This sheer liquid foundation is packaged in a tube outfitted with a sponge applicator. You’re directed to shake the foundation downward, squeeze the tube to dispense foundation onto the attached sponge, and then use the sponge to apply the foundation. The process works quite well, but after several uses the sponge becomes caked with product, which means you must wash it to maintain even application. There’s a problem with washing the sponge, however, because there’s no way to wash it without getting water into the foundation itself, through the hole that dispenses the foundation onto the sponge.
Nonetheless, the silky, thin texture goes on sheer and feels exceptionally light. It hydrates without adding shine or feeling slick, and sets to a soft, natural matte finish.
This is designed to provide a very natural look, and it does. Coverage is sheer to light, and this has a skin-like finish that adds a touch of radiance without obvious sparkles. If only the sunscreen rating were higher and it contained the right UVA-protecting ingredients! As is, you’re getting less sun protection that is recommended by medical boards around the world, leaving your skin vulnerable to a portion of the sun’s most aging rays (UVA light). Ideally, a foundation with sunscreen should be rated SPF 15 or greater and contain one or more of the following ingredients listed as “active”: avobenzone, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, Mexoryl SX (ecamsule), or Tinosorb.
The shade range is small, but neutral, and includes options for fair to tan skin tones. Light Porcelain is a gorgeous color for very fair skin.
Note that this foundation contains fragrance and fragrant plants that put your skin at risk of irritation. This irritation can, if it occurs daily, damage your skin’s ability to produce healthy collagen and act younger.
- Silky, fluid texture feels light and is easy to apply.
- Natural-looking finish blurs minor imperfections.
- Very good range of neutral shades.
- Contains fragrance and fragrant plants that pose a risk of irritation.
- The sponge cannot be washed without contaminating the foundation itself.
- Does not supply adequate daily sun protection or keep skin protected from the full range of the sun’s aging UVA rays, so you must wear another sunscreen underneath.
Active: Octinoxate (Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate) 7.49%; Oxybenzone (Benzophenone-3) 2.5%; Other: Water, Butylene Glycol, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Dimethicone, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Dimethicone PEG-7 Phosphate, Phenoxyethanol, Squalane, Steareth-21, Caprylyl Glycol, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Steareth-2, Tocopheryl Acetate, Polysorbate 60, Parfum (Fragrance), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Commiphora Myrrha Extract, Sodium Hydroxide, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Disodium Distyrlbiphenyldisulfonate, BHT, Artemia Capillaris Flower Extract, Hedera Helix (Ivy) Extract, Geraniol May Contain: Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Mica
Like Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, and Dior, Givenchy has established a global fashion empire that includes makeup and skin-care products (which are not reviewed at this time). While these French design companies know a great deal about fashion, their venture into makeup is more about style and packaging flamboyance than it is about the products' actual performance; that is, far more form than function.
Givenchy's sleek, chic packaging and designer prices are, for the most part, below par and not worthy of their cost. Adding to the less-than-stellar product selection is the fact that Givenchy products contain noticeable fragrance, which makes them even less desirable, at least for the long-term health of your skin. Fragrance (especially from multiple products worn at the same time) can cause irritation that hurts your skin's healing process and its ability to look and act younger.
Of course, there are some great products in this line, but despite our enthusiasm for them, they offer nothing that hasn't been done just as well (or better) by many other lines, whose prices aren't based on a couture fashion house's reputation. Still, if you're a Givenchy fan or a curious observer, you should know which products are worth your attention and which ones you can gloss over. Givenchy makeup is supposed to have something they refer to as "Prisme," which is meant to describe the prismatic, light-reflecting effect they've added to all of their products. You'll hear a lot from the Givenchy salespeople about the delicate interplay of color and light, but when you cut through the marketing mumbo jumbo, all that these products contain is shine, and it's the same shiny ingredients every other company in the world of makeup is using.
It's important to keep in mind that too much shine will only make the wrinkles you have look worse. While you'll hear that shine reflects light from wrinkles, you can easily dispel that notion by testing a shiny product over your wrinkles, and seeing how the shine makes them stand out, not soften.
Givenchy also carries on about the pigment technology they use, but it isn't unique to their brand. There are many different pigment technologies cosmetic formulators can use, and to one degree or another, all of them are responsible for the improvements we've seen in makeup over the past decade. Lines from L'Oreal to Giorgio Armani, Clinique, and Revlon all use modern pigment technology to create great makeup. In the end, choosing Givenchy is an option, but if you go that route, it's more important than ever (especially for your budget) to know the facts about what you're getting.
Note: The collection of Givenchy makeup reviewed on this site is representative of what's typically seen in U.S. Sephora stores that stock Givenchy.
For more information about Givenchy, call +33 (0) 1 73 02 60 00 or visit www.parfumsgivenchy.com.