Bobbi Brown's Skin Moisture Compact Foundation comes with some pretty weighty claims about its ability to act as a skincare product in addition to serving as makeup. Although this creamy foundation has some good things going for it, it's not nearly all it's claimed to be!
The first thing you'll notice is the scent. Like many other Bobbi Brown products, it's fragranced with lavender, and this aroma is apparent as soon as you open the compact. While it dissipates quickly, it's worth noting, especially since frequent use of products with fragrance can aggravate skin. See More Info for details.
The texture of the foundation is emollient without being greasy, but, surprisingly, this doesn't translate into easy application. We found that it goes on patchy, dragging over skin and clinging to dry areas—and this is supposed to be a foundation for dry skin! It takes work to get this to look even, although with some effort you'll get an attractive soft powder finish.
Performance-wise, this wears well throughout the day without fading and provides medium coverage of imperfections. Like most of the brand's foundations, it also comes in a range of natural-looking, mostly neutral to slightly warm shades for very fair to deep skin tones.
Getting back to some of its other claims: Bobbi Brown says this foundation functions as a skincare product as well, providing rich moisture for dry skin in addition to replenishing ingredients. While this does have a creamy texture, it's not nearly moisturizing enough for dry to very dry skin. It also lacks a robust amount of skin-improving ingredients, and two of the "special" ingredients called out—"marine-derived repair actives" and "collagen-enhancing ferment"—aren't even present in the ingredient list! This isn't something we ever expected to see from a company like Bobbi Brown.
Overall, this is an average foundation that isn't worth its price. You'll find superior options on our list of Best Foundations Without Sunscreen.
Why Fragrance is a Problem for Skin: Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes a chronic sensitizing reaction on skin.
This reaction can lead to all kinds of problems, including disruption of skin's healthy appearance, worsening dryness, redness, and depletion of vital substances in skin's surface. Generally, it keeps skin from looking healthy, smooth, and hydrated. Fragrance free is always the best way to go for all skin types.
A surprising fact: Even though you can't always see or feel the negative effect on skin of using products that contain fragrance, the damage will still be taking place, even if it's not evident on the surface. Research has demonstrated that you don't always need to see or feel the effects on your skin for your skin to be suffering. This negative impact and the visible damage it may cause may not become apparent for a long time.
References for this information:
Biochimica and Biophysica Acta, May 2012, pages 1410–1419
Aging, March 2012, pages 166–175
Chemical Immunology and Allergy, March 2012, pages 77–80
Experimental Dermatology, October 2009, pages 821–832
International Journal of Toxicology, Volume 27, 2008, Supplement pages 1–43
Food and Chemical Toxicology, February 2008, pages 446–475
American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003, issue 11, pages 789–798
Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 2008, issue 4, pages 191–202
Bobbi Brown At-A-Glance
Strengths: A good cleanser and eye makeup removers; some impressive foundations, with options for all skin types and preferences; very good blushes and eyeshadows (powder and cream); several top-notch mascaras; mostly excellent brushes.
Weaknesses: Multiple moisturizers in jar packaging, otherwise great products hindered with irritating fragrant oils or fragrance components.
It all began with lipsticks. In 1991, New York based makeup artist Bobbi Brown debuted a collection of ten lipsticks at Bergdorf Goodman, expecting to sell about one hundred units in a month. She sold more than that the first day. From there, it's been mostly success after success, as Brown launched her classic foundation stick, wrote her first book, Bobbi Brown Beauty The Ultimate Beauty Resource, and enjoyed continued attention as an in-demand makeup artist and beauty educator.
Today, Bobbi Brown's makeup that continues to excel with superior foundations, true matte blushes and eyeshadows, and with all of the other basics that are essential to anyone’s makeup wardrobe. It isn't the least bit surprising that this makeup collection continues to do so well, because for many it's one-stop shopping that combines classic makeup application techniques with enough fun-yet-functional products to keep customer's interest piqued season to season.
Turning to the skincare collection, there are a few excellent formulas, but unfortunately, many are packaged in a jar, which means their beneficial ingredients are rendered useless due to air exposure (and bacterial contamination from spatulas or fingers). In addition, some suffer from the inclusion of potent fragrant essential oils. Those that should be avoided are noted in their respective reviews. That aside, color is without a doubt Bobbi Brown's strong point—but you will find a few sleeper hits among the selection of skincare products.
For more information about Bobbi Brown, call (877) 310-9222 or visit www.bobbibrowncosmetics.com.
The Beautypedia and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.
Beautypedia cuts through the hype to bring you product insights and recommendations you won’t find anywhere else!