Physicians Formula has a new foundation in 16 shades… but is it any good?
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I know, I know… I’m a little late to this party. (Okay, maybe a lot late.)
However, since I buy all this stuff myself, I think I can be forgiven. I recently picked up the Physicians Formula The Healthy Foundation in the beauty aisle of my local grocery store. They had a $3.00 off coupon, so I figured I would try it.
According to the Physicians Formula (PF) site, here are the details on this foundation:
What It Is: A long-wearing, buildable, and breathable foundation that provides lightweight, medium coverage with a healthy, satin finish.
Why It’s Good For You: Compatible with all skin types and featuring our exclusive Brightening Complex and Hyaluronic Acid to hydrate, brighten and improve the appearance of skin tone. Added boost of Vitamins A, C & E provides a flawless, healthy coverage.
Key Ingredients: Brightening Complex (Chinese Wu-Zhu-Yu Extract), Hyaluronic Acid (Sodium Salts), Vitamin A, C& E Antioxidant Blend, Protective SPF 20
Let’s take a closer look…
The Healthy Foundation comes in a standard 1 fluid ounce bottle. The packaging of this foundation is really nice. It comes in a heavy, square glass bottle with a plastic, silver, screw-top lid. It has a large doe foot applicator attached to the lid.
This foundation comes in 16 shades, which is HUGE for PF! Most of the time, PF only puts out 3 to 5 shades in foundation, concealer, or powder. While this is a big improvement, that’s still not enough. More about that in a minute…
How does it apply?
I have to admit I am not a fan of the large doe foot applicator this foundation has. I have to dip back in to the bottle several times to get enough foundation to cover my face. I think I would have preferred this to have a pump. That would make it much more hygienic, keep air out of the bottle, and make it easier to mix with other foundations if needed. (Trust me, it’s needed.) Even a paddle applicator like the Wet N Wild Photofocus foundation has would be preferable.
It applies nicely, though. I like to dab it on my face and then use a damp blending sponge to blend it out. It blends out beautifully. The foundation does a pretty good job covering redness and discoloration, even if I don’t use color correctors or concealers.
This foundation does highlight ANY texture you may have on your skin. If you don’t care about that, awesome! Go, you! If you do care about that, you might not want to try this.
What’s that smell?…
This foundation has a paint-like smell. That’s not cause for alarm. Two other foundations I really like also have a paint-like smell – Wet N Wild’s Photofocus Foundation and M.A.C.’s Studio Fix Fluid.
The big difference here is that when I apply the WNW or M.A.C., the paint smell dissipates quickly and isn’t noticeable after I blend it out. With the PF Healthy Foundation, that paint-like smell lingers. Six hours into my day I can still smell this foundation on my face. If you are sensitive to fragrance in your cosmetics, you may want to stay away from this one.
How does it wear?
I do like the way The Healthy Foundation wears. It doesn’t feel like I’m wearing anything on my face. The finish is matte without looking heavy, cakey, or dry. Powder goes on well over it. (Since I get oily, powder is a MUST!) After powder is applied, it doesn’t transfer when I touch my face. It also holds up to my oiliness fairly well. I tend to get oily mainly down the center of my face. I put this foundation on at around 8:30 a.m., and checked my face at around 2:00 p.m. I was a little glowy, but not greasy.
I had been rubbing my nose a bit because of allergies, but when I checked my face after lunch my nose looked pretty good. My foundation usually wears off of the sides of my nose and gathers in my nasal-labial folds. This foundation hadn’t budged, nor had it settled into my large nose pores. (I hate when I get Polka-Dot Nose!)
Any other issues?
Aside from the lingering smell, the other issue I have is that this foundation oxidizes on me. I purchased the lightest shade available (LC1). I applied it to half my face so I could see how the color compared to my skin. I was excited! When I first applied it, it was a perfect match. The only difference between the foundation side of my face and the bare side was that the bare side had more redness and dark circles. I went ahead and put the foundation on the other side of my face and finished the rest of my makeup.
About an hour after initial application, I could already see the dreaded Line of Demarcation where my foundation stopped and my skin began. The PF Healthy Foundation had oxidized a whole shade darker than it was when I put it on! (That’s not as bad as the Covergirl Vitalist Healthy Elixir foundation. That one oxidized TWO whole shades darker on me.)
The only real way to fix this is to mix it with another foundation in a lighter shade, but the doe foot applicator makes doing that a pain in the ass. Or I could buy this foundation in a lighter shade… Wait, I can’t do that. A lighter shade doesn’t exist.
Shade range, people! It’s a thing.
This is where the discussion about shade range comes in. If you are a Pale Princess paler than I am (M.A.C. NW13, in photo above), you probably won’t be able to wear this unless you don’t mind your foundation turning a shade or two darker. The four deep shades offered are good, but I’m pretty sure they won’t work for a lot of Ebony Goddesses out there.
16 shades is a much better initial offering than we usually get from Physicians Formula, but it could definitely be better. In my opinion, they need to add at least 3 shades to the pale end of the shade range, and at least 5 shades to the deep end of the range. This is 2018. Inclusiveness is the name of the makeup game. If you don’t include shades all people can wear, you may not be in business for much longer.
So, would you buy it again?
Definitely not. I really wanted to love this foundation. It has a really nice formula. It feels like nothing on my skin. It holds up well in my oily I-zone. (I really only get oily down the center of my face – hence, I have an I-zone.) It doesn’t settle in to my pores, fine lines, or wrinkles. It doesn’t shift around or break apart over the course of a 10-hour day.
However, this foundation has a paint-like smell that lingers way too long and it oxidizes at least a shade darker than it is in the bottle. On top of that, it shows every bit of texture on my skin. I could be alright with the texture thing. My skin has texture. I’ve lived in my skin for 40+ years, it should have some texture. The smell and oxidation, though. UGH.
I would like to continue to use this foundation. I will probably try to figure out how best to mix this with another foundation for a better color match, or I may decide to relegate this to my Give To Friends bag. Unless Physicians Formula expands their shade range, I will not buy their Healthy Foundation again.