Review | Elizabeth Arden Pure Finish Mineral Powder Foundation SPF 20

When I was told I’d been selected to try Elizabeth Arden’s new foundation, Pure Finish Mineral Powder Foundation SPF 20 (8.33 g/S$58), I was hesitant at first because not only do I seldom use minerals, I’m also not really a foundation person (I tend to use a tinted sunscreen most times). That said, I sometimes use powder foundation to set my face and I was curious about this loose powder foundation that, according to the brand, is non-acnegenic and non-comedogenic.

This product is quite an innovation. Unlike other mineral foundations which come loose in the jar, this is a pressed powder housed in a compact that contains a grater/grinder. The grinding mechanism is a wonder to behold – by turning the inner compartment to the right, the mill will evenly grate the compact, revealing little foliated heaps of freshly-ground loose powder ready for use. Makeup gadgetry fascinates me and I think this is a superb and hygienic idea for keeping the foundation fresh.

Elizabeth Arden also sent me Pure Finish Pure Brush (S$42), a set of two brushes to be used with this powder. Both these Made-in-China brushes are made of synthetic (nylon) hair and have an angled cut. They are firm yet soft; dense enough to pick up the right amount of powder and silky enough to gently caress the skin.

What really thrilled me was yet another mark of makeup gadgetry. Don’t dismiss the baby brush – it isn’t like the often-useless applicators we find in other compacts – this mini tool unfolds (!) to form a flat brush with two arched tips and fits perfectly into the compact. Unfortunately, the hinge can scratch the face when the brush is opened up, so I prefer to use the humped side, rather than the flatter plane.

Bearing the simple instructions ‘twist, swirl, tap and apply’, this foundation is a breeze to use.  Economy of use can be controlled by the dense brush, without compromising on coverage.

I didn’t expect to be overwhelmed by this foundation but to my delight, my first try of it rendered excellent results: The perfect colour match (Pure Finish 2 = my MAC NC25 skintone) and the velvety feel on the face were much appreciated, while the good oil control impressed me. I was relatively matte until late mid-day, by which time I had a dewy – not oily – glow.

Overall, I like its soft finish, micro-light texture and buildable coverage. Depending on how much you pick up and buff, you can get fairly decent coverage with just a complete turn of the shaving device. I’ve read reviews that laud it for its light but adequate coverage and others that praise its medium-to-full coverage.

In addition, it’s matte without looking dry (the powder does not settle into fine lines) and how it allows blush to go on smoothly and truly. Its “microspheres of pure pigment are suspended in light-reflective minerals of mica and silica for a luminous, non-made up look”, according to Bonnie Beer, the brand’s vice-president of global colour marketing.

The oil control was less impressive with subsequent uses (I’m trying to figure out the variable – it may have been my moisturiser or sunscreen, coupled with more outdoor activity) but still the face didn’t cake up or look greasy, something that I’m thankful for. I like this so much that I’ve been using it almost every day for the past week – testimony to its efficacy, for I’m not usually impressed by powder foundations.

Elizabeth Arden explains minerals:

Minerals are natural, inorganic substances. They create a barrier to protect skin from external aggressions while letting it breathe. Minerals reflect light that hide imperfections and enhance the natural complexion of the skin. Light usually gets trapped into fine lines and wrinkles which makes them more visible. Nevertheless, thanks to their round shape, minerals naturally create a soft focus effect and by reflecting light, they minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and hide imperfections. In addition, the pigments used are naturally derived from mineral substances. The colours (browns, blues, reds…) are extracted from minerals present in the earth, they are then refined to be applicable to the skin.

According to the company, this fragrance and talc-free foundation contains:

  • Sea Water Minerals: sea water is rich in calcium and magnesium that support skin’s own natural mineral equilibrium to strengthen skin’s appearance
  • Mica: adds luminosity and reflects light for a soft focus look
  • Silica: spherical powder gives a smooth feel and helps soften imperfections
  • Squalane: delivers moisturizing benefits
  • Vitamins A, C and E: condition skin and help protect against environmental assaults
  • Titanium Dioxide: a mineral that provides natural sun protection
  • Aloe: soothing and moisturizing

In Singapore, Pure Finish Mineral Powder Foundation can be found at Elizabeth Arden counters located at Metro (Paragon and Woodlands), OG (Albert Complex and People’s Park),  Robinsons (Centrepoint and Raffles City) and  Takashimaya.

Image source: Elizabeth Arden Pure Finish


  • Lilian says:

    Thanks for posting – sounds interesting and a much neater version of mineral foundation – I’m always afraid of spilling the whole container :) btw which brand of tinted moisturiser do you wear? I’m thinking of getting one that’s suitable for oily skin that’s not too pricey and available locally. thanks!

    • makeupmag says:

      Hi Lilian,

      I use L’Oreal UV Perfect most of the time. It can be too greasy for oily skins though. How about mixing your own? Try foundation + sunscreen or foundation + moisturiser.

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