CoverGirl advertises its UltraSmooth foundation as an innovation in makeup, one that comes with a breakthrough applicator—but it just doesn't live up to the hype. Sub-par performance, a tricky application, and a lack of the ability to live up to its claims means UltraSmooth only earns an average, two-star rating from us, as we'll detail below!
UltraSmooth Foundation is fragrance-free with a gel-cream texture, and comes in a squeeze tube with a screw-top lid. Included in the packaging is a small, oval silicone pad that you're supposed to squeeze the foundation onto, and then use to spread the makeup over your face. The problem is the applicator is flimsy and doesn't do a good job blending in makeup; it can't effectively deposit makeup into smaller areas like the inner corners of the eyes or the sides of the nose. We found you had to use your fingers or a makeup brush anyway, which takes more time than you likely want to spend. The applicator also didn't aid in patting down facial hairs (something it's advertised as being able to do), making it gimmicky and ultimately unnecessary.
Even if you choose to apply this with your fingers or a foundation brush, the formula drags across skin instead of gliding, meaning it still takes extra work to blend in. Once you do get it blended, it dries to a soft powder finish that's best for normal to combination skin, providing light to medium coverage of redness or uneven skin tone. It comes in a range of natural-looking shades for fair to medium-deep skin tones, and doesn't fade throughout the day.
It does, however, begin to emphasize the appearance of pores as it wears on, and makes facial hairs more—not less— apparent the longer you wear it. We should note that foundation will always cling to facial hair to some extent, and the denser and/or coarser the hair growth, the more visible the result. If this is a consistent concern, we recommend exploring hair removal options, from waxing, threading or dermalplaning (shaving)—whichever method you prefer.
Because of its mediocre performance and applicator, we simply can't recommend this foundation. Instead, try one of the much better options on our list of Best Foundations With Sunscreen or Best Foundations Without Sunscreen.
- Provides light to medium natural-looking coverage.
- Comes in a range of real skin shades for fair to medium-deep skin tones.
- Doesn't fade throughout the day.
- Gimmicky applicator doesn't work well to reach all areas of the face.
- Foundation drags during application, with or without the applicator.
- Does not have a significant impact on smoothing facial hairs.
- Unfavorably emphasizes pores as the day wears on.
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.