Almay's been revamping itself lately, moving beyond its bare-bones, "hypoallergenic makeup" roots and branching out into more interesting options. Best Blend Forever Makeup SPF 40 Broad Spectrum is proof that change can be good: This foundation is more than just makeup.
Best Blend Forever Makeup is housed in an opaque squeeze tube with a sponge-tipped applicator. Squeeze the tube, and the foundation comes out through a hole in the sponge. Nice, but not essential to a seamless application. At least the sponge tip is removable so you can wash it if it gets too covered in makeup!
This foundation's texture is that of a smooth gel-cream that glides across skin with ease. The sponge applicator works well to apply this foundation and blend it in, though you can also just squeeze some out onto your hand or a separate makeup applicator.
As advertised, you get light to medium coverage and this feels like nothing on. It sets to a slightly dewy finish that's best for those with normal to dry skin. It wears well throughout a standard work day with no creasing or fading and is easy to remove with a standard face cleanser.
This comes in a small but good and natural-looking selection of colors for fair to deep skin tones.
What sets this foundation apart is its beneficial aspects: It provides broad-spectrum SPF 40, meaning it's a great way to give your sun protection an extra boost throughout the day. In addition, there are some good skin-replenishing and skin-restoring ingredients, along with some antioxidants and skin-soothing ingredients, all present in what we suspect are efficacious amounts. The opaque packaging and squeeze tube also mean these delicate ingredients will be protected from degrading in the presence of light and air.
The only drawback is that this contains the fragrance ingredient ethylene brassylate. This doesn't have a strong fragrance at all, but any amount of fragrance has the potential to irritate skin. Other than that misstep though, Best Blend Forever Makeup SPF 40 Broad Spectrum is a keeper!
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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