Thursday, July 19, 2012

Shiseido Sheer Mattifying Compact Foundation

I purchased the Shiseido Sheer Mattifying Compact foundation from my local Shoppers Drug Mart Beauty Boutique a few weeks ago and have gotten the chance to use it numerous times in different ways so it's time for a review.

These are the claims from Shiseido:
  • Ultra-fine powders fit seamlessly onto skin to minimize the appearance of pores, dullness, spots and freckles while providing sheer coverage.
  • Contains Super Oil-Absorbing Powder to target excess oil and maintain a fresh-looking finish.
  • Formulated with moisturizing ingredient, Super Hydro-Wrap Vitalizing DE.
  • Contains Micro-Smoothing Complex,* a Shiseido-exclusive ingredient that protects against the harmful substance that accelerates decline in barrier function, which can cause skin roughening.
Long story short - I like it, but I would not repurchase.
Before I start I should mention that I own the foundation in the shade B20, and that it matches me well but not perfectly. They claim it has a true beige undertone but I swear it is a hint too pink for me.

In terms of coverage, it has a buildable medium coverage. Not as full as something like MAC Studio Fix Powder, but slightly more buildable coverage than the likes of Chanel Double Perfection. I apply this with my Sephora #45 brush, although it works just as well with a regular kabuki brush or a fluffy powder brush if you just want a light coverage.

It has an SPF of 22 which is great. It retails for $30 - with the compact retailing for a separate $9, so that next time you'd only have to purchase the $30 refill. I did not bother buying the compact and I make do with the little refill tray.

Here's what I liked about this foundation:

- extremely finely milled, it was super easy to blend into the skin without it looking powdery and overdone... it was almost like a creamy powder, if that makes any sense

- I like the fact that it comes in a refillable compact and that it has a reasonable SPF

- doesn't oxidize/change colour throughout the day

- does not look cakey when applied

- did not cause any breakouts or clogged pores

As you can see, a couple of hours into me wearing this foundation and it properly settled in, it doesn't look like a powder one bit. It photographs quite nicely as well... however, this brings me to my main disappointment with it, and that is staying power.

When I wear this as a foundation, I merely get about 4 hours of wear until I need to blot or else all hell (and oil) breaks loose. This makes it about as long lasting as my NARS Tinted Moisturizer in terms of oil control and for a "Sheer Mattifying Compact" foundation, I expect more. Once I blot, the foundation lifts off the face with the blotting sheet and needs to be reapplied, and then it can look a bit cakey. It tends to settle in to any large pores (for me it is around the nose) as the day progresses although this can be combatted if you use a pore refining primer underneath.

Shiseido Sheer Mattifying Compact works a lot better for me if I just use it as a setting powder in the T-zone/chin area on top of a liquid foundation. I find it to perform better that way, although I am disappointed that it can't hold its own on me as a foundation. It just didn't wow me.

The purpose of a powder foundation, to me, is to be a quick and easy "on the go" option for those hot summer days. I had much better lasting results with Chanel Mat Lumiere Powder (or Chanel Double Perfection, as it's known in the US) so I think that once I use this up, I may go back to that one... 

What are your thoughts on powder foundations? 


  1. what a shame about the staying power! it looks really nice in the photos

  2. I'm a big fan of powder foundations. Even more so in the summer. My current, go to, combo is Revlon Colorstay pressed powder with BareMinerals Matte over that. Using my Sigma F80. I was dinking around one day before work and all of a sudden realized I was running behind. I found that this was light enough for the 100 degree day but also provided the sheer to medium coverage I look for.
    Sucks the Shiseido was a no-go. Reading the description got me all excited. It sounded awesome.

    1. BareMinerals Matte was probably the most long lasting powder I've tried. I just can't seem to find a colour that doesn't turn all crazy on me throughout the day. U_U

    2. I find that mine does the same thing. I thought it was just me or I was losing my mind. I actually stopped using it for a while because of that. It turns pinkish and just all around darker. I was shade matched to Tan and its a perfect match, at first...
      I find when I use the ColorStay powder (which is a touch too light) under the BM it stays true to color.

  3. Great review! As a fellow oily skinned gal I enjoy your reviews because I can relate and really appreciate what you are dealing with!

    I find that powders don't often last any better than liquid. The only foundation that stayed put on me so far is the Estee Lauder double wear light, but in spite of the fact it is non-comodegenic it really clogged me up and I broke out after wearing it for a while. For a one off event, like a wedding, I would use it but not every day.

    Have you tried the Urban Decay or Skindinavia setting sprays? They are meant to really help with oilies...might give those a go next! xx

    1. yes I have tried the Urban Decay/Skindinavia Deslick and All Nighter and while they help the makeup itself stay in place, they don't do anything remarkable in terms of oil control. they make the oil diffuse nicely but they don't stop it from coming out or anything haha

    2. Oh poo! That is annoying! Back to the drawing board I guess! haha

  4. it's so disappointing when a product claims to combat oil and then fails in 4 hours...

    1. totally! I know it has worked for some people, but on me it just didn't cut it

  5. Hi Sandra,
    I'm looking for a powder foundation that controls oil & has light/medium coverage. I also have very oily skin and sometimes (well most of the time in the summer), wearing heavy foundation like Revlon Colorstay foundation for combination/oily doesn't feel so good. Do you have a review for the Chanel powder foundation you mentioned? Or do you have any other recommendations? Thankyou!

    I love your blog by the way!!

    1. unfortunately I don't think I ever did a separate review on the Chanel powder... I mentioned it in several favourites videos on youtube and I have worn it in Face Of the Day posts on here, I kept meaning to repurchase it (I just had an old tester of it that my friend had given me last year) and then I would do a proper review but I got distracted by other things!
      I totally know what you mean about needing something more lightweight for the summer time. Bare Minerals Matte was an awesome long-lasting powder, I never ended up going back to it because I couldn't find a proper colour match for the life of me but that one really was the best I have tried. Hopefully you'll have better luck :)
      Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk powder foundation also is amazing and has a great SPF for summer, but it's pricy.

  6. I purchased this foundation too several months ago after receiving a small sample of it and falling in love. With the sample, I loved that the powder was super-fine and really blended into my skin, a bit like a mineral foundation (but without that mineral "glow"). Despite my initial excitement about it, the first thing that was jarring was the price. With the taxes, the price of the foundation was close to $40. And I was really not impressed that the compact didn't come with it. As for the foundation itself - I still really like the finely milled powder and how it looks natural on the skin. It's really not a foundation, unless you apply it slightly wet. However, as you said, on its own it melts off (especially in summer). So, I apply it over Estee Lauder's DayWear Plus and the two together look great. I probably won't repurchase, but it's a great powder.

    1. the way it blends and feels on the skin really is amazing. I agree with all your points!

  7. For all the makeup hoarding i manage to do, I've never actually tried a powder foundation, I love the matte look but i always worry that it'll immediately sink into all my fine lines or just not have as much coverage as i get with a liquid.

  8. I love the bare minerals too but it tends to slip off me in certain areas. I've been on the hunt for a replacement, guess I'll keep looking :)

  9. Bummer! It looks pretty on you, but I hate cakey looking anything! And needing to reapply a mattifying powder foundation does seem.. wrong. lol! Nars TM is my favorite, so I hope once the weather cools down it'll work better for you!

  10. Have you tried it over a primer? I've had really good luck with Revlon PhotoReady primer, after having tried a bunch of others that did not work. While I do have to blot after a few hours (I use the Quo blotting sheets), the Revlon primer makes everything last longer, especially in the t-zone. I use MUFE Duo-mat. Covers everything and lasts all day. It also doesn't cake when you touch-up.


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