Magic Nude Liquid Powder SPF 18
Last Updated:12.23.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

If the ingredient list of this liquid foundation with sunscreen looks familiar to you, it's because it's very similar to the Giorgio Armani Maestro Fusion Makeup SPF 15, which isn't all that surprising given that L'Oreal owns Giorgio Armani. Oddly enough, the L'Oreal version lacks some of the irritating ingredients that are present in the Armani version, such as fragrance and bitter orange flower oil, but that still doesn't save it from being just an ordinary foundation. For starters, it doesn't provide sufficient UVA protection (see More Info for details). Also worth noting is that its sole sunscreen ingredient (octinoxate) may cause irritation when applied around the eyes, which many who use foundation are likely to do. This won't bother everyone, but it's worth pointing out, especially in a foundation that contains other irritants as well, like this one.

With as much alcohol as this foundation contains, it's fitting that the bottle resembles a small flask! The high percentage of alcohol in this formula is potentially irritating to skin and can cause dryness and other problems (see More Info for details).

It's unfortunate that we can't recommend this product because, on the upside, it blends well, and it has a natural satin finish and an excellent selection of shades for light to dark skin tones.

  • Blends well.
  • Natural satin finish.
  • Excellent selection of shades for light to dark skin tones.
  • Fails to provide full UVA sun protection.
  • The sole sunscreen actives can be sensitizing when applied around the eyes.
  • Contains a potentially irritating amount of alcohol.
More Info:

Alcohol in skin-care products causes dryness and free-radical damage, and impairs the skin's ability to heal. The irritation it causes damages healthy collagen production and can stimulate oil production at the base of the pore, making oily skin worse (Sources: Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, May 2012, pages 1410–1419; Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research, January 2011, pages 83–90; "Skin Care—From the Inside Out and Outside In," Tufts Daily, April 1, 2002; eMedicine Journal, May 8, 2002, volume 3, number 5, www.emedicine.com; Cutis, February 2001, pages 25–27; Contact Dermatitis, January 1996, pages 12–16; and http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh27-4/277-284.htm).

This does not include the ingredients needed to shield your skin from the sun's entire range of damaging UVA rays, which is essential for anti-aging benefits. The sun's UVB rays are what cause sunburn, and the SPF number reflects that protection, but there is no rating for the sun's silent, though more penetrating (and in many ways more damaging), UVA rays. Any SPF-rated product should contain one or more of the following UVA-protecting ingredients listed as "active" to ensure you are getting UVA protection: avobenzone, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, Mexoryl SX (ecamsule), or Tinosorb (Sources: Photochemical and Photobiological Sciences, December 2011, pages 81–90; Cosmetic Dermatology, Second Edition, Baumann, Leslie MD, McGraw Hill, 2009, pages 246–252; American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, Supplement, 2009, pages 19–24; The Encyclopedia of Ultraviolet Filters, Shaath, Nadim A., Allured Publishing, 2007; and Photodermatology, Photoimmunology, and Photomedicine, October 2003, pages 242–253).


Active Ingredient: Octinoxate 3%; Other Ingredients: Dimethicone, Cyclohexasiloxane, Isododecane, Alcohol Denat., Vinyl Dimethicone/Methicone Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer, Phenyl Trimethicone, Acrylates/Polytrimethylsiloxymethacrylate Copolymer, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Water, Propylene Carbonate, Disodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Aluminum Hydroxide. May Contain: Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides.

Brand Overview

L'Oreal Paris At-A-Glance

Strengths: Budget-friendly prices; good makeup removers; wide assortment of self-tanning options; one of the best, most comprehensive makeup collections at the drugstore, with superb options in almost every category; the mascaras are a tough act to follow.

Weaknesses: Jar packaging hinders some of the skincare formulas; many of their skincare formulas contain problematic amounts of fragrance and/or other irritants; exaggerated anti-aging claims.

L'Oreal's extensive makeup collection retains its stature as one of the better selections at the drugstore, though they have stiff competition from Revlon and, in some cases, sister company Maybelline New York. In recent years L'Oreal has made significant strides with foundation shades, powder textures, concealers, and, of course, superlative mascaras that rarely fail to impress. Their lipsticks are excellent and you will find many L'Oreal makeup products have a Lancome counterpart, and that the differences are minor—if there are any at all.

L'Oreal's displays in many drugstores reflect better-organized products and shade categories (though testers are still scarce). Given the number of lipsticks they sell, it only makes sense to put them in color families so consumers have a better shopping experience. Their True Match products are also sensibly laid out, but the rest of the foundations aren't as organized, likely due to the smaller selection of shades. Speaking of foundations, L'Oreal has made further strides by offering more that provide sufficient UVA protection. Revlon still has the edge for consistently launching impressive foundations with sunscreen, but at least L'Oreal is (finally) catching up.

The bottom line is that every category of L'Oreal’s makeup has some winning (and in some cases, benchmark-setting) products.

Unfortunately, despite the brands’ enormous presence in the beauty industry, L'Oreal's moisturizers and treatment products are a nearly all unremarkable and repetitive. When it comes to moisturizers or serums, just about anything from Dove, Olay, Neutrogena, or Aveeno is preferred. L'Oreal does well with most of their cleansers, along with scrubs and self-tanning products, but given the widespread availability and financial resources of this line, they could be doing so much more. The good news is their makeup has made major strides and now ranks as the best overall color collection at the drugstore—imagine the results if their skin care followed suit.

For more information about L'Oreal, call (800) 322-2036 or visit www.loreal.com or www.lorealparisusa.com.

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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Best drugstore makeup ever!

I have a hard time using foundation. My skin is dry and broken out and has scarring. Most makeup seems to make my scarring look deeper and hilights my enlarged pores. Even though not wearing make up at all is a fate worse than death it was becoming more attractive then nasty makeup making my skin look worse. First make up I'd found in a while that works for me and actually works great

Reviewed by
Lauren R
Fabulous finish

I don't care that this foundation does not contain sunscreen, it is fabulous! Covers my pores and rosacea, slips on easily, matches my skin tone perfectly, never looks pasty or fake, and best of all, gets me compliments on my complexion - not an expected occurrence for a woman past 60.

Reviewed by
Best foundation!

This feels like powder on your skin! Blends so well and it's really best using your fingers. I'm so confused as to why this gets a poor rating when I think depending on a foundation for your full sunscreen protection isnt smart anyways. If you light the look of natural makeup, and where your skin can breath ... Buy this. I absolutely love it.

Reviewed by
Pretty good and interesting

Like Andrea T., I too, came upon this unexpectedly and was intrigued with the idea of a liquid to powder as we enter the summer; in addition, the product touts itself as a sunscreen: a priority for me. I liked the straightforward application and satiny finish. Covers as well as the BB creme, but feels like I am wearing nothing: "dry" skin, but not dry. I am optimistic for the summer!

Reviewed by
Janine K.
Smooth and matte, but not flat

I was just curious enough to give this a try-- a foundation that won't require me to set it with powder?? I don't wear a lot of foundation anyway, I have decent skin with some large pores on my nose and some rosacea on my cheeks. it goes on like silk if you use your fingers as directed, a little at a time. The coverage is light, which is fine for me, but if you are looking for full coverage, this isn't for you. Now I only use powder to set my concealer, instead of my whole face. I like it.

Reviewed by
Andrea T
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