This liquid foundation with sunscreen has a wonderfully light, yet lush texture that feels substantial, but not heavy on normal, dry, to very dry skin. The texture is very blendable, but because it’s highly pigmented, it doesn’t sheer out easily (which means finding the perfect shade is essential). As it sets, the foundation meshes with skin and sets to a soft matte finish with a hint of luminosity. The overall effect is medium-to-full coverage that looks surprisingly natural, and it lasts through the day.
The inclusion of titanium dioxide means that broad-spectrum sunscreen is assured, and the pump bottle is a nice touch! So why did this otherwise stellar foundation not earn our top rating? The inclusion of an irritating form of alcohol could spell trouble for your skin. Though the amount isn’t huge, there are plenty of fabulous foundations that don’t include any irritants, so the question becomes why consider this over those that present no risk of irritating your skin?
Shades run from fair to dark, but the deepest shades—Earth, Dark Cocoa, and Rich Espresso—do not have an SPF rating (see More Info for details). These shades also have a thinner texture and a slight sheen to their finish.
Why Irritation is a Problem for All Skin Types
Irritation, whether you see it on the surface of your skin or not, causes inflammation and as a result impairs healing, damages collagen, and depletes the vital substances your skin needs to stay young. For this reason, it is best to eliminate, or minimize as much as possible, your exposure to known skin irritants, especially when there are brilliant formulas available that do not include these types of problematic ingredients (Sources: Inflammation Research, December 2008, pages 558–563; Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2008, pages 124–135, and November-December 2000, pages 358–371; Journal of Investigative Dermatology, April 2008, pages 15–19; Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2008, pages 78–82; Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, January 2007, pages 92–105; and British Journal of Dermatology, December 2005, pages S13–S22).
Darker Foundation Shades Without Sunscreen
You may wonder why the darker shades mentioned above don’t offer sun protection. Given the amount of mineral actives (titanium dioxide and zinc oxide) in the formula, we suspect Avon left themout of the dark shades because in higher amounts these mineral ingredients tend to leave a grayish to ashen cast on dark skin tones. Women of color absolutely need sun protection, and it’s disappointing Avon couldn’t overcome this formulary obstacle, though in the case of pressed powders with mineral sunscreens, it’s not an easy hurdle.
Active: Titanium Dioxide 2.58%, Other: Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Water, Glycerin, Alumina, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, PEG-10 Dimethicone, SD Alcohol 40-B, Dimethicone/PEG-10/15 Crosspolymer, Tocopherol, Petrolatum, Polysilicone-11, Boron Nitride, Cetearyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Chloride, Aluminum Hydroxide, Caprylyl Methicone, Stearic Acid, Disodium EDTA, Talc, PEG/PPG-20/23 Dimethicone, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Aluminum Dimyristate, Disodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Silica, Dipropylene Glycol, Methicone, Laureth-12, Fragrance, Methylparaben.
May Contain: Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Mica, Bismuth Oxychloride
Earth, Dark Cocoa and Rich Espresso shades: Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Water, Glycerin, Alumina, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, PEG-10 Dimethicone, SD Alcohol 40-B, Dimethicone/PEG-10/15 Crosspolymer, Tocopherol, Petrolatum, Polysilicone-11, Boron Nitride, Cetearyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Chloride, Aluminum Hydroxide, Caprylyl Methicone, Stearic Acid, Disodium EDTA, Talc, PEG/PPG-20/23 Dimethicone, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Aluminum Dimyristate, Disodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Silica, Dipropylene Glycol, Methicone, Laureth-12, Fragrance, Methylparaben; May Contain: Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Mica, Bismuth Oxychloride
Strengths: Broad-spectrum sun protection from most of the SPF products; a selection of good cleansers, moisturizers, and serums; a phenomenal concealer and a handful of other excellent makeup products at bargain prices; the company provides complete ingredient lists on its Web site and offers some of the most helpful Customer Service associates in the industry.
Weaknesses: The Clearskin products are mostly irritating and poor choices for anyone battling blemishes; the Anew Clinical lineup isn’t as impressive as its made out to be; an overreliance on jar packaging diminishes the antioxidants found in many Avon moisturizers; endless, unnecessarily repetitive moisturizers with exaggerated, outlandish claims; some of the foundations look unnatural.
The last few years have been an interesting time for the world's largest direct seller. Avon is sold in 120 countries and has an enormous range of products that goes beyond skin care and makeup, all sold by five million Avon representatives racking up annual sales of over $8 billion (Source: www.avoncompany.com). Yet due to several quarters of lackluster or poor financial performance, the company announced a multiyear restructuring plan in 2006. The anticipated cost of these changes is upwards of $500 million, which includes downsizing underperforming areas and focusing on remarketing their star products. In recent years, those key products have had "cosmeceutical" appeal, with claims that have gone beyond reality (but overexaggerated claims sell big in the cosmetics industry).
The Anew Clinical line ushered in several products claiming to work like (or, in some instances, better than) cosmetic corrective procedures. Whether you are considering laser treatments, Botox, Thermage, collagen injections, or even liposuction, the ads for Anew Clinical were designed to make you rethink that decision.
It is definitely impressive that Avon invested $100 million on a state-of-the-art research and product development facility in New York, but despite some innovative products that compete with the best of the best (typically for much less money), no cosmetics company has (or will) produce skin-care products that rival or beat the results obtainable from medical procedures. It's admittedly easier to slather on a cream or stroke a pad over your face than to make an office call and shoulder the expense for a cosmetic corrective procedure, but in this case convenience and savings don't equal—or even come close to—comparable results. And lest we forget, despite the onslaught of so-called cosmeceutical products claiming to mimic the results such procedures provide, the number of these procedures being performed increases each year. If any of these works-like-(insert cosmetic corrective procedure here) products did work, the number of procedures would be declining, not rising.
The National Advertising Division (NAD) took issue with several claims Avon made in ads for their Anew Clinical products (Source: www.nadreview.org/default.asp?SessionID=1149178&DocType=1&CaseType=1). In some cases,
As a major international cosmetics company,
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Avon may be viewed as a skin-care innovator, but when it comes to makeup they're more follow-the-leaders than trail blazers. Admittedly, their foundations, powders, blush, and lipsticks have smoother, more state-of-the-art textures than ever, but with few exceptions none of them are setting a precedent that other, more innovative companies are likely to follow.
You will find some outstanding Avon makeup products to consider, but perhaps due to the sheer size of the collection there are far too many mediocre products, especially among the eyeshadows, pencils, and mascaras. Given that Avon isn't as easy to obtain as comparable products at your local drug or department store, many of the makeup items end up being a tough sell. After all, who wants to go out of their way for average products? Turning to what Avon does really well, you'll find their loose and pressed powders have amazingly silky textures and natural finishes. Their blushes are wonderful, and a few of the lipsticks and foundations are definitely worth talking about with enthusiasm. Another positive point is that Avon regularly discounts their makeup, often upwards of 50% during any given campaign (Avon's campaigns run for two weeks and the specials change each time). If you shop at the right time, the best of Avon color can be yours for less than you'd pay for most low-cost drugstore makeup.
The Beautypedia and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.
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