Shiseido Sheer Mattifying Compact Foundation

I purchased the Shiseido Sheer Mattifying Compact foundation from my local Shoppers Drug Mart Beauty Boutique a few weeks ago and have gotten the chance to use it numerous times in different ways so it's time for a review.

These are the claims from Shiseido:

  • Ultra-fine powders fit seamlessly onto skin to minimize the appearance of pores, dullness, spots and freckles while providing sheer coverage.
  • Contains Super Oil-Absorbing Powder to target excess oil and maintain a fresh-looking finish.
  • Formulated with moisturizing ingredient, Super Hydro-Wrap Vitalizing DE.
  • Contains Micro-Smoothing Complex,* a Shiseido-exclusive ingredient that protects against the harmful substance that accelerates decline in barrier function, which can cause skin roughening.


Long story short - I like it, but I would not repurchase.

Before I start I should mention that I own the foundation in the shade B20, and that it matches me well but not perfectly. They claim it has a true beige undertone but I swear it is a hint too pink for me.

In terms of coverage, it has a buildable medium coverage. Not as full as something like MAC Studio Fix Powder, but slightly more buildable coverage than the likes of Chanel Double Perfection. I apply this with my Sephora #45 brush, although it works just as well with a regular kabuki brush or a fluffy powder brush if you just want a light coverage.

It has an SPF of 22 which is great. It retails for $30 - with the compact retailing for a separate $9, so that next time you'd only have to purchase the $30 refill. I did not bother buying the compact and I make do with the little refill tray.

Here's what I liked about this foundation:

- extremely finely milled, it was super easy to blend into the skin without it looking powdery and overdone... it was almost like a creamy powder, if that makes any sense

- I like the fact that it comes in a refillable compact and that it has a reasonable SPF

- doesn't oxidize/change colour throughout the day

- does not look cakey when applied

- did not cause any breakouts or clogged pores

As you can see, a couple of hours into me wearing this foundation and it properly settled in, it doesn't look like a powder one bit. It photographs quite nicely as well... however, this brings me to my main disappointment with it, and that is staying power.

When I wear this as a foundation, I merely get about 4 hours of wear until I


 to blot or else all hell (and oil) breaks loose. This makes it about as long lasting as my NARS Tinted Moisturizer in terms of oil control and for a "Sheer Mattifying Compact" foundation, I expect more. Once I blot, the foundation lifts off the face with the blotting sheet and needs to be reapplied, and then it can look a bit cakey. It tends to settle in to any large pores (for me it is around the nose) as the day progresses although this can be combatted if you use a pore refining primer underneath.

Shiseido Sheer Mattifying Compact works a lot better for me if I just use it as a setting powder in the T-zone/chin area on top of a liquid foundation. I find it to perform better that way, although I am disappointed that it can't hold its own on me as a foundation. It just didn't wow me.

The purpose of a powder foundation, to me, is to be a quick and easy "on the go" option for those hot summer days. I had much better lasting results with Chanel Mat Lumiere Powder (or Chanel Double Perfection, as it's known in the US) so I think that once I use this up, I may go back to that one... 

What are your thoughts on powder foundations?