Beauty Editor Jenny Li reviews Shiseido Synchro Skin’s latest line.
Shiseido’s latest Synchro Skin line has updated its base products with new foundations, concealers and powders, as well as a primer and a cushion bronzer. The focus in this product line is largely on the foundations and concealers, containing Shiseido’s ActiveForceTM technology. They say this technology ‘self-refreshes nonstop’ and ‘synchronises with skin and helps resist heat, humidity, oil and even motion so you maintain a just-applied, flawless finish’.
I was instantly interested in this range; I have been looking at reducing my foundation collection to just three at most – my forever foundations, each to suit different occasions and seasons. Shiseido’s Synchro Skin Self-Refreshing foundation seemed like it could reduce it to just one. I bought the foundation in the shade Sand (250), a light-medium shade with yellow/warm undertones, matching me perfectly. I discovered my shade from looking at a multitude of swatches, but it can also be done using Shiseido’s foundation finder. From the same line, I also bought the Invisible Silk Loose Powder in the radiant formula. The foundation retails for £39 and the bottle contains 30ml of liquid, whereas the powder retails for £38 with 6g of product.
The pump is built into the foundation, so there’s no need to buy an extra pump cap – which is convenient and less costly, making it easier to control dispersion. This can be locked by twisting the whole top, preventing excess liquid coming out, or accidental pumping out of product. Again, very handy and makes it reliable to travel with. However, the nozzle is exposed, and product can congeal around it if it’s not kept clean.
The powder also has thoughtful packaging; there is a net over the powder to aid the distribution of product onto a brush or the enclosed puff. The radiant formula has micro particles of shimmer with slightly pink undertones, helping to provide that extra glow while brightening the complexion. They also make the powder in a matte version. I tested this foundation for a couple of months, sometimes with the powder and without, even under masks. Although both products are in the same range, I don’t find them to be compatible products.
This is because the foundation sits dewy on my skin, whereas a matte powder would be more preferable to subdue some of the shine. The longevity of the powder is not on par with the foundation, therefore, the foundation breaks down a lot quicker than Shiseido’s noted 24 hours. I think the Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder moulded better with the foundation but, perhaps the matte formula of the Invisible Silk powder might be a more efficient combination, as opposed to the radiant version when paired with the foundation.
Additionally, when I used a different powder to set the foundation, I would say it lasted around nine hours at best, even with touch-ups. My skin being combination-oily may be why it doesn’t meet said 24 hours. It also needs to be considered, the radiant powder has a pinkish tone to the product so when applied onto a yellow undertone foundation like my shade, it presents a grey tone to the face. Yet don’t be alarmed by this; it has, ‘Responsive Sensory Technology adapts to skin’s condition, tone and texture for truer illumination’. This aspect of the product allows it to settle down on the skin, reducing that grey tone. I believe this powder works better on a semi-matte to matte foundation such as, the Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place foundation; it’s meant to illuminate the face rather than set – which a matte or semi-matte product does already.
Shiseido also boasts that the foundation provides a ‘fresh, natural finish’ whilst giving, ‘medium, buildable coverage’. I do agree that it is a medium and buildable coverage, however, on the side of fresh and natural, it’s not quite. The foundation looks like it sits on top of the skin and doesn’t blend into the skin, regardless of application technique (brush or sponge). One pump doesn’t quite provide enough coverage for my whole face so a second is required, yet the product begins to look quite heavy on the face. If your skin is closer to being ‘blemish-free’ or if you don’t have texture, then the foundation could sit ‘naturally’. Shiseido also mentions that it gives, ‘all-day hydration waterproof, smudge-proof, humidity-resistant, transfer-resistant’, which I believe meets each of these criteria’s more or less, though only being set well makes it transfer-resistant.
Overall, I would say the foundation is relatively average and not the life-changing product that I’d hoped for. I find my Nature Republic Provence Air Skin Fit One Day Lasting foundation and the Estée Lauder Futurist Hydra Rescue foundation – both dewier foundations than the Shiseido, to be comparatively better for me. As opposed to the Shiseido, the Nature Republic, being almost a third of the price, provides a light-medium buildable coverage adhering cohesively to the skin with greater longevity. The powder is mediocre, not a truly necessary product at its price point and size. The Kanebo Kate Base Zero powder in glow, does the same thing at less than half the price. However, shimmer infused setting powders aren’t popular in western beauty thus, most won’t purchase them. In the end, neither Shiseido product will be part of my permanent base product products.