March 18, 2012

Clarins Ever Matte Foundation

Matte is in again, it seems. Several companies have launched (or reformulated) matte foundations just in time for spring/summer, answering the need for heat-ready performance with new, lightweight textures that keep the Joan Crawford crinkliness to a minimum.

Clarins recently debuted their Ever Matte line, which currently consists of a powder and foundation duo. I very much wanted to try out the foundation, as I am always on the hunt for that Holy Grail of foundations - something that will keep my skin matte yet fresh and natural-looking - so when I was offered the chance to review it I was delighted.

First of all, I love the packaging. It's clean and elegant, but so practical to tuck into your purse or travel bag. (And in fact, I took this on vacation with me last week!) It doesn't take up too much space and the squeeze tube keeps things hygienic.

But the more important question is, how well does this foundation perform? Clarins certainly makes great claims for Ever Matte:

Though it's not quite my personal HG, I think Ever Matte delivers on most of the promises.

I was incredibly impressed by how well it controlled my oily areas. I have combination skin, which means foundations can be especially challenging, as what fares well on my dry, flaky cheeks tends to slide right off my nose by mid-day. Not so with this - applied in the morning, Ever Matte lasted until I took it off in the evening. As the day wore on, it actually looked better on my t-zone. The oil never broke through, so instead of looking patchy and faded, the foundation just seemed to look more natural, without losing the matte finish and initial coverage level. I didn't need to powder it, which is a wonderful option to have in the summer when any extra layer, no matter how fine, can feel like one too many.

Ever Matte didn't settle into my pores, and in fact did a great job masking them. I was a little concerned that this would translate into clogging, but after a week of testing I had no problems with it contributing to acne. If you're sensitive to silicones though, be aware that it's the first ingredient.

What's also unique about this, and on-trend with the new foundation textures, is how incredibly lightweight it is. It really feels like you are wearing nothing, despite the initial creaminess. It blends right into the skin. This means that even with the matte finish, it looks natural.

Shade 105 Nude, in natural lighting.
Looks a tad too peach like this...
...but blends perfectly.

The coverage is what I would consider light to medium - enough to even out skin tone and minor discoloration, but would still require a concealer for stronger pigmentation or acne issues. I think this looks best when applied with a damp Beauty Blender, which keeps the coverage light but emphasizes the skin-like finish. It also dries fast, so it's best applied in smaller areas at a time.

This is not for all skin types, though, as it did emphasize flaky patches. For a matte finish, it is surprisingly kind to textured areas (read: pores and fine lines), but it cannot, and should not, be expected to deal with dehydrated skin. Due to its lightweight texture, I think it's probably one of the nicer foundations to wear if you have dry skin and still want a matte finish, but you will definitely want to make sure your skin is exfoliated and super-moisturized. (But honestly, matte is just not the best finish for dry skin.)

I should also mention that it has a distinct cucumber-floral fragrance. I enjoy it, but it might not suit your taste (or allergies). It also does have a sunscreen ingredient, which may or may not be a plus depending on what you prefer.

Availability: Can be found at, The Bay, as well as at select Pharmaprix/SDM and Murale locations. Price is 38$ CAD.

Pros: All-day matte finish and oil control. Featherweight texture and lighter coverage, great option for those looking for a natural but polished look. Easy and practical to use, as it cuts down on the need to powder and touch up.

Cons: Will - like any matte foundation - emphasize dry, flaky skin. Currently only has 7 shades and none for deeper skin tones.

(This item was provided by the brand for review.)


  1. Anonymous19.3.12

    Sounds great! Sometimes I wish I could wear matte, but alas, it just looks horrible on me. I've never tried a Clarins foundation.

    1. This is definitely one of the best matte foundations for oily skin I've tried, especially if you don't need to cover anything significant. It looks natural, not mask-like. But matte is never my fist pick for dry skin, for sure!

      Clarins does make a radiant foundation called Skin Illusion, which is better option for drier skin (or if you just want a dewier finish), might be worth a look? They almost always have those little sample packets of it at SDM.

  2. Your rave review is tempting me even more to go pick this one up for summer! But I think I need to make a good dent in some of my other foundations first. It sounds lovely though!

    1. I'd love to read on your take on this, if you do decide to give it a try. Your skin type is oily or combo?

      I should probably give my current foundations more of a rotation as well, before trying any more....but there are so many new things coming out! For someone who struggled with finding the right texture and color during my acne-prone teens and 20s, it's kind of amazing to have all these wonderful options now.

  3. Now, I'm intrigued; while I don't have any dry patches on my skin, I do have an oily T-zone and even though I'm totally loving Guerlain's Lingerie de Peau as a lightweight foundation, it leaves a slight dewy finish - when sometimes I want/need something more matte. I'm impressed with the photo showing how well it blended into your skin...impressed enough that I'll be heading to check it out at my first opportunity! Fab review, Maggie!

    1. Thank you, Eugenia!

      I really, really want to try Lingerie de Peau, but I can never seem to come across a full tester of the shade that might be right for me. The universe is thwarting me!

      I'm loving the new foundation "technologies" (as l'Oréal likes to say) that the brands are using now - the results are so wonderfully lightweight, aren't they?

  4. Hello, great review! Love your blog!~ :D
    I was wondering if this foundation flashes back in photographs when taken with flash?

    1. Thank you so much! :D

      I haven't noticed any flashback, but to be honest I haven't tested it overmuch in nighttime/heavy flash required conditions.

  5. I really like this foundation, but I feel like the color I have is a bit orange on my skin. I'm wondering if you know which shade would work best for me; right now, I have the Cream shade(104). I have light skin with slight redness in my cheek and nose area. What shade would you recommend?


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