As much as I love a new color palette or bronzer, at the beginning of every day I also think about protecting my skin. Lately I’ve been considering summer options for base makeup. I live in Northern California, and the climate can be dry and bright. I have combination skin that is warm and light (Chanel Ivoire/Cameo and around a MAC NC15). I decided to try Shiseido Urban Environment Tinted UV Protection SPF 43 ($30/ 1 oz.) (available in 3 shades, I’m using #2). This one is easy to miss, it’s a quiet product that is worth a look.
This is a tinted sunscreen in a cosmetically elegant makeup base that feels lightweight and a touch moisturizing. On application, I do not detect any strong scent. The coverage is on the lightweight side of medium, but far closer to the medium category. It covers about as well as many foundations, slightly more than Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua (the Shiseido feels more moisturizing than Chanel). The Shiseido is very comfortable when applied.
It’s notable that Shiseido is offering this level of sun protection in a cosmetically elegant makeup base for $30, when the prices of other lines are pushing $40-90. Shiseido’s Urban Environment Tinted UV Protector looks like a true foundation, particularly when compared to the Elta MD Physical Sunscreen which feels and looks much heavier and drier. Shiseido’s has a pretty, natural sheen. This Shiseido Tinted Sun Protector does have dimethicones listed in the ingredients, is advertised as “oil free,” and has not shown any signs of pore clogging or breakouts (your mileage may vary, of course).
Shiseido’s Tinted UV Protector takes a few minutes to dry down. I usually wait and do my eyes/hair in the meantime, because applying blush over a wet foundation can be a one-way ticket to patchy-town. If I’m in a real hurry, I grab my duo-fibre brush and apply a quick dusting of Nars Light Reflecting Powder (loose), which settles everything down. I really like the SPF 43 features of the product, although to be safe I use a layer of sunscreen underneath as the sun can be quite unforgiving where I live. According to Shiseido:
- Contains SuperVeil-UV 360™ offering comprehensive protection of the skin’s surface and Profense CEL™ protects cells and DNA and helps inhibit enzyme activity, which are the causes of wrinkles and uneven skin tone.
- Thiotaurine and Rose Apple Leaf Extract are effective in inhibiting oxidation caused by external environmental factors.
- Water resistant (40 min) but easily removable with regular cleanser.
My experience with Shiseido sun care products in the past has been quite good–they seem to know their business quite well in the sun protection area. Active ingredients:
Inactive ingredients (click to enlarge):
Let’s talk about stability. Shiseido Tinted UV Protector seems like a really good option for skin that leans a bit dry. I have combination skin, and on days when the temperatures are in the moderate range (the 70′s), the foundation was very stable. I got a good 10 hours without any shifting or fading. Note that I’m wearing Nars Light Reflecting Powder, which acts as a setting powder and does help. On very warm days (into the ’90′s, or 30′s Celsius), I start to get a “glow” on my forehead about 3-4 hours application (this also happens with Diorsnow BB Cream). Still, Shiseido Tinted UV Protector gives me stable coverage despite the glow–it doesn’t shift or fade, but I do have to powder down. Even with my combination skin, I love it because the texture looks nice, natural, and has a pretty finish. This one’s going to get used up.
Here are some swatch comparisons with some other foundations that I have on hand–Nars Tinted Moisturizer in Alaska, Chanel Pro Lumiere in Cameo, and MAC Pro Longwear in NC15.
If you are looking for something similar with a broader shade range, has more coverage, and that stays matte longer in the day (and doesn’t feel quite as moisturizing), I’d go with Shiseido Sun Protection Liquid Foundation. (I’m planning to do a “foundations for hot, humid weather” overview soon–spoiler alert, this Shiseido foundation makes the cut). By comparison, the Shiseido Tinted UV Protector has slightly less coverage, feels more comfortable, and has more a more luminous, natural sheen. Here’s a picture so you can see it blending into the skin:
Available at Nordstrom and at all other Shiseido counters. Like this Sun Protection Liquid Foundation, the Tinted UV Protector is found on the sun/skin care display, not with the standard Shiseido foundations/BB Cream.
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