Tested on animals:Yes
Bobbi Brown's Skin Moisture Compact Foundation comes with some pretty weighty claims about its ability to act as a skincare product in addition to serving as makeup. Although this creamy foundation has some good things going for it, it's not nearly all it's claimed to be!
The first thing you'll notice is the scent. Like many other Bobbi Brown products, it's fragranced with lavender, and this aroma is apparent as soon as you open the compact. While it dissipates quickly, it's worth noting, especially since frequent use of products with fragrance can aggravate skin. See More Info for details.
The texture of the foundation is emollient without being greasy, but, surprisingly, this doesn't translate into easy application. We found that it goes on patchy, dragging over skin and clinging to dry areas—and this is supposed to be a foundation for dry skin! It takes work to get this to look even, although with some effort you'll get an attractive soft powder finish.
Performance-wise, this wears well throughout the day without fading and provides medium coverage of imperfections. Like most of the brand's foundations, it also comes in a range of natural-looking, mostly neutral to slightly warm shades for very fair to deep skin tones.
Getting back to some of its other claims: Bobbi Brown says this foundation functions as a skincare product as well, providing rich moisture for dry skin in addition to replenishing ingredients. While this does have a creamy texture, it's not nearly moisturizing enough for dry to very dry skin. It also lacks a robust amount of skin-improving ingredients, and two of the "special" ingredients called out—"marine-derived repair actives" and "collagen-enhancing ferment"—aren't even present in the ingredient list! This isn't something we ever expected to see from a company like Bobbi Brown.
Overall, this is an average foundation that isn't worth its price. You'll find superior options on our list of Best Foundations Without Sunscreen.
- Attractive soft powder finish.
- Wears well without fading.
- Comes in a good range of shades for very fair to deep skin tones.
- Noticeable lavender fragrance.
- Application is patchy, clinging to dry spots.
- Skincare claims are overstated.
Why Fragrance is a Problem for Skin: Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes a chronic sensitizing reaction on skin.
This reaction can lead to all kinds of problems, including disruption of skin's healthy appearance, worsening dryness, redness, and depletion of vital substances in skin's surface. Generally, it keeps skin from looking healthy, smooth, and hydrated. Fragrance free is always the best way to go for all skin types.
A surprising fact: Even though you can't always see or feel the negative effect on skin of using products that contain fragrance, the damage will still be taking place, even if it's not evident on the surface. Research has demonstrated that you don't always need to see or feel the effects on your skin for your skin to be suffering. This negative impact and the visible damage it may cause may not become apparent for a long time.
References for this information:
Biochimica and Biophysica Acta, May 2012, pages 1410–1419
Aging, March 2012, pages 166–175
Chemical Immunology and Allergy, March 2012, pages 77–80
Experimental Dermatology, October 2009, pages 821–832
International Journal of Toxicology, Volume 27, 2008, Supplement pages 1–43
Food and Chemical Toxicology, February 2008, pages 446–475
American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003, issue 11, pages 789–798
Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 2008, issue 4, pages 191–202