True Match Super Blendable Makeup SPF 17 is L’Oreal’s best foundation for normal to very oily skin. It has a fluid, silky feel and blends superbly, setting to a natural matte, slightly powdery finish that is translucent enough to let your skin show through, while still providing light coverage that diffuses minor flaws and redness. The sunscreen is pure titanium dioxide, making this a gentle choice for skin (the formula is also fragrance-free).
The palette of shades is not only one of the largest selections for a single drugstore foundation, but also one of the most neutral. Almost all of the 30+ shades are excellent, and they cover a wide range of skin tones from porcelain to medium brown. Generally, the shades in the N (neutral) and W (warm) range are best. Those in the C (cool) range are hit-or-miss but they've gotten better in recent times.
One drawback to this foundation is its drier finish. Although it does a good job of reducing oily shine and keeping skin looking polished, it tends to emphasize the slightest bit of dry skin, and can also make lines around the eye look more apparent. If you have dry areas or visible lines around the eye, it is imperative that you smooth and hydrate these areas before applying this foundation. An emollient moisturizer lightly applied around the eyes and regular use of an effective topical exfoliant should minimize this problem and make working with this foundation a better experience. All told, this is a must-try for those with normal to oily or breakout-prone skin who don't need significant coverage and want a foundation that feels wonderfully light.
Note: This product was recently downgraded from 5-stars to 4-stars due to its less-than-optimal SPF rating. Although this does provide sun protection, it's less than SPF 30. The problem? Health experts and medical boards around the globe agree that SPF 30 or greater is best when it comes to providing a reliable defense against the damage the sun can do. Yes, a foundation with less than SPF 30 is acceptable if your daytime moisturizer is rated SPF 30 or greater, but we wouldn't want anyone thinking an SPF under 30 is the best for skin. See More Info below for details.
Sunscreens Rated Lower than an SPF 30: An extensive body of research and a growing number of medical organizations around the world have determined that a sunscreen rated SPF 30 or greater is mandatory to ensure adequate sun protection.
Although a sunscreen rated lower than 30 will provide protection at the SPF number on the label and may claim broad-spectrum protection, we always point out when it does not have a rating of SPF 30 or greater because that's so important for the health and appearance of your skin.
References for this information:
Journal of Clinical Oncology, September 2016, ePublication
Photodermatology, Photoimmunology, and Photomedicine, August 2014, pages 212–219
The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, September 2012, pages 18–23
Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, May 2008, Supplemental, pages S149–S154
Active: Titanium Dioxide (3.1%) Inactive: Water, Isododecane, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glycerin, Cyclohexasiloxane, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Polymethylmethacrylate, Butylene Glycol, Dimethicone, Isoeicosane, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Sodium Chloride, C9-15 Fluoroalcohol Phosphates, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Hexyl Laurate, Isostearyl Neopentanoate, Diazolidinyl Urea, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Tocopherol, Panthenol May Contain: Iron Oxides, Mica, Titanium Dioxide
L'Oreal Paris At-A-Glance
Strengths: Budget-friendly prices; good makeup removers; wide assortment of self-tanning options; one of the best, most comprehensive makeup collections at the drugstore, with superb options in almost every category; the mascaras are a tough act to follow.
Weaknesses: Jar packaging hinders some of the skincare formulas; many of their skincare formulas contain problematic amounts of fragrance and/or other irritants; exaggerated anti-aging claims.
L'Oreal's extensive makeup collection retains its stature as one of the better selections at the drugstore, though they have stiff competition from Revlon and, in some cases, sister company Maybelline New York. In recent years L'Oreal has made significant strides with foundation shades, powder textures, concealers, and, of course, superlative mascaras that rarely fail to impress. Their lipsticks are excellent and you will find many L'Oreal makeup products have a Lancome counterpart, and that the differences are minor—if there are any at all.
L'Oreal's displays in many drugstores reflect better-organized products and shade categories (though testers are still scarce). Given the number of lipsticks they sell, it only makes sense to put them in color families so consumers have a better shopping experience. Their True Match products are also sensibly laid out, but the rest of the foundations aren't as organized, likely due to the smaller selection of shades. Speaking of foundations, L'Oreal has made further strides by offering more that provide sufficient UVA protection. Revlon still has the edge for consistently launching impressive foundations with sunscreen, but at least L'Oreal is (finally) catching up.
The bottom line is that every category of L'Oreal’s makeup has some winning (and in some cases, benchmark-setting) products.
Unfortunately, despite the brands’ enormous presence in the beauty industry, L'Oreal's moisturizers and treatment products are a nearly all unremarkable and repetitive. When it comes to moisturizers or serums, just about anything from Dove, Olay, Neutrogena, or Aveeno is preferred. L'Oreal does well with most of their cleansers, along with scrubs and self-tanning products, but given the widespread availability and financial resources of this line, they could be doing so much more. The good news is their makeup has made major strides and now ranks as the best overall color collection at the drugstore—imagine the results if their skin care followed suit.
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!