For years and years I used MAC Studio Fix, convinced that I could never find a better powder foundation with medium to full coverage (I tend to like my foundation more on the full-coverage side). But even while I was devoted to Studio Fix, I didn't love it. If you've used Studio Fix, you know that it can get a bit chalky and cakey if not applied carefully. But on those days when I need full coverage, it sucks to have to be careful and not apply too much. I don't want to have to apply my foundation with the precision of a surgeon--I just don't have the patience or time for that. I want to slap it on and be done with it, confident that it's going to look good and get me through the day with minimal touch-ups.
So if you're like me, then you might appreciate this review. Because I'm looking at this product STRICTLY on the basis of how quickly I can apply it, and how little I have to fuss with it. If I have to be careful, not use too much, apply with a special brush, etc. then it COMPLETELY defeats the purpose of using a powder foundation, which is all about convenience, right?
That said, let's begin!
Physicians Formula Healthy Wear SPF 50 Powder Foundation (I bought this at Rite Aid for $14.95 but the package comes with an instant "save $5" coupon attached, which of course I took advantage of):
As I mentioned in my earlier post about this product, the compact really jumps out at you. There's just no way this can get lost in your makeup bag, that's for sure! I also love the little pink ribbon that you can pull to open the compact.
And since this is SPF 50 (awesome!) I tried to take some pics of the active and inactive ingredients for you (excuse the blurriness but I had to take these w/o flash and my camera is awful at that setting):
I really like that the SPF 50 will continue working for up to 40 minutes after swimming or perspiring.
This product contains the standard talc and mica that most drugstore powders contain. I do like that it's paraben-free.
Something else I like is that it contains licorice extract and tomato to help brighten your skin. Natural ingredients are always a plus, right?
I love the hot-pink sponge!
The shade I chose is Translucent Medium 7071, which is actually a good match for my pale, wintertime NC20 skin.
So...the burning question: how does it work? Well, I used this product for five days straight, and while at first I wasn't exactly sold on it, it has grown on me immensely (that is why you should always test a product for several days before you decide you hate it!).
Day one: The first time I applied it, I used the sponge and applied it after applying my regular moisturizer and concealer. I liked that I was able to get full coverage almost instantly--no time was wasted having to layer and layer to build the coverage I need. BUT, I did noticed that it looked a bit cakey on certain parts of my face. I could see the pores on my nose, and the dry patches of skin on my cheeks. This is something that used to happen when I used MAC Studio Fix, but it NEVER happens when I use my beloved Prestige Multi-Finish Wet/Dry Powder Foundation in "Wheat" which I have been using for quite a while now. BUT, the Prestige product is getting harder and harder to find in drugstores (although I have been assured by a representative of Prestige that they are NOT discontinuing it). But still, it's nice to have a back-up product at the ready, so I didn't want to give up on this just yet.
Day two: I used the same method as day one, but this time I made sure to use a touch more moisturizer prior to application. The difference was incredible, really. I didn't see the cakey area around my nose or cheeks, and it just looked smoother all around. The coverage of this foundation is truly impressive for a drugstore powder foundation (sometimes I actually believe that the powder foundations you find at the drugstore are pretty much the exact same formula as regular powder compacts and they just call them "foundation").
Days three, four and five: You know this product was working for me if I chose to wear it on Christmas Day. I have got to say that I am delighted with the full coverage it provides, and the color really matches my skin. The ONLY warning I want to give you is that, if you have dry skin, take extra precautions and moisturize like crazy before applying this (if your skin is super dry you probably don't generally use powder foundations anyway, but I still want to throw that out there). But if your skin is very oily like mine, you have a VERY good chance at keeping your oilies at bay for the entire day with this foundation. I was amazed that I didn't have a shiny nose by mid-day while wearing this (yes, it's the winter and the true test will be in the summer, but still!).
Another observation: Like many other powder foundations, this one needs to set a bit on your skin before it looks its best. So if you try this and you see the cakiness or notice little dry patches on your face, wait about 20 minutes and check again. For me, once this powder interacts with my natural oils, it looks a lot softer and more natural. Another added bonus: I swear this foundation made my blush last longer AND look brighter! I have been using one of my normal Sally Girl powder blushes for the past few days and I swear the color is more intense when put it on top of this foundation, and it lasts until I'm ready for bed!
Here's a swatch of a VERY generous amount of this powder foundation on the back of my hand:
Granted, this pic is an extreme close-up, but I just wanted to show you how it looks without any lotion/moisturizer underneath. So be sure to use moisturizer before application! If you look at the bottom of the pic, you can see how the redness of my skin is neutralized by this foundation--I'm telling you, this has excellent coverage that really lasts. So far, I am loving this foundation and it's GREAT to know that I have a quality alternative to my beloved Prestige foundation. I really can't wait to see how this performs in the summertime.
So, are you a powder foundation fan? What's your favorite drugstore powder foundation? Do you think you'll give this one a shot?