Sheer Foundation

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Makeup > Sensitive Skin Products > Foundations without Sunscreen > Liquid Foundation
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Burberry's Sheer Foundation doesn't have a very creative name, which makes the name accurate—this foundation is just average. It has some positive aspects, but they're not enough to make this truly stand out, especially not for $52!

This is a sheer- to medium-coverage liquid foundation, similar to a tinted moisturizer, that smoothes on easily and dries to a very natural semi-matte finish. It won't cover major flaws, but it does a good job of evening out skin tone. The finish doesn't highlight pores or wrinkles, and it is long-wearing as claimed.

A major drawback is that this foundation is billed as being moisturizing, but those with dry to very dry skin will find that this does not do an adequate job of keeping their skin quenched. In fact, it feels drying as soon as it goes on, even with moisturizer underneath!

You might think this foundation's dry feel could be a bonus for people with oily skin, but those with oily T-zones will likely notice shine becoming apparent about midway through the day. What a disappointment, for both skin types!

Sheer Foundation has so much fragrance (sort of a cross between a chemical smell and a baby powder scent) that you can smell it as soon as you open the container, and the scent lingers for quite some time after it's on your face! This is really unusual because most liquid foundations omit fragrance, or, if it's part of the formula, it's far more subtle. See More Info to learn why daily use of highly fragrant products is a problem for skin.

Sheer Foundation has a limited shade range, but does include options for those with very fair and very dark skin. Avoid the Trench No. 202 shade, however, as it's far too pink to appear natural on its intended skin tone. All in all, there are much better sheer makeup options at both the department store and the drugstore!

  • Applies easily and dries to a natural semi-matte finish.
  • Does a good job of evening out skin tone.
  • Doesn't highlight pores or wrinkles.
  • Long-wearing as claimed.
  • Not moisturizing as claimed.
  • Those with oily T-zone will notice a shine about midway through the day.
  • Strong fragrance that you can smell long after it's been applied, and fragrance can be irritating for skin.
More Info:

Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes chronic irritation that can damage healthy collagen production, lead to or worsen dryness, and impair your skin's ability to heal. Fragrance-free is the best way to go for all skin types. If fragrance in your skin-care products is important to you, it should be a very low amount to minimize the risk to your skin (Sources: Inflammation Research, December 2008, pages 558–563; Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2008, pages 124–135, and November-December 2000, pages 358–371; Journal of Investigative Dermatology, April 2008, pages 15–19; Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2008, pages 78–82; Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, January 2007, pages 92–105; and British Journal of Dermatology, December 2005, pages S13–S22).

Aqua (Water), Cyclohexasiloxane, Propylene Glycol, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Squalane, Beheneth-30, Myristyl Alcohol, Phenyl Trimethicone, Glyceryl Isostearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Phenoxyethanol, Polyacrylamide, Carbomer, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Cyclopentasiloxane, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Sodium Hydroxide, Parfum (Fragrance), Butylene Glycol, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Laureth-7, Xanthan Gum, Tocopherol, Benzyl Benzoate, Hydroxycitronellal, Ascorbyl Palmitate, BHT, Rosa Roxburghii Fruit Extract; May Contain: Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Ultramarines.

British fashion house Burberry has a long history, dating back to 1856 when the company opened its first store in Basingstoke, England. Initially specializing in outerwear, Burberry is credited with creating the first true “trench coat” for the British military in the early 1900s, which quickly gained popularity with the general public after World War I. In the years since their trench coat became a fashion staple, Burberry has become a global brand, and now has stores all over the world. In 2010, Burberry, taking a cue from other high fashion brands such as Armani and Chanel, launched its own line of cosmetics—Burberry Beauty.

Burberry Beauty’s lineup of products is relatively small compared to those of competing designer brands, but it includes all the basics: foundation, concealer, eyeshadow, lipstick, and blush. Unfortunately, many of the Burberry Beauty products have better packaging than performance, and definitely more style than substance. The bottles, compacts, and various cases look very high-end, with each product featuring the iconic Burberry “check plaid,” a pattern the company began using as its signature in the 1920s. Unfortunately, iconic brand symbols and pretty packaging don’t necessarily make for great makeup.

Despite its designer pedigree, Burberry Beauty is sadly mediocre—especially given its heritage and price point. If a designer name holds more allure for you when shopping for makeup, then Dior, Chanel, or Armani are all much better options.

For more information about Burberry Beauty, visit or call (877) 217-4085.

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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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