Sunday, January 15, 2012

Max Factor smooth effect foundation in caramel 85

A good foundation is hard to come by. Especially if you are a woman of color! I am always in search for a good inexpensive foundation. While browsing around the cosmetics aisle of H&M here in Uppsala, came across the Max factor smooth effect foundation (LINK). Moreover they had a shade for darker skin tone ladies, caramel 85.

Max factor smooth effect foundation

Usually, I would read reviews before making a purchase. This time I did it in an impulse. Not too happy about that now. Read on to know why!

When I checked the color match in the store, it seemed like Caramel 85 was a pretty good match to my skin tone (NC44/45). This foundation is supposed to give a smooth base. It did apply smoothly without any streaking or patchiness.

As you can see from the above picture, the foundation looks smooth and blends in well with my skin (my hand). This did not translate well when applied on my face.

Left side of face

I have smooth, blemish-free skin on the left side of my face (see above pic). So you can see that the foundation did lay smoothly. However, it started to look slightly white (ashy) on my skin after a few minutes. Which  I am not too fond off. I did manage to balance it out with a face powder afterwards.

Right side of face

Now, this is my right side of the face where you can see that I have an angry pimple/zit emerging. So it is slightly red. Obviously, the foundation did not provide much coverage, even after two applications.

- Smooth foundation to touch.
- Spreads smoothly onto face without much effort.
- Foundation is not in the expensive range (basing on UK pricing. In Sweden, it's expensive because of the taxes).

- Was not the perfect match, but I can still pull this off with a slightly darker powder.
- Limited colour range, I think the darkest is caramel 85.
- Turned a little ashy.
- Oily t-zone started to show after 2 hours of application.

I think this foundation is great for someone who likes light or sheer coverage who has few skin imperfections. It did not feel heavy or cakey. The consistency felt more like a tinted moisturizer. Perhaps the next time I will use my MUFE All matt primer before applying this foundation.

Have you guys tried this foundation? What are your thoughts?


  1. Great review my dear,thanks I will pass this I have no luck with drugstore foundation,my only ever foundation from Superdrug was from Sleek but I hate e silicone feel&looks a bit weird on me after few hours hehe.

    1. Sharon : I have never tried the sleek foundation... When I was in London last year, I did swatch them but they did turn ashy after a while. I guess I will give it a try soon. Will check out your site for color reference (since we are similar in skintone).

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  3. Great review - Try Max Factor Colour Adapt Foundation 85 Caramel - More dark and smooth. I can´t find it here - so if you find please let me know
    Thank you - my email:

  4. Hey there :) I use this foundation and I love it - but I have quite the opposite skin type. I have very dry skin, and that's what the shopping assistant recommended it for. It really does the job for me - it's moisturising, doesn't look cakey and doesn't show every little piece of dry skin. And I am extremely light, so finding a good match was also a plus (surprisingly very light foundations can also be hard to find :) But as you said - it only covers smaller imperfections, for the bigger ones I also use corrector.