Sheiseido is clearly an excellent and quality brand. So I had high expectations upon purchasing this foundation. I had a sample of it from Macy's and was using it at home and absolutely loved it.
I have oily skin, and I was looking for a foundation that would reduce the shine. I had been using La Mer tinted foundation in Light 02, but unfortunately, it was discontinued. This product works just as well as La Mer for me.
I use 40 in ochre, because I am Chinese and have a yellow hue.
I use the La Mer foundation brush to apply the Shiseido. It has medium to full coverage, and I use it over Stila One Step Correct underneath.
I highly recommend using a primer with any foundation. Use ones like Stila because it doesn't feel like you're caking makeup on. I don't feel the urgency to wash off my face at the end of the day.
I have combination oily skin and this works like a dream. Matte finish but it gets better as my face starts to produce natural oils. It just has a dewy finish. Blends nicely. I believe its 15 hour claim as I have used it many times from 630am-9pm and it just has this great finish and glow till the end (I do use a Neutrogena sunblock moisturizing cream as a base as well)
Shiseido Perfect Refining Foundation gives me a 'perfect' coverage. But I found the foundation a bit dry for my combination skin, so I tend to use it with a thicker layer of day cream or just maximum once a week. It's a good foundation but it does dry out very quickly when you try to blend it with your skin. The packaging is a black plastic 30ml bottle. Its convenient and very sophisticated. Overall I love Shiseido products, but I do not recommend this for people with dry skin.
Out of all my foundations, this is my favorite.
EXPENSIVE! I live in Switzerland so all the prices on everything are jacked up to a nauseating amount. I know in the US it is cheaper, but still, overall, compared to most foundations, you will have to shell out some money.
The packaging is very minimalistic. There are no sparkles,streamers, glass flask, gold writing, or fancy cap. It is tiny, plastic, black and compact. Standard 30 ml. Boring....but on the bright side, very lightweight, travel friendly and easy to store.
The product is runny. But just a little does it, surprisingly it goes on a bit thicker than it looks. Can be layered. Dries quickly and it feels like nothing! Yet, Covers everything. My acne scars, little spots here and there, redness, and darkness under my eyes.
A semi-matte finish with more on the matte side. If you want a full matte, then use a powder on top. Last all day. I became shiny in some areas. Touched up with dabs of powder. Its very smooth looking.
It has SPF 15. How convenient :)
I wear shade O80. I am tan with yellow undertones and this foundation/shade is the by far, the best color match I have ever came across for my skin. IN EVERY TYPE OF LIGHT! You cant see nothing!!! One to one match. I never before had that! This is actually my main reason why I like this foundation because of how well it matched to me. On top of the amazing job it does. Shiseido just does a wonderful job at making the colors for yellow undertoned people.
No breakouts or reactions.
This is my holy grail foundation. Worth every cent.
UPDATE 19 November 2013: I am so dry now from my medication and its currently autumn and winter is around the corner. This foundation is NOT good for dry skin. Before it was perfect but now, i cannot use it unless I pack on moisturizer or mix it moisturizer.
I've been searching for a good high end foundation because I was sick of not being able to get a foundation that matches my shade from drugstore brands. Most of the time, they end up looking too pink on me, and those with yellow tones are too dark for my mid tone asian skin. So I'm really glad that I've found this foundation. I've been using this foundation for around 2 weeks and I'm really impressed by it. I was actually looking to buy the Shiseido sun protection liquid foundation after reading all the reviews on MUA but when I went to my department store, the SA said they don't have it. The only reason I bought the Shiseido Perfect Refining liquid Foundation was because Shiseido organised an event at the mall's atrium and the makeup artist recommended it for oily skin and gave me a really good colour match(I'm using O40).
When I used it for the first time, I was amazed by how well it actually matched my skin. It looked like I have no makeup on. Furthermore, the light to medium coverage is enough to cover up most of my blemishes and I still look natural even if I put on 2-3 thin layers. Even though the foundation is liquid, I find that I don't have to use a lot of it to cover my whole face. I like using my fingers to apply it best as I find that it spreads better that way. I also like the plastic bottle packaging, since it makes it easy to carry around. The foundation is also pretty long lasting. It stays on my face for around 4 hours and start to slowly fade away after that (I have oily skin and don't use primer+my country's humid). The only problem with the foundation is that if you've got any dry patches on skin( like pimple scabs etc), they become more prominent after an hour or two, so I'd either exfoliate or wait till the scars get healed first before using it. I'd buy this product again when I do use it up, despite it being so expensive. At least until I find a better foundation that's cheaper
Shade match: 020.
Coverage: medium-can be built up to almost full.
Texture: fluid, thin, but when applied with fingers it feels v smooth and almost as some serums do.
Application: i always use fingers, and don't bother with a brush. Work in sections; apply n blend on one area, then when that has completely blended, do the next side. Have to work quickly compared to most foundations; it sets fast.
I do notice a pore-diminishing effect. Have used a few dabs of vichy dermablend corrective foundation under the eyes, with this, they work well (silicones).
The vichy gives a soft focus luminous effect that works with the soft glow this gives.
Finish: some kind of blush or bronzer is necessary as it does a very good job of covering up the skin (for this reason on most days i use it only in a few areas not all over).
Satin to slightly dewy. Without a light veil of powder: lasts about 5-6 hours. With: it can go for a good 10+ hours.
Skin reactions: I have very sensitive, dry-to-combo skin. I get no adverse reaction, itching, pimples... This is the best part for me and seals the deal... That is, would repurchase without a doubt.
-update- i went to a wedding and literally all the girls who were sitting with me asked whether i had foundation on and when i said yes, they were all surprised because my skin looked 'flawless n natural'
"A light liquid foundation that blends seamlessly to instantly erase conspicuous pores, acne scars, and skin roughness for perfectly even, long-lasting coverage. Minimizes shine while optimizing the moisture balance of the skin. Offers an exquisitely smooth, refined finish for 15 beautiful hours"
MY SKIN and SHADE:
My skin is pale (NC05-NC10) and at the moment my skin is pretty good - pretty smooth and normal sized pores. Just a little redness and occasional whiteheads. I kinda match MUFE Mat Velvet in 15 and MAC Studio Fix fluid in NW10.
I got this in I00 which is at least two shades too dark for me. I lighten it with a white foundation (Face Atelier), though this is still too pink for me, since I'm warm toned.
This comes in 18 shades.
00 is the lightest, then there is 20, 40, 60, 80 and 100 is the darkest.
"O" = Ochre = Yellow/Warm
"I" = Ivory = Neutral
"B" = Beige = Pink/Cool
So I00 is the palest neutral, O20 is the next lightest yellow and B100 is the darkest pink.
I obviously haven't tried all shades, but I have been collecting some information from the allmighty Internet to put together a comparison chart with MAC shades:
I00 = NW15
O00 = NC15
B00 = NW15
I20 = NW15 or NW20
O20 = NC15 or NC20
B20 = NW15 or NW20
I40 = NW25 or NW30
O40 = NC25 or NC30
B40 = NW25 or NW30
I60 = NW35 or NW40
O60 = NC35 or NC40
B60 = NW35 or NW40
You get the idea.
Very runny, I was surprised that this offered such good coverage with this runny texture. Dries quickly, doesn't oxidize.
Medium to full.
I want my skin to look better with foundation, not that the foundation looks better with my skin, if you know what I mean. I have normal sized pores but this made them bigger and more obvious.
Also, I tried putting this on with a stippling brush (MAC 187) and a buffing brush (Real Techniques Expert Face brush) and I liked the stippling brush best with this foundation. Though, this looked rather cakey on my forehead, around the nose and on the cheeks - and I didn't even use a lot.
Also, this accentuates dry skin and flakes and looks cakey. It looks better after powdering, but still.
With most foundations, I have to blot after 4 or 5 hours. With this, I had to blot after 1,5 hours(!) and again after 2 hours. Also, this looks more and more cakey during the day.
In Sweden we have unholy prices and this cost me about 75 dollars.
DOES IT LIVE UP TO THE CLAIMS?
Uh.. This doesn't "erase pores", it emphasizes them, which rarely is a problem for me. It makes me more shiny than any other foundation, so it doesn't "minimize shine". Also, it's not "optimizing the moisture balance", it doesn't make any difference, though it emphasizes flakes. And 15 hours? Dream on.
An absolutely mediocre product. Will stick to MAC Pro Longwear concealer and Tikei mineral foundation.
This is one of the only foundations I've found to match my very pale skin, in I00. It gives me a nice coverage with only a very small amount of the product. If I don't use moisturiser first then it can get a bit flaky in some patches but I usually moisturise anyway so that's not really an issue. I usually don't wear foundation or only wear a tinted moisturiser, but this is good when I want a bit extra. Seems to last a long time, too.
Definitely not worth the money! Even when applied with the primer, it looked very streaky and cakey. Also, my skin immediately started getting really itchy, so I had to remove it right away. It is a good thing I tested it before purchasing!
I want to love it but I just can't find any reason to repurchase. It's too runny to work with. Soaks easy into any brush or sponge so I feel it's wasting product. Leaves a velvety finish but within 2 hours it has almost disappeared around the nose and chin! I don't think it perfects the skin at all. Gives a real "I've got foundation on" skin look. Actually has put me off the brand all together unfortunately! Boo! Waste of money!