14 hours of solid wear is a stretch, but 4-in-1 Liquid Foundation does offer medium coverage with a matte finish that holds up decently throughout the day and is best for normal to oily or combination skin. The liquid consistency is buildable if you want more coverage but is a bit on the thicker side so it’s important to blend well.
The shade range offers options for fair to deep complexions, most of which are neutral and flattering (watch out of for the unflattering pink-toned Blush Medium). We do have to point out the way the colors are displayed both online and in-store seems out of order. For instance, Light Tan is right next to Tan, but is actually lighter than some of the other light colors. Hence, we highly recommend testing shades in store as it’s trickier than usual to find the right color.
In terms of 4-in-1 Liquid Foundation’s fragrance-free formula, it goes above and beyond by including antioxidants, skin-repairing ingredients, and anti-aging retinol. Unfortunately the clear bottle packaging isn’t the best to keep the light-sensitive ingredients (antioxidants/retinol) stable, but if you store this is dark place (like a closed drawer), that can help. Of course, when you’re paying this much for a foundation you should be getting appropriate packaging from the get-go, but at least the pump applicator limits the exposure to air—the stability enemy of ingredients like retinol.
Another issue is that despite promising broad spectrum sun protection, 4-in-1 Liquid Foundation’s SPF is only 15, where the recommendation for adequate sun protection is SPF 30 or higher.
Essentially this foundation has a near-equal balance of strong points and weaknesses. Our question: Why settle when there are plenty of other phenomenal foundations with sunscreen to choose (many of which are less expensive)?
Active: Octinoxate (5%). Other: Acrylates/C12-22 Alkyl Methacrylate Copolymer, Amodimethicone, Aqua, Bambusa Vulgaris Leaf/Stem Extract, Bis-PEG/PPG-14/14 Dimethicone, Boron Nitride, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) Extract, C12-C15 Alkyl Ethylhexanoate, Ceramide AP, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Citric Acid, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dextrin, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Dimethiconol, Disteardimonium Hectorite, EDTA, Ethylhexylglycerin, Ferulic Acid, Glucosamine HCL, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Lactic Acid, Laureth-7, Lecithin, Magnesium Sulfate, Mannitol, Pentylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Pisum Sativum (Pea) Extract, Propanediol, Propylene Carbonate, Retinol, Silica Silylate, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Gluconate, Sodium PCA, Sodium Starch Octenylsuccinate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tribehenin, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Trihydroxystearin, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Waltheria Indica Leaf Extract, Xanthan Gum, Zinc Stearate. May Contain: Iron Oxides, Mica, Titanium Dioxide
Strengths: Company provides complete ingredient lists on its Web site; a very good makeup remover; pH-correct AHA product with lactic acid; well-formulated self-tanner; the pressed mineral foundation with sunscreen; superb powder blush and eyeshadow; great lip gloss; none of the eye or lip pencils require sharpening; most of the makeup products are fragrance-free.
Weaknesses: Many skin-care products contain fragrant irritants; mostly problematic cleansers, toner, and scrub; only one skin-care product with sunscreen; no products to address acne or skin discolorations; jar packaging; average to poor mascaras; mostly average brushes and brush sets.
Pürminerals was founded by former long-term Clinique employee Joli Baker, a woman who rose through the ranks at Lauder and one day decided she wanted to start her own business. Nothing new with that idea, or with what she believed was a breakthrough concept, namely mineral makeup. Of course, Baker was hardly the first cosmetics entrepreneur to promote this type of makeup, but since when did that ever stop anyone?
Pürminerals has been on the beauty scene since 2003 when they launched their first product, a pressed mineral makeup with sunscreen. This pressed-powder foundation is still sold today and represents one of the few strong points of a line that, overall, is a mixed bag with far more negatives than positives.
In terms of success, a coup for the company was introducing their products on Canada's The Shopping Channel, which led to the brand being picked up by Ulta, which now stocks Pürminerals in most of its 250 locations. The brand also is sold in select Dillard's department stores in the United States and is available in Australia and Japan too.
Despite the company's impressive track record for sales, let me say (actually we want to climb up on my roof and scream it) that the concept of mineral makeup is marketing hype, nothing more. It is absolutely astounding to me how many consumers have been hoodwinked by this "new" category of makeup. The ingredients in almost all mineral makeups have been standard to the cosmetics industry for years. In the case of Pürminerals, the main minerals are mica, titanium dioxide, and bismuth oxychloride. We discuss each of these ingredients in detail in our online Cosmetic Ingredient Dictionary. Suffice it to say, none of these ingredients are unique: mica just makes powder shiny, titanium dioxide is known for its ability as a sunscreen along with adding color and opacity to makeup, and bismuth oxychloride is about as natural as polyester—none of that is revolutionary, better for skin, or in this case, a beauty breakthrough.
Of course, as Pürminerals enjoyed continued success the line's selection of products expanded. What began as five items has grown into a full-fledged collection of skin-care and makeup products. The expansion was likely a no-brainer for Baker, and we're all for offering women choices as long as what you're offering is actually good. That's where Pürminerals falls short, and in some cases, drastically so.
Pürminerals chose the pure and natural angle, and as a result, most of the skin-care products ignore what is important for skin, throwing in just about everything that grows in the ground whether or not the research says it is helpful for skin. Pürminerals makes significant use of irritating fragrant oils and problematic plant extracts. Bottom line: Not every natural ingredient is good for your skin. This line could have launched some brilliant skin-care products by including only helpful plant ingredients along with beneficial synthetic ingredients (after all, their products contain plenty of synthetic ingredients), but they opted to go the fragrant route, which is to your skin's detriment.
Makeup is the most exciting aspect of this line, but even then only a handful of products are extraordinary enough to deserve a look. The original pressed-powder foundation with sunscreen is a high point, as are the powder blushes, eyeshadows, and lip gloss. If you have very oily or dry skin or you simply don't care for powder foundations, you're out of luck, because that's all Pürminerals offers. Without question, it isn't the perfect foundation for all skin types or all ages as the company claims, but it certainly has its appeal and is among the better mineral foundations available.
For more information about Pürminerals, call (866) 787-0022 or visit www.purminerals.com.
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