The Body Shop fresh nude foundation review: A new formula in 40 shades | The Independent

2022-04-29 06:43:08 By : Ms. Zoe Zhu

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The brand’s ‘fresh nude’ formula has had a re-vamp, with a focus on inclusivity and sustainability

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We asked seven experts to put the formula through its paces

The New Year brings plenty of fresh beauty launches to get stuck into, and there’s one product that has been a firm focus so far: foundation. Hybrid formulas are the talk of the moment, as brands are launching buildable foundations that blur the boundaries between skincare and make-up, giving you the best of both worlds.

It’s a trend that’s here to stay for 2022, with Charlotte Tilbury launching its already TikTok-viral beautiful skin foundation (which we got our hands on first) Chanel unveiling a new foundation infused with a skincare ingredient that it researched for 14 years, Dior’s latest your-skin-but-better product and a new Nars formula that (you guessed it) puts skincare at the forefront, on the way in early February.

British beauty institution The Body Shop is getting in on the action, but rather than wheeling out a completely new offering, it has unveiled a reformulated version of its popular fresh nude foundation (£18, Inclusivity is the linchpin of the re-launch, with the brand expanding its shade range from 16 to 40 options, with three different undertones to choose from.

And, being a B-Corp brand (meaning it meets the highest ethical and environmental standards), The Body Shop has also made its foundation packaging 100 per cent recyclable (by ditching those pesky pumps) and is using Fairtrade ingredients that give back to indigenous female farmers in south-east Mexico.

To get a real feel for the formula, and to test whether its shade range is as inclusive as it seems, we asked a variety of beauty experts to review the foundation across a range of skintones, to help you decide whether it’s worth adding to your basket.

We asked six reviewers to put The Body Shop’s foundation through its paces, spanning a range of skin types and tones. Dubbed as a hydrating, medium-coverage formula, they considered the ingredients, how the foundation applied on the skin and wore throughout the day, and how close their shade match was.

The Body Shop has kept the hydrating, radiant properties of its original formula, but has expanded its shade range, eco-credentials and stellar ingredients list. The fresh nude foundation is now vegan certified, with 95 per cent natural-origin ingredients (again, with the brand holding B-Corp status, you can rest assured knowing it’s been held to a rigorously high standard here).

It also features 100 per cent recyclable packaging (with the regular caveat that this depends on your local facilities and council recycling schemes) by ditching the plastic pump dispenser for a recyclable spatula that we found cute as well as handy for application – although it split our testers, as you’ll see below. The glass jar feels premium given the price tag, too.

Formula wise, the foundation claims to provide medium coverage, with its hydrating and soothing properties coming via vitamin E and aloe vera, making it suitable for sensitive skin. Sourced from Campeche in south-east Mexico, the aloe vera is Community Fair Trade organic, as it’s harvested by expert farmers who cause minimal harm to the environment. The partnership has helped to support indigenous female farmers who face employment discrimination and limited work opportunities.

I’ve been unwell recently, and although I’m now recovered, my skin has certainly not. On testing I was sporting a bumpy, flaky, red rash across my forehead, which left me with a make-up conundrum. How do I cover the rash, and tone down the redness, without drawing attention to the dry flaky skin? My current foundation wasn’t cutting it: the full coverage camouflaged the redness, but the matte finish that normally suits my typically oily complexion now drew major attention to the plethora of bumps and flakes that had taken up residence on my face.

Thankfully this new base has a hefty dose of hydrating powerhouses such as glycerine and sodium hyaluronate, as well as soothing aloe vera, which helped plump my dehydrated skin and make the flakes far less visible. Tan 2W turned out to be the ideal shade for my warm complexion thanks to its yellow undertone, and I found that this medium-coverage base evened out my skintone and imparted a dewy natural finish that didn’t totally blur pores and blemishes, but certainly lessened their appearance.

Overall, I was impressed with the formula and its staying power, but wasn’t the biggest fan of the change in applicator from pump to spatula, which meant this foundation was exposured to the air and bacteria every time I used it.

Straightaway, I appreciated the attached spatula applicator to minimise mess or waste. I put the foundation onto the back of the hand first, before building it up on the face, so this ensured cleaner use, too. Plus, the light botanical scent from aloe vera and rose water ingredients made for a soothing, skincare-like experience. The midweight product feels gently moisturising, creating a demi-matte effect and providing medium coverage.

This light 3W shade has golden peach undertones, which looked suitably warming on my fair complexion. Additionally, I was pleased to note that no residue settled in my pores and the breathable formula delivered an even base. My skin is prone to dryness, and I saw a subtle dewiness, rather than an overt glow. The natural finish balances redness but isn’t heavily concealing, so for blemish-prone areas I needed to add more product. My skin felt softened, and the foundation didn’t slide off, even after several hours of wear.

First things first, I was impressed with the colour match – I initially tested it on the back of my hand and it blended in seamlessly, so I had high expectations before applying it to my face. And I certainly wasn’t let down. Initially, I used a brush to buff it into my face, but actually found applying it with my fingers produced the best results. The lightweight and creamy formula didn’t stick to any areas of dryness, but rather it blended in easily and quickly smoothed out any unevenness in my skintone. It left my skin feeling brighter and more hydrated, and gave me a glowy yet not overly dewy complexion, making it the perfect everyday option for when you’re after a barely-there make-up look.

That being said, it is buildable – in my case, on my chin and under my eyes – and while the picture above demonstrates just the foundation, it acted as a great base for my make-up routine. As for longevity, I found the foundation lasted the full day, with no need for top-ups. It is worth noting that the updated spatula dispenser won’t be to everyone’s taste, but it’s all part of the brand’s sustainability mission, as it can be more widely recycled and reduces waste. All in all, I was impressed – the shade range is great, it’s hydrating, and it acts as the perfect base for bronzer and highlighter. It’s a yes from me.

I don’t often wear foundation as I prefer something lighter like a tinted moisturiser, so I’m quite particular when I do wear them. With that said, I do appreciate the coverage, so finding something that feels feather-light while still offering opacity is like gold dust. When trying this formula, I was remarkably impressed with how well it blended with my skintone and the fact that there was no need to mix and match to create my perfect shade. I also loved how light it felt on my skin, while still offering the perfect amount of coverage (I would go as far to say that no concealer was needed afterwards to cover any dark marks).

It blended like a dream, my skin was still able to breathe underneath it (an absolute must for my complexion products), and it gave the most beautiful radiance. A little goes a long way, and I didn’t need to follow up with a mattifying powder – instead, I found that my skin looked healthy, hydrated and plump.

The only drawback for me is the applicator, an arrow-shaped wand. I found it awkward to apply on the face and didn’t enjoy dipping it back into the foundation once used on my skin. But, overall, this is a pleasantly surprising foundation that I would confidently add to my beauty roster.

As a loyal fan of glowy and hydrating foundations with medium coverage, I have to say that I was thoroughly impressed with The Body Shop’s new formula. First of all, the shade match was perfect for my skin – I kept having to do a double-take to make sure I had make-up on. Then, as soon as I started blending it in with my fingers, the formula felt silky and hydrating.

In terms of coverage, I would normally veer towards something a bit on the heavier side to hide my acne scarring and redness, but the feather-light formula turned out to be really buildable. This foundation is perfect as an everyday option for someone after a barely-there look (it gives Glossier perfecting skin tint vibes).

Even after applying an extra layer to build coverage, it stayed on all day without feeling cakey or needing top-ups, and left my skin looking glowy, smooth and feeling fresh for hours. This really does exactly what it says on the “fresh nude” bottle. My only gripe would be the bottle’s spatula, as I couldn’t measure how much product I was using.

On first impressions, I loved the dinky glass jar and mini spatula that’s attached to the bottle lid for easy dispensing. As there’s no pump, I was unsure of how much product I applied for my desired coverage, but I’d take a guess that it was only a couple of pumps, as the formula has a liquid-y consistency that goes a long way. The foundation is slightly scented with calming aloe vera and feels instantly fresh on the skin – I felt the hydrating benefits straight away.

I’d describe it as light-medium buildable coverage, and as someone who struggles with texture and acne scarring, I was unsure on whether the formula would offer enough opacity initially. However, I found it really buildable when using a sponge (a brush, not so much – I ended up with streaks) and the formula felt breathable and radiant while still offering enough coverage.

I set this foundation with powder as I usually would (oily skin types will need to do the same) and the formula wore beautifully, with a natural your-skin-but-better finish that I found perfect for everyday wear. You won’t get the same longevity as with high-coverage formulas, but that’s to be expected. Shade-match wise, it’s one of the best I’ve found, owing to the brand’s extensive list of options.

Overall, this formula delivered on its claims: the shade range impressed across a range of skintones, with top marks given for how easy it is to find your perfect match. It also offered a fresh, glowy base that wasn’t too oily and that wore well throughout the day. The majority of our testers didn’t rate the spatula, but appreciated its more sustainable credentials. If you’re looking for a medium-coverage, everyday foundation that doesn’t break the bank, this could be worth a go.

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Charlotte Tilbury has also launched a new foundation – read our review of ‘beautiful skin’

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We asked seven experts to put the formula through its paces

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