Perfect Matte Liquid Foundation is far from "perfect," but if oily skin troubles you, we can see why this foundation might intrigue you. The creamy liquid formula dries down to an absorbent, matte finish that keeps oily shine in check (at least for a couple hours). It offers buildable, medium-to-full coverage to hide imperfections and comes in a wide range of shades, from extremely fair to deep, and most are neutral-toned for a flattering, skin-matching hue. That's the good news.
The bad news? The formula tends to settle into fine lines and pores, and it clings to any sort of flaky skin or dryness. You have to be swift with blending to ensure smooth coverage, and even then, some of the lighter shades, such as Classic 60 and Beige 70, end up looking chalky (although that wasn't the case for the medium-to-deep shades).
We also must point out that each of the D&G beauty reps we spoke to mentioned that the color tends to oxidize to a deeper tone after you've been wearing it for a bit. That can make finding the right shade tricky, and who wants to leave the house knowing that their foundation may change its color an hour into wear? You might not experience that, but it certainly can happen so for that reason, we highly recommend testing this in the store and seeing how the color wears on your skin before you buy.
Our final complaint is that the fragrance-free formula is lacking in terms of extra beneficial ingredients. That's disappointing by itself given that many foundations that cost a fraction of this one have more to offer in that regard. What's even worse, though, is that the sole sunscreen active, ensulizole, doesn't provide sufficient broad-spectrum sun protection (see More Info as to why), so you end up shortchanging your skin on this important anti-aging benefit, too. To ensure adequate protection, you'll need to pair this with a more reliable source of sun protection.
In the end, although this isn't a horrible foundation, it isn't a wholly impressive one either, and at this price, it should be, right?!
Perfect Matte Liquid Foundation SPF 20 does not include the ingredients needed to shield your skin from the sun's entire range of damaging UVA rays, which is essential for anti-aging benefits. Any SPF-rated product should contain one or more of the following UVA-protecting ingredients listed as "active": avobenzone, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, Mexoryl SX (ecamsule), or Tinosorb (Sources: Photochemical and Photobiological Sciences, December 2011, pages 81–90; Cosmetic Dermatology, Second Edition, Baumann, Leslie MD, McGraw Hill, 2009, pages 246–252; American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, Supplement, 2009, pages 19–24; The Encyclopedia of Ultraviolet Filters, Shaath, Nadim A., Allured Publishing, 2007; and Photodermatology, Photoimmunology, and Photomedicine, October 2003, pages 242–253).
Note: Although this foundation lists titanium dioxide among its ingredients and this ingredient can provide reliable broad-spectrum sun protection, it cannot be relied on for sun protection unless it's listed as an active ingredient, which isn't the case with this foundation.
Ingredients: Active: Ensulizole (3%). Other: Water, Dimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Isohexadecane, Mica, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Titanium Dioxide, Glycerin, Sorbitan Isostearate, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Cyclohexasiloxane, Alumina, Caprylyl Dimethicone Ethoxy Glucoside, Aluminum/Magnesium Hydroxide Stearate, Silica Silylate, Sodium Chloride, Zinc Stearate, Hexylene Glycol, Methylparaben, Potassium Sorbate, Propylparaben, Mannitol, Glucose, PCA Dimethicone, Fructose, Sorbitol, Urea, Sodium PCA, Sucrose, Dextrin, Tocopherol, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Trehalose, BHT, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8,Polyquaternium-51, Glutamic Acid, Alanine, Aspartic Acid, Benzoic Acid, Triacetin, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Hyaluronate. May Contain: Iron Oxides, Titanium Dioxide.
Strengths: Luxuriously smooth powder textures; excellent bronzer and blush; an impressive foundation and concealer; outstanding cream eyeshadow and eyebrow-shaping pencil; a good volumizing mascara; excellent liquid concealer; most of the face makeup products are fragrance-free.
Weaknesses: Unjustifiably expensive in many cases; several mediocre products, including eyeliner, mascara, and foundation; nearly all of the lip products contain potentially irritating fragrance; a few old-school pencils that require inconvenient manual sharpening.
Italian brand Dolce & Gabbana is renowned for luxuriously crafted fashions, innovative designs, fragrances, and rich fabrics. The fashion brand’s foray into cosmetics follows suit, with opulent packaging adorned with golden accents and couture-like details. If that’s not enough to lure you in, D&G’s stunning celebrity spokeswomen will. With gorgeous muses like Scarlett Johansson and Monica Belluci headlining campaigns for their makeup collections, it’s hard not to get caught up in the seductive poses and the promise of prestige.
Just like their clothing line, D&G’s makeup products come with a designer price tag. That’s not to say they don’t have some great products—they absolutely do—but most of what you’re paying for is the upscale brand name, lavish packaging, and celebrity endorsements.
Most of D&G’s self-proclaimed “advanced” formulas tend to be quite basic in terms of any added benefit for your skin, though perhaps that will change now that the brand is owned by Shiseido.
Whether you find this brand’s prices acceptable or deplorable, D&G’s makeup line has its share of high points, texture being one of them. D&G’s powder makeup products offer a luxurious silky feel, velvety-smooth wear, and seamless application. There are several other standout products you may want to consider splurging on, too, including an impressive mascara, blush, foundation, liquid concealer, eyebrow pencil, and cream eyeshadow (see the individual reviews for details).
Of course, as with many brands, there are also instances where the products fall short in terms of performance, ingredients, and design. For those products, the high price point might seem unjustified and, well, it is! Nonetheless, D&G offers enough appealing makeup options to warrant a perusal. Just avoid the disappointments so you can be sure you’re spending your beauty dollars wisely.
Although not widely distributed in the United States, D&G makeup has a presence at some department stores in major cities, as well as at select Sephora locations around the world and online at Sephora.com.
For more information about Dolce & Gabbana cosmetics, visit www.dolcegabbana.com/beauty/makeup.
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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