Review | Clarins Hydra-Luminous Powder Foundation SPF20 PA++

Delivers a flawless sculpting, smoothing light while preserving soft, supple skin. A high-performance formula containing powerful plant extracts to ensure a radiant, even complexion in any circumstance and a feeling of lasting comfort.


Some time back, Clarins sent me this powder foundation to try. Based on the Clarins Hydra-Botanic System, it contains camomile, ginkgo biloba and rosemary extracts for their stimulating and hydrating properties, as well as shea butter for smoothness and white tea for its anti-free radical action. In addition, this foundation is made with a ‘3D Luminance’ pigment that the brand says will diffuse light in a way that sculpts the face.

Below are my thoughts on this product.

The Pros

  • It has a brightening effect

I was sent 01 Linen, 02 Petal and o3 Natural. Linen and Petal are too light for me but I intend to use them for subtle highlighting. 03 Natural turned out to be the nearest match for my skin tone, even though it is still a touch fairer than my neck. I do like the radiance it imparts and how it makes my skin look clearer.

  • It has a nice finish

To be honest, the powder isn’t exceptionally fine but my powder brush (MAC Large Powder Brush in 150) seems to pick it up easily, laying it down and blending it smoothly on my face. The included sponge gives my face a more ‘done’ appearance but either way, the foundation imparts a smooth and even finish.

  • It has good coverage

I’d peg the coverage as light to medium; good enough for my needs. I don’t expect it to cover my blemishes (and it doesn’t) but it does even out my skin tone well.

  • It contains SPF

Sun protection is always a good thing to have! The value could be higher though.

  • It does not streak

I like that it doesn’t cake up or leave unsightly lines when I start to oil up. A simple blot with tissue and my face looks fresh again.

  • It lasts

To my joy, this foundation does last. The photo below shows the foundation on my face, nine to ten hours after I’d first applied it and I only had to blot my face with tissue three times in the course of the day. To make the test harder, I’d actually used a L’Oreal UV Perfect sunscreen, well-known for their somewhat greasy feel. Needless to say, I’m very impressed with this foundation for its staying power.

The Cons

It can swipe a little dry

As I’ve mentioned above, the pigments aren’t very fine – at first touch, the powder feels a little coarser than some  of the powder foundations I’ve tried. Happily, it blends out easily for a lovely, smooth finish. Perhaps that dryness is necessary for oil control.

  • The case is a fingerprint magnet

As you might’ve guessed, the reflective case attracts finger marks like crazy.

  • I’m not fond of the gold-coloured packaging

I’m not much of a gold person, although I do concede that the case has a touch of luxe to it, aided by the fact that it comes in a lush ruby red velvet pouch. There’s also a stylish little indent on the right side of the case for ease of opening but I fault it for being unfair to left-handed people! :P It is more ornamental than functional though; the case opens easily without it.

This foundation is available at all Clarins counters. The case (S$22) and the foundation pan refill (S$55) are sold separately.

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