Press samples provided for my unbiased consideration
Elizabeth Arden is one of those brands that has been around the beauty industry for a long time, but somehow manages to fly under most people’s radar – although not for much longer, if I have anything to say about it. This past October, I was fortunate enough to be invited to preview all the upcoming collections from Elizabeth Arden (shown here), and while there were many wonderful new cosmetics and fragrances to admire, I confess to being most excited about their Flawless Finish Perfectly Satin 24HR Liquid Makeup SPF 15 (CAN $47.00 available in 10 shades/18 shades in the US), created with the expertise of Rebecca Restreppo, Global Makeup Artist for Elizabeth Arden, and a woman I’ve been lucky enough to meet and chat with, as well as highly admire.
Many factors contribute to the constantly changing needs of our skin, ranging from environmental, hormonal, lifestyle and age to name a few. In my case, living in a harsh climate that consists of brutally cold Winters (like the one we had this year – and which is still lingering, despite what the calendar says) and swelteringly humid Summers, it’s not always easy finding a foundation that will not only work with these changing temperatures, but that will address my oily/combination skin’s needs. I prefer my foundation to be light coverage, but buildable to a medium intensity if needed (primarily in key/problem areas), not emphasize pores or settle into fine lines, and help with oil-control without making my skin appear flat.
This new Flawless Finish Perfectly Satin foundation has not only met all these criteria, but has gone beyond that and exceeded my expectations. Packaged in Elizabeth Arden’s signature silver & gold boxes, this foundation is housed in an elegant glass square bottle, topped with a transparent acrylic cap embossed with the brand’s red door symbol. Each bottle is also clearly labelled on the bottom, includes an expiry date printed on the back, and comes with a sleek pump dispenser for ease of use. Some of the key ingredients:
- Long Wear Polymers: A unique pigment treatment that provides long wear properties and color-true makeup that lasts for 24 hours* without transferring or rubbing off.
- Encapsulated Spheres: are time-released to help monitor and absorb excess oil throughout the day.
- Plankton Extract: Helps to trap and absorbs sebum without drying out skin or clogging pores.
- Bamboo Silk: A natural plant extract that absorbs excess facial oil for a flawless, shine-free finish that stays comfortable all day.
- Soft Focus Materials: An ingredient blend including mineral crystal Mica, to help blur the look of imperfections and minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles for a radiant and luminous finish.
- Vitamin E: Helps protect skin from free radical damage caused by environmental stressors that can contribute to the visible signs of aging. Helps reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles for healthy, younger looking skin.
*Based on a US clinical study of 32 women by subject self assessment after 8 hours and 24 hours.
The dispenser works efficiently to deliver a controlled amount of product, depending on how hard you press down on it. The foundation has a light fresh scent that seems to dissipate rather quickly (not apparent once applied) and the texture is a cross between silky and almost powdery soft – unlike anything I’ve felt before. While I will never want to be wearing any makeup for 24 hours, it’s good to know that my foundation will last until removed.
Of the four shades I was kindly sent to test out, 01 Linen (the box on this says Flawless Finish Perfectly Nude, but the label on the bottom says Flawless Finish Perfectly Satin. Also, I can’t seem to find this shade on either the US or Canadian websites, so I believe it has since been renamed from when I received it – most likely it’s the Alabaster shade) is too pink-toned and pale for me while 13 Toasty Beige is much too dark. Of the other two, 08 Neutral Bisque is an excellent match right now as my skin is still sporting its usual Winter pastiness. That being said, I have recently been testing out various self-tanners (reviews coming soon) and the shade that matches my newly tanned skin in 09 Beige, being neither too pink or yellow based.
With regards to application, I have tried applying these with a variety of tools and have had success with several. I also tried applying this foundation over my Blanc de CHANEL primer, but that was a complete failure and just made the product appear to clump up along my skin, completely emphasizing my pores. I haven’t tried it over other silicone based primers, and since I love the result on my bare/moisturized skin, I don’t see a need to test further.
My favourite brush to start with is the Dior paddle style foundation brush (reviewed) with its excellent density and smoothness to the bristles that help the foundation spread easily along the skin, keeping visible brush strokes to a complete minimum. If it’s a lighter/sheerer coverage I’m after, I will then finish by buffing it all in with either the Tom Ford Cream Foundation Brush, or my recent favourite, the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush (reviewed). For deeper coverage or in specific areas that need a touch more, I will apply a second layer again using the Dior brush, then pat everything in with a slightly dampened Beauty Blender sponge, then buff it all into my skin with the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush for an incredibly smooth & flawless finish.
Longevity is excellent, staying put until removed without any colour transfer or oxidation – nor do I find any product collecting around areas of the face (nose, fine lines) while it does an amazing job of keeping me relatively shine-free throughout the wearing – and all without making my skin look flat or 1-dimensional. In fact, as the product seems to warm up and merge with my skin’s natural oils it seems to only get better, doing a beautiful job of enhancing my complexion in a ‘natural’ looking way. Any makeup applied on top seems to last that much longer without fading as well, and the best part is that the coverage feels so light that I never experience that skin-clogging effect I’ve had with other foundations. The finish, while not quite matte, is as stated on the bottle: satin, but not shiny or glowy in any way; it literally makes your skin just look so healthy, fresh, natural, and even. For those with dry skin, I strongly suggest you test it out at the counter first, or ensure skin is fully moisturized before application.
Flawless Finish Perfectly Satin Liquid Makeup samples
Flawless Finish Perfectly Satin Liquid Makeup applied
Flawless Finish Perfectly Satin Liquid Makeup blended
Flawless Finish Perfectly Satin Liquid Makeup blended, alternate lighting
Flawless Finish Perfectly Satin Liquid Makeup 08 Neutral Bisque, fully blended out
Ever since I began wearing this foundation, I have received many compliments on how flawless my skin looks and am repeatedly asked what product I’m wearing – most people express genuine surprise to learn it’s from Elizabeth Arden, as it’s not a brand that usually comes to mind. For me, the new Flawless Finish Perfectly Satin foundation has reached Holy Grail status, and is the one I usually reach for these days (when not testing others, that is). Interestingly, there are only 10 shades available here in Canada while our neighbours south of the border get another 8, but hopefully the colours we do have here will match most skin tones. If you’re still on the hunt for an amazing foundation, then you owe it to your skin to check these out next time you’re at an Elizabeth Arden counter – and get ready to be amazed.
Available at The Bay, thebay.com and select Shopper’s Drug Mart/Pharmaprix across Canada, find more information via elizabetharden.ca