Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Review: Neutrogena Nourishing Long Wear Makeup

Neutrogena Nourishing Long Wear foundation

Neutrogena Nourishing Long Wear foundation 

By now you've probably come across the new Neutrogena nourishing long wear foundation. I was actually pretty excited to stumble on this because I've had good experiences with their foundations in the past. The idea of a long wearing foundation that's also supposed to help treat uneven skin tone sounded like a snake oil I'd be willing to try.  

Here's what Neutrogena says has to say about it:  

New Neutrogena® Nourishing Long Wear Makeup gives you smooth, even, long-lasting coverage as it works to actually improve skin's natural tone. The 12 hour long wear makeup instantly erases the look of skin imperfections as it provides natural-looking coverage. It has a Tone Correcting Complex—an exclusive blend of nourishing antioxidants, soy, Vitamins A, C, E, and light diffusing powders—and is clinically proven to provide skin tone and texture improvements in 4 short weeks. Beautiful day one, with even more beautiful results to follow. Available in 8 breathable shades.  
Neutrogena Nourishing Long Wear Tone Correcting Foundation

With all this in mind, I practically skipped to the checkout counter to be separated from my money.  Since we're on that subject, I gotta tell you, I flinched when I finally saw the price. These were on a display that conveniently forgot to mention cost (well, played Walgreens, well played). Once I was at the cash wrap, I found out this product set me back $15.99 (plus tax that was a little more than $17). Almost $20 for a drugstore foundation? Was I being punked? My expectations just skyrocketed. 

Tip: Do your wallet a favor and try finding this foundation at Target, Walmart, or ULTA where it's priced $2 cheaper. What's with the crazy drugstore markups? 

Clearly, I think this foundation is over priced. I might be more forgiving, if it lived up to some of it claims (more on that in a minute).

Before we get into all the details, let me preface this by saying that writing this review was a challenge. I ran through a range of emotions with this foundation. I'd love it. I'd hate it. I'd kind of-sort of like it. Then I'd think I was crazy for not being able to make up my mind. It's just foundation after all. It either works for me or it doesn't. This foundation and I had a tumultuous relationship. It was like dating the most beautiful man alive, only to find out he falls short of meeting your needs. It hurt a little to call it quits. 

Rather than drag you guys through all that drama, let's break this down into a simple list of pros and cons. That's how I was finally able to come to terms with my decision. 


  • Finish: The finish on this foundation is absolutely beautiful. Once I'd have this on and added concealer where needed, my goodness, it really looked pretty. It dries down to a satin finish that gives your skin just enough of a luminous quality without actually imparting shine. The perfect mix of matte and glow. Good job Neutrogena. 
  • Feel: The consistency of the foundation feels great on your skin. It's a mousse-like liquid that seems thick when you look at it, but is actually light weight and never felt heavy on my skin. For the sake of comparison, it was similar to Stila's Stay All Day foundation.

Neutrogena Nourishing Long Wear Tone Correcting Foundation has a mousse-like consistency similar to Stila's Stay All Day foundation.
  • Oil control: It never felt oily on my combination skin. I didn't notice oiliness showing through as I wore it. 
  • Tone: I didn't experience oxidizing. The shade I applied in the morning was the same shade in the afternoon. 
  • Accessiblity: It's easily accessible, seeing as it's available wherever you can buy Neutrogena cosmetics. 


  • Wear: This foundation boasts a 12-hour wear and in my experience it fell short. By a lot. The first time I wore it, I tested it on its own merits. No primer. No setting spray. Only moisturizer, foundation, and setting powder. I took it out for a day of easy Sunday errands and family time. I wore it for about six hours before I got home to check the mirror. To my surprise, it was completely faded. You could barely tell I had any on. Cue disappointment. But I was willing to give it another shot. 
The next time I wore it, I decided to include primer and setting spray into the routine. After all, this is how I regularly wear my foundation. Including primer and setting spray made a big improvement. However, this foundation still quits way before it's 12-hour shift. After six hours (not even half it's day if you're doing the math) it was already faded and I could see freckles showing through. Eight hours later, it hadn't gotten any better. 
However, I was able to improve it's longevity if I wore it while at home all day. In the a/c. With very little exertion. My guess is that those looking for a long-wearing foundation are probably going to put it through harsher conditions. I find Revlon ColorStay foundation lasts longer. 

  •  Coverage: I need to go on the record and say that the coverage isn't bad. It's not great either. I'm basing this on the expectation that a tone-correcting foundation is meant for those with uneven skin tone and some type of hyperpigmentation, which requires extra coverage. I found this foundation to be on the medium-sheer side. Yes, I was able to build it up.  But, the coverage I get with other foundations is better. I had to spend extra time concealing some of my trouble spots. And even had to conceal in areas where I don't need to with my L'Oreal True Match. Here's the deal, I don't have significant unevenness to contend with. I've been treating my hyperpigmentation, and it's significantly improved. I even feel comfortable not wearing makeup (something I was self conscious about before).  To feel like I still needed to reach for extra concealer wasn't something I expected. I realize that I'll still need to do some concealing and that foundation won't fix everything. Quite simply, I've had better coverage (and had to do less concealing) with other lines, including Neutrogena's other foundations. 
  • Packaging: Remember how I said this foundation was a mousse? Can you guess what happens when you tilt the bottle over? I'll tell you. Foundation doesn't come out.  Slight problem if you actually want to use the product you purchased, no? The problem isn't necessarily the consistency, as much as it's the packaging. Stila's Stay All Day foundation comes with a spatula attachment for this very reason. Neutrogena does not. It really needs it. I used a makeup spatula to get product out (shown in video), otherwise I was liable to shake the bottle too hard and make a mess and waste foundation (and it's too pricey for that). The packaging needs improvement. 
  • Shade selection: It comes in eight shades, which I don't think is enough. I purchased Nude, my regular shade in this brand, and found it a bit dark for me. The shades before it seemed a bit pink for me. Sure, I could buy two shades and mix them, but at this price point, I'm better off just going to the department store and finding one shade that fits me better. I'm wearing this foundation in the video below, and it seems to match. Perhaps it's the bright lights? In person, it was just the slightest bit too dark. I blended further down my neck to compensate. Maybe the longer the line is around, the more shades they'll release. Let's hope. 
  • Price: I think we've already established I think the price is too high for a drugstore brand. Why are we in Physician's Formula pricing territory here? 


  • Application: Figuring out the best method of application was a learning experience. Using a damp Beauty Blender made it way too sheer (probably something you don't want if you're trying to mask uneven tone, acne scarring, or other forms of hyperpigmentation). Makeup sponges seemed to cause me these same problem. I finally found the best application method for me was to use a plain foundation brush. It helped provide the best coverage without over applying. I also liked how it applied when using my fingers, although it was easier to over apply this way, until I got the hang of it. This was a bit of a pain, but once I figured out what worked for me, it stopped being a nuisance. 
  • Tone correction: I didn't notice any significant improvement in my tone. While I did test this foundation out during a four-week span, I didn't wear it every day, which is what I think is expected for any tone correcting benefits to take place. I'd say I wore it anywhere from 2-4 days per week, depending on what I was doing and where I was headed. That was enough for me to get a feel for it's other benefits and claims, but not to see any changes in my skin. 

At this point (if you're still reading), you're probably wondering why I went back and forth on this so much. It was that beautiful finish and the light weight feel. I'd admire it in the mirror and suddenly second guess myself. How could I not like something that looked this nice? I'd get my answer at the end of the day. 

I really wanted this to work out. It's why I gave it such a long try. But it boils down to this: No matter how beautiful it looks when you first apply it, a long wearing foundation needs to be there for the long haul. And that just didn't happen for me. I could've dealt with the coverage with a little extra concealer. But if I'm paying for long wear, I want long wear -- and that's what sealed the deal for me. 

Have you tried the new Neutrogena Nourishing Long Wear foundation? Was your experience similar to mine? Different? Did you find any work arounds for the issues I faced?  Comment below, let's chat. 

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