PhotoPerfection Fluid Foundation SPF 20 PA+++
This is an excellent liquid foundation with an in-part titanium dioxide sunscreen. The blend of sunscreen ingredients ensures broad-spectrum protection, and this foundation’s formula is best for normal to oily skin.
Dispensed from a pump, the slightly thick texture thins out as you blend and feels very silky. It’s very easy to blend, but be sure to blend thoroughly or it can look too heavy and obvious.
It sets to a soft powder finish that enlivens skin with a subtle glow, and from the get-go you’ll notice this provides medium coverage that works great to camouflage redness and other minor flaws.
The shade range offers some good options for medium skin tones, but is hit-or-miss for light and dark skin tones. Perfect Petal is noticeably pink, Perfect Ginger is slightly peach, and Perfect Honey is so peach that any oily areas turn strikingly orange after an hour or so of wear. Perfect Caramel is slightly orange, but may be workable for some tan skin tones (ask for a sample first).
This would earn our top rating if it did not contain such a large amount of fragrance and fragrance ingredients, including fragrant plants. Fragrance, whether it is synthetic or from plant extracts, is a problem for skin. The amount of fragrant ingredients in this foundation isn’t significant so its other attributes make it worthy of recommendation; just keep in mind that there are other great alternatives that don’t have this potential problem.
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.
- Provides broad-spectrum sun protection.
- Easy to apply and provides great coverage.
- Soft powder finish leaves skin with a subtle, non-sparkling glow.
- Contains fragrance and fragrant plants, whereas many foundations avoid these non-skin-caring ingredients.
Strengths: Incredibly smooth powder textures that are easy to apply and enliven skin; great powder blush and bronzers.
Weaknesses: Expensive; most of the products are fragranced (some highly so); disappointing primer and mascaras; average concealers and highlighters; few options without shine (shine is definitely not for everybody).
Like Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, and Dior, Givenchy has established a global fashion empire that includes makeup and skin-care products (which are not reviewed at this time). While these French design companies know a great deal about fashion, their venture into makeup is more about style and packaging flamboyance than it is about the products' actual performance; that is, far more form than function.
Givenchy's sleek, chic packaging and designer prices are, for the most part, below par and not worthy of their cost. Adding to the less-than-stellar product selection is the fact that Givenchy products contain noticeable fragrance, which makes them even less desirable, at least for the long-term health of your skin. Fragrance (especially from multiple products worn at the same time) can cause irritation that hurts your skin's healing process and its ability to look and act younger.
Of course, there are some great products in this line, but despite our enthusiasm for them, they offer nothing that hasn't been done just as well (or better) by many other lines, whose prices aren't based on a couture fashion house's reputation. Still, if you're a Givenchy fan or a curious observer, you should know which products are worth your attention and which ones you can gloss over. Givenchy makeup is supposed to have something they refer to as "Prisme," which is meant to describe the prismatic, light-reflecting effect they've added to all of their products. You'll hear a lot from the Givenchy salespeople about the delicate interplay of color and light, but when you cut through the marketing mumbo jumbo, all that these products contain is shine, and it's the same shiny ingredients every other company in the world of makeup is using.
It's important to keep in mind that too much shine will only make the wrinkles you have look worse. While you'll hear that shine reflects light from wrinkles, you can easily dispel that notion by testing a shiny product over your wrinkles, and seeing how the shine makes them stand out, not soften.
Givenchy also carries on about the pigment technology they use, but it isn't unique to their brand. There are many different pigment technologies cosmetic formulators can use, and to one degree or another, all of them are responsible for the improvements we've seen in makeup over the past decade. Lines from L'Oreal to Giorgio Armani, Clinique, and Revlon all use modern pigment technology to create great makeup. In the end, choosing Givenchy is an option, but if you go that route, it's more important than ever (especially for your budget) to know the facts about what you're getting.
Note: The collection of Givenchy makeup reviewed on this site is representative of what's typically seen in U.S. Sephora stores that stock Givenchy.
For more information about Givenchy, call +33 (0) 1 73 02 60 00 or visit www.parfumsgivenchy.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.