Liquid Halo HD Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15
Category:Makeup > Foundations With Sunscreen > Liquid Foundation w/ Sunscreen
Last Updated:11.26.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:No
Review Overview

Liquid Halo HD Foundation has a sublime, fluid texture that feels almost otherworldly. The fragrance-free formula goes beyond silky to uber-silky, and is a breeze to blend, gliding over skin without being so slippery that it doesn't "grab" while blending. This sets (rather quickly) to a smooth matte finish that looks dimensional, lit-from-within, and quite skin-like. Really, it's among the most natural-looking foundations we've seen lately—and a great way to make your skin look better with minimal effort.

Smashbox states Liquid Halo provides light to medium coverage, but even when layered, the most you'll get is light coverage. We applied several coats and this maintained its somewhat see-through translucency. It's not a great foundation for those with something to hide, but if you're using foundation to highlight already great skin and want broad-spectrum sun protection, this is one to audition!

Turning to the shades, Smashbox offers a good range from light (but not very light) to dark (but not very dark), all of which are decidedly warm-toned. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but on some skin tones the golden-peach tone many of the medium to dark shades have will be a deal-breaker. This is absolutely a foundation to sample and check the results in natural light. That being said, none of the shades are a must to avoid; rather, consider potential matches carefully (the shade swatches on Smashbox's site are way off, so don't go by those).

This foundation is best for normal to oily or sensitive skin, and is suitable for breakout-prone skin, too. Its finish, while glow-y, is matte enough to exaggerate dry areas, so be sure to prep dry areas, including around the eyes, beforehand.

  • Fragrance-free.
  • Provides broad-spectrum sun protection.
  • Sublime texture.
  • Weightless, refining finish with subtle, lit-from-within glow.
  • Natural-looking; your skin, but better.
  • Very easy to blend.
  • The shades are decidedly warm-toned, with most veering toward golden/peach.

Active Ingredients: Octinoxate 4.90%, Titanium Dioxide 2.90%. Inactive Ingredients: Water\Aqua\Eau, Isododecane, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Trioctyldodecyl Citrate, Polysilicone-11, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Hexyl Laurate, Quaternium-90 Bentonite, Dimethicone Silylate, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Alumina, Silica, Propylene Carbonate, Sodium Chloride, Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Stearic Acid, Palmitic Acid, C12-16 Alcohols, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol. May Contain: Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides.

Brand Overview

Smashbox At-A-Glance

Strengths: A unique Anti-Shine product that is a must-try if you have very oily skin; mostly good foundations with a neutral range of shades; improved powder eyeshadows; the great Photo Finish Lipstick; a lash primer that really makes a difference; well-constructed makeup brushes that cost less than the department-store competition.

Weaknesses: A small, mostly boring assortment of products priced higher than they should be; a couple of products contain irritants that have no benefit for skin; several lackluster makeup categories, including concealer, blush, eye pencils, and brow shaders; the Cream Eyeliner is a mistake if you expect any amount of longevity; several specialty products that should offer more for the money (and the one with sunscreen leaves skin vulnerable to UVA damage).

Perhaps one of the most interesting things about Smashbox is that its name refers to the early, accordion-style cameras and that Smashbox is first and foremost a Hollywood-based photography studio. The company's creators, Dean and Davis Factor, have their heritage in makeup—their great-grandfather was the legendary makeup artist Max Factor. However, this seems to be a case where the proverbial apple didn't fall all that close to the tree. It is apparent that Dean and Davis are better at their respective careers as CEO and photographer, respectively, than at creating a cosmetics line. The makeup, which debuted in 1996, began as a collection of trendy and fashion-forward colors coupled with a pleasingly neutral palette of foundations, concealers, and powders. Nowadays, many of the colors are too sheer to register on medium to dark skin tones, shiny products abound, and several of the complexion-enhancing products just don't look as natural on skin as they should. In fact, the foundations and concealers could use some updating; they haven't kept pace with what other makeup artistry lines are launching, and don't demonstrate much longevity under normal conditions, as in day-to-day casual makeup.

Realizing that celebrities sell products better than the product claims themselves, Smashbox steadily capitalizes on its ties to Hollywood and often mentions several famous faces who wear their products. Their counter brochures follow suit, tempting women to sit down with a Smashbox artist to get the star treatment. It's easy to get caught up in the hype, but as a comprehensive line Smashbox doesn't have what it takes to create A-list glamour, at least not if you're looking for cutting-edge textures and finishes.

For more information about Smashbox, now owned by Estee Lauder, call (888) 763-1361 or visit www.smashbox.com.

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The new Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!

The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

Member Comments
Summary of Member Comments
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left my skin looking too matte

Pros: matched my skin color perfectly (fair), goes on and blends easily. Cons: Unlike the Paul's Choice review, I think the finish is very matte, not "glowy", left my skin looking dry and it's not. I returned it.

Reviewed by
Ann P.
Great foundation, but unfortunately not for me

I really like this foundation, it went on smooth and matched my complexion perfectly which is really hard to do. I have extremely oily skin and prone to breakout so I have to be careful with what I use. this foundation broke me out. hoping that it wasnt the foundation, I stopped using it and tried again once the inflamation healed. it happened again. I'm disappointed that I cannot use this.

Reviewed by
Carolee, M
Both happy and dissapointed with Halo

Creamy texture, excellent pliability, natural coverage, semi-matte finish. The downside; sheer coverage (not medium, I don't care what the sales person tells you) warm shades with a lot of yellow undertones, not great if you have cool fair/med skin with pink undertones, shade 1 was to light, shade 2 was to warm. Realistically, I would have to buy both and blend and that would be $$$ at $37 a bottle. Really liked this product but, I want more coverage and need a shade that matches.

Reviewed by
Roxanne L.
Not impressed!

Big fat"0". There's enough product out there. Without alcohols I try to not bother with the ones with alcohols. This foundation didn't have anything to impress me. I have 2 foundations that I like with good ingredients why bother with this one. They both cost less than this one.

Reviewed by
Annette D.
Liquid Halo HD Foundation

Hello, after reading such great reviews, I have tried samples of this foundation that I got from Sephora. I realized after alternating this with my normal tinted moisturizer, that this foundation actually dries out my skin, which is shocking. I never get dried out skin from using products on my face. Typically, I am more prone to oily/combination skin if my skin does not agree with a foundation. I took a few days off, then reapplied it and my skin was peeling, visibly dry. It was silky too.

Reviewed by
Heather F.
Excellent non-drying foundation

This was recommended to me by a saleswoman at Sephora when I went in looking for something more moisturizing than my usual powder foundation. I definitely agree with Paula's review that this foundation does not have good very light shades; I have a light-medium olive skin tone that usually takes somewhere in the middle/medium range of most foundations, but in this one, I best matched #3 of the 10 shades offered. Coverage is enough to even out my skin tone with the use of concealer on red spots.

Reviewed by
amazing foundation but not for me

I work in the makeup industry and when we first got this foundation I spread a blob of it on my hand, and it was literally undetectable on the skin. Amazing! So I tried it on my face and it looked great, and it blended well but right after I felt a lot of itchiness on my face and saw red patches so I had to take it off. Strange, I wonder what was in it that make my skin react that way and I don't even have sensitive skin. I was so sad because this foundation is so awesome.

Reviewed by
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