Luminous Moisturizing Treatment Foundation

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Makeup > Sensitive Skin Products > Foundations without Sunscreen > Liquid Foundation
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This Nordstrom-Exclusive foundation has replaced Bobby Brown's original Luminous Moisturizing Foundation (rated GOOD). Unfortunately, the reformulation includes lavender oil, which prevents us from giving this foundation a higher rating.

Although lavender oil is often touted for its calming properties (and indeed, inhaling the scent can be therapeutic), as a skin-care ingredient it's a problem. Even small amounts of lavender oil (0.25% or less) can be problematic because lavender leaves contain camphor, a known skin irritant. Because the fragrance constituents in lavender oil oxidize when exposed to air, lavender oil is a pro-oxidant. This enhanced oxidation also increases its irritancy on the skin (Source: Contact Dermatitis, September 2008, pages 143–150).

If lavender oil weren't such a problematic ingredient, we'd rate this foundation better based on its fabulously lightweight yet moisturizing texture that blends easily and sets to an attractive, dewy finish. Although the shades do tend to run slightly warm (yellow to golden peach and copper), there are still workable options for very light to deep skin tones.

  • Lightweight texture.
  • Hydrating formula for dry skin.
  • Attractive dewy finish.
  • Workable shades for very light to deep skin tones.
  • Includes lavender oil, which is very problematic for skin.
  • Entire shade range is warmer than what Brown's foundations typically offer.

Water, Phenyl Trimethicone, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Lauryl PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Magnesium Sulfate, Wheat Germ Glycerides, Silybum Marianum (Lady’s Thistle) Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Triethyl Citrate, Butylene Glycol, Lavendula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Acetyl Glucosamine, Lecithin, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Ethylhexylglycerin, Laureth-7, Xanthan Gum, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Astrocaryum Murmuru Seed Butter, Cholesterol, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-di-t-butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Dipropylene Glycol, Dimethicone/PEG-10/15 Crosspolymer, Linalool, Chlorphenesin, Phenoxyethanol, Sorbic Acid. May Contain: Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Mica.

It all began with lipsticks. In 1991, New York based makeup artist Bobbi Brown debuted a collection of ten lipsticks at Bergdorf Goodman, expecting to sell about one hundred units in a month. She sold more than that the first day. From there, it's been mostly success after success, as Brown launched her classic foundation stick, wrote her first book, Bobbi Brown Beauty The Ultimate Beauty Resource, and enjoyed continued attention as an in-demand makeup artist and beauty educator.

The popularity of the line, particularly the makeup, did not go unnoticed by Estee Lauder, who acquired Bobbi Brown Cosmetics in 1995. Since Lauder has been at the helm the line has expanded well beyond what Brown likely envisioned back in the early 1990s, and it now includes fragrance and body-care products, among others. Yet it is Brown's makeup that continues to excel with superior foundations (though the ones without sufficient UVA protection disappoint), true matte blushes and eyeshadows, and with all of the other basics that are essential to a woman's classic makeup wardrobe. It isn't the least bit surprising that this makeup collection continues to do so well, because for many women, it's one-stop shopping that combines classic makeup application techniques with enough fun-yet-functional products to keep customer's interest piqued season to season.

Turning to the skin-care collection, there isn't a great deal to say or extol. The prices are rather steep, especially when you consider how many well-intentioned products use jar packaging, and fragrant irritants are a common thread, including in most of the sunscreens, which is a shame. Color is Bobbi Brown's strong point, but you will find a few sleeper hits among the selection of mostly inadequate or problematic skin-care products.

For more information about Bobbi Brown, owned by Estee Lauder, call (877) 310-9222 or visit

Bobbi Brown Makeup

We admire Brown's latest philosophy on beauty. She says, "The secret to beauty is simple—be who you are." No arguments here! However, it's clear from promotional materials for this line that Brown believes being who you are should involve some amount of makeup, a concept many women may disagree with. Still, there's no question that the right makeup, applied and blended correctly, can make a world of positive difference to a woman, and in this regard Brown's counter staff is well-prepared. It was nice to overhear the makeup artists explaining step-by-step application tips to customers, rather than just pushing products. With just a few exceptions, this is a makeup collection its namesake creator should be proud of—not only for the products, but also for the level of service and education provided.

Member Comments

Summary of Member Comments

  1. How would you rate the results? (4 = Best)

    3 / 4 Good
  2. Was this product a good value? (4 = Best)

    3 / 4 Good
  3. Would you recommend this product? (4 = Best)

    3 / 4 Good
Page of 1
    Reviewed on Monday, December 09, 2013
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    • Results
      4 / 4
    • Value
      4 / 4
    I Love This Foundation!
    • This is the first foundation I have purchased that I use and want to use everyday! I love it! It gives my face a smooth, beautiful glow that is not heavy or mask-like. A little goes a long way, which is good, because it is pricey. This is a moisturizing formula and it is best for normal/dry skin. I have combination skin with an oily t-zone, and this foundation did leave me shiny after a few hours, but my Paula's Choice Resist Super-Light DWD SPF 30 moisturizer serves as a good mattifier.

  2. Kathie
    Reviewed on Sunday, October 27, 2013
    • Recommend
      2 / 4
    • Results
      3 / 4
    • Value
      2 / 4
    Bobbie Brown Foundation
    • I purchased this foundation at Bloomingdales in September 2013. I was told it was a replacement for the previous version out on the market. It does go on nicely but now that Paula mentions the irritant, I might have to agree. I have been having cystic bumps on my face and thought it was my moisturizer. I plan to eliminate it for a while to see if my skin calms down. For $52 i want dewy, healthy looking skin with no painful bumps.

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About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula herself.

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