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.
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. These items may be part of CoverGirl's humble beginnings, but you certainly don't see parent company Proctor & Gamble adding eucalyptus oil and menthol to their Olay products or to products of any of the other cosmetics companies they own. If those ingredients were so important, why not use them everywhere? Needless to say, the great products outnumber the disappointments, and the prices make it easy for those on a budget to be beautiful and enjoy some state-of-the-art products, provided they shop wisely.
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.
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.
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