Visible Lift Serum Absolute Advanced Age-Reversing Makeup SPF 17

by L'Oreal Paris  Visible Lift
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Makeup > Foundations With Sunscreen > Liquid Foundation w/ Sunscreen
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Although this fragrance-free foundation has its strong points and is absolutely worth considering, the claims are beyond the realm of possibility. First of all, no foundation is “age-reversing,” by even a few minutes. However, any skin-care or makeup product with a well-formulated sunscreen can help prevent sun damage and that is the best way to help stop wrinkling. That’s where L’Oreal gets the anti-aging portion right, because this contains an in-part titanium dioxide sunscreen that provides reliable broad-spectrum protection.

The so-called skin-care ingredients amount to a mere dusting, and the small amount of vitamin C included (in the form of ascorbyl glucoside) will quickly degrade in this glass container, unless you store it away from sunlight. Still, sun protection is the pinnacle of anti-aging skin care, so L’Oreal is on the right track.

This slightly thick but soft-textured liquid foundation has a beautiful silkiness, exceptional blendability, and near-flawless medium coverage. Equally impressive is the neutral range of shades, although the darkest shades likely will suit only medium skin tones. Note that this foundation’s finish will emphasize wrinkles if skin isn’t prepped with a moisturizer or serum (you don’t need a product labeled “foundation primer”).

This foundation is best for normal to slightly oily skin. Someone with dry skin will find it doesn’t supply nearly enough moisture.

Active: Octinoxate (1%); Titanium Dioxide 6.7% Other: Water, Isododecane, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glycerin, Cyclohexasiloxane, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Butylene Glycol, Dimethicone, Isoeicosane, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Chloride, C9-15 Fluoroalcohol Phosphate, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Hexyl Laurate, Caprylyl Glycol, Isostearyl Neopentanoate, Alumina, Polyethylene Glycol, Methylparaben, Phenylethyl Resorcinol, Acetyl Trifluoromethylphenyl Valylglycine, Calcium Pantetheine Sulfonate, Hydroxypropyl Tetrahydropyrantriol, Pea Extract, Retinyl Palmitate, Hydrolyzed Elastin, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Polycaprolactone, Soluble Collagen, Sodium Hyaluronate, May Contain: Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Mica

Just like its sister company Lancome, L'Oreal doesn't have its act together when it comes to skin-care products. For all their talk of advanced formulas, fancy double-page ads in fashion magazines, and impressive-sounding quotes from scientists at their research and development facilities, most of what L'Oreal offers for skin care is a whole lot of nothing—or at least nothing tremendously helpful for helping skin look and feel its best.

An ongoing issue with L'Oreal (at least in the United States) is the lack of sufficient UVA-protecting ingredients in their daytime moisturizers with sunscreen. Very few of them contain the actives that provide as much UVA protection as you can get from a sunscreen. Yet this major oversight (and it’s not just with the older products—several newer sunscreens launched with this deficiency) didn't stop L'Oreal from heralding the FDA's approval of their patented ecamsule (Mexoryl SX) sunscreen for use in the United States. (Mexoryl SX has been approved for years in Europe, and L'Oreal routinely uses it in the sunscreens they sell there.) The attention-getting headline was that Mexoryl SX provides "the best" and "most stable" UVA protection, but that's not entirely true; there are other options. Why didn't anyone in the media point out to L'Oreal that while Mexoryl SX may be great, that doesn't explain why the majority of their other sunscreens leave the consumers who use them vulnerable to UVA damage… Sigh… Inadequate UVA protection is not only unhealthy for your skin, it severely damages L'Oreal's credibility as an international skin-care authority.

Aside from the sunscreen frustrations, L'Oreal's moisturizers are a yawn-inducing, fairly repetitive bunch. A cursory review of their formulas demonstrates that L'Oreal is simply not keeping pace with the competition, just as Lancome isn't at the department-store level. 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. (You have to wonder if they're more interested in advertising and public relations than in advancing skin-care expertise.) The 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!

Note: Unless mentioned otherwise, all L'Oreal skin-care products contain fragrance.

For more information about L'Oreal, call (800) 322-2036 or visit or

L’Oreal Paris Makeup

L'Oreal's extensive makeup collection retains its stature as the overall best 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 they exist at all.

L'Oreal's displays in many drugstores have been updated to 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. They fall short with their powder eyeshadows, but not enough to warrant avoiding them, especially if you prefer sheer eye makeup. Still, with only minor tweaking and consistent adherence to the importance of UVA protection in their cosmetic products with sunscreen, L'Oreal could pull ahead to be the hands-down winner when it comes to shopping for makeup at the drugstore.

Member Comments

Summary of Member Comments

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

    3 / 4 Good
  2. Was this product a good value? (4 = Best)

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

    3 / 4 Good
Page of 1
  1. Anonymous
    Reviewed on Tuesday, February 18, 2014
    • Value
      3 / 4
    • Results
      3 / 4
    • Recommend
      3 / 4
    One of the better foundations I've tried
    • I'm 52 with dry skin, and this formula is a bit thick and not moisturizing enough. Exfoliate and use a moisturizer with sunscreen underneath, letting it set first. It does give good coverage though. It doesn't settle into lines TOO MUCH, but a little goes a long way. It kind of sets quickly, so you need to blend it in fast before it does. Wish the SPF was much higher, as SPF17 is only a bit above minimum. Thick glob at bottom when used up bottle and could not scrape it out!

  2. SUSAN R.
    Reviewed on Thursday, January 02, 2014
    • Value
      4 / 4
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    • Results
      4 / 4
    Perfect over Paula'sShine stopper
    • I have fair enough skin that is often tough to find a light enough shade, this foundation definitely fits for that. Using shine stopper as both oil control and primer ensures this foundation stays put at least through most of my work day. I'm also very sensitive around my eyes and while I can't use my sunscreen on my under brow,or close to my eye area, I can use this foundation in those areas with no irritation. It gives good coverage and blends and layers very well. No extra breakouts either!

  3. Alexandra M.
    Reviewed on Sunday, September 22, 2013
    • Results
      3 / 4
    • Recommend
      3 / 4
    • Value
      3 / 4
    Good but not great
    • This foundation is good in that it blends reasonably well, covers well and the colors are very well done (I can wear 3 of them believably). What keeps this from being a great foundation is that it doesn't quite mesh with the skin and if you have any bumpy areas or wrinkles it will exagerate those. Since Paula recommended this for oily to normal skin I thought I'd try it because I have an oily T zone, but after a few hours it looks heavy and cakey on my oily chin, so it was a disappointment.

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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