This fragrance-free pressed-powder foundation includes sunscreen that blends a synthetic active (octinoxate) with a very low amount of titanium dioxide. Because octinoxate doesn’t provide sufficient UVA (think anti-aging) protection on its own, you’re left with a foundation whose sunscreen isn’t up to par for daytime protection in comparison to many.
Despite the disappointingly low amount of titanium dioxide, the truth is that with expensive products, like this one, you’re not likely to apply enough of it to obtain the level of sun protection stated on the label. That’s why we recommend viewing products like this as an adjunct to another product rated SPF 15 or greater that provides broad-spectrum protection.
Sunscreen issues aside, this powder foundation has a beautifully soft texture that glides over skin and meshes with it so well the effect is amazingly natural, yet you get light coverage to blur minor redness and other imperfections. The satin-matte finish enlivens skin without making it look the least bit dry or cakey. Overall, the formula is best for normal to dry skin.
Dior’s shade range is impressive, with a good mix of neutral to warm-toned colors suitable for fair to tan skin tones.
Note:Although this foundation provides broad-spectrum sun protection on its own, you must apply it liberally and evenly to get the stated level of protection. A sheer or spot application will not provide the amount of sun protection the label indicates. If you’re not likely to apply this foundation liberally, we recommend applying it over a moisturizer with sunscreen rated SPF 15 or greater and setting your foundation with a pressed powder rated SPF 15 or greater.
Active Ingredients: Octinoxate 5.99%; Titanium Dioxide 0.54%. Inactive Ingredients: Boron Nitride, Mica, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Silica, Talc, Cellulose, Dimethicone, Trimethyl Pentaphenyl Trisiloxane, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Neopentyl Glycol Diethylhexanoate, Phenoxyethanol, Acrylates/Stearyl Acrylate/Dimethicone Methacrylate Copolymer, Decyloxazolidinone, Diisostearyl Malate, Isopropyl Titanium Triisostearate, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Caprylyl Glycol, Dimethicone/Methicone Copolymer, Aluminum Hydroxide, Sodium Lauroyl Aspartate, Water, Zinc Chloride, Butylene Glycol, BHT, Algin, Acacia Senegal Gum, Malva Sylvestris (Mallow) Extract, Carbomer, Serine, Sodium Stearate, Atelocollagen, Zinc Gluconate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Chloride
Strengths:Nearly all of the SPF-related products offer sufficient UVA protection; a few extraordinary foundations and mascaras; a good liquid concealer; an excellent powder eyeshadow set; some good lipsticks and eyeliners.
Weaknesses: Expensive; lackluster moisturizers and serums that contain more fragrance and preservatives than elegant ingredients; irritating toners and self-tanners; ordinary masks; lack of products to address the needs of those with blemishes or skin discolorations; some foundations with SPF ratings that are too low; mostly average makeup brushes.
If you're looking for a clear-cut case of style winning out over substance, here it is. The Dior name is synonymous with couture fashion and countless other lifestyle accoutrements, but they continue to falter when it comes to establishing a first-rate collection of skin-care products. Of course, the company believes their products are the crème de la crème and if we're judging on aesthetics alone, we see what they mean. However, what's inside the gorgeous components is what counts for your skin, and Dior's formulas leave a lot to be desired. On one hand, it's great that all of their sunscreens contain sufficient UVA protection; on the other, all of their moisturizers either leave skin wanting more or contain problematic ingredients with no skin-redeeming qualities.
Fragrance is huge for Dior, and a visit to their counter attests to this, as fragrances line the counter right beside the skin-care tester unit. It would be better for skin if the two categories were kept separate, but in most cases the amount of fragrance added to Dior's skin-care products is greater than the token amounts of state-of-the-art ingredients (and the effectiveness of most of those is further diminished by jar packaging). If you wouldn't put perfume on your face, think twice about applying it in the form of an expensive skin-care product.
On the plus side, there are a few very good products to consider if you don't mind spending the extra money. If you're a fan of Dior's fashions and want to experiment with their cosmetic products, you'll find that their makeup outshines the skin care and has improved in ways that keep the panache while making genuine improvements. Despite all manner of claims to the contrary (everything from purifying pores to lifting skin to the point that sagging is a thing of the past), the most attractive part of Dior's formulas is how they're dressed, not how they perform.
For more information about Dior, call (212) 931-2200 or visit www.dior.com.
Always fashion-forward, Dior's makeup is more well-designed and attractive than ever, offering standout products in almost every category. The most notable change over the past several years has been Dior's improved foundation formulas and shades. It's now the exception rather than the rule to find overtly peach, pink, or rose-toned shades among Dior's many complexion-enhancing options. Even better, Dior has recently introduced foundations to compensate for its previous too-low SPF efforts, with formulas available in SPF 15, 20 and 25, a couple of which even include UVA-protecting ingredients. Such a move shows that while Dior may still struggle with an overall lackluster skin care line, they are at least working to meet dermatologist-recommended benchmarks for sun protection.
You will also be very impressed with Dior's powder blush, eyeshadows (though their shiny finish is not the best for Baby Boomer eyes), the DiorSkin concealer, brow gel, and most of the mascaras. If you're a fan of lip gloss and are willing to tolerate a double-digit price, you'll be in cosmetics heaven wading through all the lip-shining options here. On the flip side, neither the standard pencils nor most of the lipsticks are worth the money. With any designer-based line built on artifice, price is more than a matter of dollars. It's indicative of a company’s image and remains a prestige factor that often speaks louder than the products themselves. Dior is guilty of maximizing its assets to play up its image, but with their makeup line the good news for you is that, for the most part, they really pay attention to what’s inside all the luxe containers, too.
One more note: Dior’s makeup tester units are much more accessible and user-friendly than for previous editions of this book. We also found their counter staff to be more accommodating and definitely less condescending than several other European-bred lines.
Note: Dior is categorized as a brand that tests on animals because its products are sold in China. Although Dior does not conduct animal testing for its products sold elsewhere, the Chinese government requires imported cosmetics be tested on animals, so foreign companies retailing there must comply. This requirement is why some brands state that they don’t test on animals “unless required by law.” Animal rights organizations consider cosmetic companies retailed in China to be brands that test on animals, and so does the Beautypedia Research Team.
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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