CoverGirl + Olay Facelift Effect Firming Makeup

for $ 16.99
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Here's yet another makeup product promising "facelift"-like results, which is well beyond the limits of what's possible from makeup (or skin care for that matter). That's not to say a makeup product can't be beneficial or make your skin appear younger or more rejuvenated, it's just that a facelift is a facelift—and that involves surgery—which makeup simply cannot replicate, in any manner.

The claim is that this foundation contains anti-aging ingredients typically seen in night creams and that these ingredients firm skin for a facelift-like effect. This does contain some intriguing ingredients (such as Olay's standby niacinamide), but the formula has more talc and salt (sodium chloride) than it does skin-firming ingredients, making the firming claim dubious at best.

All claims and skepticism aside, even if you wanted to believe the hope for firmer skin, because this is packaged in a jar, most of the beneficial ingredients will begin to deteriorate as soon as you take the lid off, plus there's the potential for introducing bacteria if you choose to dip your fingers into the container, which will further degrade the ingredients. See More Info for why jar packaging is not the best option for this sort of product.

As for this foundation's performance: It begins very creamy, meaning it's definitely not an option for oily to combination skin. While the texture is creamy and has decent slip, it's also tacky, so it takes a bit of work to get it to blend into your skin completely. Once blended, it provides natural-looking, medium coverage with a soft, satin-like finish that no longer feels creamy, but isn't necessarily drying, either, making this best for normal to slightly dry skin.

This foundation wears well throughout a standard workday, but it does begin to emphasize wrinkles toward the end of the day. There is a much smaller range of shades than what CoverGirl typically offers, but they all look natural on their intended skin tones. There are no shades for tan to dark skin tones.

Overall, it's not a bad foundation, just one that doesn't live up to the hype—or its name!

Note: Despite the lack of "fragrance" on the ingredient list, this foundation does contain the fragrance ingredient ethylene brassylate, but it really doesn't have a detectable scent.

  • Natural-looking coverage.
  • Wears well throughout a standard workday.
  • The shades offered look natural on their intended skin tones.
  • Is tacky as it begins to set, meaning you have to work with it a bit to get it to blend in.
  • Does not have a facelift effect on skinnot even close.
  • Packaged in a jar, which means its beneficial ingredients won't stay stable once it's opened.
More Info:

The fact that it's packaged in a jar means the beneficial ingredients won't remain stable once it is opened. All plant extracts, vitamins, antioxidants, and other state-of-the-art ingredients break down in the presence of air, so once a jar is opened and lets the air in these important ingredients begin to deteriorate. Jars also are unsanitary because you're dipping your fingers into them with each use, adding bacteria which further deteriorate the beneficial ingredients (Sources: Free Radical Biology and Medicine, September 2007, pages 818–829; Ageing Research Reviews, December 2007, pages 271–288; Dermatologic Therapy, September-October 2007, pages 314–321; International Journal of Pharmaceutics, June 12, 2005, pages 197–203; Pharmaceutical Development and Technology, January 2002, pages 1–32; International Society for Horticultural Science, www.actahort.org/members/showpdf?booknrarnr=778_5; Beautypackaging.com, and www.beautypackaging.com/articles/2007/03/airless-packaging.php).

Jar Packaging: Yes
Tested on animals: No
Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glycerin, Talc, PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone, Sodium Chloride, Niacinamide, Acetyl Glucosamine, Tocopheryl Acetate, Silica, Panthenol, Laureth-7, Phenoxyethanol, Trihydroxystearin, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Methicone, Arachidyl Behenate, Propylparaben, Trisodium EDTA, Synthetic Wax, Ethylene Brassylate, Behenic Acid, Polyethylene. May Contain: Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Mica.

CoverGirl At-A-Glance

Strengths: Inexpensive and widely available; a hugely improved selection of foundations, several with reliable sunscreen; good concealers; enviable pressed powders; some fantastic Lash Blast mascaras; mostly great eyelining options; a vast selection of lip color options, from the long-wearing Outlast to sheer lip glosses to the wholly impressive Lip Perfection lipstick;several great options in the Queen Collection.

Weaknesses: The older foundations are seriously lacking; the newer Advanced Radiance foundation has great texture but disappointing SPF rating; powder blush and eyeshadows; terrible makeup brushes; all of the "Clean" products contain irritating ingredients.

Since 1961, CoverGirl has been slowly building a portfolio of cosmetics that today is about as all-encompassing as a makeup line can be. Originating from the same "medicated" ingredients found in Noxzema Skin Cream (which was never medicated in the least, but seriously irritating for skin), the debut products are still available, albeit with slight modifications. The good news is that for the past several years CoverGirl has consistently updated their line with some very impressive products, especially their foundations, concealers, and vastly improved pressed powders. They also offer some excellent eye and lip pencils, lipsticks and lip gloss, and one of the all-time best long-wearing lip paints, Outlast.

What's puzzling is that although many of CoverGirl's latest products are progressive, they tend to hang on to the lackluster-to-poor options, including abysmal powder blush and eyeshadows and their long-standing, very irritating Clean Makeup.

CoverGirl's Web site is extremely easy to navigate, and presents a wealth of product information, along with practical (if somewhat cutesy) tips and tricks for successful makeup application and for finding the shades that work best for you. CoverGirl's consumer relations department is consistently helpful if you have any questions or concerns. For example, if one of your favorite items was discontinued, you might want to know what replaced it, and they will let you know. Such service and customer concern is yet another powerful reason to believe CoverGirl really has its (class) act together.

For more information about CoverGirl, owned by Coty, call (800) 426-8374 or visit the Web site at www.covergirl.com.

About the Experts

The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.

Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.

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