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Tuning Up Your Skin Tone? Algenist Unveils Its REVEAL Color Correcting Anti-Aging Serum Foundation SPF 15


For the five years since San Francisco-based brand Algenist stepped into the skincare scene, I’ve touted its top-notch products — particularly the offerings within the aptly dubbed Genius range.  Part of what has made Algenist such a novel brand is the degree to which scientific findings inform its product formulations. After all, the core ingredient in all Algenist products is alguronic acid, which the biotechnology experts at Algenist’s parent company, Solazyme, discovered while studying algae’s potential as a renewable fuel source. Alguronic acid, a polysaccharide compound within micro algae cells, was applied to skin during a serious of intricate tests and found to offer striking anti-aging benefits: experiments showed that alguronic acid increased elastin synthesis by up to 32% and boosted cellular regeneration by up to 55%. It was this discovery, then, that led to Algenist’s creation, making it a science-powered brand from its inception. Now, Algenist is taking its science-backed approach to the realm of color cosmetics, introducing its REVEAL makeup line.

Rather than launching a full cosmetics line replete with eye shadows, lipsticks, glosses, blush, eye liners, and mascara, the Algenist team decided to start off with a series of products meant to give the complexion a natural-looking, youthful radiance and to provide color correction benefits for a more even, uniform skin tone. To that end, then, they concentrated on a very limited number of products for their initial launch — namely, the REVEAL Concentrated Color Correcting Drops (more on those later), the REVEAL Color Correcting Radiant Primer, the REVEAL 6-in-1  Color Correcting Concealer, and the focus  of this post: the REVEAL Color Correcting Anti-Aging Serum Foundation SPF 15 ($48 at QVC.com and Algenist.com).

Like all Algenist products, the REVEAL Color Correcting Anti-Aging Serum Foundation SPF 15 contains alguronic acid, along with microalgae oil, which provides long-lasting hydration, so that the formula helps to smooth out fine lines and wrinkles, disguising them in the short run, while also helping to eradicate them in the long term. But the key element to this particular foundation is its AlgaCorrecting Complex, which was created by blending together red, blue, green, and golden algae and hence producing a color-correcting powerhouse. The color correcting properties of algae, then, are at the heart of the REVEAL line and seem like a natural continuation of Algenist’s algae-based research. In this case, scientists found that these naturally colorful algae species could be used to camouflage skin imperfections ranging from redness to sallowness. The foundation, then, aims to minimize the appearance of aging signs, lock moisture into skin for a more lifted and smoother complexion, boost overall radiance and camouflage any discoloration, and provide a believable amount of  coverage.

The foundation is available in six shades: Fair, Light, Light/Medium, Medium, Tan and Deep. Admittedly, there needs to be a broader range of shade offerings — especially since the Deep shade won’t work for all dark-skinned women — but that’s likely to happen after Algenist gets some feedback about the formula itself and maybe even tinkers with it a bit before moving further into the color cosmetics realm.

I’ve been using the Light shade for months now and have been pleased with the foundation’s performance. Now, this is not a full coverage foundation — it offers more of a light-to-medium amount of coverage (depending, of course, on how much you layer on). That said, it looks seamless on the skin, as if you were wearing no makeup at all, which is what most women (including yours truly) covet in a foundation. I personally love the fluid texture since it feels really airy atop the skin rather than having that thick, creamy or even cake-y sensation that makes some full-coverage foundations unpleasant to wear. I also appreciate the dewy radiance it imparts upon the complexion. Now, it’s billed as having a semi-matte finish, but I’d say it’s more of a luminous finish — not oily or greasy, but definitely fresh and dewy. In fact, I’d argue that the finish is somewhat similar to that of the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation (my favorite foundation ever!).

I have yet to experience a breakout as a result of using this foundation (if I had, it would be a deal breaker!), but I will warn those of you with oily skin that the foundation contains talc, which can be mildly comedogenic (pore-clogging) and which women with acne-prone skin often like to avoid. That said, while I don’t have oily skin, I haven’t had a problem with this foundation in terms of breakouts (if anything, the talc seems to help in keeping unwanted shine at bay, along with the silica in the formula, which is a common ingredient in finishing powders).

I will, however, concede that, for some people, the formula might be a bit too warm (meaning the color might look a bit yellowish or orange). See, the foundation seems to have a hefty proportion of golden algae extract and, while this algae tone provides color correction benefits (it helps to diminish the appearance of dark spots), if there’s too much of it, then the foundation will take on a yellowish tone. Color correction, after all, is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. And, as we know all too well, just because you have the same skin depth as someone else (meaning you’re both fair, olive-skinned, or bronzed), that doesn’t mean you’ll have the same undertones. Now, personally, because I have neutral undertones (a combination of both warm and cool tones), the Light shade suits me just fine. That said, I can see how it might be problematic for those who have cool undertones and should opt for foundations with rosier or bluer bases — even if the Light shade would be a right match in terms of the depth of their complexion, it might not be a perfect match because of the undertone issue (which plays a huge role in finding the perfect foundation).  The ideal way to use this foundation, in that case, would be to use the Algenist Concentrated Color Correcting Drops first, as needed, and to follow with the foundation. This way, you can achieve a more customized coverage that addresses all of your specific concerns and provides the desired color correction.

Don’t get me wrong — this is a really great foundation, but I do think Algenist needs to work on offering a broader selection of shades and, in doing so, formulate different options that take into account both skin depth and individual undertones.

As I said, I’m personally enjoying the foundation — particularly how natural it looks. Here are two photos in which I’m wearing the foundation:



As you can see, the resulting coverage is nice and believable, plus the foundation actually offers skincare benefits, which I appreciate since I strongly believe that makeup and skincare should work hand in hand.

Have you tried the Algenist foundation or the Concentrated Color Correcting Drops? What do you look for in a foundation?

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