Beautifully packaged, loaded with shades for pale undertones, and fronted by Liv Tyler: what's not to love about Givenchy Photo'Perfexion Fluid Foundation? I mean, here's a product that's not only advertised as one of the most skin-like products you'll ever use ("100% Natural Complexion!"), but is also supposedly the makeup equivalent of airbrush. "Velvety finish!" "Minus the heavy, cakey feeling!" And there's SPF20! Oh, goody goody goody, count me in!
But not really, because this foundation is the stuff of the my NIGHTMARES.
First, a good thing: the packaging is really beautiful. It's a glass bottle with a plastic pump and lid. The pump is easy to control; I was able to get a pump and a half (enough to cover my face and the top of my neck) without trouble. And another good thing is that this product contains SPF20, but doesn't flash back.
Okay, the good things stop there. Brace yourselves.
From left to right: Givenchy Photo'Perfexion in #1 Perfect Ivory, MAC Face & Body in N1, Koh Gen Do Manifashi Moisture Foundation in 001, Kat Von D Lock It foundation in #42
For one thing, calling the #1 Perfect Ivory shade a match for "fair complexions with neutral undertones" is an outright lie. I almost laughed when I saw the bottle for the first time, because it's very obviously pink-toned, bordering on peach.
And that's just when you first apply it: within a half an hour, my face was three shades too dark and outright ORANGE. I don't mean, "Oh, it oxidized a bit too dark and a bit too pink," I mean I looked like an Oompa-Loompa. I didn't photograph it because my boyfriend reads this blog, and I'd like to continue being somewhat attractive to him.
And the smell? God, don't even get me started. It's this incredibly sweet, artificial, floral perfume-ish smell that's still detectable after applying the product. I'm serious: I just completed my second 8-hour test run as I'm typing this, and I can smell that awful stench. Dear foundations: I'm not big on strong fragrances to begin with, but if I have to smell like a stomach-churning mish-mash of grandma perfumes all day long? WOE BE UNTO YOU, MY FRIEND.
Even if we forgive the color and forgo the smell, this product just doesn't look good on any part of my face. Now, I can understand the ickiness at the end of my nose in these pictures, because I'd just gotten over a cold and still had some chapped, flaky skin there. But the rest of my face? I have ZERO textural issues on my cheeks; although they are dry, they feel relatively smooth and aren't flaky or lined. Givenchy Photo'Perfexion was kind enough to create some texture for me! Seriously, it aged me by at least a decade. There's nothing "velvety" or "natural" about this product, guys; it's a no-holds-barred chalky matte mess.
It's not much better on my nose, either, even when I'm sans-flakes. The foundation caked in to my pores and exacerbated my oiliness. Within an hour, the product had separated on my nose, but remained cakey and flakey on the rest of my face. By the end of the day, the product has caked up in the fine lines around my mouth, nose, and eyes.
The skin in the middle of my forehead is what most people would consider "normal"--not oily, not dry, not textured in any way, just kinda there--and it even managed to look flat and awful there. What gives? How is it possible for a foundation to look so awful on oily, normal, and dry skin?
Still don't believe me? Here's a macro shot.
MY CHEEKS LOOK LIKE ASTRO-TURF! HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?!
The finish is so bad that after I apply this foundation, I have zero desire to put on the rest of my makeup. The first time I wore this foundation, I had to FORCE myself to put on brow pencil, lipstick, and blush. Then I sat around feeling miserable, just dying to take a shower. Today I'm wearing just the foundation and nothing else--no need to put forth an effort when I know I'm going to look like shit!
The final nail in the coffin is the way this product feels. I can feel Photo'Perfexion sitting on my skin all day long, as if I have a mask on my face. As soon as I put it on, I want to scrub it right back off. Disgusting. The feeling has completely turned me off of Givenchy's entire line, it's that bad.
I really, really wanted to love this product, but I just can't. There isn't a single person I would recommend this monstrosity to...not even Liv Tyler.
RATING: 1 out of 5.