I have sensitive skin that is easily irritated by chemical sunscreens and fragrance. I turned to Paula B for a sunscreen that would work for me, and, wouldn't you know it, this was the absolute only one that's on her shortlist of SS's suitable for sensitive skin (non-chemical SS, fragrance-free) AND available in Canada! At first, I was disappointed that it was tinted because I was just looking for a gentle SS, not makeup. But I've grown to like the sheer coverage that it provides, and actually think of this more as a tinted moisturizer. It has its drawbacks...you have to dab it on in small sections and blend quickly, or you'll look streaky. And you really need to let it dry/set for a good half hour after application or it will come off in weird little pills... But, given that I have no other alternative for a gentle SS, this is working out well for me. Yes, the tube is on the small side, but I've been using it 5-6 days a week for over 5 weeks, and I'm still on my first tube. I will repurchase.
UPDATE July 30/09: I'm still using this and still really liking it. I've been using a serum underneath (Olay Regenerist FF) and that keeps everything hydrated and looking smooth and dewey all day. I've also been experimenting with using powder on top, and it really grabs the powder and hangs on to it all day. BTW, I've now been using the same tube for over 3 months, so the cost per use is really going down. Like I said, still loving it! Will definitely repurchase when it (eventually) runs out.
4 instead of 5 because it's not as matte as I would like it. However, I have a super oily t-zone. On the rest of my face, it looks great. I can apply it under my eyes, which is fantastic. It doesn't sting at all by the end of the day. I have tried a number of other tinted moisturizers, include drugstore ones, and this is my favorite so far.
My skin is dry, reactive/sensitive, and easily burns. Most foundations make me itch; most (chemical) sunscreens give me eczema. I've been alternating this with city block 40 for almost 2 years and have had no bad skin reactions. It has a slight yellowish tint, which on my nw20 skin works perfectly to tone down my natural ruddiness without making me look sick. I apply with fingers, and dust my t-zone with powder. (One negative that another reviewer mentioned is that the color transfers very easily; make sure you apply this after you've dressed.) One tube lasts about a month.
I haven't found another facial sunscreen that works nearly as well as this does. I will happily continue to buy and use this product.
I really like this stuff. Its a good, light, non-oily, everyday sunscreen. I don't wear foundation or anything like that, so I'm not sure how good it holds up as a makeup primer. Its great that it is free of chemical sunscreens and Clinique doesn't test on animals.. which is a must have for me. I stopped using it for a while just to try other things but I used it again today and remembered how much I like it! I'm almost out and I think I will buy again.
I love it. I've been using this product for more than 15 months. I love the fact its oil-free since I have a combination skin. It's also a great primer IMO. I couldnt think of something else.
I started using Neutrogena retinol, and needed a daily sunscreen. I really like Shiseido, but found myself too lazy to use it everyday as it took a while to dry and apply, as it was so liquid. So after reading the reviews here I settled on this. The price is actually comparable to Shiseido ounce for ounce, but it seems like you're spending less. I was a little leery of the tint not being blonde/blue eyed/fair skinned, as a lot of their colors seem to be geared toward. The sales lady told me that it was created to fit all skin tones and to not look ashy on darker skin; I thought of the review below and laughed a little inside.
However, I was pleasantly surprised that this melted into my NC25 skin. It really didn't show at all, though I don't think it "masked" a whole lot if at all.
Sunscreen wise, I did not freckle though this although I do live in the mideast. The sun is not known for being particularly harsh up here.
Mostly I really like the texture: thick, soaks right in, and doesn't feel gummy. Makeup goes well over this, though I haven't worn a foundation over it yet and do wear a powder.
I've been using this for a while, but always under make-up as like others have said, it doesn't give the best colour match. (I'm NC42)
I tend to mix a squirt of mine with Aveda Botanics Kinetics Hydrating Lotion as that doesn't have any SPF. That combination feels quite nice under my make-up. It's quite a good price over here in U.K, about £12 for a tube and lasts ages. May try SPF 40 version next though.
I have to say, I absolutely adore this product.
I have combination skin- oily t-zone bond dry cheeks. At the end of the day though, this can get a little slick around the t-zone. However, the steps it eliminates in my morning routine, the fact that I can use it as a sheer foundation, antioxidant rich moisturiser and sunscreen in one makes it a definite repurchase for me.
I break out frequently with the the russian roulette that is buying any product from the cosmetic industry- make up or skincare. Only the lips are safe. And eyeliner and mascara. So when I try products, I pray that it's the one HG and no more unexpected breakouts for me (or wasted cash) anymore. This is my HG.
It evens out my complexion- heck, it improved my complexion. I had less acne and skin surface looked alot smoother. Couldn't get rid of old acne scars though. That takes time.
Considering how lazy I am with makeup, I just cleanse and use this and that's it. I look natural and just better.
Beware though- some people may not like the texture of it (it has a creamy consistency) and the colour may be too light for darker skin tones as it is a one tone fits all kinda thing. And you can't really see how much you have left in the tube as it is opaque.
I *want* to love this product, really I do! I just can't seem to make it work for me. It's terribly frustrating.
First, the positives:
It doesn't irritate my skin. Big plus, obviously. And the color is fabulous. It acts like a great tinted moisturizer and evens out my skin wonderfully without looking "made-up" or over done. I don't normally wear foundation during the day because I haven't found one that is comfortable and looks good in the daylight. This is what I'd like a daytime foundation to be... just the right color, just the right coverage, and not obvious. But that's if I'm not too heavy-handed with it. And you have to be careful to blend, blend, blend to avoid streaks. But if you blend too much, it starts to flake or ball up a bit.
Which brings us to the negatives:
First and foremost - It comes off on EVERYTHING! Every-freakin-where! My shirt, my phone, my glasses, anyone I hug's shirt... God forbid I put it on my neck. Then I can't even get a shirt on at all. I've literally had to put a cloth over my head to get my shirt on without it touching my face.
I've tried "setting" it with powder but that hasn't helped at all, and if anything just makes matters worse. Particularly because this stuff accentuates the tiniest flakes you didn't even know you had so that plus powder is a disaster. That and it feels kinda heavy. I'm definitely aware of it when I have it on. It makes me want to wipe my face. Adding layer on top only adds to the "there's something on my face" feeling that I hate. I feel kinda greasy, like my face is shiny, but it doesn't actually look shiny. The finish looks pretty nice, really. Except where it "settles" or flakes/cakes. Particularly between my eyebrows and just above (where it does tend to look a litle shiny but nothing too bad if it weren't also cakey), and around my mouth sometimes. Can settle into the pores on my nose and cheeks but doesn't always do that.
The other place it looks "off" is around the hairline and eyebrows. Do not get this stuff in your eyebrows. It flakes somethin' fierce and looks really weird and grey. Same goes for the hairline, which sucks for me because I have a lot of baby hairs above my temples, but I still need sun protection there too. And if you get it on hair, there's no wiping this stuff off. It's there to stay.
The best way I've found to apply it and make it as wearable as possible is to blot with a sponge. but I have no idea if that makes for an ample application for full protection. I guess it's better than nothing.
Right now, it's the only SS I have that doesn't irritate my face if it's acting up at all, and I do really like the color so I'm going to keep it and keep experimenting until I can get something better. If I could figure out how to keep it from smudging off on every-darn-thing, I would repurchase just to use as a light foundation because it does even me out wonderfully.
The jury is still out on whether or not it clogs my pores. I haven't used it enough days in a row at a time to tell for sure. It doesn't seem to break me out, but it has made a couple existing blemishes unhappy (or unhappier). And lord does it flake/cake on healing ones. Not as bad as a lot of foundations I've used but still... I don't want to look like I'm wearing makeup.
The first couple times I used it, it did seem to get stuck in the pores on my nose (what doesn't? :P) but I was not using an oil-cleanser at that time, I don't think. Removing it with MAC Cleanse-off Oil and Neutrogena Fresh Foaming may have done the trick but I'm not sure. My pores were already a bit clogged so it was hard to tell. My pores are pretty clear right now and I'm wearing it today so this will be a better test. I plan to pre-cleanse with grapeseed oil then wash with Garden Botanika Skin Renewing Foaming Cleanser, a combo that has been working very well for me lately, so I will see how that goes and report back. I'm also going to try to wear it for the next few days straight to see how that goes, since I have a few days off from school so I guess it's a good time to experiment. Will report back on that as well.
I want this stuff to work because it does look good for the most part, is easy for me to get (no ordering online and can use a Belk card), and the price is right. I'd at least like to be able to make it work well enough to be a solid back-up for once I find something I like better (which will, with my luck, be one of the expensive online-only European or Asian formulas... lol).
By far, my biggest complaint is the rubbing off everywhere. And it never stops, even after I've had it on for a while. The last thing in the world I want is to look like I have makeup smudges on my clothes, etc. How embarassing.
Haven't tried it on a humid day yet (but those will be here soon) so I don't know if it runs, really, but I strongly suspect it would.
As a side note... it is late afternoon,I just checked the mirror and honestly, it looks great. As long as I don't look too closely, in which case I notice the flakies between and aound my eyebrows.
By all means, please PM me if you have any suggestions to make this more wearable. It has such potential... :(
Ok, so far so good. I've been having to apply it with a sponge but I do think I'm still ending up with at least 1/4 t. on my face so I think it's ok.
I don't use this all the time, but so far the times I have used it it's been pretty good. I bought this because I wanted to get a moisturizer with SPF in it, and I noticed that my skin is sensitive to sunscreen so I needed to get something with sunblock instead. Amazingly this isn't greasy on my face and applies on easily. It is a little bit tinted but it matches my skin tone and doesn't leave streaks either. I like how it's not heavy and it doesn't clog my pores (so far). It also helps provide a bit of coverage so I don't have to dust as much mineral foundation anymore. I think it's a great product for combination skin and probably sensitive skin too, but it is a bit pricey. I probably would buy it again.