Nourishing Long Wear Liquid Makeup Broad Spectrum SPF 20
Last Updated:03.16.2015
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

Nourishing Long Wear Liquid Makeup Broad Spectrum SPF 20 is a fragrance-free foundation that's supposed to also act like a skin-care product. While this is a good foundation, it turns out that those claims about helping your skin are a bit on the overinflated side.

Nourishing Long Wear Liquid Makeup is a thick liquid that comes in a glass bottle without a pump. That means getting it out of the bottle on the first go is a bit tricky, as you have to turn it upside down and shake it a bit before the foundation comes out. Once you've done that, it's easy to spread across the skin with a brush, sponge, or just your fingers.

The formula provides medium coverage, which means you will be able to mask dark spots and redness. It has a soft, natural-looking powdery finish that works well on normal to slightly oily skin, but it can emphasize dryness, not exactly ideal for those with dry skin. It wears well throughout the day and comes in a selection of shades for light to medium skin tones (but watch out for the Natural Ivory and Buff shades, which are pink-based).

Now to those claims about this makeup being "nourishing." This does provide broad-spectrum sun protection, in the form of titanium dioxide, which is definitely a bonus. Neutrogena also touts this foundation's "exclusive blend" of antioxidants, soy, and Vitamins A, C, and E, but it turns out there is a mere dusting of these ingredients, so your skin isn't likely to benefit! In short, this foundation isn't likely to improve skin tone and texture the way Neutrogena would have you believe!

Overall, it's a good foundation, but you definitely shouldn't ditch your regular skin-care products for it!

  • Easy to blend and the coverage hides minor to moderate imperfections.
  • Soft, natural-looking powder finish.
  • Wears well throughout the day.
  • Provides broad-spectrum sun protection.
  • Fragrance-free.
  • The powdery finish emphasizes dry skin.
  • Contains only a dusting of the "nourishing" ingredients Neutrogena touts.

Active: Titanium Dioxide 2.9%. Inactive: Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Isononyl Isononanoate, Cyclohexasiloxane, Lauryl PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Butylene Glycol, Mica, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Silica, Sodium Chloride, Glycerin, Bis-PEG/PPG-14/14 Dimethicone, Dimethicone/PEG-10/15 Crosspolymer, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Seed Extract, Acrylates/Dimethicone Copolymer, Alumina, Aluminum Stearate, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Retinyl Palmitate, Silica Silylate, Sorbic Acid, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Triethoxycaprylylsilane.

Brand Overview

Neutrogena At-A-Glance

Strengths: Inexpensive; several recommended cleansers; retinol options, in stable packaging; vast selection of sunscreens, most of which offer excellent UVA protection; several fragrance-free options; many of the Healthy Skin products are state-of-the-art; the foundations with sunscreen provide sufficient UVA protection; some praiseworthy makeup items.

Weaknesses: An overabundance of overlapping anti-aging products that is perennially confusing for consumers; irritating bar soaps; lackluster to downright bad toners; a handful of bland moisturizers and eye creams; some sunscreens too much alcohol or problematic preservatives; most of the Deep Clean products are terrible; mostly disappointing concealers; the lip balms with sunscreen provide inadequate UVA protection.

Johnson & Johnson–owned Neutrogena has been around for over 50 years, and they've come a long way since they launched their first transparent, bronze, detergent-based bar soap (it also contains tallow). The bars are still sold, and while we still don't recommend them (they are too drying for all skin types), the good news is that Neutrogena has come a very long way from where they started. In fact, several of their products represent truly state-of-the-art options.

Strolling the skin-care aisles of any drugstore or mass-market store reveals that Neutrogena vies for shelf space and prominence with only one other brand, Procter & Gamble's Olay. For the most part, both companies offer a similar assortment of products, with Olay being slightly more focused on anti-aging products and Neutrogena going for broader appeal, offering a nearly equal amount of antiwrinkle and anti-acne products. Regrettably the latter category presents few viable options.

Where Neutrogena really excels (and has for years) is with water-soluble cleansers, AHAs, retinol, and sunscreen products. Their Healthy Skin lineup offers some beautifully formulated moisturizers with glycolic acid, and the sunscreens offer something for everyone, including some ingenious options for those with oily skin (or anyone who finds the texture of high-SPF products as unappealing as slathering your skin with Crisco).

A recent self-proclaimed advance in sun protection came with Neutrogena's Helioplex complex. It is not the superior breakthrough Neutrogena makes it out to be. It's a good system to keep avobenzone stable for longer, but Helioplex isn't the only way to get the most out of this important UVA sunscreen. If it were, why didn't Neutrogena scrap all of their other sunscreens that don't use Helioplex technology? And why do they still offer a handful of SPF-rated products that leave skin vulnerable to UVA damage? Although they offer a proportionately greater number of sunscreens that provide excellent UVA protection, it's hard to unequivocally deem them a sun-care leader when they still sell inadequate sunscreens.

It's common to see commercials and magazine ads for Neutrogena's plethora of products designed to combat breakouts and blackheads. It's nothing short of amazing that, after all these years, the majority of these products, while well intentioned, still don't get it right. Far too many of them contain irritating ingredients such as alcohol, witch hazel, and menthol, none of which are the least bit helpful for someone struggling with breakouts. If your dermatologist recommends these products for acne without reservation, definitely consider a second opinion! Even Neutrogena's on-the-spot benzoyl peroxide product contains some potentially problematic thickening agents. Despite this, if you choose carefully, there are some great products (including a BHA lotion) that can make a positive difference.

What's most frustrating and, frankly, surprising, is that Neutrogena's enormous assortment of products represents both the best and the worst the cosmetics industry has to offer. Given their worldwide distribution and research capabilities, they really should be offering a consistent range of effective, irritant-free products to address a variety of skin types and conditions. As things stand now, healthy, protected skin is only assured if you know which Neutrogena products to look for and which ones to never put in your shopping cart.

For more information about Neutrogena, owned by Johnson & Johnson, call (800) 582-4048 or visit www.neutrogena.com.

Neutrogena Makeup

Neutrogena's "beautiful and beneficial" pronouncement is a great tag line, but most of their makeup doesn't live up to that assertion. This line was lacking in several key areas when it first hit store shelves in 1999, and although some things have improved, the number of problematic products is a bit startling. (We are not aware of any cosmetic line that uses menthol or its derivatives as often as Neutrogena.) Each product carries on about the vitamins it contains, yet compared to the leading roles played by cosmetic staples like silicones and thickening agents, the vitamins have mere cameo roles, and as such have little to no impact.

There are a few key items to seek out, especially if you're looking for makeup with excellent sun protection. We also found their lip gloss to be one of the best at any price, and a few of their foundations successfully bridge the gap between skin care and makeup.

The most frustrating aspect of this line is that almost all of it is packaged so you cannot see the color. Even worse, the color swatch on the box is a poor representation, not only of how the color looks in the compact, but also how it looks on your skin. What would truly be beneficial is for Neutrogena to offer more revealing packaging or provide testers or offer trial sizes. Their overall collection and in-store displays aren't nearly as tempting as most other drugstore makeup lines, so in most cases they're relying on their constant magazine and television ads to drive shoppers to explore the world of Neutrogena makeup, or they're relying solely on those who don't mind guessing what color they are really buying. It's obviously working, because despite the problematic elements, this is a line that has survived and is very well distributed.

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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pumps for drugstore foundations!

Good product, but you review is correct, if you are in your 40's, 50's or 60's with combo skin this is great for covering spots! Just be sure to exfoliate, and moisturize your drier areas!

Reviewed by
Joseph V
love it!

Great coverage and color!!

Reviewed by
Best Foundation Ever

Love this product, it is the best foundation I have ever tried. Coverage is fabulous, has luminosity but not too shiny, and is not heavy. It is also the closest match tone-wise to my skin ever - no yellow to it. The only drawback is that Neutrogena tests its products on animals, which is unnecessary. I wish they would stop. I am in my early 60s, have some sun spots and broken capillaries, and this product covers them all beautifully.

Reviewed by
E. Glaven
Better than Good

I was surprised this wasn't marked as a Best. I think it's possible that Paula doesn't love anything that gives a lot of coverage and instead prefers light tinted moisturizers. I like this one and I tried a few of the Best ones and they never seem to really even out skintone or last very long. With this product, I immediately got compliments on my skin.

Reviewed by
marissa d.
Realistic Colors

I have a lot of difficulty finding drugstore foundations that blend in with my skin. Foundations look too orange or too yellow or too pale on me. I have very fair skin on my neck but my I have a lot of redness on my cheeks, chin, and nose. If I go too light I look pale because of my dark hair. If I go too dark there is a very obvious line from my jaw to the rest of my body. What I like about this foundation is that is that I was able to find a color that looked natural (classic ivory).

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585632-IIS4 v1.0.0.431 10/4/2015 8:00:30 AM