I Tried the Shiseido Base products | Synchro Skin is the Best Foundation Out There

Do you remember not that long ago when I was bragging about having found the perfect foundation ? It was the YSL Le teint encre de peau that I was reviewing in this post. Well, I found even better and it’s a tad cheaper.

Don’t get your hopes up too high though, it’s still not drugstore. But it’s moderately less expensive.

What actually happened is that I was trying out the new face makeup from Shiseido, and as I was pretty pleased with my experience, I decided to add the Synchro Skin foundation that came out last year I believe to the test.

So today, I will mention the star of the show, my new favourite, but I’ll also talk about the other products I’ve tried from Shiseido because they’re pretty good too.

I’ll start with the first step in my routine, and talk about the Smart Filtering Smoother* in the Ibuki range from Shiseido.

It’s a product that is clearly meant to smooth the skin, the same way an instagram filter would, expect that this one isn’t use post-selfie, but rather pre-selfie.

I tried this primer on the whole of my face to see what it felt like but I also applied it a couple of times on only half my face in order to be able to see if it really made any difference to my skin. Well I’ll tell you right away, it does have smoothing properties.

You can immediately tell when you’ve applied it that the skin is smoother. The small wrinkles and pores are decidedly less noticeable.

However, I must say that, on my skin, it doesn’t help my makeup to last better or longer.

Then I tried Shiseido’s latest foundation, the Synchro Skin Glow*, that’s quite simply a more glowy version of the Synchro Skin foundation that came out last year.

When you try them both on the back of your hand, you can clearly feel and see the difference. The Synchro Skin has a matte finish and when you rub it on the skin you can feel that it almost turns into a powder as it dries. On the other hand the Synchro Skin Glow has a more luminous finish and it feels like a cream when you rub it on the skin.

Personally, it’s a foundation that I use when I don’t need my makeup to look too good for too long. It’s not that this foundation doesn’t last well, because it does last well, but on my oily skin, the glowy finish quickly turns into oily and that’s not a good look. However, even so, the coverage stays pretty good.

So I use it on Sundays for instance, when I have a brunch planned but not much for the rest of the day, or if I’m invited for dinner and I know that the evening isn’t going to last all night. Because I will say that I enjoy a more glowy finish every now and then even if my skin type isn’t ideal for that.

But it’s partly because I was so impressed with the Synchro Skin Glow (despite it not being the best for my skin type) that I decided to go out and buy myself the original Synchro Skin foundation.

As you may be able to tell, the packagings look pretty much identical, so be careful if you go out and buy it. Both the beautiful red cardboard box and the glass bottle look very similar. So much so that when I bought the Synchro Skin, I almost left with the Synchro Skin glow because the sales rep had given me the wrong one.

I still hesitated quite a bit before buying it. If you’ve read my last post on my foundation routine, you’ll know that up until now, my favourite foundation was very expensive, and therefore I wasn’t too keen on spending CHF60.- on its potential successor. But I did cave and to be honest, 60.- for 30ml is already a lot better than 80.- for 25ml. (3.20/ml agains 2.40/ml)

  • you should never (ever!) do that kind of maths. I just realised that my foundation costs me 2.40 for every ml. What ?!

Anyways, all budget consideration put aside, I did fall in love with this foundation straight away. The thing is you see, that it does everything I liked about the YSL encre de peau, but it does it a little better and for a little less money.

That is : 1. the coverage is medium but buildable (I use a concealer where needed, when needed) and at the same time feels extremely light on the skin and is pretty much invisible. 2. It lasts like nothing else and when it starts to fade, it does so imperceptibly (no weird patches around the nose.) 3. Apparently it really does manage to synchronise with the skin’s rhythm as I barely ever need to repowder when I use it. Meaning that it manages to control excess oil.

So all in all, I couldn’t be happier.

So that was a pretty short-lived fame for my previous favourite foundation because the Shiseido Synchro Skin is my new ‘oh-my-oh-no-I-might-already-be-running-out-what-a-catastrophe’ favourite foundation. And rather than telling myself that I’m spending 2.40 for ever ml, I’ll be telling myself that compared to before, I’m saving -.80 ct on every ml and on top of that my skin looks freaking fabulous all day, every day.

Let’s move now to the last part of this post, the 7 Lights Powder Illuminator*. This powder is in fact the celebration of a birthday and a homage to the 7 lights powder that Shiseido used to sell individually. But to celebrate this birthday they included all seven powders into one compact.

I find the box really pretty (albeit horrible to take pictures of) but I must admit that I’m not a big fan of how they placed the 7 colours into the pan. But that’s very personal and hardly relevant.

You may also want to know that you can (could ?) find a modern version of the 7 powders each included in a cute little wooden box in case you’re interested.

But let’s get back to our 7 colours compact and let me tell you what I think of it. Well you see, when I opened it for the first time, it immediately reminded me of the Guerlain Météorites, and naively I thought that I was going to use it the same way : that is sort of all over my face and fairly generously. Horrible mistake !

On my overly fair skin, the mix of these 7 shades is way too dark and I had to remove my makeup entirely and start over because I looked completely ridiculous. (also known as the story of time when I wasted 4.65 of foundation …)

So I redid my makeup and tried to use this powder differently. I used the bottom right corner shades as a bronzer and the top left corner shades as a blush. It works, but I don’t really see the point if I’m going to have to use it like that. Plus, it’s a bit too small for a face brush to be able to pick up just one or a couple of shades.

So I’m not saying it’s a bad product, but compared to some other things that are in my collection, it’s just a little too ‘complicated’ to use and I end up not using it.  And to make that even more clear, if the other 3 products mentioned in this post did travel with me to Edinburgh, it isn’t the case for this powder that stayed in my drawer in Switzerland.

So that’s it for my opinion on the base products I’ve tried from Shiseido. And if there’s one thing you should remember from this post it’s that their foundations are incredible. Both of them ! If you’re looking for a foundation, be it glowy or matte, I can only suggest that you go and try these ones. They’re definitely not cheap, but I’ve rarely (if ever) tried foundations that felt so light on the skin, with such a great coverage and that lasted so well.

What your holy grail foundation ?


*press samples