Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Almay Smart Shade Makeup

I picked up this foundation because it received top marks from Paula Begoun and because it seemed like it had everything I was looking for: lightweight coverage, effective SPF 15, a shade that would look great on me and lots of healthy stuff like grape seed, ginseng and ginkgo biloba to help actually improve my skin.

Unfortunately, it turns out that I’m not really looking for lightweight coverage because this product just didn’t do it for me. I would apply it and the results would look too natural, meaning acne marks and other blemishes were completely visible. If I had almost-perfect skin that just needed a bit of evening out, or if under-eye circles were my problem, this foundation would be perfect but since I need more coverage than this product can provide, it’s not for me.

Now, to be fair this product, its packaging doesn’t claim to provide amazing coverage while its online product write-up is focused on its “shade-sensing technology” (more on that in a minute). Its web page does have a callout for something called “FlawErase Technology” but what that is is never explained. So while this product might not cover-up blemishes, it never claims that it will.

What it does claim is this: “finally a makeup that takes the guesswork out of finding your perfect shade. breakthrough shade-sensing technology instantly adjusts to the color of your skin. the lightweight formula starts out white and adjusts to right.” (No, I didn’t make a typo when I copied over that last sentence, that’s really what it says.)

This is, of course, a lot of bull. Oh, not the part about this foundation starting out white and then changing colour, that it does do that, but this foundation, just like all the other “skin-matching” foundations out there isn’t changing colour to perfectly match your skin. Instead, small coloured particles "explode" upon application and turn the foundation to a pre-determined colour that’s on the sheer side, allowing it to look like it’s matching your skin tone (and yes, the end colour did “match” my own).

While the changing-colour feature is a cool looking, I wish that Almay had decided to forgo it and instead gone with a formula that contained more pigmentation because this would be a fantastic foundation for me if it just provided a bit more coverage. In addition to being healthy for your skin and offering sun protection, it’s a breeze to work with. It’s a liquid, which I prefer, that goes on easily and absorbs very quickly. It also works wonderfully with other makeup products, letting them do their thing while staying in place.

While this foundation’s end result isn’t quite what I want, it does look very natural, with just a hint of dewiness. And not surprisingly, this foundation feels like you’re wearing nothing on your face.

This product is also priced quite reasonably and can be picked up for under $15.

While this product isn’t for me, it might be for you if you can honestly get away with a sheer foundation. But if you do decide to pick it up, make sure to always wear it over a moisturizer and/or primer. While it goes on quite “wet”, it isn’t very moisturizing and will highlight fine lines that haven’t been pre-plumped.

Would I Buy It Again: No.
Should You Buy It: If you really want true light-weight coverage, this product might be for you.

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