For reference, my skin type is sensitive, combination and acne-prone with fading pink acne scarring.I am usually the lightest/2nd lightest in most foundation brands and in MAC terms, slightly lighter than a NC15 (which is a tad too dark).
First off, the positives. Generally, I LOVE this foundation! It comes in a little blue bottle which you HAVE to shake befor using, to mix up the foundation and the sunscreen and it comes out of a plastic nozzle which is brilliant as it minimises on mess, especially as the consistency of the foundation is very liquidy.
I applied using the Real Techiques Expert Face Brush, which I stippled onto my skin rather than buffing, as the buffing can leave it a little streaky. To ensure a perfect, smooth application, I used the sponge which came which the foundation to pat over my face. I did try using just the sponge to apply, but it soaked up so much foundation and gave a super sheer cover, whereas I favour slightly heavier coverage for my acne scars. The finish isn't shimmery, but neither is it matte - it's a kind of luminous almost dewy finish, very fresh! It looks so natural, but can be layered to reach the desired coverage. I do have to use concealor for my darkest acne scars, but the overall finish is perfect, natural, fresh skin.
The lasting power is unbelievable - I set with Clinique's loose powder and this didn't budge from my 8-hour shift on a shop floor. It didn't settle into pores, didn't create little pools of oil on top of my skin and didn't slide off my face. I removed this with first with Bioderma and cotton pads, and then Clinique's Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm which is absolutely necessary. You NEED to use an oil-based cleanser to remove this, otherwise it is very likely you will break out.
Now, onto the negatives. The colour selection is truly awful - in the UK, it starts at SP40 and I have no idea why Shisedo think that super fair people don't reside in the British Isles. Anyway, so I was matched to SP50 which is very similar to SP40 in terms of "lightness", but SP50 is more neutral/pink whereasSP40 is very yellow. When I first apply it, it's a little bit too dark but acceptable. However, it does oxidise a little and eventually turns just that smidgen too dark. It wouldn't give me second glances in the street, but I know that it's too dark. To remedy this, I've ordered the shade SP20 to mix with SP50...I love this foundation that much!
Also, having such a high SPF, this isn't for photographs as it will leave a white cast in photographs. The only other gripe I have is that it can cling a little to dry patches (ie. a healing blemish), so make sure your skin is well prepped and moisturised.
I thinking I may have found my HG, and I don't say that lightly. I've spent years and hundreds of £££'s trying to find that perfect foundation (Clinique, Dior, Chanel, Revlon, Rimmel, Bourjois, Shu Umera, Pixi, No.7, Lancome, Estee Lauder, Lily Lolo, Laura Mercier etc.) and I think that may be it!