Product Review: Ideal Flawless Invisible Coverage Foundation by Avon

In its 125th anniversary year Avon announced the launch of the new Ideal Flawless foundation range last November, whilst simultaneously announcing that Alesha Dixon would be the brand’s Beauty and Empowerment Ambassador.

She's got Talent! Alesha Dixon for Avon UK

According to Avon, Ideal Flawless boasts an exclusive patent-pending formula, with skin matching pigments – that lets the light pass through” , thus trumping normal foundations in producing “an invisible veil of coverage to enhance and not hide the skin”.

The foundation comes in 16 shades and Avon has produced samples of all of the shades, which are what I tested and which are available from your local Avon Representative.

I have to admit that from the colour swatches that I saw in print prior to trying the range, I was convinced that there would not be a shade suitable for me…

….so how did I fare?

(Just a reminder that I am reviewing the product based on the following criteria: Colour Match, Coverage and Wear and Marketing Support).

Colour Match

 Despite being 125 years old, Avon has adapted with the times and is very much a 21st century business, with a massive social media presence on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Yet the Avon brochure is still very much central to the direct sellers’ business model and it was in one of the brochure that I first saw the colour swatches of the two darkest shades; Sable and Earth and came to the conclusion that there was not a shade suitable for my skin tone as they both looked rather light…..

….well how wrong I was!  Earth has a very orange undertone and upon application it seemed that it was the wrong shade because of this tonality, but as it dried,  the foundation oxidised and became quite dark – in fact too dark for my skin tone.

I am assuming that this was due to the colour matching technology.  I was not impressed by this dramatic alteration, I would have expected the adaption to have been far more subtle, given the boast of the advanced formulation.  As a result, Earth is woefully misrepresented in the brochure and thus it really is essential to try a sample prior to purchasing.  

Sable has a more yellow undertone, far too yellow for me upon the initial application.   Once again the product ‘adapted’ as it dried  and the colour contrast was minimised, but still it was by no means perfect….

…and perfection ladies is really what we need to strive for.  Watch this video created by a US Avon Representative.

Personally, I think that the foundation used on the black model is not a good match – the contrast between her face and her neck and chest is far too evident.  The foundation is too dark.   This is just one of the challenges we face as dark skinned women when selecting a shade of foundation.  The colour of your foundation needs to match your neck and chest area as well as blend into the skin of your face.

Colour Match: 5.5/10

Coverage and Wear

I did wear both of the foundations to test the coverage and wearability (I stayed in all day mind you!).   I found that the coverage was light to medium, and did not sufficiently conceal my darker blemishes…although to be fair to Avon, the amount of product that you get in the samples is only enough to just about cover the face once…I am sure that if I were to have more product and was able to apply a second coat I may have achieved better results….but I could only work with what I had!

The foundation did blend well, but I found that as it dried it felt tight on my skin, not as malleable and flexible as I would have expected..   The finish was matte and it did stay but the tight sensation remained throughout the day.

I was quite disappointed with the performance of the product on the whole – the oxidisation and the overly dry finish reminded me of the foundations of the early 90s, before much of the technologies and scientific breakthroughs we are accustomed to today had been discovered and incorporated into the latest range of foundations on the market.  Avon is one of the the largest cosmetic company in the world and spends millions of dollars on R&D, yet this product for me just felt a bit…well…old school.

Coverage and Wear: 4/10

Marketing Support

Avon can redeem itself with the marketing support that accompanied the launch of Ideal Flawless...to an extent….

 

As fore mentioned, central to the high profile campaign is the Avon brochure.

Avon launched the product with additional supporting material such as Facebook and Twitter campaigns, YouTube videos and press ads – something which I haven’t seen Avon invest in for some time.

Alesha is stunning and her appointment as Avon’s beauty ambassador garnered a vast number of PR mentions – which is a boon to any brand!

I wanted to love this campaign…I really did…but I have to admit that it just seemed a little ‘light’…if you get what I mean….

I think that it would have been wonderful to have seen an Asian and dark skinned black model accompany Alesha, to truly demonstrate the breadth of the colour range to the end consumer.

Ah well…never mind!

Marketing Support: 6/10

So for me Avon’s Ideal Flawless is, unfortunately, a no – but if you have tried it do let me know what you think!

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Skin Deep

In last Sunday’s  Sunday Times Style magazine, there was a brilliant article looking squarely at the issue of being a mixed race young woman in Britain today.   An extremely beautiful 24 year old called Alexandra Simon, recounted her journey of realising and accepting her identity…and the challenges and triumphs that she encountered along the way.

Source: Sunday Times Style (15 Jan 2012)

Race and ethnicity are still hot topics in the UK and I hope that the candid, honest debate continues and that developments in the beauty industry can contribute to this debate.

I do believe that 2012 will be a significant year for the ethnic beauty here in the UK, as several of the large beauty brands – both mass and prestige – have launched foundations to target this burgeoning sector of the population.

So what’s on the agenda?

Lancôme

Lancôme launches its latest foundation, Teint Idole Ultra 24H Foundation (£27)  next month, it comes in 18 Shades and you can receive a complimentary, 7 day sample at selected Lancôme counters nationwide.

Arlenis Sosa for Lancôme

The new campaign will feature Lancôme’s stunning spokes model Arlenis Sosa, who joined the brand in 2009.

There will be an impactful in-store presence –  I look forward to seeing Arlenis’ beautiful face grace the pages of  glossy mags and  department store counters.  I will also be trying the foundation out…so will let you know what I think

Chanel

Last year I blogged about the latest addition to the Chanel foundation family – the Perfection Lumiere Fluide Foundation (£36), which was launched in the States last August.  I was praying that the range would hit the UK…and what do you know…it has arrived!!  It seems like only 16 of the 26 shades are available…but there are a good number shades that will suit a darker skin tone.

You can purchase the new range online from Selfridges, or pop into selected Boots stores to also get your hallowed Advantage Card points!

Avon

British beauty Alesha Dixon continues to expand her business empire  – and was recently announced as Avon’s  ‘Beauty and Empowerment’ Ambassador for the UK and Ireland and the face of the new Ideal Flawless Invisible Coverage Foundation (£12).  I was eagerly anticipating the launch of this foundation as I had heard that it would be available in 16 shades!!   Although Avon has an extensive range of bases suitable for dark skin tones that are currently retailed in the US – these shades have not been available in the UK for a number of years.   Ideal Flawless launches in February  – but alas – the darkest shade in the range is a warm honey tone called ‘Earth’ – it would be suitable for women such as the caramel toned Miss Dixon – but there are no shades suitable for a deeper chocolate skin tone such as my own.

L’Oréal Paris

I have long seen the adverts for L’Oréal Paris’  True Match  Foundation (£9.99) featuring (new mum)  Beyoncé but to be honest, I had never really investigated the range, as I just assumed it would not have a shade that would be my true match.  However recent press coverage in this month’s Marie Claire magazine stated that the range now comes in 20 shades!   It looks like the deep shades Golden Cappuccino and Cocoa have been added to the range here in the UK – these shades are featured on the L’Oréal Paris  UK website – but they do not seem to be available on the high street as yet – I will keep my eye out to see if changes and let you know!  Again, I discovered that the True Match range that is available in the US comes in a whopping 33 shades – 10 of which would be perfect for deeper tones just like mine…  (oh well!!)

Check out Mrs Carter’s latest US commercial for the make up.

So, what can I say?

As I mentioned in my previous foundation blog post – things are getting better for us dark skinned beauties here in the UK – but I still can’t help feeling that there could be so much more to choose from…

Anyway, I will be updating you soon on my foundation picks for 2012!