Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Performance Colors Foundation Review and Swatches- Chalk, Snowie, Cool Fair, Neutral Fair

Nothing to disclose, I purchased the products shown.

I purchased samples of Performance Colors  Oil Free Light and Smooth Foundation in shades Snowie, Cool Fair, and Neutral Fair on August 1st.  I already showed you some pics of me wearing it  but without any swatches.   I apologize for not getting swatches posted sooner, but since I just received the new shade Chalk on Monday, I can show you that now too!  Photos are taken inside, no flash, unless noted.

The first is with the foundation simply applied with a brush, down my arm. 

Next I used my fingertip to gently rub the swatches down my arm, but I didn't blend them.  Also inside, no flash.

I gently fingertip blended a bit more, but not too much because I want you to be able to see the shades!

Here's an outside, indirect sunlight pic, again no flash.  I tried to get a few in direct sun but to no avail.

Here's another, and I've put some little arrows so you can get a better idea where the foundation is.  When I've got to do that, you know it's a good match! 

Lastly, an inside no flash photo taken about 5 hours later.

Here's me wearing it the first day, where you can see the match is seamless.

Size / Price:   sample size is 3g for $1, or three samples for $2.   Full size is .5 ounces for $10.

Shades:   Warm: Fair, Light, Medium-Light, Medium
Neutral: Snowie, Fair, Light, Medium-Light, Medium, Tan/Deep
Cool: Fair, Light, Medium-Light, Medium

New shades (not yet on shade chart)
The fairest of them all - Chalk
"Inbetween" - Sand (a light tone half way between neutral and warm)
Exotic skin tones - Light Honey, Light Caramel, Caramel, Bronze

Ingredients:    Methicone, Silica, Titanium dioxide, Magnesium stearate, Magnesium myristrate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cyclomethicone, Isoeicosane, Zinc, Dimethicone, Beeswax, Stearic Acid, Vitamin E Tocopherol, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Potassium Sorbate, Hexylene Glycol. Stearic Acid, Iron oxides, Cetearyl Alcohol and Polsorbate 60, Behentrimonium Methosulfate (and) Cetearyl Alcohol, Fragrance (less than 1%). May contain: Iron Oxide, Magnesium Violet, Ultramarine Blue, Ultramarine Violet. Net weight 1/2 oz, 15 ml. Sample size 3g, 3 ml.

Sunscreen:  this foundation contains 11% titanium dioxide and 4% zinc oxide, which are ingredients I look for in my sunscreen. 

Scent:  this foundation has a vanilla with dewfruit scent.  Full sizes can be ordered unscented, but samples are only available scented.   When I did the swatches I could smell it but don't notice it once it's on my face.  I wanted to mention it though, in case anyone is scent - sensitive.

My Skin:  dry with rosacea, noticeably red cheeks, around nose, sometimes jawline.  Mature skin.  That's a nice way of saying I'm old, damnit. 

How I apply:  When I first received the samples, I applied the foundation using an Urban Decay Optical Blurring Brush, which I really liked.  I bought a Beauty Blender a while back and just hadn't gotten around to it, so I finally broke it open and I can say I like it better with that.  It completely disappears and looks like I don't have anything on my face.  In the picture above it was applied with the brush.

The Feel:  It goes on so smooth and creamy, and dries to a weightless powder.  It doesn't feel greasy on my dry skin.  It blends like a dream, I've never had to do so little blending with a foundation.

The Color:  I don't have to tell you it's a fantastic color match, do I?   While I haven't worn Chalk on my face yet,  judging by the arm swatch, this will be my winter shade.  I've been wearing Snowie pretty much nonstop since I got the samples.  I am also amazed to report that I can also wear Cool Fair.  Neutral Fair is just a tiny bit yellow on me, but I use it on my cheeks and around my nose to conceal redness from my rosacea.

Coverage:  Yes!  I need only the tiniest amount on my non red areas, and it makes my skin look flawless.  On the red areas (cheeks, nose, sometimes around jawline) I put a second thin layer.  If I'm having a flare up, I'll pat a teeny amount directly onto the red and blend it ever so gently with my fingertip.  It conceals my redness very well, although it does poke through by day's end (see below for more on that). 

Staying Power:  This foundation lasts all day on me and still looks natural by the end of the day.  My face is sort of an unfair test with my rosacea, because generally by the end of the day my face is more flush, particularly if I've had coffee after dinner.  By evening, my redness starts to show, but it's more a normal level of color and not bright red cheeks.  I haven't found ANY product that can conceal my rosacea for 12 hours while still looking natural.  It also doesn't rub off my skin, or end up on my clothes, and you know I'm always wearing black.

Tweaking:  not necessary.  What's in this stuff, magic?

OverallHoly Grail!  Part of the reason I took so long to review this is because I kept waiting for something to go wrong.  It always does.  I find a foundation, fall in love, and within a few weeks I realize there's a problem.  I've been really in love with Illamasqua for so long because it gave me a great color match, but I have to say that Performance Colors just upped the bar.

I loved the Illamasqua Cream Foundation because it concealed my rosacea on its worst day with one simple swipe of the applicator.  But it was a bit heavy and tended to not look so good by days end.  I loved Skin Base til I realized it wasn't loving the area around my nose, and would be visible on my cheeks.  It would separate and not look very good by the evening.  It was great for under 8 hours, but more than that and I'd need a major touch up.   So I was cautious with this foundation.  I didn't want to fall in love and have my heart broken again.  It's been nearly 2 months now, and I'm completely confident that I can say this is it.  I have found perfection.

Thanks for looking, and I hope you've found the photos and review helpful.


  1. I'm so glad you love this foundation! It really is fantastic.

  2. Wow this foundation looks GREAT on you :) Thanks for recommending it !
    I still can't quite work out what colour would be best for me though :( So I'm going to have to find out where I can get hold of samples ! And pray there accessible over the Internet (I'm bed bound so cannot go and try them in the shops!) Intrested in getting this Beauty Blender to, it sounds fab! I will have to google it :D
    I'm so glad I stumbled across you're blog !!

    1. You can order samples from PC's Etsy shop, they're very inexpensive and you get a good amount. They have single samples for $1 or three for $2. Snowie and Chalk aren't shown on their color chart, but mentioned in the listing.

      The blender I bought at Sephora. I wet it, squeeze excess, then stipple the foundation onto my skin. It's build able, and I often apply a second thin layer on any areas that need a bit extra coverage (I have rosacea so I get a lot of red spots). I hope you'll love these items!

    2. here's the link for PC as well:

    3. Thank you for being so helpful!
      I tried the link, got very excited when I saw that you can get 3 samples for £1.23 ($2) (I love high quality products and LURVE a bargain)
      Then after reading through her listing ... my hopes were DASHED, when I saw that she no longer sells to the EU (I'm in the UK)
      **lets out a sob**
      So I'm VERY disappointed :(

    4. Thankyou very much for all your help :)
      I checked out the link you kindly posted, and got very excited! Especially when I saw that I could get 3 samples for £1.23 !! ($2)
      (I love high quality products & I LURVE a bargain!)
      However ... my hopes were DASHED, when I read through the listing, and discovered ... That she no longer ships to the EU :( (I'm in the UK) **Lets out a sob**
      So I'm VERY dissapointed :(

    5. Hannah, check out some swatches on Phyrra's blog, she's got lots of different pale shades that you should be able to get in the UK. Her coloring is very similar to mine, and I always find great options with her swatches. Plus she's really sweet!

      Also, thanks for all the kind words, I didn't thank you since I got sidetracked with the foundation topic!!

  3. Performance Colors is no longer available on Etsy. Have you been able to find them elsewhere?

    1. The owner had a message up for a while that said "the shop is now closed" and as far as I've read from other customers, she's no longer selling at all. I wish I'd have known, I'd have stocked up :( I've been searching for a new holy grail foundation since and have yet to find it.