Monday, October 27, 2014

Almay Smart Shade CC Cream & Shadow Softies

This year has been all about exploring aisles of my local drugstores for new and interesting products to try. Sometimes I stumble upon amazing and affordable dupes for some of my favorite high end products. Other times I'm underwhelmed with what I try. While Almay is brand that I've known about for over a decade, this the first time I'm adding their products to my beauty stash. Geared toward sensitive skin I was curious to see how these gentle formulas performed.

The first thing I grabbed were two shades of the Almay Shadow Softies. They describe themselves as being "light as air, whipped powder shadows that glide on for a sheer wash of crease-free color with a cushiony soft feel". That does sound pretty appealing. The two colors I chose were Lilac, a soft pastel purple, and Honeydew, a muted pale green. These powder shadows do feel pretty soft to the touch, but I found that they didn't transfer all that well to a brush. While they do bring a bit of shimmer, they were not joking when they said they offer a "sheer wash" of color. As you can see from the swatch below the pigmentation was pretty much non existent.

At $4.99 for a 0.7 oz pan, these shadows are an average value for the drugstore, and the packaging is slim and cute. Personally, I prefer my eyeshadows to pack more of a punch. I like creamy, pigmented formulas that I can build and blend as I please. To get more visibility out of these shadows a primer is a must. If sheer is your thing, you may enjoy these Shadow Softies, but I personally am not a huge fan. I think I may revisit these in the springtime and see if I can find a way to make them work for me, otherwise I may be looking to find them a new home.

I was all about the BBs and CCs this summer. While most of them were prestige brands, I wanted to branch out and see if the drugstore offered any less expensive options that worked just as well. I had high hopes for this Almay Smart Shade CC Cream, which is meant to minimize the look of skin imperfections and discoloration, while also improving the look and feel of your skin over time. At $10.49 for a 1 oz tube, it was 1/3 of the price of my Supergoop! CC cream, and still offered the same SPF 35 rating.

Unfortunately this CC cream just did not work for me. The texture was very strange. It had a weird slippery quality that seemed to be impossible to blend with your fingers and left a very streaky, uneven coverage. Even after setting with powder I felt like this left my face feeling extremely greasy and unpleasant. It also did not seem to last, and became patchy and faded by the end of a long work day. After 3 or 4 tries I gave up on this formula and went back to my usual CC cream standby.

All in all I was disappointed by my first experience with Almay. With there being so many other drugstore brands that I trust to make quality products on a budget, I'm disinclined to try more from this one. If you know an awesome Almay product, I'd love to hear your recommendations! Perhaps I just happened to pick two of the less impressive products they make. There's always a chance for redemption.

Have you tried Almay Smart Shade CC Cream or Shadow Softies? What did you think?