Physicians Formula "The Healthy Foundation" Review + Wear Test

Physicians Formula "The Healthy Foundation" Review + Wear Test

Ahhh…the first dedicated product review on my blog. On probably one of the most shocking launches of this year (other than the Tarte Shape Tape fail), especially considering it comes from a brand who is well-known for their exclusivity and poor shade range. It somewhat shocked the makeup world when Physicians Formula came out with their Healthy Foundation, and it definitely was a shocker that the brand, again, known for having two shades of beige in their line, now has a foundation with sixteen shades to choose from. Are they pandering now that Fenty Beauty has shown black women are indeed a worthy market for makeup? Quite possibly. But my job here is to give you all the details on whether this is a foundation to even bother with.

Price/Where to Buy/Amount of Product: The Physicians Formula “The Healthy Foundation” can be found at Ulta and on, at Walmart, and on the Physicians formula website. At Ulta the foundation retails for $12.99 and on the Physicians Formula website, this product retails for $14.95, both of which are actually on par with a lot of the drugstore brands right now. Prices just keep creeping up. At Walmart, however, this foundation is priced at $11.87. The only caveat is that Walmart does not carry the entire shade range, which is unfortunate. If your shade is available at Walmart and you need to save a few bucks, that is the best option. If not, I would say Ulta is the next best option because of their rewards program and the coupons they always have for drugstore makeup. Again, though, the whole range is not available at Ulta. The four darkest shades have to be purchased at a higher price from the Physicians Formula website. which is a little shady to me. I really want to email the company and ask for insight as to why the four darkest foundations are exclusive to their website and priced higher than at any other retailer...shady, shady, shady-boots to me. I digress. For one fluid ounce of product, which is a standard amount of product for a foundation, the price isn’t too high.

Packaging: I love the packaging on this product. It’s in a glass bottle, which feels so weighty and luxurious. The cap is plastic but with reflective silver overlay. It hasn’t chipped, nor has the white writing on the front of the bottle. The shade is printed on a circular label on the top, and on a label on the bottom. There was also a label on the side, but it was attached to the plastic packaging the foundation was covered with instead of actually being attached to the bottle.

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The applicator is what took the cake for me. It’s a huge doe-foot with a little angle that holds some product in it. I actually prefer doe-foot and paddle applicators more than pumps now, even though the popular opinion is that dipping the paddle in and out after it touching the face isn’t as hygienic as pumping the product out. The only gripe I have about the packaging is that the stopper doesn’t allow the doe-foot to pick up enough product for my whole face; I have to dip in and out of the container to get enough product.

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Shade Range: This foundation comes in sixteen shades, which is quite impressive for a drugstore brand that has never expanded beyond fifty shades of white. Shades are categorized by skin tone and undertone, with cool, warm, and neutral undertones and light, medium, dark, and deep skin tones. There are four foundations in the “light” category, four in the “medium” category, four in the “dark” category, and four in the “deep” category. This foundation does seem to go pretty deep; I’m almost sure my older sister, Shay, would be able to fit one of the two darkest shades. There are plenty of guys and gals darker than her, though, so hopefully the range will expand. It’s definitely not a bad start.

This image does not belong to me. I obtained this from the Physicians Formula website.

This image does not belong to me. I obtained this from the Physicians Formula website.

Color Match: I’m not going to lie, it was a little difficult to pick out my shade in the store. I was in between shades DW2 (Dark Warm 2) and DN3 (Dark Neutral 3) because they’re virtually the same shade with slightly different undertones. Even though I have more of a yellow-warm undertone right now, I went with DN3 because it was a smidgen darker. It’s the fifth to last shade in the range, so I’m definitely not mad at it since I’m usually the darkest or second to darkest shade in most drugstore foundations.

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Upon first application, I thought I’d royally screwed up my shade match. Bear in mind, though, that my goal was to match the tone of my body overall and not just my face. My face is actually a few shades darker than my body right now. This shade looks quite light, but after being blended out, it looks a lot better. I also believe that this oxidizes about half a shade darker than what is seen in the bottle and swatched on the skin, but I wouldn’t recommend purchasing a whole shade darker.  

Formula Details:

The Claims: According to the Physicians Formula website, this foundation is “A long-wearing, buildable, and breathable foundation that provides lightweight, medium coverage with a healthy, satin finish. Compatible with all skin types and featuring our exclusive Brightening Complex and Hyaluronic Acid to hydrate, brighten and improve the appearance of skin tone. Added boost of Vitamins A, C & E provides a flawless, healthy coverage. Hypoallergenic, Fragrance-Free, Paraben-Free, Gluten Free, Dermatologist Approved, Non-Comedogenic, Clinically Tested, Cruelty Free, Vegan.”

Application:  I applied this foundation with both a beauty sponge (from Morphe) and a synthetic foundation brush (from Real Techniques). The consistency of this foundation is neither stiff nor ultra-creamy. The product blended out equally well on both sides; the sponge side giving slightly less coverage than the brush side. Coverage was even, though, with no streaks or blotchiness. I personally prefer applying this with a brush. It doesn’t dry too quickly, so there is ample time to blend out. Its smells a little like paint, but nothing overwhelming, and I honestly couldn’t even smell that unless I put the entire bottle up to my nose.

Coverage: This foundation is definitely light to medium coverage with a sponge, and medium to buildable coverage with a brush. I only used one and a half layers, and it covered most of my “hyperpigmentation” quite well, but my moles on my nose and cheekbones are still visible. It’s the perfect coverage for every day wear, which is one of the reasons I’ve been wearing it almost exclusively for the past three weeks.

Finish: I would classify this foundation as a satin-matte finish. It’s right in between a nice matte and a skin-like foundation. It’s lightweight and feels like almost nothing on the skin, and doesn’t look cakey at all. It doesn’t accentuate any dry spots on my face but keeps my oily areas under control, even without a primer. Texture still shows through, but this doesn’t accentuate it. Pores are visible, but this doesn’t sink into them; with a pore minimizing/filling primer, my pores aren’t noticeable at all. It dries down almost completely on the skin, but with a slight bit of tackiness – nothing annoying or obvious at all. Cream and powder products blend amazingly over it, whether I set my face with other products or not.

Flashback Test: Unfortunately, this foundation on its own fails the flashback test. Since it has SPF 20 in it, I somewhat expected this. On the positive side, the flashback didn’t show through the rest of my face products. Whether I used a loose setting powder or a pressed powder, the flashback was nonexistent after all my makeup was applied.

Wear: This foundation wears beautifully. I have combination skin – oily around the nose area and sometimes the forehead, with some dry patches on my forehead and my cheeks. This doesn’t cling to dry patches at all, but it also doesn’t get super oily throughout the day. I’ve never had to blot with this product. It doesn’t wear off or get patchy and cakey during the day, either. On the day I took the pictures for this review, I wore the foundation a total of ten hours. My normal days are more like twelve hours of wear, and it still doesn’t need touching up for me. It seems to help my other face products, such as blush, highlighter, and bronzer, stay on my face longer; usually blush is completely gone by the end of the day, but it barely fades when on top of this foundation. I haven’t noticed any major creasing on the forehead, around the nose, or in the smile lines. This will transfer on clothing if you hug someone, but transfer is very minimal.

All in all, I would give this foundation four-point-five out of five! It’s amazing, and has quickly dethroned my BareMinerals BarePro Performance Wear Foundation as being my favorite. I’ll probably have to pick up a new shade for the spring and summertime, but I don’t mind since I have at least five other shades to choose from. The only reason I’m docking half a star is because I do think there should be more than sixteen shades and the darker shades should be sold at all retailers, not just on their website, but this is a nice start for diversification for PF. Hopefully other brands, both drugstore and high-end, will catch the hint.

Any other new, or even not so new, products out on the market that you’d like to see (or rather, read) a review about? Drop me a comment.

Write you little lovelies later,

XO Ky M.

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