Over the last few years, my relationship with foundation has changed. Before 2020, it was rare for me to leave the house bare-faced—I was a die-hard, full-coverage, matte makeup girl all the time. But when lockdown happened, I (like many others) took a step back from this full glam... and haven't been the same since. I now prefer my foundation flexible, dewy, and with light-to-medium coverage. A bonus is when it contains skin-care ingredients, specifically ones that are beneficial to my ever-changing, 40-plus, perimenopausal skin. Only a few have ever made the cut, but I recently discovered a new contender to add to the lineup: the Shiseido RevitalEssence Skin Glow Foundation SPF 30 ($56).
How it works
Shiseido has been around for a long time (it was founded in 1872!) and is a pioneer in a number of makeup categories, especially complexion. RevitalEssence Skin Glow Foundation is a game-changer and first for the brand, as it utilizes the same active level of ingredients that Shiseido uses in its skin-care serums. So this isn't your regular skin-care infused foundation—it's literally skin care.
Two independent clinical studies were done on the product which yielded some interesting results: 86 percent reported less visible fine lines in just one week, while 94 percent and 91 percent, respectively, said it made their bare skin look more smooth and more glowing.
And this makes sense based on the ingredients. RevitalEssence contains two powerful actives: fermented kefir+ and niacinamide. “Fermented Kefir+ is a powerful prebiotic that helps to maintain a healthy microbiome balance," James Boehmer, global artistic director for Shiseido Makeup. "It’s made from Japanese rice that is fermented and transformed into smaller molecules for easier absorption and helps to strengthen skin’s barrier function and to improve hydration and glow.” He adds that niacinamide, a B vitamin, helps to retexturize skin and evens out skin tone. “Together these two prebiotics work in synergy to reveal healthy, vibrant skin. Bare skin is visibly smoother, brighter, and fine lines visibly reduced in just one week," he says.
Aside from the ingredients, a big draw to this foundation is its versatility, something that Boehmer praises. “I think this foundation can meet a lot of different needs,” he says. “For the minimalist who wants one hybrid product that can multitask, this is the perfect foundation. For those of us—me included—who have a more committed and elaborate skin-care and makeup routine, this foundation delivers a medium, buildable finish that glows beyond the surface.” Aside from the versatility in its application, Boehmer points out that the broad-spectrum sun protection and sensorial texture can “fit into any lifestyle or occasion.”
My honest review
Though the formula contains sunscreen, most derms will tell you that the SPF in makeup likely isn't enough to keep you fully protected, so I still put sunscreen on first. Boehmer told me that while the product can be applied with a brush, he prefers to do it with his hands, which makes it easier to blend the serum-like formula into the skin. I followed his lead and used my fingers, and really liked the way the foundation went on.
I have some natural redness, and just a small amount of the foundation diffused it immediately. On that note, because this is a buildable foundation that has high levels of skin care actives in it, it’s important to start small. A little goes a long way—you really only need one pump—which means a bottle will last you a good amount of time. After using the product for about a week, I noticed my complexion looked brighter. However, there wasn't much of a change in my fine lines (I’m between Botox sessions right now).
Overall, I think this is a fantastic foundation, especially for everyday use. I love the consistency of the formula and the skin benefits it offers. Shiseido RevitalEssence Skin Glow Foundation SPF 30 is truly a trailblazer in the foundation category, so pick it up on your next beauty shopping trip. You won’t regret it.
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