I used this foundation for several years, and loved it. It didn't make my skin break out which was good, and it covered all of my acne scars really well. But as of 2010 they changed the formula, and now it has been making my skin go crazy. So I couldn't recommend it now, unless you are NOT prone to acne.
After trying several liquid and mineral foundations for my acne prone skin, I think we have a winner.
I know some people hate the sponge, but I think it works well with either a brush or sponge. I usually apply a light layer with the sponge first, concentrating on the areas where my post-acne red spots are. Then I use a brush and do a light dusting with it, followed by another light dusting of BE's mineral veil. Apparently you can also apply this with a damp sponge, but I've only done that to cover a single pimple (never on my whole face).
It doesn't oxidize and turn orangey on me or enlarge my pores. I do get a little shiney midday, but that happens with everything I use. Even with the midday shine, this foundation stays put and my skin tone looks misleadingly even. And best of all, after several weeks of use, It doesn't seem to break me out at all.
I will agree that the color selection isn't the best. The lightest color is super pale, and the next color up (Aster?) is almost too dark, but still works with my skin. I can see where some people would have trouble finding a match though, so I definitely recommend trying before you buy.
I really wanted to like this product...but unfortunately, it has joined the growing list of foundations that just don't work for me. I can't even really speak to the coverage/staying power properties of this foundation...I started putting it on my face and realized what a terrible color match it really was for me. Their lightest color looks darn near white on the website, but was a very dark and unflattering orange-y color when I tried it on my face...yuck. For all of you pale girls out there (I'm talking like super pale here), be advised that this may not be a good color match.
Luckily, Aveda accepted the product for a return/refund!
Holy. Grail. Foundation. I have used this and nothing but this for the last four years. A friend introduced me to it, and I was initially skeptical because I had never used a powder foundation before. It quickly won me over with it's wonderful, natural coverage. I always get compliments on my skin when I'm wearing this because it allows your complexion to shine through while evening out the inconsistencies. Plus, it feels like you're wearing next to nothing when it's on.
That said, you absolutely MUST use a brush to apply this. Do not use the little sponge that comes in the packaging, otherwise it will look cakey and kabuki-esque. If you don't have the compact, it's really annoying to cart this around because all it comes in is a little plastic container. That's probably my only gripe about it.
I see a lot of reviews have touched on the lack of shade variety, and that is true. I use the second lightest shade, Aster, and I'm pretty fair skinned. Most of the shades are geared towards fair skin, so if you have a darker complexion, you probably won't be able to find a match. If anyone at Aveda reads these reviews, I would implore them to create this foundation in more shades. It's such a great product, and it's a shame that everyone can't enjoy it because of the limited shade selection.
I usually do not wear powder foundation, but since the warmer months were approaching I decided to give Inner Light Dual Foudation in Ginger a try. I absolutely love it because it is not heavy, looks natural, and doesn't break me out. I just wish that the compact wasn't sold separately.
This covers acne beautifully and smells really good too. I would love it if it came in a wider variety of shades. I have fair skin and it just doesn't quite match my skintone very well. The lightest shade is too pale and chalky and the second lightest matches better, but is too pink toned. If it did match my skintone better, I would definately keep using it. My other complaint is the awful packaging. It is just an insert so you have to buy the compact separatly.
This is the only powder foundation that I have found that actually matches the colour of my skin, I have very fair skin so I always use the lightest in whatever makeup I buy, but most of the time it's still too dark. I wear this over top the aveda all sensitive moisterizer, it looks fantastic for about 4 hours then I have to reapply..I don't enjoy reapplying, but I haven't been able to find a makeup that I like more that is the perfect match to my skin, so I will keep buying this as well as other products to see if I can find something better.
I have used this product for about two years now, after switching from Bare Minerals. I couldn't be happier. Applying dry gives moderate to full coverage, without sinking into creases. For an average day, I recommend applying sparingly and adding as needed. Applying wet gives very full coverage, enough for use in my dance performances. If you apply wet, I recommend allowing the pan to dry before you close it up again, otherwise it will harden and it will be difficult to use dry again.
This is also very long-lasting. I can put it on early in the morning, come home after work and then go out at night for dinner or with friends and it rarely needs any re-touching.
Price is the only downside, but I'm willing to let it slide for the quality of the product.
UPDATE (2012-02-17): BOYCOTTING RE. CURRENT ANIMAL TESTING FOR CHINESE MARKET
UPDATE: SKIN IRRITATED. What follows still stands, except I turn out to react to tourmaline (alas, in several Aveda products). Badly. Skin now recovering. This stuff is definitely still a lovely shade and texture, and worth passing on, and trying out. But the rating has to go down from 5 to 3.
The search for good foundation is officially now over.
010/Cream is one of the few shades that are actually suitable for pale skin. Properly neutrally pale - most very pale tones are too yellow, and some too pink. Doesn't oxidise and go orange, on me anyway. Just looks skin-coloured. The only other one I've found that does this - and in a similar texture, and with no irritation - is Clarins Compact Express in 01, except the shades start with 03 where I live (err, yes, that's in Ireland, where there are many pasty people - what were the marketing people thinking???)
Whatever you do, don't apply it dry like a pressed powder.* Apply wet. Whether with the accompanying sponge, or any other similar microcellular sponge (the Clinique/Origins kind), or a softer brush (like the Body Shop or Muji ones). Can be used for dabbing on individual discrepancies (aka spots) as a concealer. The result is a fine, light finish, smooth, barely perceptible, and excellent over sunscreen and/or primer.
Best of all, no irritations on this otherwise sensitive skin. No oilies, no drying out, no breakouts. Also, talc-free, if that's a concern (my skin certainly seems happier without it).
Fragranced ingredients are listed, and fragrance is mentioned on Aveda's website, but barely discernible. You really have to shove your nose right into the pan and snuffle deeply to get anything. No detectable fragrance once on face (checked by SO kiss). And nothing like the heavy, heady Chanel, Bourjois, some Lancome, etc.
Like other Aveda products, no animal testing, people-tested, and all very green and nice.
Packaged in a metal pan, with a microcellular sponge, inside a small plastic closeable sleeve. Could be put into any of the Aveda magnetised compacts, or any other similar ones available (seen them in Mac too); but I find the plastic sleeve to be fine - I'm not using this very much or often.
Expensive: EUR 32.50 / GBP 20.50 / USD much less... But worth it, to find, at long last, a fairly readily available foundation that does everything I require of it. Aaaaah.
INGREDIENTS: mica, dimethicone, silica, zinc stearate, squalane, rice starch, magnesium myristate, murumuru butter, Japanese knotweed root extract, tourmaline, malachite, soybean oil, tocopherol, ascorbyl palmitate, methicone, sodium dehydroacetate, fragrance, linalool, limonene, geraniol, citronellol, methylparaben, propylparaben, [ ± titanium dioxide (ci 77891), ultramarines (ci 77007), iron oxides (ci 77491, 77492, 77499) ]
* That having been said: it can also be used dry *for very light touch-ups* - and indeed the ingredients are nearly the same as Aveda's pressed powder (one single difference: silica and zinc stearate swap places). But this should be done with a very very very light hand indeed. The pressed powder weirdly works better at this. I don't understand it myself. Also, it's a bit hard to use this wet then dry, as it takes most of a day (minimum!) to dry out in the pan. So the double technique isn't going to be much use if you need to touch things up every couple of hours (mind you, I'm not sure the Dual would be appropriate for oilier skin). continued >>
This was recommended by my stylist of five years who I trust and has a good make-up sense. That being said, I have found that it needs to be applied c-a-r-e-f-u-l-l-y meaning with a light touch or you will have a mask on your face as I guess some other MUAers have experienced.
I apply it over sunscreen. I use a mineral sunscreen which needs something so I don't look greasy. I do find this lasts all day unless I touch my face with tissues, napkins, or whatever.
I have naturally rosy cheeks and usually don't bother with blush but I need it with this product because it has some real coverage to it.
Like most Aveda products, it doesn't rock my world but it isn't too bad. I think the service in the stores is excellent (at least in mine) and they'll take back products. I really dislike department store make-up counters and the rows of packaged products in the drug stores, feel too old for Sephora and Ulta, and have gotten burned way too many times when buying over the internet. So the whole Aveda process works for me.
I do think the whole shopping experience influences my product scores.
This product seems to work for me for now. If you dislike the confusion of it all, seek out an experienced Aveda salesperson or manager. They'll identify a couple of decent products and you won't feel like you've been had.