I have dry skin and I can have flakes in some spots due to Retin A. I felt the coverage was better with this then the liquid smart shade and I liked how light it felt. The problem is because its so light it settles into any flakes/dry patches on my skin where the liquid doesn't as much. I feel this would be good for those who don't have dry skin. I even tried to use this when my skin wasn't as dry but sure enough once I applied it, the dry flakes came out.
Felt sticky on my skin. Shades did not blend well to my skin tone. Too pale or too orange. Oil breakthrough.
This is an interesting foundation, and I think someone with the proper skin type may enjoy it. For my dry skin, I didn't really like it.
I found that, for me, I HAVE to blend / put this on with my fingers. If I don't, the foundation will not fully change colors and will keep a gray/white cast that makes me look very dead. This happened with my brush and my sponges. With my fingers, it actually pretty much matched my skin exactly, which was nice. But. I don't really like the finish I get when I use my fingers.
It looks really awful for about 5 minutes, and once it settles in, it's a little better... It feels sort of heavy, but it's not that bad. I'm just not overly impressed with it, and feel there are much better DS foundations out there. I feel my face looked a little better before putting it on, and it cakes up a little on my dry skin. This was over $12 after tax at Walmart, and you don't get much at all! Not worth it / going to try to return it.
I bought this last minute. I had run out of my Water Fuse BB cream and needed something for a night out. I used to use Almay Smart Shade concealer and had seen a commercial for this new product. I thought for a last minute fix, it wouldn't be too bad. Ugh. I was wrong. The mousse is so heavy and the color doesn't change much. It has minimal, if any coverage. I could feel it just sitting on top of my skin all night long. It was suffocating. Eight hours of wearing it made my skin a wreck. It's been five days and I'm still dealing with unsightly clogged pores. Needless to say I ordered by BB cream with overnight delivery.
I have to admit I was wary to try this, so I purchased mine at Ulta: it cost a couple dollars more than it would have if I bought it at the drugstore or WalMart, but Ulta will accept returns of opened makeuo, so it was worth the extra $2 in price to avoid being out $14 if it failed.
I wouldn't go as far as to say this creates an absolutely perfect poreless and airbrushed look, but for a drugstore self-adjusting foundation, it's pretty damn good. The texture is nice and it applies smoothly. Unlike some foundations, it didn't build up in the creases under my eyes but instead evened them out. It also blends well so it's easy to fix uneven patches. I found that a little bit goes a long way so apply sparingly and build up coverage as needed. Even after setting with powder, it didn't last as long as I'd like...but it held up for at least 6 hours which is pretty good. I'll admit I skipped primer or BB cream this morning: perhaps using one of those underneath will extend its staying power.
Updated 2.16.13: I've tried it with both primer and BB cream, and both improve the wear of the product. The BB underneath the foundation does result in a smoother but heavier look, which could work at night or in low-light conditions. For daytime/outdoors, primer underneath is the better and more natural-looking choice.
I used the Light shade (I wear Urban Decay Naked 3.0 and one of these days I will get colormatched at MAC) and it was a very good match. I do wonder if the Medium would be dark enough for deeper skin tones.
I'm not wild about the jar. I use a Q-tip to minimize cross-contamination, though I have a feeling that one day I will get careless and start dipping the fingers directly in. But since I toss all makeup after one year anyway, I might be all right--I"ll just have to keep an eye out for signs that it's going bad early.
OK quite impressed with this product! I've used one shade fits all foundations before and they never seemed to work for me...the other almay smart shade foundations dont either. I was hesitant to try this as i felt might have the same experience that i did with the other almay smart shade products...i have pretty oily skin and some dryness at times on cheeks...i use this with a primer (i use BM primetime) and this stuff just glides on effortlessly. i use my fingertips to blend...it matches my skin alot better than the other almay smartshade products do. and i found it really kept the oilies at bay for longer than anything else ive used in the past. i do choose to also use a trans. powder on top of it so this might help. i am quite impressed with this overall and would buy again.
First, let me start by saying that while my review of this product may seem fairly extensive, I've provided what I feel to be necessary information for getting a full review of the product. :)
I have what I consider to be fairly oily skin. It's oily to the point that I often go without makeup at all because of the fear of looking like a greasy mess by 9 AM. This is the first Almay product I've purchased, and I have to say I'm impressed. In the past I've used a range of foundations from CoverGirl liquid to powders, LORAC natural performance foundation and Bella Terra Mineral makeup, all with and without primers and using oil blotting sheets and found that they all left me super oily by midday. I bought the light version of the Almay mousse makeup and I was really impressed with the way in which it blended on my skin. I was indecisive about going with the light or the light medium shade, but the light ended up blending fairly well with my skin as it blended a bit darker than expected. (Be warned: the coloring you see on the jar is NOT the color you will necessarily get, as this is the "smart shade" technology) Opening the jar is rather daunting as it begins as an ugly gray color, but it really does blend well with my skin. I wouldn't recommend the product to anyone looking for extreme coverage (it's opaque enough to hide pores, small imperfections, etc. but I wouldn't trust it over major acne scarring or blemishes). I use a single coat of the product and use the little plastic covering as an applicator. It sounds strange, but I use the little bit of product left on the interior plastic lid to place little dots on my face, and then blend using my finger tips. I've yet to have an issue with the color matching due to using my fingers to blend. However, my favorite thing about this product is that it doesn't leave my face oily. I wore the makeup for the first time out to dinner and the makeup stayed looking fairly fresh for 3+ hours. The second time I put it through the ultimate test of lasting through one of my band concerts in which I was on an extremely hot stage for extended periods of time. Almost 6 hours after applying it (and lasting through some time on stage) the only complaint I have is that my nose has a tiny bit of sheen to it. But it's not really noticeable to anyone but myself. Overall, I highly recommend the product to anyone who is looking for some light, natural looking (and feeling!) foundation; especially those with oily skin. The foundation leaves a matte, but still silky feel to your face and keeps it looking that way. Usually I despise spending more than $8 on drugstore makeup, but this one was well worth its price.
I am always hesitant to post a review when I am the lone dissenter, even if there are not a lot of prior reviews. However, I had such a drastically different experience with this foundation that I really cannot hold back. First, I bought this at Walmart and paid $11.58 for it. However, I actually considered trying to return it, and even found the receipt and looked at Walmart's return policy. I am unsure whether they accept returns of cosmetics, so I am not going to bother. I tried the foundation (light) first by applying with my fingers. It literally sat on top of my skin (though the color did blend), and looked atrocious. It somehow accentuated dry spots and magnified my pores (which are invisible to nearly invisible). It was so bad, I tried to blend it down with a wet makeup wedge, and it didn't help. So I took it off and started over. The next day, I tried again, this time using a tiny bit of product blended carefully with my 187 MAC stippling brush as another reviewer had done. It looked only marginally better, but I left it on. Not only did it not sink in, but my nose looked very oily a few hours later. So I seriously can't imagine what type of skin this foundation would complement, but it definitely wasn't mine.
This is the first smart shade product I have used. I bought the light-medium shade and it was perfect. I wear NW25 in MAC for reference. I am VERY happy with it and actually use it more than my MAC foundation. I have combination skin and after a day or work and being in the elements, my skin still looked fresh and finished. Many foundations leave my skin looking shiny and greasy in the T-zone or I end up using pressed powder throughout the day, but not with this. I love the concept of the smart shade. It's so hard to pick drugstore shades and this was a no-brainer. I'll probably go try the other kinds in the tubes. The only complaint I have is the packaging. I have to use a q-tip to get the product out as to not cross contaminate. I use a stippler brush to blend but can also be blended using fingers.
I know that a lot of contributors to this site poo-poo and deride drugstore brand cosmetics but this particular foundation by Almay is outstanding in my humble opinion. I was at a Rite Aid and passed by the display for this foundation and purchased it on impulse as they were having a buy-one-get-one-50%-off and I had a $3.00 off coupon. I purchased one jar each of the light and light-medium. This goes on extremely smooth, blends easily, is quite buildable and imparts the most beautiful and natural finish. I wore it all day and it doesn't dry out, shift, cake, discolor or settle in fine lines. I applied it over freshly cleansed skin and a light application of dry oil (Nuxe). The jar doesn't bother me as I use a small spatula so as to avoid contaminating the product. I am really impressed by this formulation and feel that it outperforms much higher priced luxury foundations that I have tried. This one is definitely a contender for top honors in the war paint department.