As a fan of multiple location and city based holidays I am eternally seeking the perfect, multi tasking facial SPF that offers high protection whilst eliminating shine, regardless of temperature, climatic conditions or location.
The question remains the same each year “Shall I buy an SPF to wear under make-up or instead of makeup?”. Unable to find the answer I have tried and rejected an endless array of sun protection from; high end ‘urban’ city blocks to tinted moisturisers and top quality SPF laden skincare. The usual array of products seems to cater for the makeup free holiday goer, forgetting that not all of us are heading for the beach!
In order to combat this inevitable oil slick my summer coping strategy remains the same; load up on T-zone blotting products such as Shiseido’s fabulous Pureness Oil Blotting Sheets, Pureness Mattifying Compact (oil free), Mattifying bronzing powder or a translucent face powder such as Chanel’s ………
However, I am confident that this years trip to Italy has resolved the problem for a good few year. Inevitably of course Europeans fail to embrace makeup free despite the cosmetic challenges of intense city heat, sunbathing or mountain tracking! With is in mind I decided to try a new approach to my facial SPF this year when setting out for ten days in Itsly of the Adriatic Coast. I was after a universal product that would protect my face but also keep it lightly made up and shine free. Ideally to reduce packing bulk I was after something that would do the job of a few products, to give it a year round place in my cosmetics collection.
I am delighted to announce that the product that offered me all this is yet again by Shiseido. UV Protective Compact Foundation SPF 30. This amazing SPF is classed as a foundation, however is definitely natural enough for the beach but made up enough for hot city conditions. When applied with the included sponge the product initially feels and looks like ‘proper’, however after a few seconds the initial powdery finish magically disappears leaving only beautiful, glowy and natural looking skin with a delightful satin finish. The SPF is extremely effective and despite being fair skinned I suffered absolutely no sun burn, greasiness or irritation even after eight hours in strong sunshine, scorching heat, high humidity and same day visits to the beach and city.
The packaging is neat and practical, comprising of a strong turquoise acrylic case with orange branding on the top and functional push button closure at the front. On opening the lid the top section houses a high quality round latex applicator sponge. The dividing section then lifts up to reveal a good sized mirror and the powder in the lower section.
I found the product fast and super easy to apply whether on the beach or in a bar the sponge bends and curls beautifully when applying over the contours of the face. I folded the sponge to form a point when applying the product around my nose, eyes and on any imperfections, to ensure total coverage and a more even finish. I truly felt that I was just wearing an ordinary, high quality compact foundation for the duration of my holiday. On the beach it was just a really natural and non greasy SPF30 that I applied to my face, neck and décolleté for strong, effective protection. Then in the city it offered buildable coverage that allowed me to create a more flawless effect through multiple applications if and where necessary.
When purchasing your product you will need to ignore the colour of the powder in the compact. You MUST try before you buy, taking advice from a Shiseido Consultant. There are NINE SHADES to choose from and I purchased Medium Beige which looks very, very dark in the case. I am usually Light Ivory in Shiseido foundations, however this product is very different as the SPF within the powder makes it go on much, much………much! lighter than you would expect. I cannot emphasise enough the need to visit a Shiseido counter to get the correct colour match. This is not one to purchase online without trying it first as you will inevitably select a colour that is far, far too light for your skin.
The ease of application, excellent performance and beautiful, ultra natural natural finish were all so impressive that I am considering using this product a a emplacement for my usual work makeup. It is the perfect Urban Warrior in terms of protecting hard working skin against aggressive central heating, air conditioning, pollution and stress induced facial shine.
I have now added this product to my capsule makeup collection rather than abandoning it to summer holiday only use or even worse, the car boot sale bag! The £33 price tag has proven a great investment and despite many years or searching and wasting money on unsuitable products this IS my perfect City to Beach SPF, Foundation, Powder, Concealer, Mattifyer and generally fantastic all rounder and I plan to never let it go!