12.02.2014
4
2496
Almost Powder Makeup SPF 15
Rating
$26
Category:Makeup > Foundations With Sunscreen > Powder Foundation w/ Sunscreen
Last Updated:12.02.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

Almost Powder Makeup SPF 15 has a buttery smooth texture that slips on like a second skin and blends to a seamless satin-matte finish with a hint of sparkling shine. This feels incredibly light for a pressed-powder foundation capable of sheer to medium coverage, and you get brilliant sun protection from 13% titanium dioxide (in addition, there’s a synthetic sunscreen active, something you don’t typically see in a product being sold as mineral makeup). Almost all eight shades are soft and neutral; Deep Honey may be to orange for some skin tones, while Deep is slightly ash, probably due to the amount of titanium dioxide. Deep Golden is best for tan skin tones, which is about as dark as the shade range goes. Whether applied with a sponge for medium coverage or a brush for a sheer look, this is an outstanding powder foundation with sunscreen.

Note: This foundation’s rating is due to its overall performance rather than its SPF rating. Due to concerns about people not applying sunscreen liberally enough to get the amount of SPF protection stated on the label, it is often recommended to look for SPFs with ratings higher than 15. If you plan to use foundation as your sole source of facial sun protection, consider using one rated SPF 20 or greater. If the foundation with sunscreen you choose is rated less than an SPF 20, we strongly advise applying it over a daytime moisturizer rated SPF 15 or greater and following it with a pressed powder rated SPF 15 or greater. That way, you’re ensuring sufficient broad-spectrum protection which is essential for having and maintaining healthy, younger-looking skin at any age.

Claims
Ingredients

Active: Titanium Dioxide (13%), Octinoxate (2%), Other: Talc, Dimethicone, Nylon-12, Silica, Squalane, Boron Nitride, Vinyl Dimethicone/Methicone Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer, Cetyl Caprylate, Diisostearyl Malate, Phytosteryl/Isostearyl/Cetyl/Stearyl/Behenyl Dimer Dilinoleate, Methicone, Aluminum Hydroxide, Glycerin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Magnesium Palmitoyl Glutamate, Sodium Palmitoyl Sarcosinate, Palmitoyl Proline, Alumina, Tocopherol , Palmitic Acid, 1,2-Hexanediol, Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate, Tin Oxide, Sodium Dehydroacetate May Contain: Iron Oxides, Mica, Titanium Dioxide

Brand Overview

Clinique At-A-Glance

Strengths: One of the best selections of state-of-the-art moisturizers and serums loaded with ingredients that research has shown are of great benefit to skin; excellent sunscreens; several Redness Solutions products excel; an outstanding benzoyl peroxide product; good selection of self-tanning products; some very good cleansers and eye makeup removers; some unique mattifying products; a large and wholly impressive selection of foundations, many with reliable sun protection (and shades for darker skin tones); good concealers; some remarkable mascaras; much-improved eyeshadows; loose powder; blush products; some brilliant lipsticks and lip gloss; gel eyeliner; priced lower than most competing department-store lines.

Weaknesses: The three-step skincare routine, because of the bar soaps and irritant-laden clarifying lotions; jar packaging downgrades several otherwise top-notch moisturizers; incomplete routines for those prone to acne; skin-lightening products with either unproven or insufficient levels of lightening agents.

Estee Lauder-owned Clinique's tremendous success (the company's products are sold in over 13,000 department stores and in 110 countries) reshaped the way cosmetics lines identified themselves, sending the concept of line loyalty out to pasture. Today, cosmetics companies expand their market either by buying already established companies or by creating new ones, and Lauder has been adept at doing both. Of course, cosmetics companies keep this multiple-personality identity hidden from the consumer. If the general buying public realized that these apparently different companies were so intertwined with each other, how could they flaunt their independence and claim that their unparalleled formulations are secret or the best? It's hard to think Lauder (or any company) would, even if they could, keep secrets from one branch separate from the others. And as evidenced by the formulary similarities between brands, they don't!

The niche Clinique built launched the concept of cosmetics being "allergy-tested," "hypoallergenic," "100% fragrance-free," and "dermatologist tested." Of those marketing claims the only one with significance is "100% fragrance-free," which, for the most part, Clinique maintains (although it does add some fragrant extracts to a few products). Regarding allergy testing, unless you can see the results, what difference does it make if a product makes that claim? What if the test showed 20% of the women who used it had a sensitizing reaction, dryness, or irritation? Would Clinique highlight this, or is it just easier to default to the generic allergy-tested claim and leave such details out, figuring consumers won't ask for more? 

Moreover, "hypoallergenic" is a term not regulated by the FDA, so any product can use the word without having to substantiate the claim. "Dermatologist tested" is also bogus, because without published test results the term can easily mean nothing more than that a dermatologist picked up the product, looked at the container, and said "This looks good." And what about the dermatologists on Clinique's payroll? How do we know they're not the ones involved in testing, rather than sending the products out for independent, impartial evaluation (though how impartial can any study be that's paid for by the company making the product)?

Clinique declined any participation for this site, which included refusing to send us copies of the allergy studies they maintain have been performed for every product they sell. We find their unwillingness to help odd because, for the most part, we genuinely like most of their products. In fact, more than any other department-store line except Estee Lauder, Clinique is leading the way with cutting-edge, state-of-the-art moisturizers and serums, plus some formidable makeup. They also have their act together for sunscreens and have expanded their decades-old three-step skin-care routine to include water-soluble cleansers instead of bar soap. They also now have a second "Dramatically Different" moisturizer that's well-suited for those with normal to oily skin and FINALLY reformulated their longstanding water-and-wax yellow lotion.

The Clinique consultants, dressed in medical-looking white lab coats (Clinique's image in that sense was ahead of the times given today's plethora of doctor-designed skin-care lines), do their best to speak intelligently about skin-care routines, but for the most part they're trained to sell the products rather than to provide information about what substantiated research has shown about the skin's needs to look and feel its best.

The good news for you is that the chemists behind Clinique's arsenal of products have been keeping up on this exciting information, and formulating superior products in response. We wouldn't blindly and solely bank on Clinique as your skin-care solution, but more than ever what they offer is, despite some far-out claims and problematic products, what epitomizes advanced skin care for all ages. Shop carefully and you'll leave confident that you are purchasing products with solid science, not just marketing hype, behind them.

Turning to makeup, Clinique continues to offer a vast palette of colors and textures, especially in their huge and imposing selection of foundations, many of which feature effective sunscreens. In fact, this category has become the most compelling reason to shop Clinique's makeup collection. Without a doubt the numerous formulas offer something for every skin type and almost every skin color. The shade selection has improved considerably, with more neutrals and a broader range than ever before. You still need to use caution and watch out for peach-toned duds, but for the most part finding a natural-looking match shouldn't be a frustrating experience, and the counter personnel are happy to provide samples.

Although the foundation and powder shades take darker skin tones into account, the blush, eye pencil, and most of the lipstick shades do not. Perhaps that will change in the future, as Clinique beautifully updated their eyeshadow collection with ultra-smooth textures and deeper colors that show up on darker skin.

Compliments are also due for Clinique's updated makeup tester units. They are well-organized, labeled with product name and price, and easily accessible without a salesperson's help. And speaking of salespeople, most of the Clinique consultants we encounter go above and beyond to provide assistance and to answer any questions we had (even if we didn't always agree with their responses). Those white lab coats don't mean medical expertise, but we'll take outstanding customer service over pseudoscience any day!

The bottom line is that, despite a few shortcomings, Clinique is one of the most comprehensive (and comparably affordable) department-store makeup lines, and it is completely understandable why they enjoy such broad appeal.

Note: Clinique is categorized as one that tests on animals because their products are sold in China. Although Clinique does not conduct animal testing for their products sold elsewhere, the Chinese government requires imported cosmetics be tested on animals, so foreign companies retailing there must comply. This requirement is why some brand’s state that they don’t test on animals “unless required by law”. Animal rights organizations consider cosmetic companies retailed in China to be brands that test on animals, and so does the Beautypedia Team.

For more information about Clinique, call (800) 419-4041 or visit www.clinique.com

About the Experts

The Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment that Paula Begoun, founder of Beautypedia and Paula's Choice Skincare made over 30 years ago-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
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03.02.2015
Average

I was looking for a compact foundation for ease that I could take on trips & the plane. I have combination skin with no blemishes or problems. However, once applied this foundation accentuated pores and made my skin look very dry & powdery. I would not recommend for anyone.

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Reviewed by
Kris P
11.04.2014
Poor shade selection

I have a sensitivity to "chemical" sunscreens, and all-mineral powder sunscreens make my face and my cheeks blotchy. I tried Paula's Choice powder and I really liked the texture, but there isn't a color match for me. I was so happy to see a recommendation for this foundation. I bought it and it's great, but, out of only 6 six shades, my only choice was Deep. It works, but it's not really "warm" enough. Wish there were more available colors. Thank you for the recommendation!

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Reviewed by
Scarlett A.
08.25.2014
Pleasantly surprised

I purchased this after reading the Beautypedia review. I like the idea of powder foundation, but Bare Essentials and others have never worked well for me. I was so surprised with how well this covered. (I use a foundation brush to apply; the sponge included is kind of worthless.) I like that it is a pressed powder; so much less mess. Keep in mind this is meant to be a foundation; not a finishing powder. I have redness in my skin, and the neutral fair color was perfect - too too orangey.

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Reviewed by
Erika H.
04.12.2014
Not fine milled

I give it a try since it is rated the best. Shade is fine. But the product is not fine milled and set to a chalky finish. If you plan to use it as pressed powder for touch up, just forget it. May work if you use it as a powder foundation and apply it with a brush. Sponge and puff won't work. I think it should be rated as 'average' or at most 'good'. I will stick with shiseido powder products.

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Reviewed by
Wahoonito Z.
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