Oxygen Mineral Powder Foundation

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Makeup > Sensitive Skin Products > Foundations without Sunscreen > Powder Foundation
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Packaged in a striking swivel-top compact, this pressed-powder foundation is soft to the touch, but also quite dry, and it can leave a "dusty" look on skin. Providing sheer to light coverage and a matte finish, this cannot be layered without looking thick and cakey on your skin. Shades are surprisingly limited, and all of them apply lighter than they appear in the compact. The claim about delivering oxygen to the skin is nonsense because it doesn't contain any oxygen-contributing ingredients. This is just an ordinary pressed power foundation, and it isn't all that mineral either.

  • Finely milled and soft, this powder applies easily.
  • Matte finish makes this ideal for combination or oily skin.
  • Feels lightweight on skin.
  • Gorgeous and unique, swivel-top compact.
  • Fragrance-free.
  • Must be applied sparingly because it looks cakey if you're not careful.
  • Its dry, powdery finish leans toward looking "dusty" on skin.
  • Extremely limited shade range.
  • Overpriced—there are better pressed powders at the drugstore!
  • Claims are exaggerated and misleading.

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The "oxygen" part of this mineral powder's name is tied to the company's claim that it delivers oxygen to your skin via a unique ingredient. They don't tell you what ingredient delivers the oxygen, and there are no oxygen-containing ingredients on the ingredient list. That's not bad news, though, because delivering extra oxygen to otherwise healthy skin isn't helpful. In fact, you'd only be causing more free-radical damage, which can lead to inflammation and accelerate signs of aging.

As popular as all things mineral are, keep in mind that this mineral powder is no more "mineral" than hundreds of other powder foundations. Given its formula, it actually is less mineral than most, and, in fact, is decidedly synthetic, which isn't bad for skin, but makes the claims really silly.

Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Zinc Stearate, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Nylon-12, Cyclopentasiloxane, Tocopheryl Acetate, Soy Isoflavones, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Cyclohexasiloxane, Isoceteth-10, Dimethicone, Ribose, Silica, Caprylyl Glycol May Contain: Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides

According to founder Carisa Janes, Hourglass Cosmetics are "homegrown luxury cosmetics." Sounds like an intriguing marketing angle—but what does that mean for the consumer? The "luxury" element becomes overly apparent in the price tag, and the "homegrown" aspect seems to be related to the brand's humble beginnings as a small storefront in 2004. Other than those points, there is really nothing inherently special about this relatively small line of makeup, which is now available at most Sephora stores nationwide.

The most hyped product in the Hourglass line is their Veil Fluid Makeup SPF 15. This liquid foundation gets a lot of chatter online as being a "must-have" product, but that doesn't mean it's the only one or even the best option out there. In reality, although this foundation has a beautiful, lightweight texture that provides good coverage with reliable sun protection, it has a serious problem in that it noticeably separates in the bottle, which really puts into question the stability of the sunscreen. For $60 an ounce, this really should be perfect!

What you should know about any cosmetic product is that expensive doesn't necessarily mean better; there are good and bad products in all price ranges. Unfortunately, many consumers find it hard not to expect a line like Hourglass, with its luxury price tag, to be far better than "bargain" brands. But, even when an expensive product is great, you can almost always find a more affordable alternative that is just as good (if not better!) than the expensive one. The bottom line: In making the decision to purchase any cosmetic, you shouldn't rely solely on how much it costs, and Hourglass is no exception.

Case in point: Hourglass's exquisite, expensive makeup brush collection. Yes, these are soft, beautifully made and completely luxurious brushes, but so are plenty of other Taklon (synthetic hair) brushes that are available for far less money. Or even consider Hourglass's silly Oxygen Mineral Powder, a pressed powder that overhypes its mineral content (it's a stretch to call this product "mineral" at all) and makes unsubstantiated claims that it can deliver oxygen to the skin. But, worst of all, this $46 product seriously underperforms when compared to many $10 powders at the drugstore (Neutrogena, L'Oreal, Sonia Kashuk, and Rimmel come to mind).

Hourglass's underlying philosophy (and brand-name symbolism) is meant to speak to the benefit of using well-formulated products that ward off the ever-marching effects of time. Unfortunately, this lofty goal is nearly unattainable for any makeup company. For Hourglass, it extends only to their foundations with sunscreen, not exactly earthshaking given the number of companies who can provide this benefit, and it certainly doesn't take super-expensive products. In fact at Hourglass's prices, it's unlikely you'll apply these as liberally as needed for adequate sun protection. Just another example of how expensive doesn't mean better!

For more information about Hourglass Cosmetics, visit www.hourglasscosmetics.com or call 310-392-7799.

Member Comments

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  1. How would you rate the results? (4 = Best)

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  2. Was this product a good value? (4 = Best)

    2 / 4 Average
  3. Would you recommend this product? (4 = Best)

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  1. Anonymous
    Reviewed on Friday, July 11, 2014
    • Value
      2 / 4
    • Recommend
      1 / 4
    • Results
      1 / 4
    Not good
    • This powder is just horrible. If you like a caked looking face that is totally blank showing no definition in your face, then this is good for you. News reader from the 90's and that's even being nice. Their liquid foundation is great, but this is horrid

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About the Experts

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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