I Compared the Silk Canvas to it’s Alleged $8 Dupe in Just About Every Condition Possible – Here are the Definitive Results on if it’s a Dupe or a Dud

The Silk Canvas by Tatcha is the be-all-end-all of primers. It’s the stuff of legend, and it will transform your makeup routine forever once you try it. Nothing else will give you more beautiful, and longlasting results than Silk Canvas.

It’s hands down the best makeup primer I have ever used (and I’ve used too many to count). Also, this magical primer seems to work beautifully no matter your skin type or tone. I’ve got crazy oily skin, so I was sure it wouldn’t work for me, but to my shock and delight, it’s incredible. It mattifies my face in the most beautiful and natural way ever. All this to say, I am in love with Silk Canvas. I want to be buried with, and in it.

So when I heard that e.l.f had produced an $8 dupe (Silk Canvas is $52!!) I had to try it. To be honest, I didn’t believe the hype. People were coming out left, right, and center, making all sorts of claims to how good it was. I thought there’s just no way, an $8 product can match or beat Silk Canvas.

I stewed on these feelings of denial for quite some time as e.l.f.’s Poreless Putty Primer is notoriously sold out. I gave up on it after a while, until I recently ran into it at Target! I couldn’t believe my luck, and I snatched it up right away. I’ve tested it quite a bit and will now breakdown the results on how it compares to Tatcha’s Silk Canvas and whether or not it’s a dupe.

Initial Application to Skin

So when you first apply the two primers, you will see several key differences.

Silk Canvas

  • Lays atop the skin, it blurs over your pores instead of melting into your skin and sort of sinking in. (Which is what you generally want in a primer, right? Something that fills the pores and blurs over any imperfections).
  • Visibly blurs pores, lines, imperfections like breakouts, discoloration, and other imperfections too. It definitely needs to have product layered over though as it gives off a subtle whitest cast. It’s not like SPF where it’s super ghost-like, just more of a soft-off white. Once you blend over it with foundation, it’s totally invisible, and there’s no hint of white cast though.
  • Smells divine. It’s so deliciously scented. Just lovely, relaxing even. It smells like a high end, super-luxe spa.
  • Feels like the softest silk cream. Heavenly.

Poreless Putty Primer

  • Melts right into the skin once you start to massage it in.
  • Does not visibly blur without product, but once you put foundation over it does blur the pores. This to say that since it melted into the skin and didn’t have a white cast type of thing going on, I was hoping it would be something I could wear alone without foundation to still have the blurs effect. No, go, though.
  • No real scent.
  • Feeling cooling to the touch, and a little greasy.

Wear test

I’ve worn these two primers in just about every condition, from beach days in the hot sun, to days spent inside with drying airconditioning blasting, too hot and sweaty hikes, and workouts, you name it. Here’s how the two performed on the wear tests.

Silk Canvas

  • Blurs over imperfects just a little bit more, especially fine lines and large pores. Really helps to create a smooth canvas for covering any textured blemishes or acne scars.
  • Makes makeup look incredibly fresh for hours and hours. It depends on the foundation and powders you use, but it will most definitely extend their freshness and life for several hours.
  • Mattiyies like a champion. The level of matte is as good as the most intense mattifying primer out there. (Save for like the milk of magnesia trick, but that is not ever a primer, so…) But it mattifies in the most natural way ever. I prefer it to other mattifying primers, for this reason, it doesn’t look drying or cakey like the others often do. It just makes it look like your skin isn’t an oily mess. (Like you have perfect skin). Seriously, if you’re hopelessly oily, for the love of all things good, TRY IT).
  • It’s so comfortable to the skin, like the most nourishing and gentle lightweight moisturizer. If you have easily irritated skin, you need this in your life. It’s amazing.
  • No matter the conditions, this primer simply always makes your foundation and the rest of your makeup look better than without it. It’s more than just that it blurs and mattifies, and keeps the makeup looking fresh too. It’s like there’s something that I just can’t quite put my finger on, but it makes the makeup just look better. It’s like a good Snapchat filter on the skin, that’s the best way I can think of to explain it. You really have to experience it to understand, and then you’ll know. So for all intents and purposes of this comparison, I’m going to call this the magic effect. Does Poreless Putty have it?

Poreless Putty

  • Does blur pores, and imperfections but not as much as Silk Canvas, also does not fill lines as well as Silk does Not as great for covering textured areas
  • Excellent in longwear extension, I’d say it’s pretty neck and neck with Silk Canvas here.
  • Mattifies like a second-place runner up. In fact, if you want a more dewy look, you might prefer it to Silk Canvas.
  • It’s initially cooling to the touch, but that goes away once you apply foundation. It is definitely comfortable to wear, but not as soothing as Silk Canvas.
  • It does make your makeup look better, and last longer, but it’s not quite as magical as Silk Canvas. I’ll tell you when it comes to blurring, mattifying and the longwear, they are darn close. But when it comes to that magical element, the Snapchat filter bit, Tatcha beats it. Like you can look at both sides of the face (one has Silk, one has Pore Putty) and you’ll have a hard time identifying what it is about the Silk Cavas side, but you’ll definitely think there’s just something special on that side that does indeed look better.

Final Thoughts

If money is no object, get The Silk Canvas. If you aren’t currently an Heiress to a fortune 100, Poreless Putty is the way to go. I would say try Poreless Putty and if you are really liking it and wish it was just a little bit more incredible, then go for Silk Canvas. Poreless will give you a really good preview for what Silk Canvas can do though. But ultimately they are close. They could pass for twins, just Tatcha would be the secret favorite.

Hannah Flack
Hannah Flack

I am a USC grad with a passion for beauty, health and science. I reside in beautiful California with my husband and puppy (@sebastian.thecavalierking).

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