Colorescience PRO

Colorescience PRO At-A-Glance

Strengths: All SPF-rated products provide sufficient broad-spectrum sun protection with mineral sunscreens; excellent loose-powder complexion products; Sunforgettable Eyescreen is a unique loose-powder sunscreen for use around the eyes; attached natural goat-hair brush dispensers work very well; SPF 30 loose-powder sunscreens double nicely as SPF-boosting bronzers.

Weaknesses: Many products contain volatile fragrant oils and/or irritants; not all products are tested to determine their SPF rating; shimmer products tend to be too sparkly; completely ordinary mascara; the makeup-setting mists are nothing but irritant-filled fragrant water.

Colorescience PRO was founded by "the mother of mineral makeup" Diane Ranger, who bestowed that title on herself based on her role as founder of the mineral makeup behemoth Bare Escentuals in 1976. (Ranger subsequently parted ways with Bare Escentuals in 1991). Taking a cue from her Bare Escentuals days, Ranger designed Colorescience PRO to be all about "natural" loose-powder mineral makeup. Her goal was to offer medium- to full-coverage "healthy makeup" that is ideal for sensitive skin, with the added benefit of all-mineral, broad-spectrum sunscreen protection.

Ranger's concept has its strong points, but not all of the formulas jibe with the ideal of being great for sensitive skin. In fact, with the exception of only a handful of products, most include volatile fragrant oils and irritating ingredients, which are the last things that anyone's skin needs to stay healthy, whether sensitivity is an issue or not. This type of needless irritation hurts skin's healing process and disrupts its ability to produce healthy collagen.

Although Colorscience PRO offers some skin-care products, most of our readers' interest is on their color line, primers, and setting mists, so we concentrated our reviews on those products. What we found was that, except for the loose-mineral foundation and some of the brand's Sunforgettable products, this line falls short in terms of performance and value. To make matters worse, it's difficult to shop because it has opaque packaging, confusing shade names, and odd categories.

It's clear that Colorescience PRO knows how to make finely milled, silky powders packed with mineral sunscreens, but beyond that, there's not much to distinguish this line from lots of others that have capitalized on the runaway success of mineral makeup, despite the fact that mineral makeup really isn't anything new or all that wonderful.

The gem of this line is the loose-mineral foundation with sunscreen, and it indeed performs beautifully without irritating. The problem with this product is its price tag—$60—for a loose powder with sunscreen. That's ludicrous! Besides, all SPF-rated products must be applied liberally to get the stated level of sun protection, and how liberally are you going to apply a product that is this expensive?

Speaking of high prices, most of Colorescience's line is overpriced, despite the fact that there are a few worthwhile products. Just because high prices have become the norm for spa- and dermatologist-exclusive lines doesn't mean that the products are any better for you. Another notable frustration with this line is that not all of the products have been tested for their SPF rating, which means that you cannot rely on some of  them for sun protection.

For more information about Colorescience PRO visit www.colorescience.com or call (866) 426-5673.

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