In my quest to delve into crème based foundation, I tried both IT Cosmetics Confidence in a Compact (Review previously posted) and a drug store brand. The drugstore version I went with was the Neutrogena healthy skin compact makeup. I chose this one for a number of reasons. One it was a crème foundation (which is what I am testing) that has sunscreen. While the It version has SPF 50, this has SPF 55, so it is relatively comparable. While I will be making a comparison, mostly because the products are so similar in what they do, I also suspected that the reason the IT version was slightly greasy was due to the inclusion of sunscreen and I didn’t want to try a non-sunscreen version and skew my opinion of the product.
So to the basics. The product, to give it it’s full name is the Neutrogena healthy skin compact makeup with broad spectrum SPF 55 helioplex. On the Neutrogena site this product retails for $14.59 (currently on sale for $10.94). I picked mine up at Target for $10.99 in case you are interested. It wasn’t a sale so I think that is their normal Target price. Now since this is a comparison, I need to add that while the It Confidence in a Compact is $38, it comes with 0.63 ounces of product . The Neutrogena version comes with 0.35 ounces of product or a little more than half the product. (To be sticklers 0.315 or 0.32 ounces would be exactly half although I’m sure you already did the math in your head).
Since no one is going to sell you one of these products with 0.03 ounces of product removed, you would have to buy two of the Neutrogena products to equal the amount of the It Confidence in a Compact. That means to get the same amount of product, you’d need to buy two. With the full retail price on the site that comes to $29.18 plus shipping, or $21.98 if you are going to Target. Personally the small price difference bothers me a little. There has always been expensive makeup out there and even if you couldn’t afford it, there was the drugstore to fall back on. The fact that there is less than $10 difference between the two (at full price) doesn’t sit right with me. I know Neutrogena is on the pricier side of the drug store, but still, over all drug store prices have been creeping up as of late.
Personal worries aside, lets get to the claims. According to the Neutrogena site:
This product offers…Compact makeup. Powerful protection. Get a flawless, natural look, while helping to protect your skin from the sun’s damaging rays. Our dermatologist-tested silky. Lightweight formula gives you buildable coverage and provides the most powerful level of UVA-UVB protection available in a compact foundation without feeling heavy or greasy. Broad Spectrum SPF 55 protection. With Helioplex UVA/UVB. Non-comedogenic (won’t clog pores).
Okay, so I like the sunscreen aspect of the product. Like it’s compatriot from IT, the packaging is bulky because they included a sponge and a separate compartment for it. Also like its compatriot, the sponge is relatively useless. I tried to use it, failed miserably and reached for my foundation brush. The brush sank into the soft formula and gathered too much product so I once again used my fingers to streak it across my skin like tannish war paint. You know the kind warriors wear to sneak into places that sell Dockers when attacking.
Go ahead, take a moment to picture that. I assure you I did, then giggled. Go with an outlet mall for the setting. Don’t forget to add the head dress created out of time slips and weaponized staplers held at the ready. Done? Good, I hope you giggled too.
The finger smear method worked, and then I used the brush to smooth it out. The foundation blended well and provided a medium coverage. It in no way felt cakey and to my surprise felt less greasy than I expected. The formula felt like it would be greasy when I put finger to pan, but on the face it was as silky smooth as advertised. And it did feel weightless. Once on it was easy to forget that I applied it. It is super easy and comfortable to wear. But would it last?
Truthfully , yes.
I wore it all day, and while my lipstick did not survive, the foundation did. It lasted all day. While I did not do any touch ups, remembering my last foray into sunscreen filled foundation, I checked it periodically. There was very little shine peeking through and at no time did I feel like I needed to re-powder my face. (I should add with the exception of lipstick, I used all of the same products on my face as before). I wore this foundation eight and a half hours as well (The other foundation I wore for seven hours. I didn’t intend to go longer, it just worked out that way).
I have to say, I really liked this product. And to be fair, I wasn’t expecting to. Once I did the price math, my expectations were raised for the product and just on principle (high drug store cost) I didn’t want to like it. But I do. In fact I like it better than the IT confidence in a compact. It felt better on the skin and didn’t require monitoring throughout the day. I could put it on and forget I was wearing it as I went about my day. I would have preferred if they included more product and left out the useless sponge. Not only would it have made the product more budget friendly, but it would have knocked down the size of the product. They are both rather bulky items and contain excess plastic. But that is something for the marketing department.
In summary, I liked this product and would actually consider buying it again. After testing it, I think I would buy it over the IT version. As I always have a mental impression that the high end brand is going to be better than the drugstore version, this came as a bit of a surprise to me. I suppose that means I need to revise my expectations.
At the moment the Neutrogena healthy skin compact makeup is a front runner for my non-liquid foundation traveling case. The fact that I will be traveling with it makes me want a slimmer package as well, but I can do nothing about that. In my comparison quest for more travel friendly makeup, I will be testing two stick foundations next week. Again I will try one high end and one drug store version and see which works out better. Before I would have naturally placed one above the other, but now, who knows. I suppose it is some consolation though. Drugstore products may be getting more expensive, but they are also getting better. That is something my inner accountant likes at least.