PhotoReady Compact Makeup SPF 20 (Discontinued)

by Revlon  PhotoReady
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Makeup > Foundations With Sunscreen > Cream-to-Powder Foundation w/ Sunscreen
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This cream-to-powder foundation comes in packaging where the makeup is covered by a flexible screen that you press to deposit the product onto your sponge. It looks a bit odd, but it makes even application effortless!

Once applied, this makeup creates sheer, blendable coverage that you can build up as needed for more coverage. The texture begins quite creamy, but sets to a very lightweight, slightly powdery finish that’s flattering for all skin types. However, the thickening agents and waxes may cause problems for those with blemish-prone skin.

The sole active sunscreen is titanium dioxide, which is great news for those sensitive to “chemical” sunscreens. Plus, this active ingredient provides critical broad-spectrum protection.

The shades provide options for fair to medium skin, but be forewarned that the screen on top of the compact makes it very difficult to determine what the makeup actually will look like on your skin. We were surprised at the significant tonal differences between how this looked on skin and how it looked in the package. For example, the somewhat pink-looking Medium Beige had obvious orange undertones on skin. You’ll need to experiment with the different shades to get it right, so make sure you’re purchasing at a store with a flexible return policy!

Note:Although this foundation provides broad-spectrum sun protection on its own, you must apply it liberally and evenly to get the stated level of protection. A sheer or spot application will not provide the amount of sun protection the label indicates. If you’re not likely to apply this foundation liberally, we recommend applying it over a moisturizer with sunscreen rated SPF 15 or greater and setting your foundation with a pressed powder rated SPF 15 or greater.

Active: Titanium Dioxide (9%), Other: Dimethicone, Neopentyl Glycol Diethylhexanoate, Isopropyl Isostearate, Nylon 12, Tribehenin, Isostearyl Behenate, Boron Nitride, Lauroyl Lysine, Tridecyl Trimellitate, Isodecyl Neopentanoate, Myristyl Myristate, Polyglyceryl 4 Isostearate, Euphorbia Cerifera Wax (Candelilla), Dimethicone/Bis Isobutyl PPG-20 Crosspolymer, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Tocopherol Acetate (Vitamin E Acetate), Euterpe Oleracea Fruit Extract, Calcium Aluminum Borosilicate, Lauryl PEG/PPG 18/18 Methicone, Sorbitan Trioleate, HDI/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Isopropyl Titanium Triisostearate, Alumina, Dehydroacetic Acid, Cetyl PEG/PPG 10/1 Dimethicone, Hexyl Laurate, Barium Sulfate, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, BHT, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, 1,2 Hexanediol, May Contain: Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides

It may surprise some of you to know that Revlon has been around since 1932, when the company launched a unique nail polish that used pigments instead of dyes. Lipsticks followed years later, and then a full line of cosmetics, which is how we know Revlon today. Although the company has had its continual share of ups and downs over the years (largely due to out-of-control debt coupled with aggressive spending), the line has recently made numerous improvements, especially in the realms of foundations, powders, eyeshadows, and mascaras. It is quite a feat that Revlon products earned more Paula's Pick ratings per category than any other drugstore line reviewed. If their goal was to close the competitive gap between themselves and L'Oreal, for the most part they have succeeded. Revlon definitely has the edge for foundations with reliable sunscreens. But despite Revlon's attempt to improve their mascara range, L'Oreal remains the clear winner (as well as L'Oreal-owned Maybelline New York).

Revlon's vast selection of makeup is divided into three main brands: Age Defying for the forty-something and older woman concerned about wrinkles, ColorStay for the teen to mid-thirties woman concerned about keeping oily skin in check and making sure her makeup stays put, and PhotoReady for women of all ages. These brands present some outstanding options and include products for all skin types (although the range of skin tones is not as well-represented here as it is by L'Oreal).

An intriguing fact is that the longevity claims for ColorStay are quite accurate: this collection of products really does offer extraordinary staying power. Conversely, Revlon jumped on the works-like-Botox bandwagon with their Age Defying range, going so far as to name their antiwrinkle complex Botafirm. Is there any confusion about what that term is supposed to relate to? Despite the claims, Botafirm won't reduce expression lines or control the muscles that cause them, though the products themselves do have many impressive qualities.

Note:Revlon is categorized as one that tests on animals because their products are sold in China. Although Revlon may not conduct animal testing for their products sold elsewhere, the Chinese government requires imported cosmetics be tested on animals, so foreign companies retailing there must comply. This requirement is why some brand’s state that they don’t test on animals “unless required by law”. Animal rights organizations consider cosmetic companies retailed in China to be brands that test on animals, and so does the Paula’s Choice Research Team.

Suffice it to say, Revlon has more commendable products than ever before, and although they rely heavily on celebrity spokespersons, their best products ably speak for themselves.

For more information about Revlon, call (800) 473-8566 or visit

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)

    4 / 4 Best
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  1. Anonymous
    Reviewed on Wednesday, January 23, 2013
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    • Value
      4 / 4
    • Results
      4 / 4
    Great Stuff!!!
    • I ran out if my Clinique powder foundation and needed a quick replacement. I ran in to the local drug store and grabbed this. And I LOVE it. It was on sale for some $6.00 or something. It's going to replace my Clinique in my routine. Even at full price , it's half the price of the Clinique!!!

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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