Spark Sessions blogging conference gifting suite. So yes, I’ll be writing about free products but don’t worry, just because I got them for free doesn’t mean that I’ll be giving them a free pass.
Let’s start with Almay’s Smart Shade mousse makeup. I was fully prepared to hate this product because it starts off with a lie. According to the Almay rep, and this product’s web page, it contains “smart shade sensing beads (that) instantly transform to your ideal shade.” Uh, no, that’s not how things work.
If it was, then the photo further down won’t show a smear of white foundation. Instead, that makeup would have “instantly transformed” to the shade of my hand. But it didn’t do that because those smart shade beads, they need to be crushed in order to release colour that matches you skin because you, presumably, picked a shade that matches your skin. Also, this isn’t an overly pigmented product, meaning that one shade “matches” more skin tones.
But once I got past that bit of misinformation and starting using the product, I discovered a foundation that might really work for some readers.
Almay boosts that this product will get you “perfectly poreless skin” and “provides flawless coverage for an airbrushed look.” I found that all to be a bit much; no one would mistake this foundation on me for airbrushed makeup. However, it did improve the look of my skin, evening out the colour and covering up minor flaws.
This foundation provides what I consider medium level coverage, meaning that while it will hide redness and light blemishes, it won’t cover up a nasty pimple. Considering that this is a drugstore product that retails at around $15 and isn’t super-pigmented, that’s fair and for many people, it’s all they need.
I do completely agree with Almay’s statement that this product is a “soft, velvety mousse.” I love how this product feels and how easily and smoothly it goes on. And because it’s a mousse, it’s also virtually mess-free.
My biggest issue with cheaper foundations is that they tend not be matte enough and that they wear off too easily. In the winter, matte is a non-issue but staying power, well, that’s always a concern for me. I was hoping that the Almay one would surprise me and deliver a foundation that could go from breakfast to dinner but unfortunately, this product doesn’t quite meet that mark. Instead, it stays fairly strong until around lunch, and then it slowly but steadily fades over the afternoon.
Wearing it over a primer helped a bit but still, I was wearing this product and still wanted it to look great in the evening, I had to touch it up.
I’m also not crazy about the packaging for this product. I prefer foundation to be in a tube in order to minimize the product’s exposure to air and bacteria. This foundation comes in an open jar, which could shorten its lifespan. That being said, the jar is sturdy and this is certainly a travel-, and bag-friendly product.
Would I buy this product: No but only because I love my Make Up For Ever foundation (which, I just discovered, I've never reviewed on here).
Should you buy this product: If you’re a budget-conscience woman who has fairly normal skin and who doesn’t mind touch-ups, this might just be your new foundation. Just make sure to only put clean fingers/sponges/brushes into that jar.