This foundation claims to fuse with your skin so perfectly that it'll fit and feel like your favorite piece of lingerie, clinging to your skin and defining every curve. Now that's a new angle to sell makeup! Although the claims are a bit hokey, this is an excellent liquid foundation that looks beautifully natural and very skin-like. Its silky texture glides over skin and blends perfectly to a natural matte finish with just a hint of glow. Coverage is in the light to medium range, and this won't crease into lines or magnify large pores. Those looking for sun protection from their foundation will be pleased that this provides critical UVA screening from titanium dioxide. Most of the shades are beautiful, and include options for fair to medium skin tones. The only shades to avoid are the orange-tinged Dore Naturel 23 and the slightly rose Rose Naturel 13.
With all of the accolades, you may be wondering why this didn't receive our top rating. Two reasons: the amount of alcohol in the formula is potential cause for concern and this contains several fragrance chemicals known to cause irritation. Neither of these drawbacks are deal-breakers (though the price should give you pause) but they're enough of a concern to prevent an unequivocal recommendation. If you decide to try this foundation, it is best for normal to oily skin.
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 Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide 3.16%; Octinoxate 3%; Inactive Ingredients: Water, Methyl Trimethicone, Dimethicone, Alcohol, PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Pentylene Glycol, Mica, Phenyl Trimethicone, Silica, Acrylates/Dimethicone Copolymer, Acrylates Copolymer, Aluminum Hydroxide, Butylene Gycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Stearic Acid, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Phenoxyethanol, Alumina, Sodium Myristoyl Glutamate, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Lecithin, Tetrasodium EDTA, Fragrance, Hexyl Cinnamal, Sericin, Hydroxycitronellal, BHT, Citronellol, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Hydrolyzed Linseed Extract, Sorbic Acid May Contain: Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides
Strengths: Lavish packaging (if that appeals to you); a good mascara; some excellent lipsticks.
Weaknesses: Very expensive; over-reliance on jar packaging; pervasive fragrance; overall mediocre to just plain bad skincare.
Guerlain's Paris pedigree, having evolved from a centuries-old fragrance house to a "lifestyle" line that prides itself on luxurious indulgences that promise to beautify (and perfume) almost every inch of you, still manages to hook plenty of unsuspecting women. Yet behind all of the enticing names and extraordinary claims lie some of the most unremarkable, overpriced skin-care products available. It may sound luxurious to find that gold is included in some of their formulations, unless you happen to know that when it's applied topically, gold is simply a potent allergen; there is no research showing it to have any effect on wrinkles or aging.
Guerlain's skin-care products contain a preponderance of ordinary cosmetic ingredients, with only a smattering of antioxidants, skin-identical ingredients, and anti-irritants, and most of these elegant ingredients are hindered by jar packaging. It's one thing to spend more than you need to on a skin-care routine, but at least if you decide to do so you should shop the overpriced lines that will reward you with far better formulations than what Guerlain offers. Guerlain is the very definition of style usurping substance. For example, there are dozens and dozens of moisturizers in this line that are at best described as mediocre and out of date, while the sunscreens have issues of their own, including low SPF ratings and potentially insufficient UVA protection due to smaller-than-usual amounts of avobenzone. And despite the specialty claims they make for each product grouping, repetitive formulations are the hallmark of the Guerlain line—too bad not a single moisturizer or serum formula comes close to beating the competition; more often than not they fail miserably.
Guerlain has been under the ownership of Sephora parent company Louis Vuitton-Moet-Hennessy since 1994, and is available in many Sephora boutiques.
For more information about Guerlain, visit www.guerlain.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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