Vitalist Healthy Elixir Foundation + Vitamins + Broad Spectrum SPF 20
CoverGirl's Vitalist Healthy Elixir Foundation + Vitamins + Broad Spectrum SPF 20 sounds like a blockbuster skincare/makeup combo, but in this case, the trailer is better than the movie!
First, to the positive: This fluid foundation is easy to apply and blend, and it provides good medium coverage of redness and other skin imperfections. It sets to an attractive satin-matte finish that works best for those with normal to combination skin.
It holds up well as the day wears on, no creasing or fading. In fact, this looks as good at the end of the day as it did when you first applied it. It also comes in a small but well-edited range of shades for fair to medium skin tones.
Were we to stop there, this would receive a top-notch rating from us, but there are issues with this foundation that can't be ignored.
First, while it does provide broad-spectrum sun protection, SPF 20 is below global recommendations for optimal sun protection (see More Info for details).
Next, this contains fragrance and fragrance ingredients (and they're apparent by the product's initial perfume-like smell) that can irritate skin.
Also, despite words like "healthy," "elixir," and "vitamins" in this foundation's name, such beneficial ingredients are in short supply. True, it does contain vitamin E, panthenol, and niacinamide but they're in such small amounts—they all come after fragrance in the ingredient list—that their inclusion here is far from impressive.
This isn't a bad foundation, it just doesn't match up to the superior options both at the drugstore and department store when it comes to foundations with SPF.
- Fluid formula is easy to apply and blend.
- Attractive medium coverage with a satin-matte finish.
- Wears well without creasing or fading.
- SPF 20 is below global recommendations for optimal sun protection.
- Contains fragrance and fragrance ingredients which can irritate skin.
- Lacks a robust amount of beneficial ingredients implied in its claims.
Sunscreens Rated Lower than an SPF 30: An extensive body of research and a growing number of medical organizations around the world have determined that a sunscreen rated SPF 30 or greater is mandatory to ensure adequate sun protection.
Although a sunscreen rated lower than 30 will provide protection at the SPF number on the label and may claim broad-spectrum protection, we always point out when it does not have a rating of SPF 30 or greater because that's so important for the health and appearance of your skin.
References for this information:
Journal of Clinical Oncology, September 2016, ePublication
Photodermatology, Photoimmunology, and Photomedicine, August 2014, pages 212–219
The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, September 2012, pages 18–23
Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, May 2008, Supplemental, pages S149–S154
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.