Flawless Finish Sponge-On Cream Makeup
Last Updated:04.06.2015
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

NOTE: As of summer 2015, we were informed by our readers that there has been a reformulation of this product. We appreciate your patience while we take the time to thoroughly update this review!

Flawless Finish Sponge-On Cream Makeup, now with micronized diamond powder, has been part of Arden’s makeup lineup for years, but that’s not necessarily a good thing. This fairly thick and somewhat greasy petrolatum- and mineral oil–based compact makeup is only for someone with dry skin. It starts out very thick and moist, providing medium to full coverage with a creamy, opaque finish. It blends well enough, but most women don’t need this much coverage, and the fragrance is quite strong. Those who are loyal to this makeup may want to reconsider what they want from a foundation. Of the numerous shades, the following are too pink, orange, or peach: Vanilla, Softly Beige, Porcelain Beige, Toasty Beige, Gentle Beige, and Honey Beige.


Mineral Oil (Paraffinum Liquidum), Petrolatum, Isopropyl Myristate, Lanolin, Ozokerite, Polyglyceryl 10 Decaoleate, Calcium Carbonate, Kaolin, Carnauba (Copernicia Cerifera) Wax, BHT, Mica, Talc, Fragrance, Butylparaben, Phenoxyethanol, Propylparaben, Iron Oxides, Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide, May Contain (+/-): Ultramarines, Yellow 5 Lake

Brand Overview

Elizabeth Arden At-A-Glance

Strengths: Some excellent serums and a few noteworthy moisturizers; praiseworthy concealers; a handful of well-formulated makeup products including foundation, blush, eyeshadow, and lipstick.

Weaknesses: No products for those battling blemishes; several products whose sunscreen lacks sufficient UVA protection; most of the foundations with sunscreen fail to provide sufficient UVA protection; lackluster eye and brow pencils; some problematic lip color products; jar packaging weakens some otherwise great formulas.

Former nurse Elizabeth Arden was a pioneer in the beauty industry. At the turn of the 20th century, Arden began her legacy when she opened her first salon, with the now-familiar red door. Over the next several years she introduced new products and services to women unaccustomed to such choices, and almost single-handedly made it acceptable for modern women to wear makeup. And while Arden understood and met these beauty needs, she was also adept at self-promotion and packaging, helping to solidify the idea that what holds the product should be as beautiful as the woman who uses it. She was the front-runner in the cosmetics industry for quite some time, until another young go-getter by the name of Estee Lauder began her own empire—one that would eventually lead to the Elizabeth Arden line being almost an afterthought in the mind of many consumers.

Not only has Arden's image been diminished over the years due to odd distribution patterns (consumers were getting mixed messages as this prestige line began showing up in drug and discount chain stores), but also through their own formulary mistakes and seeming unwillingness to pay attention to current research. Given the history of this line and several outstanding products they've produced in the past, it's very frustrating that what's offered today is such a mishmash of good and bad, with a hefty dose of average. Arden still has several sunscreens that fall short by leaving out sufficient UVA protection. In contrast, Estee Lauder and the Lauder-owned lines have their sunscreen acts together and consistently impress by including other state-of-the-art goodies to amplify the environmental protection of their moisturizers.

Many of Arden's products also contain potentially problematic ingredients or are packaged in a way that puts the light- and air-sensitive ingredients at risk of breaking down shortly after the product is opened. Given Elizabeth Arden's (the woman) pioneering, innovative spirit, we can't imagine her being completely pleased with the state of her namesake skin-care line (Arden passed away in 1966). Having the gorgeous Catherine Zeta-Jones as a spokesmodel for most of the early 2000s may have raised more interest in this brand than in years past, but a pretty face and eye-catching ads don't always translate to good skin care, as evidenced by the reviews on this site. There are some very impressive products in this line, but it's definitely one that demands careful attention to what you're buying lest you put your skin at risk.

For more information about Elizabeth Arden, call (800) 326-7337 or visit www.elizabetharden.com.

Elizabeth Arden Makeup

Cosmetics trailblazer Elizabeth Arden may have been single-handedly responsible for bringing modern makeup to American women (she opened the famous Red Door Salon in 1910 and formulated the first blush and tinted powders in 1912), but today's lineup of Arden makeup has far more disappointments than its pioneering namesake would have liked. Most of the Arden foundations with sunscreen either leave out the five prime UVA-screening active ingredients or because their SPF numbers are unnecessarily low. Either way, only one of the foundations with sunscreens can be relied on as your sole source of facial sun protection.

In contrast to the mostly disappointing foundations, you'll be pleased with what Arden offers for concealer, eyeshadow, lipstick, and mascara. Each of these categories has some brilliant products to consider, and they serve to prove, at least to a modest extent, that Elizabeth Arden makeup is not to be counted out just yet. The remaining products have little to extol, either because they are truly ineffective or because the competition has Arden beat by a mile. A continual bright spot for Arden is that their tester units are typically well organized and the colors are grouped so it's easy to zero in on what you like.

About the Experts

The new Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment 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
Summary of Member Comments
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Great foundation!

I love this foundation. I would like to see a new review by beautypedia about the new improved formulation. The old formula had mineral oil in it that made me breakout. The new formula is updated with better, healthier ingredients. Please review again because I trust your reviews beautypedia.

Reviewed by
Chop, L
Beautypedia Team Response

Hey there!  Thanks for the heads up!  We've reached out to the brand for clarification and will get the review updated accordingly if it has indeed changed =)

Too thick

I found this make up to be too thick. It does cover my flaws but feels heavy and looks like I'm wearing make up, which is not what I want. It also doesn't last but a couple hours.

Reviewed by
Lisa H.

I need full coverage due to rosacea on my cheeks. Went to the dept. store and got around 9 samples of different brands in my color, which is VERY light. I got the color ecru in my sample. After spending a week and a half trying every sample, this was the one that matched color, and the coverage was great. was able to blend out my rosacea color evenly. Now I just look like a healthy blush,(which is all we are going for anyway right?)

Reviewed by
Good if you want full coverage

Very good sponge on makeup if you would like a full coverage makeup -- but if you use a damp sponge to apply instead of a dry one you will sheer out the coverage quite a bit. Go to EA's website and you'll see how many people like this makeup. Beautypedia needs to update their review for this product since it has been reformulated and has new/different shades.

Reviewed by
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585633-IIS5 v1.0.0.425 9/5/2015 12:52:43 AM