Lately I've been finding myself constantly changing foundation formulations. The weather in the east coast is unpredictable, annoyingly hot one day, rainy and cold the next day. My skin has been playing tricks on me due to this, going from normal, oily, dry to random combination of everything :( I have always been an oil slick type of gal and have a ton of oil-free, sweat/budge proof foundations that don't work well on my dry skin days. I've been mixing a few of my MAC foundations, but I found it to be too much work and went on a hunt for foundation reviews for dry skin. This Neutrogena Healthy Skin had a ton of raves so I added it to my buy-list.
From reading the reviews here and others on google, I went with the natural beige #60. I'm between a NC25-NC30 in MAC and many reviews recommended this shade. When I went out to get my shade, several of my local drugstores had sold out of natural beige #60 and several others (lighter shades from #60 as well). I got lucky when I went to one Target, they had one natural beige left! I was a bit hesitant to buy the bottle at first because 1) was the last bottle 2) it was not sealed - I hate companies who do not seal their bottles, it's an invitation for finger dipping swatch tester customers *cringe* The rave reviews won me over so I got it anyway lol.
First thing I hated about this product was the packaging - no pump! I tend to shake all water-based foundations, when I shook this one with the cap tightly closed it exploded all over my vanity once I opened it. It was the most annoying clean up I've ever had with a foundation and wasted so much time :/ Even though the cap was tightly closed, the way the cap is designed it will ooze out on the corners of the bottle opening. So now I don't shake it up and down, instead I shake it left and right, very odd I know but it works. The foundation is quiet runny, a lot runnier than my MAC face & body. It also dries a lot faster and when I had it on the back of my hand, it had soaked into my skin a lot faster than I can apply it. To avoid messy clean up and quick drying, I use a pre-moistened sponge, pour it on the sponge and use the sponge as my palette. Since it's pre-moistened the sponge does not soak it all up. I simply squeeze the sponge and tap my brush on my sponge palette, this is the best way I've found when dealing with foundations without pumps.
The foundation has sort of a fresh cleanser like smell to it. Since it is runny blending is great. It really does give a very nice natural skin finish, but it looks terrible on my acne. It covers redness very well, but does not cover dark acne scars so a good concealer is still needed. If you're like me and have cystic acne on it's healing stage, I do not recommend putting this on top. It made my cystic so dry (even with Evian spray), flaky and it made the texture appearance worse! I was really hoping this foundation would be able to handle acne well and conceal since it was Neutrogena. The only good point is that it did not break me out more.
While I was willing to deal with my acne appearance using this foundation, the finish and how well it worked on my dry skin days I was almost sold. The more I wore it, the more I noticed how it oxidized!!! Only a few reviewers stated this while others swore it doesn't oxidizes. When I apply it at home it matches me perfectly and this is without setting powder since my skin is dry at the moment. About 30 minutes (while still in the house) waiting around for my husband I notice before we head out the door, my face suddenly looks so much darker!!! At first I thought I got lighter, but all my MAC and other drugstore foundations still matched me when I wore them in different days after this. Since my local stores are pretty much sold out of every shade, there is no way for me to test lighter shades. Before giving up on this foundation I tested it one last time. This time applying only a very thin layer. When I came home from the theater and mall, I looked in the mirror with a tanned out face and neck! It was so dark my husband called me 'Snooki' D: lol!
The foundation is decent overall, but with so many flaws from the packaging to the acne appearance with it on, the oxidation is just a BIG turn off! I saw a girl on youtube NC40+ wearing the same shade I purchased. I know if I went on another hunt for a way lighter shade this would probably work out, but I don't want to go through all that trouble. Plus I have a problem returning used makeup so this is going either in my never use again makeup stash or trash if I don't get tanner this summer.
$11.99 at Target, color selection in my area is slim (tons of sold out shades). If you are the same MAC shade as me, do buy lighter shades besides natural beige 60 especially if you can get a BOGO in your local drugstore. I've worn this with so many different primers from MAC, Smashbox etc and this stuff still oxidized :'( Staying power is decent, but not transfer/rub proof. Doesn't sit on my fine lines which is always a plus.
UPDATE 5/20/10: I found a local store that carries all shades, but sadly all lighter shades except the lightest one all have pink undertones :( I have yellow undertones so this foundation is a big no go for me since I can't even get a lighter shade and my shade natural beige 60 oxidizes. Changed my rating from 2 lippies to 1.