Shiseido Future Solution LX Total Radiance Foundation is the best medium-to-full coverage foundation I have ever owned. It covers large pores, brown spots and other imperfections, and it is not heavy or mask-like. This foundation makes my skin look naturally even-toned and luminous. I wear shade I40 (note that in MAC foundations I wear NC30 and in Make Up For Ever’s Ultra HD foundation, I wear 128 Almond or Y415 in the new formula). On my normal-to-oily combination skin, it lasted over 5 hours and it did not oxidize.
TEXTURE: slightly creamy and smooth, but not too thick
COVERAGE: medium to full
FRAGRANCE: Yes, but very subtle
LASTING POWER: No fading after more than 5 hours (without primer), no oxidation
The most obvious downside of the Shiseido Future Solution foundation is its packaging: the cream is housed in a jar and that means any anti-aging ingredients get exposed to air and light every time I use it, thereby causing them to degrade more quickly.
The only reason I can think of why cosmetics companies continue to package creams and foundations in jars is the belief that luxury products must be contained in glass jar packaging, not pump bottles or plastic squeeze-out tubes. This is ridiculous, but how are we going to change the minds of the people in companies like Shiseido who make these decisions?
The second downside of the Shiseido Future Solution LX Total Radiance Foundation is the cost: US$85. That’s a lot of money to pay for foundation. However, in the last two years, the prices of foundations have skyrocketed and an $85 foundation is not longer such an outlier. If one has to spend over $70 for foundation, Shiseido is probably the best of the lot because the finish is absolutely gorgeous and one needs a smidgen of foundation to cover the entire face. I think this pot will last me over a year.
Some of the claims made by Shiseido have not been substantiated by independent research. For example, Shiseido says that its patented substance, Skingenecell 1P, a synthetic amino acid derivative (of 1-propionic piperidine), counteracts the appearance of future aging. Shiseido asserts that the 1-propionic piperidine derivative inhibits the production of Serpin b3, a protein that is found in the epidermis of rough skin. An independent research paper entitled SERPINB3/B4 Contributes to Early Inflammation and Barrier Dysfunction in an Experimental Murine Model of Atopic Dermatitis (Journal of Investigative Dermatology (2015) 135, 160–169; doi:10.1038/jid.2014.353; published online 11 September 2014) found that elevated levels of the serine protease inhibitors SERPINB3 and SERPINB4 have been seen in patients with atopic dermatitis and psoriasis. What this has to do with the appearance of aging skin is not clear to me. Also, is the concentration of Skingenecell 1P in the foundation enough to produce the alleged results? Does exposure to air and light decrease its effectiveness?
Leaving aside these claims, the Shiseido Future Solution foundation is still a great product because it does make my skin look amazing.
A brief explanation of the Shiseido shade nomenclature: this foundation comes in 11 shades with no options at all for very dark skin tones and like other Shiseido foundations, there are three categories of color – O (Ochre), I (Ivory) and B (Beige). Ochre is much more yellow-based than the other two, and I find the ochre shades to be far too yellow for my Chinese-Filipino skin. So, just because you are Asian, it doesn’t mean you have to wear an ochre shade! The ivory shade is perfect for me (I40 to be precise) and ivory is neutral, not too yellow, not too pink. Beige, oddly enough, has a lot of pink. Shiseido needs to change this nomenclature because it is too confusing.