Saturday, 5 March 2011

Shiseido Perfect Refining Foundation

Shiseido's new Perfect Refining Foundation SPF15 is touted as a "smooth, light liquid foundation that fits seamlessly against skin, instantly erasing conspicuous pores, acne scars, and skin roughness for even, perfect coverage all day long". It provides medium coverage with a semi-matte finish and is recommended for normal and combination skin types. Compared to Shiseido's previous liquid foundations, it also boasts greater lasting power of up to 15 hours. I liked the minimalist small black bottle that it comes in, which is very convenient for travel. It contains the same 30ml as my Guerlain Prarure Pearly White liquid foundation but is half the size and significantly lighter than the latter.

The lightest shade I00 Very Light Ivory turned out to be a good match for my skin. The foundation has a light, thin texture that dries and sets quite fast, so it's best to apply and blend section by section. While it helped to cover up the redness in my cheeks and evened out my skintone, overall the Perfect Refining Foundation didn't really hit it out of the park for me. It sets a bit too quickly, so blending was tricky at times. Also, it wasn't good at minimising the appearance of the boxcar acne scars on my cheeks and nose, which is what is important for me when it comes to foundation. The foundation probably looks much better on someone with a more flawless complexion.

In terms of oil control, it was average and I had to blot every other hour (which is normal for me). In these pics, I am also wearing Shiseido Shimmering Rouge RD709 Lounge which is a gorgeous your-lips-but-better rose shade.

The foundation does last well through a whole day though without caking or streaking. The photo below was taken after 5 hours of wear on a very hot day. After blotting away the excess oil, I was surprised to see that the foundation looked smoother than it did immediately after application. I was impressed by the lasting power of the lipstick too! (I did not eat or drink during those 5 hours.)

Below is the ingredients list for the Perfect Refining Foundation, which retails for S$56 in Singapore with 7 shades available (see swatches in this earlier post). In the US, it retails for US$38.50 with a whopping 15 shades available (shown on In Japan, it costs 5040yen with 6 shades available. I'm not sure if there are slight differences in the formula across the various countries, as the Singapore version has SPF16, the US version has SPF16 and the Japanese version has SPF24 PA++. The Japanese version also has a different method of shade numbering. The Singapore version is made in Japan and has a shelf life of 2 years.

On my eyes, I am wearing the Luminizing Satin Color Trio (S$51) VI308 Bouquet. As expected, the eyeshadows have a lovely silky texture that applies and blends easily with good colour payoff. They have a soft satin finish. The two darker shades tend to meld into one another when applied and become indistinguishable.

After experimenting using it over different primers like Urban Decay Primer Potion and various Beauté de Kosé Eye Fantasists, I've come to prefer using the palette over the Eye Fantasists to add a bit of shimmer. The purple combo is quite elegant and work-friendly, but if you're not used to wearing purple eyeshadow, doing your lids entirely in purple may take some getting used to. There is always the option of mixing it up with other shades if you don't want to sport purple from lashline to brow.


Hannah said...

Hi Iris, does this mean the satin trio has a matte finishing?

Haru said...

hi Hannah,
It's not a flat dull matte finishing, but rather a soft satiny finish with a slight glimmer (not full on metallic shine).

Hannah said...

Thanks, Iris, for your detailed description of this palette. Among the purple colour eyeshadows that you own, can you share which is your favorite?

Haru said...

Hi Hannah,
Some of my current favourites are:
1. Lancome Ultra Lavande Cool Harmony which you can see here

2. Tokidoki Cromatico in Adieu

3. Lunasol Sheer Contrast Eyes in Lavender Coral

I also love the purple eyeshadows in Anna Sui's current line-up which you can see here.

Physician's Formula Shimmer Strips Green Eye Candy also looks amazing.

Amanda said...

Hi Iris,

Pardon me for asking, but what did you do to your skin? It's been looking great recently! Your scars aren't really obvious anymore, wow! Did you go for laser or something? Sorry if it's a really sensitive question, I have pitted scars as well and I want to know how I can get rid of them badly:(

Haru said...

hi Amanda,
I haven't done anything special to my skin and to be honest, I don't think it has improved significantly. I've never done any IPL/laser/chemical treatments though I've been very tempted to as I'd like to reduce the scars but the horror stories about burns and treatments that make the pigmentation even worse worry me. My pores are still very large if seen up close but using foundation helps to conceal them in the photos. I'm still not brave enough to post super close-up pics of my bare skin!

Hannah said...

Oooh... the Physician's Formula Shimmer Strips Green Eye Candy looks so pretty! But why do I see mostly purple shades and only 1 green shade?!

Thanks for sharing... If it's not too much trouble, can you also share with us your favourite green eyeshadows?

Haru said...

hi Hannah,
The purple PF Shimmer Strips are designed to flatter green eyes. The Shimmer Strips come in combinations for green, hazel, brown and blue eyes. For green eyeshadows, I like the ones in Sleek palettes. I've done a few looks with the Sleek palettes which you can see by clicking the "Sleek" category.

Hannah said...

Some of the green shades in the Sleek palettes really pop while the darker greens are great for smoky looks. Lovely!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for listing the ingredients. Just what I needed to know!

Anonymous said...


How does this compare to the maquillage Essence Rich White Liquid UV? I'm thinking of getting a new foundation.


Haru said...

I prefer the Maquillage liquid foundation to this Shiseido foundation as the Maquillage one is easier to blend and looks more natural on my skin.