PhotoReady Insta-Fix Makeup SPF 20
Billed as an instant "skin retoucher", PhotoReady Insta-Fix Makeup SPF 20 is a twist-up stick foundation that provides broad spectrum, mineral-based sun protection and has a fragrance-free formula, which is best for normal to combination and sensitive skin not prone to breakouts. Being a stick, it's wonderfully convenient and handy for touch-ups on the go, unless you prefer full coverage.
What we like best about this foundation is how natural it looks without feeling heavy or greasy. You'll get light to medium coverage which can be increased a bit by layering. On its own, this isn't good enough camouflage for more severe dark circles or red marks from acne (stick foundations can be problematic for breakout-prone areas, anyway), so you'll still need concealer. That's not necessarily a bad thing, just something to note if you were wondering if PhotoReady Insta-Fix Makeup could work as foundation and concealer in one.
Application-wise, this initially goes on smoothly; however, blending (especially over larger areas) causes slight dragging, which doesn't feel the best and can take more time. Applying this stick foundation in smaller areas or using it to touch-up ano ther foundation works fine. As this contains gentle sunscreen ingredients, it's a nice extra measure of protection around the eyes and on eyelids.
Revlon typically offers a broad range of shades so we were surprised to see the colors stop at options for tan to light brown (think Halle Berry) skin tones. If you have fair to light skin, you're in luck as there are several beautiful, neutral options. The shades for medium skin tones veer a bit on the warm side, but still look like real skin—no overtones of orange or rose.
We should acknowledge that unlike many foundations, this formula contains an unusually good mix of skin-repairing ingredients like ceramides and fatty acids. What a nice touch!
PhotoReady InstaFix Makeup wins points for its mineral-based sun protection, fragrance-free formula that contains a good mix of repairing ingredients, smooth texture, and portability. It works best to touch up or apply in small areas rather than all over, this being due to its tendency to drag over skin despite initially applying smoothly. All in all, it's another good foundation option whose neutral shades should work well for those with fair to medium skin tones.
- Convenient and wonderfully portable for quick touch-ups.
- Smooth texture eases initial application.
- Provides broad spectrum sun protection.
- Doubles as a concealer with SPF for use around the eyes.
- Contains an impressive array of skin-repairing ingredients.
- Neutral, real skin shades.
- Applies smoothly but can drag a bit when blending, so is less desirable for full-face application.
- Surprising lack of shades for darker skin tones (most of Revlon's other foundation include darker colors).
Strengths: Superior foundations with sunscreen and each of them provide sufficient UVA protection (though one has a disappointing SPF 6); several outstanding concealers and powders; one of the best cream blushes around; great cream eyeshadow and liquid eyeliner; a beautiful selection of elegant lipsticks, lip gloss, and lipliner; some worthwhile specialty products.
Weaknesses: Average eye and brow pencils; inaccurate claims surrounding their Botafirm complex; mostly average to disappointing mascaras.
It may surprise some of you to know that Revlon has been around since 1932, when the company launched a unique nail polish that used pigments instead of dyes. Lipsticks followed years later, and then a full line of cosmetics, which is how we know Revlon today. Although the company has had its continual share of ups and downs over the years (largely due to out-of-control debt coupled with aggressive spending), the line has recently made numerous improvements, especially in the realms of foundations, powders, eyeshadows, and mascaras. If their goal was to close the competitive gap between themselves and L'Oreal, for the most part they have succeeded. Revlon definitely has the edge for foundations with reliable sunscreens. But despite Revlon's attempt to improve their mascara range, L'Oreal remains the clear winner (as well as L'Oreal-owned Maybelline New York).
Revlon's vast selection of makeup is divided into three main brands: Age Defying for the forty-something and older woman concerned about wrinkles, ColorStay for the teen to mid-thirties woman concerned about keeping oily skin in check and making sure her makeup stays put, and PhotoReady for women of all ages. These brands present some outstanding options and include products for all skin types (although the range of skin tones is not as well-represented here as it is by L'Oreal).
An intriguing fact is that the longevity claims for ColorStay are quite accurate: this collection of products really does offer extraordinary staying power. Conversely, Revlon jumped on the works-like-Botox bandwagon with their Age Defying range, going so far as to name their antiwrinkle complex Botafirm. Is there any confusion about what that term is supposed to relate to? Despite the claims, Botafirm won't reduce expression lines or control the muscles that cause them, though the products themselves do have many impressive qualities.
Note:Revlon is categorized as one that tests on animals because their products are sold in China. Although Revlon may not conduct animal testing for their 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 dont 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 Team.
Suffice it to say, Revlon has more commendable products than ever before, and although they rely heavily on celebrity spokespersons, their best products ably speak for themselves.
For more information about Revlon, call (800) 473-8566 or visit www.revlon.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.