Saturday, 11 December 2010

Paul & Joe Creamy Matte Foundation - a big mistake

When does Alabaster not mean pale? When you are Paul & Joe Creamy Matte Foundation, that's when.

Paul & Joe Creamy Matte Foundation - £28

I had high hopes for this, as since my oil glands seem to have gone into overdrive I decided my base needed an overhaul and matte was the way forward. I had read some really good reviews of this product and of the Paul & Joe makeup range in general, and with a discount offered on ASOS, I thought I'd try it.

Charlotte over at Lipglossiping had posted about the 002 shade, the one most suited to skin with pink undertones, but said she found this a bit dark so recommended 00 or 001. Thinking 001 would be a little too yellow, I plumped for 000, Alabaster, and remember being it a little concerned it might be too pale. I needn't have worried. The picture below shows Alabaster applied to my wrist both straight from the pot and blended. I think you'll see my point.

Paul & Joe Creamy Matte Foundation in Alabaster Swatches
I cannot believe that this is the palest shade Paul & Joe do in this foundation. Even when I had a suntan (back in my younger, less SPF obsessed days) this would have been miles too dark for me. I suppose this is what you get when you order a product unseen over the Internet, but I did think that I had made the right choice for me.

I can't really tell you much else about the product itself other than the packaging is cute but not entirely practical. I suppose the reason I am posting this is to see if you all think that this is genuinely what the shade 000 should look like, or whether there has been some kind of labelling mix up. I can spot what looks like some white pigment stuck to the inside of the bottle but even when I have tried to mix it in, it doesn't work. From what I can tell, it looks darker than Charlotte's 002 bottle but the computer can distort these things. Any fair skinned ladies had any luck with Paul & Joe foundation?

Paul & Joe Creamy Matte Foundation in 000 (Alabaster)

Foundation, along with cleanser, is the one beauty item I can never get enough of. No matter how good (or how bad) I think a product is, a little voice inside me always tells me the next one will be better. I am on an eternal quest for perfect skin so despite this recent online foundation disaster, I have just instructed my brother to bring me a pot of Chantecaille Future Skin in Porcelain for Christmas. Hopefully this will be pale enough for my vampire skin! (If not I hear Chanel have a new one out in January, I tell you I'm an addict!)


  1. The Chantecaille Porcelain is very very light. I used Ivory in the concealer, before I discovered rms Beauty concealer.

    That doesn't look Alabaster to me, at all. I do wonder if it's been mislabelled. I might be near Fenwicks next week, will do some investigating.

  2. I have seriously oily skin and I'm paler than MAC NW15 so I'm always on the lookout for something pale enough that will cope with the oil my skin produces. I recently picked up Revlon colourstay for oily/combo skin in Ivory and I have to say not only is it pale enough for my Casper complexion, but it doesn't slide off my face by lunch! I lasts so well that even I need to oil cleanse to remove it. I do set it with Nars loose powder in Snow and I blot my T zone with a tissue midday and it looks as though I've just applied it. You need to work quickly as it dries so fast, I use a MAC 187 and stipple/buff it on. Word of warning it does have an almost paintlike smell, but this dissapates once you've applied.

    Give it a go , Revlon on 3 for 2 @ Boots at the moment.

  3. I find it hard to believe that that is genuinely their palest shade. I'm inclined to think it's a mix up. ASOS have excellent customer services which you can access easily through their online forum. I would ask if it's possible that there could have been a mistake.

    I hope you have more success with the Chantecaille.
    Jane x

  4. Hi Grace,
    I did think about going for Ivory in the foundation as well but after the Paul & Joe experience decided I would be cautious and prefer to be too pale for a change if it's not an exact match. If you do pop in to Fenwicks I'd be really interested to know how you find the shades as I simply can't believe that is correct.

    Hi Liz,
    Thanks for your advice. I popped into my local Boots today and had a look at the Revlon foundation you suggested. Unfortunately they only had Buff as their lightest shade which was too yellow but when I am near a bigger store I'll try and search for Ivory as the product felt quite good when I tried it on my hand. I had a look at the fairest shades available at all the different brands in that Boots store and was amazed at how dark they are. It is a shame how few brands cater for skin tones at both ends of the spectrum.
    Jennifer X

    Hi Jane,
    I would like to think it's a mix up but I've never bought from Paul & Joe or ASOS before. To me it certainly looks darker than shade 002 on Lipglossiping. I have the returns slip but I wasn't sure whether ASOS do returns for beauty items? Ideally I'd like an exchange for the same shade if it is a mix up or for 002 if it's not. I'll try and contact them tomorrow.

    I have high hopes for the Chantecaille, looked quite carefully at Karlasugar's swatches, don't want an even more costly mistake! Luckily I had my Ndulge points to spend so lowered the price a lot.
    Jennifer X

  5. Hi Jennifer

    Like the others wrote I think that jar is incorrectly labeled. That would be very poor CS if that counter doesn't take that as a return. Good luck! Back a few years ago, I liked that Future skin foundation from Chantecaille. I wonder why I didn't keep using it?? Probably like everything else....cosmetic ADD ;O)

    Let us know how it works out with the P&J.
    x jeanie

  6. Oh, this makes me sad.

    That *has* to be a mistake... that seems to be far darker than my 20 (Fresh).

    Did you contact them? Want an inner arm swatch of mine to compare? x

  7. Hi Charlotte,
    It does look a lot darker than your shade. I emailed ASOS and they wanted me to return it so they could check it, which I have. Although they didn't tell me, they sent another 00 shade to me but it seems just as dark. I asked that the original I returned be exchanged for 20, in the hope that it will be lighter, but haven't heard anything yet.

    Such a shame as otherwise it would be a great product. When I'm next in London, end of Jan, I'll try and get to a counter so I can compare shades in person. X

  8. Hi
    I've just come across your blog looking for a review of P&J foundation. I'm really surprised! Have you gad any hadway with sorting the shade, and with ASOS?
    As all these other ladies suggest, it must be a mislabel, although we know few companies cater for us 'pale 'n' interesting', I too am fair.
    I found Avon did a Mousse in Ivory which was fine for the price, but now they've discontinued it!
    I might have a go at what Liz has bought when my Avon runs out and not risk my £16! Any other ladies there have any suggestions?

  9. Hi Julia,
    Well, I emailed ASOS and they told me to send it back to them to check out. They sent another 00 shade to me and it is just the same, scarily dark. On the return form of the original I asked to be sent shade 02 as a replacement but have heard nothing. Will have to get onto them.

    I bought the Bourjois Healthy Mix foundation yesterday which is just £6.99 in Boots at the moment and am really pleased with it. I got shade 51, the lightest they do and its great. Feels like a much more expensive product. If I'm being really picky it is a teeny bit yellow for my liking but for £6.99 I don't care! It is definitely worth a try.

  10. Hmm, I was really tempted just now to order P&J form ASOS, but reading this it might be pointless. I've read a few reviews about the quality, finish, texture, coverage and longevity and such, but obviously no mention of issues with pale-ness! As much as I'd want to like it (the packaging, the fact I'll expect it to be amazing) its likely to be too dark. Looking at your photo there, I might be paler than you! Ah the Irish in me! I'll try Revlon or Bourjois. I think I might stick to the rule of, must try on jaw-in in store before I invest!
    Thanks for the comments x

  11. I'm fairly light yellow toned and have oily skin. Got shade 10 and swatching it on my arm, it looked very dark and orange like yours did, I swore there was some mistake. But when I actually put it on my face it seemed to "adjust" to the shade the name suggests. So if you get your replacement, maybe you'll give it a shot on the face instead. For whatever reason it makes a difference. Hope that helps someone because it is a great foundation (I can't say that for a lot of supposed yellow-toned, matte foundations) and is a nice true semi-matte but still looks like skin. So far my oils have been very nicely controlled. And it actually matches my skin tone.

  12. I have a tester of this in 30 (not 00, 10, 20 but 30) and I am about an nc20. When i applied this quite thickly over my face (testing is testing!), it gave me a bit of colour but blended in and "adjusted" really well (as anonymous above has described). It looks SUPER DARK (much darker than your swatch, which is expected and orange) but if the 4th shade can adjust to my nc20 face then I think you should give 00 a try on your face and see if it adjusts rather than just swatching it on your arm. I really love the semi-matt natural finish (anon has it spot on) and I'm planning to pick up a full pot, perhaps in 20 or 10. in short, have a go with it on your face :) xxx

  13. Ah.... very bad news! I really wanted to try this after the Lipglossiping review too, but that's so so dark!! :S shame because it looks lovely. Have a look at Illamasqua, their foundations are so pale (I'm like N10 in Mac so a vampire too :)) xxx