Paula's Choice Best Face Forward Foundation SPF 25

Paula's Choice Best Face Forward Foundation SPF 25


114 reviews

50% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.3

Price: $$

Package Quality: 3.3

Price: $$

Not tested on animals


Active Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide 8.24%; Octinoxate (Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate) 4.55% Inactive Ingredients: Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone (silicone slip agents), C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate (thickener/fatty acid), Nylon-12 (absorbent), Glycerin (water-binding agent), Polyethylene (thickener/opacifying agent), Dimethicone/PEG-10/15 Crosspolymer (silicone polymer), PEG/PPG-20/15 Dimethicone (emulsifier), PEG-8 (thickener), Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate (powdery thickening agent), Propylene Carbonate (solvent), Disteardimonium Hectorite, Polyhydroxystearic Acid (suspending agents), Aluminum Stearate (thickener), Alumina (absorbent), Butylene Glycol (slip agent), Polymethylsilsesquioxane (opacifying agent), Polymethyl Methacrylate (film-forming agent), Sodium Chloride (binding agent), Triethoxycaprylylsilane (silicone-based emulsifier), Benzoic Acid, Chlorphenesin, Sorbic Acid, Phenoxyethanol (all preservatives), Iron Oxides (mineral pigment).

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on 12/5/2016 9:00:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Neutral

Hair: Brown, Curly, Fine

Eyes: Grey

my HG for light coverage

I find it impossible to get good colour matches for foundation, and this in sand works very well. I was using paula's tinted moisturizer for a while, but this works better with my dry areas, and the price is better for the amount you get.

Age: 56 & Over

Skin: Very Oily, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Silver, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

Wore this product years ago, but I ordered it with the new packaging thinking that it would be good for the SPF 25 on days when I was outside a lot. What a disappointment and waste of money. This product went on like water and covered nothing but remained greasy which isn't good for oily skin for which it is intended. Their return policy is that the buyer has to pay to return. I wore this thinking that at least it would work as a sunscreen, but I resulted in getting horribly sunburned which is something that never happens with my normal sunscreen. Totally worthless!!

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

Age: 30-35

Skin: Very Oily, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Brown, Curly, Medium

Eyes: Green

Very very very sheer coverage. Didn't do anything for oil control. Settled in the lines around my mouth. Pretty disappointing product.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Age: 30-35

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Cool

Hair: Red, Straight, Other

Eyes: Brown

so I'm always trying new foundations. I'd looked at this one for a while and finally decided to go for it. I like except for one thing which I'll get to later.
First coverage. It's very very sheer, like I didn't think I had any sheer. But when I add concealor and let it set, I see it has some coverage. Lately I've been going for sheer to medium coverage and I've been getting used to seeing more of my own skin so I actually really like the coverage unless I'm having a bad day. Basically think tinted moisturizer. It evens you out a bit, covers light redness but that's all.
Finish is matte. But it's a drying matte. This is where I dock it a point. If it could be matte without being drying it would be near perfect for me. It makes me very flaky around my mouth which is where I tend to get dry.
Shade. I'm very fair and best bisque is perfect for me, but there isn't much selection so I think that could be frustrating for many. I'm NC 15, revlon alabaster/buff.
Longevity. I'd say 8ish hours. You'd think with it meting so matte it would stay a little longer. I need about 14 hours to last a work day so I do wish it lasted a bit better, but it could be how I'm wearing/products underneath so I'm continuing to expirament with it.
Overall I like it and am still working with. I want to love it because the color is good, I like the coverage, it's matte, and fairly inexpensive. I struggle with longevity and the drying aspect. Currently I'm mixing with neutrogena healthy mix which is beautiful but too dewy so it doesn't last. The combo is really pretty so I'm liking that.
Edit: 5/4 retuned it. Every time I use this my entire face flakes off while seeming to get shiny. It's just not worth the hassle. I have combo to oily skin. I cannot understand how this makes me sooooooo flaky.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

on 10/9/2015 6:06:00 PM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Dry, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Coarse

Eyes: Brown

It truly is amazing that Paula criticized all other foundation manufacturers, Oh, so high & mighty, but when it comes to her own, its a total flop. Chalky, un-natural, difficulty to blend without silicone primer, and WOW, what a wonderful colour selections, count them, only 5, yes F-I-V-E shades. How under-whelming.

12 of 17 people found this helpful.

on 10/7/2015 1:17:00 PM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Oily, Fair, Warm

Hair: Blond, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Blue

I tried this foundation years ago, but I think they changed the formula. This seems more like a tinted moisturizer than a foundation. I was expecting much more coverage from a product made for oily/acne skin. The search continues....

on 10/7/2015 11:57:00 AM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Fair, Warm

Hair: Red, Curly, Coarse

Eyes: Green

I've struggled for years to find a foundation I could enjoy using daily. Between failing to find a true skintone match and failing to find a formula that sits right on my textured skin, it was really hard. Too dark, too yellow, too beige, too thick, too clingy, too slippery, too heavy or too sheer - nothing was quite right. So I gave up on foundation (in spite of having an arsenal that included heavy hitters like Tarte and Yves Saint Laurent and Clinique) and turned instead to Korean BB creams from ebay. yeah, they were a bit off in color, a bit flat and beige for my peachy fair Caucasian skin, but at least they didn't make my skin look LESS pretty than it does when bare.

I found Paula's Choice when I was revamping my skincare to include more BHA products. After a very happy year of experimenting and finding MANY HG favorite items (including a high SPF daily moisturizer) I tried a couple samples of the foundations. My favorite turned out to be the Best Face Forward in Best Bisque, which is the lightest shade.

My skin: combination to oily, fair, peachy, freckles, larger pores, not much in the way of acne or breakouts, not prone to sensitivity, some crinkles (I'm 48), some scarring from pretty severe acne as a teen. Not too bad over all, and I prefer a lighter weight formula that doesn't accentuate the orange peel texture issues I have, or try to obliterate my freckles with heavy coverage.

The product: comes in an opaque tube you can stand on end to allow gravity to pull out all the product as you use it up, and then cut the tube open when it seems empty to reveal another couple of weeks of product. I like this! Product dispenses from a narrow pointed tip, which is good as the foundation is more fluid than creamy - a bit fuller bodied than, say, Neutrogena dry touch sunblock. The texture is nicely creamy/slippery in my hands, which allows me to apply it lilke a moisturizer - with my fingers, really spreading it around and working it into my skin, which is crucial for me to diminish the appearance of my pores. I then press and roll a makeup sponge or beauty blender over it to further push the product into my skin and remove any pooling or streaking. This is all very fast, and the foundation is easy to work with and unfussy in this regard.

Foundation dries down a bit - I like to wait a couple of minutes before I use my setting powder to let it settle. The unpowdered finish is satiny and natural, and even on my oily skin wears well for 8 hours or so. Without powder I do get shiny on my forehead and nose, but I am OILY and have NEVER been matte in the t-zone no matter what I use. With powder, the wear and finish extend another 4 hours. Product wears well in low humidity as well as high for me - no melting/streaking/running or breakdown in 95 degrees with 90% humidity when I traveled down south last week. I was very impressed. Home humidity usually is around 30-50%, so the consistent performance was a huge bonus.

This formula also seems to lend itself to mixing nicely with other products without balling up. Tarte Full Coverage Maracuja Concealer, for instance, when I was a fuller finish. A little tiny dab, half the size of a grain of rice, mixed in with the foundation and then applied with fingers and sponge, and I've got a luxurious, nearly full coverage foundation that reads beautifully at night, and still wears well. i think other creamy concealers (like KA SSE and the like) would also blend well.

I use this over my favorite sunblock ever - Paula's Choice Resist Youth Extending Daily Fluid SPF 50 - and they get along famously with no pilling or pulling or breakdown, no primer needed I've yet to find a primer I really like, anyway, so I just stick with the PC SPF, and it works great.

With regard to color range, it is SADLY and appallingly limited. Great for fair skins, but anything richer than say a Mac 25 or maybe 30 will not find a suitable depth, let alone a tone. Of the four shades I sampled (Bisque, Linen, Buff, Natural Beige), the Bisque is the lightest and peachiest (a dead on match for Tarte concealer in Fair, which is described as "fair skin with pink undertones" but which is decidedly peachy, not pink), while the others all are definitely more yellow-toned. Even the richest shade, Natural Beige, is more like a light golden tan skintone - if I were a sunless tanner or bronzer girl, I could have chosen that shade to bring warmth and color to my skin. But I prefer to match my neck and body, which are extremely pale since I don't get out much.

Summary: Awesome foundation for fair to light, normal to oilier skins seeking a light to medium level of coverage. Easy to use and blend, somewhat buildable coverage, long wearing even in hot/humid environments. Removes well (I oil cleanse and then wash with a foaming cleanser to get all my sunblock off anyway). Fairly priced at around $20 for an ounce. A great value if you can find a skintone match.

7 of 7 people found this helpful.

Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Medium, Neutral

Hair: Black, Straight, Coarse

Eyes: Brown

As other reviewers have stated, I am very surprised this foundation does not have a higher rating. I realize that foundation opinions are quite varied since skin type changes from person to person, but this an excellent foundation for people who have sensitive skin and like a semi-matte finish.

So what are the pros?
1. The coverage. No, it won't hide every imperfection, but that's not how it's marketed. It has a very natural light-medium coverage with a semi-matte finish. I have combination skin, and I can easily wear it throughout the day (granted, I do work in an office environment).
2. Application. SUPER easy. Apply with fingers and go. Can also be applied with the a flat top/stippling brush if that's your preference. It has an incredibly smooth texture which makes it a piece of cake to blend in.
3. The ingredients. Very few companies take the time PC does to make the ingredients list as clean and skincare beneficial as possible. I sometimes to forget to wash the foundation off at night, but I don't fret it because this foundation never bothers my sensitive skin in the least.

1. Maybe the price?? It's about $20 per 1 oz bottle, which is definitely more expensive than a drugstore foundation. But with the aforementioned pros, I think it's quite reasonable....also keep in mind its much cheaper than a high end foundation, and PC has sales regularly.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

on 8/3/2015 4:21:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Blond, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Blue

A note about the packaging: This now comes in a black tube rather than a shaker bottle, which is an improvement.

Unfortunately, I don't have a good color match in this medium coverage foundation and my opinion is that the texture could be improved. I've tried to find a good shade. Linen is too dark for me. Best Bisque is too light and washes me out. I'm glad her foundations aren't pink, but I can't seem to find a decent color match in most of them. The fair shades aren't neutral enough and there are usually only a few shades. Nothing like the spectrum of MAC or Kat Von D. Usually it seems that I would need to buy two different shades and a bottle of Cover FX drops and mix it all mad scientist style to get a color that accurately matches my face. The Paula's Choice color range should be expanded.

The finish isn't elegant enough to smooth me out as much as a high end foundation. I feel that Armani Luminous Silk is the best finish for my skin when it leans from combination to oily and I want medium to full coverage. The second best finish is that of MAC Beauty Balm SPF 35 which is more like a tinted moisturizer that gives light coverage but floats over any tiny fine lines you might have and makes it look as though you have pretty skin rather than nice makeup. Best Face Forward almost seems too grainy to be called foundation. It's more like a matte, pigmented sunscreen. At least it doesn't exaggerate flaws or settle into laugh lines.

On the plus side, it's pretty good at keeping me matte as opposed to sweaty and oily. I really appreciate the SPF and the fact that it's not greasy. There are no irritating ingredients to set off my sensitive skin. And it's only $19 a tube. I've paid more than that for sunscreens I dislike.

I have a well-stocked bathroom of Paula's Choice skin care successes. While I don't love every single product, I have repurchased some of the best ones. Her cleansers and toners are mostly excellent. She has some good BHA, AHA, and retinol products. And the brand proudly sports the Leaping Bunny logo.

But this particular foundation doesn't work for me.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

on 3/13/2015 5:10:00 AM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Normal, Fair, Cool

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Brown

All of the shades had natural colors, soaked into the skin and offered broad spectrum sun protection. The foundation has pretty good coverage and conceals some acne . Also it doesn't bring out wrinkles. It is good for someone with dry skin. The ingredients aren't special though and almost all the shades are too warm so if you have redness or acne this may not be the one for you.

2 of 3 people found this helpful.

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