Almay claims that this liquid foundation can "fight the signs of aging" and in one respect that's true, because Almay included sufficient broad spectrum sun protection, which will keep your face shielded from the effects of the sun's harmful, aging rays. In this formula, sunscreens zinc oxide and titanium dioxide do double duty because they also impart a good amount of opacity, which makes building this up to medium coverage a breeze. Unlike the original Smart Shade SPF 15, this leaves a satin finish that borders on shiny. While this formula is suitable for normal to oily skin, the finish may not suit very oily skin as well as the original version’s matte finish.
For those new to the "Smart Shade" premise, here's how it works: As you dispense each shade, it appears grayish white. As you blend, it turns into a flesh tone. Each shade blends well and does not streak or look "dotted" on skin, though its initial appearance is admittedly startling. Almay has divided the shades by depth of skin color. The Light shade fares best because it is the most neutral, and is a versatile option for fair to light skin. Light/Medium is acceptable for medium skin tones, but is too peach for lighter skin, while Medium has a rosiness that makes it unsuitable for most skin colors. However, if one of the better shades works for you, this is certainly worth an audition. One more comment: although this anti-aging makeup contains some intriguing ingredients for improving skin's appearance and healthy functioning, most are present in amounts too small for skin to notice. All of them are listed after the sodium chloride, which is typically 1% or less.
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.
Active: Titanium Dioxide (3.9%), Zinc Oxide (2%), Other: Water, Dimethicone, Isododecane, Trisiloxane, Butylene Glycol, PEG/PPG-19/19 Dimethicone, C13-16 Isoparaffin, HDI/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Nylon-12, Sodium Chloride, Phenyl Trimethicone, Alumina, Glycerin, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5, Oligopeptide-24, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Saccharomyces Magnesium Ferment, Saccharomyces Potassium Ferment, Pea Extract, Macrocystis Pyrifera Extract, Nereocystis Leutkeana Extract, Laminaria Japonica Extract, Sweet Almond Seed Extract, Hydrolyzed Rice Protein, Sodium Hyaluronate, Palmitoyl Hydroxypropyltrimonium Amylopectin/Glycerin Crosspolymer, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Pentylene Glycol, Isodecyl Neopentanoate, Dimethicone/Bis-Isobutyl PPG-20 Crosspolymer, Galactoarabinan, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Boron Nitride, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Polyisobutene, C10-30 Isoparaffin, Methicone, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Tribehenin, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tocopherol, Propylene Carbonate, Silica, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Maltodextrin, Sucrose Dilaurate, Acrylonitrile/Methacrylonitrile/Methyl Methacrylate Copolymer, Phenoxyethanol, Tetrasodium EDTA, Caprylyl Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol +/-: Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide, Iron Oxides
Strengths: An excellent assortment of mascaras; several exceptional foundation options to choose from; a phenomenal liquid eyeliner; a selection of good makeup removers.
Weaknesses: Some of the Intense i-color products do the exact opposite of enhancing eye color; mediocre blushes; “Smart Shade” products don’t automatically adapt to skin’s color as claimed.
Long a standby for those with sensitive skin seeking hypoallergenic products (though that term is unregulated and can be applied to any product, regardless of ingredients), Almay continues to refine its comprehensive makeup line. In early 2006 the company repackaged its old favorites, and also relaunched several new makeup items. Everything now has a sleek new look and color-coded packaging. We admit, the makeover is effective, not just product-wise but visually too.
Shopping this drugstore line is now much easier because of the clearly defined product and color family groupings. Lamentably, testers and trial sizes of the makeup are still scarce regardless of where you shop. Almay has always been a reliable line for foundations, powder, and mascara. Within its current lineup you'll find that remains true. Their foundations are better than ever, and still offer full, broad-spectrum sun protection and a mostly neutral palette. We also found their concealers and mascaras have improved, as have the pencil options. When it comes to shopping for makeup staples with state-of-the-art formulas, Almay has many winners, and some innovative surprises that its competitors would be wise to learn from.
For more information about Almay, owned by Revlon, call (800) 992-5629 or visit www.almay.com.
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