Voce, one of Japan's leading beauty magazines, carried out an intensive survey of the new liquid foundations in its May 2007 issue. It put the foundations through a series of 13 tests and the results of its tests are always very interesting to read. They used to put a circle, double circle, triangle or cross besides each foundation in each test to show how well it did in the test but they've stupidly done away with this (perhaps due to pressure from the makeup companies that advertise in the magazine?) so you basically have to be able to read Japanese in order to decipher the results. Anyway, so I thought it would be useful to summarise some of the findings from the survey.
Test 2: Correcting coarseness of skin - SKII Advanced Whitening Source, Revue Superior Stay Liquid UV and Maquillage Climax Lasting Gel UV did the best.
Test 3: Sun protection - Estee Lauder Cyber White Hydra Bright Gel Creme Foundation (blocked 90.1% of UV rays), Esprique Precious Beauty Skin Liquid UV (91.2%) and Suqqu Perfect Finish Liquid (90.4%) did the best. Other brands: Anna Sui Protective Fluid (79.6%), SKII (69.2%), Fine Fit Base Foundation UV (76.8%), Revue (75.8%), Maquillage (83%), Lancome Absolue Teint (69.6%) and Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser SPF 20 Oil Free (73.3%).
Test 4: Reducing the appearance of pores - Anna Sui, SKII, Revue, Maquillage, Laura Mercier did well on this test.
Test 6: Ease of spreading upon application - Most brands did well on this test except Esprique Precious which had a slightly heavy creamy texture.
Test 7: Improving luminosity and reducing appearance of skin discolorations - Estee Lauder Cyber White was the best in making skin appear brighter. Most of the other brands did fairly well in this test except for Fine Fit, Suqque and Laura Mercier.
Test 8: Translucency- Anna Sui, SKII, Fine Fit, Revue, Laura Mercier did well on this test.
Test 9: Resistance against sweat and water - Fine Fit, Revue, Esprique Precious, Maquillage did well on this test.
Test 10: Resistance against sebum - Fine Fit and Revue did the best.
Test 11: Resistance against humidity - Fine Fit, Revue, Maquillage fared well on this test.
Test 12: Oxidisation - Estee Lauder, Fine Fit, Revue, Lancome did well on this test.
Test 13: Resistance against streaking - Revue and Maquillage did the best on this test.
The Scientific Conclusion?
This season's new liquid foundations fall into 2 extremes. On one end, there are those that give a "no foundation" look while on the other end are foundations that are for a perfect, polished look. The Anna Sui, Fine Fit, Revue and Laura Mercier foundations fall into the first category while the Estee Lauder, Esprique Precious, Suqqu and Lancome foundations fall into the second. The SKII and Maquillage foundations fall in between the 2 categories and are good at reducing the appearance of pores. Within the first category, the Anna Sui, Revue and Laura Mercier foundations stand out for how they make the skin appear more luminous and translucent while providing good coverage of pores. Within the second category, the Estee Lauder and Lancome foundations do not oxidise and darken even after many hours of wear. The Fine Fit, Revue and Maquillage foundations are last well over many hours and are resistant against sweat and humidity. Fine Fit and Revue are particularly resistant against sebum. Those that do not oxidise and darken also include Fine Fit, Revue and Laura Mercier.
Overall, it seems like Revue's Superior Stay Liquid UV foundation scored the most consistently well over the various tests. It was assessed as good for improving the fairness of skin, giving a soft focus, luminous appearance and resistant against streaking due to sweat/sebum/humidity and oxidisation. But foundations are always very subjective and these so-called scientific tests should be taken with a pinch of salt as you can't tell whether the foundation will work well with your skin type until you try it in person. What I find missing from the survey is that they don't evaluate how the various foundations suit various skin types.