star because it contains lavender. This is not something you want on your skin if you’re going to be out in the sun as it causes photosensitivity… or in layman’s terms, possibly more sun spots. I’m not sure why Philosophy puts it in this product, but keep this in mind. It also has a rather large opening and little bit goes a long way. I end up wasting a bit because I inevitably end up squeezing out more than I need. Hopefully, Philosophy will change the hole size for better delivery/less waste. Other than that, it’s a great primer.

Ana Henniker, NH

Good stuff.

I’m 46, still prone to a breakout now and then, large pores, and very oily skin. This product is great to reduce the appearance of pores and even out skin tone. Better yet is that it does a great job of keeping shine away! I wear a light liquid foundation over it when I go to work; use it on its own on the weekends. But, as the other reviewers have said, a little goes a long way and you DO need to let it set up for 2 minutes. (I put my body lotion on while waiting for it to set; that way I don’t “forget” to wait to put my makeup on.) Oh, and it smells FABULOUS! I believe it has lavender in it.I also bought a tube of the Supernatural face tint with SPF. For some odd reason, I don’t like it. It doesn’t keep the shine away, and it has an odd, greasy feel to it.

Wanda Dublin, IN

A little goes a long way

This product is very thick. You only need a little bit all over your face for long lasting makeup. Even on super hot, humid days, this makeup base holds up to the test. Because you only need a little bit of it, this tube will last you a very very long time. For that, the price isn’t bad. You will need to learn how much you need for your face because if you put too much, it’ll almost feel like you have a very thick layer of glue on your face. It feels weird.Also, it has a weird sort of smell to it. I mean, it’s not absolutely terrible, but it’s not that great either. Kind of reminds me of glue, lol.All in all, I really like this stuff. Because I only use a little bit everyday, it’s going to last me for a long time so that’s always a plus.

Michael Lykens, PA

Awesome product!

I was introduced to this product at a local sephora store about 2 years ago and have been in love ever since. Great base make up; you put it on after your lotion; let it sit for 2 minutes and then I put loose powder on. That is it. Amazon is awesome for offering the subscribe and save as it knocks a couple dollars off of the standard price. One bottle lasts me about 6 months so you don’t use too much of the product. Also the EWGT rates this product as a 3 (one a scale of 0 to 10) which is a plus as it doesn’t contain as many chemicals as many of the products out there. Wonderful and will continue to use.

Lessie Biggs, CA

Great product, may try something else though.

Love this stuff even though it does make me look ashy. I never use it alone and always use yellow based bb creams, tinted foundations, etc so it doesn’t bother me. I have oily skin and this stuff really works especially when I do a full face. Although I do love this product I am willing to try something in cheaper price range because $29 is kinda of expensive for a product I use occasionally. I will do an experiment to see if there is really a tremendous difference between this and something else.

Gwen Edenton, NC

Not what I expected from Philosophy

Tested product on my hand first. Every small line stood out like skin was overly dry. Same look when applied to my cheek.

Liliana Gratis, OH

Recommended by make-up artist and he is right!

Love, love, love this product! I watched YouTube video with Mr Goss/my go-to make-up guru and he highly recommended this… so I took a chance and totally agree with how well this works! It does have a slight scent to it, so if you are sensitive to those things you may not like it as well… but it does what it says it does… I like the brand, but this is their best product ever!!! Best buy for 2013 for me!!

Angeline Bishop, TX

Okay but not the best for Oily skin!

Makeup breaks down about 4 hours after wear. Smells and feels great, applies nicely enough, however, I have Very Oily skin, and unfortunately, The Present did not hold up to my expectations…

Loraine Ware Neck, VA

Smells and feels nice

This review is for Philosophy’s The Present Invisible Skin Perfector & Oil-Free Makeup Primer:I have to admit that I’m kind of disappointed by this primer. It’s the first primer that I’ve tried, and it doesn’t really make that much of a difference in my skin or makeup application/longevity.Pros:-Smells really good – it has this herbal, calming scent that’s reminiscent of Aveda hair products; which, I love.-The texture is cool. It feels kind of glue-like, which sounds weird but I like it.-It makes my skin feel smoother.-You only need a tiny bit! So it will last a while. (I bought this a year or two ago and I have about half or more left).Cons:-I haven’t really noticed much of a difference in times when I apply this and times when I don’t. It makes my skin feel smoother, but not much else.-I’ve tried it for an eyelid primer as well as face primer, and it doesn’t work too well. My eye shadow still creases. I have oily eyelids, so maybe nothing will really help with that.-Expensive… I paid about $30 for this on the Philosophy site.I don’t quite recommend this, but I don’t not recommend it, either… I just love that scent! 😛

Kasey Little River, SC

Does the job

New to this product and product line. Nice and thick covers nicely and has nice scent. I do wait as others mention 10-15 minutes before applying makeup. Satisfied with this product.

Iris Bristow, IA

Seriously amazing!

This is a holy grail product for me. The first time I wore it (under a powder foundation), I had family members compliment me on how different and perfect my skin looked. You MUST give it the full 2 minutes to set before applying makeup. It just blurs all your imperfections! And it makes your skin so soft. You only need a very small amount, too, so the price is right because this will last you forever!

Marquita North Yarmouth, ME

Excellent primer and protector

I love this. I have dry, sensitive skin that is acne-prone. I needed a primer that was healthy for my skin, would not clog pores but would hide them, and that would give me an airbrushed look. This does all that. It was made to be a “second skin” to seal in moisturizers and healing creams like scar-fade creams, and to keep out dirt, pollutants and anything else that could clog pores or aggravate your skin.This doesn’t break me out; it feels great on my skin; it seals in my moisturizer, sunscreen and dark spot fade cream (my medicine layer), and then I put this on, waiting the full 2 minutes for it to set, which is important. Then I put m makeup on, knowing my makeup is sitting on this second skin of The Present. The makeup goes on well, not falling into pores or tiny lines, and it stays put longer. My makeup just looks better using this too.A little goes a long way – hard to do because the hole is quite large; squeeze gently so only a little comes out.

Constance Buffalo Creek, CO

One of my favorite Philosophy products!

A few years ago I received this in a gift bag of philosophy products and tried it just to see what it was. I have loved and used it ever since that time. I do not use any makeup except for eye makeup. This glides on your face smoothly and evenly and makes your skin silky smooth. As it says, it is clear and really enhances your natural skin. This tube will last me at least a year. It only takes a small amount to cover your entire face. I urge anyone who has a makeup free complexion to give this a try.

Adeline Faison, NC

What to say….

I recently bought this product after hearing and reading great reviews on it (the good ones out weighed the bad) as I got the chicken pox in the summer and was left with large scars on my cheeks.The present seriously reduced the size of the marks, by half I would say, which IS BRILLIANT!It also toned down the redness in my skin, which I loved!The only down side (very small downside) was after I applied a small amount to my skin and left it to dry for the two mins, putting liquid foundation over it was a little more difficult than usual. More make up has to be applied to avoid a streaky type of look and more blending has to be done (I use a foundation brush, so it could be a different story using a sponge…which I think I will try!)Although, if you just use a mineral powder foundation, then it goes on effortlessly and looks lovely AND stays on all day long.For that down side mentioned, that is a HUGGGE upside, my makeup stayed on for the whole day, that can’t be beaten!Ladies and gents, the main reason I got this, as I said, was to reduce the size of the marks left on my face after the chicken pox, and if you are looking for a primer that works on marks and scars, then this is the one for you. A little bit more patience applying foundation is worth it, I promise!

Lesa Como, MS

Not so great

I generally love the Philosophy Brand. However, I am not a big fan of the Present. I used it for a week and it gave my face a rash. Then I waited about 6 weeks later to try it again and the same thing happened. I also experienced a break out of 2 pimples the second time around. I never ever break out on my face! It also feels very heavy. However, I do have sensitive skin so that might be the reason. I will still continue to use Philosophy products, just not this one.

Heather Godeffroy, NY

An Excellent Product

I got a Philosophy sample package over a year ago and just recently decided to try out this product. (I’d seen it advertised on QVC and fell for the fabulous advertising, what can I say?) I have to admit, of all the samples I tried (Hope in a Jar and the eyecream to name a couple), this is my all-time favorite and the only one that lives up to the hype.I use it over my inexpensive makeup and it makes my sensitive ‘baby boomer’ skin as smooth as silk. In warm weather, I used it alone and it smoothed out my skin and did disguise large pores quite well.If you’ve got the bucks, this is an excellent buy. It doesn’t take much of the product to do the job and I’ll definitely buy more.

Heather Gaston, IN

Great before makeup or by itself

I love this product. Philosophy products are over priced but this one is worth its price. It makes my skin have a smooth finish. I am in my 40’s and can go out without makeup when wearing this. It doesn’t cover all of the lines but gives an overall smooth finish.

Dayna Mamaroneck, NY

The One and Only

The Present is in a class by itself! I have never seen a facial product do more! After applying sunscreen and/or moisturizer, apply The Present. This product will make your foundation (preferably philosophy airbrush canvas) go on smoothly, and makes it adhere to your skin. Your skin is smoothed out filling in lines and wrinkles, as well as large pores. It is just the greatest product ever. Sharon Perkins, Cordele, GA

Bridgett Charlevoix, MI

Not Sure

I don’t think this works well with my skin. I used it as a base prior to putting make up on but I found it to be thick and cakey. I also found small specks of flakes on my face after an hour. I don’t know if it is the product itself or it just doesn’t fit well with my skin.

Theresa Baraga, MI

I love it!

I just love this clear makeup mostly b/c it fells and looks so natural on me. ^_^If I’m going for a no makeup look I use this, a little concealer and peach or very light pink lip and cheek coloring of some sort. I like to just use what ever I used on my lip on my cheeks and as a eye shadow too, for eyes if I do use anything dark I like to use a dark brown liner or mascara.I don’t do powder b/c most powders make my face feel itchy but just use something that matches ur skin then ur g2g. ^_^Please know this has no color it just makes ur skin look better

Emilia Paxinos, PA