I purchased a sample of each shade in the line for $0.90 each with a few extra sample jars in Level 0 Porcelain, hoping that would be my match and I could try it for a while that way. I've worn this foundation at home and to work for several days in a row now testing it out (I'm still on my first sample jar - each one comes with maybe one week's worth), and my first impression is definitely a positive one. But before I get into that, be forewarned if you intend to order the $0.50 sample card that contains a tiny amount of each shade to help determine your own: the quantity of each shade on that sample card is miniscule. They included one with my order, so I started out trying to swatch with that, and it wasn't even enough of each color to do finger-swatching on my arm as you see below - just enough to cover a tiny section of your face, and just once. I tossed it and moved onto the sample jars I'd ordered.
First of all, Level 0 Porcelain is an excellent match for my N/NW10 skin. It blends in perfectly and I would recommend this shade to anyone on the NC/NW5-NC/NW10 spectrum; 15s might want to try samples of Level 0 Porcelain and Level 1 Fair/Light to see which matches them best. Darker than that, I'm not sure which shades correspond with which MAC shades, but hopefully the swatches will help with that.
Outdoors, thick swatches:
Outdoors, swatches blended into skin:
Paula's Choice also offers this guide to help you determine your color (found on their Facebook page), which I find very informative:
- Level 0: Porcelain, such as Julianne Moore or Kate Winslet
- Level 1: Fair to Light, such as Nicole Kidman or Anne Hathaway
- Level 2: Light, such as Kate Hudson or Jessica Simpson
- Level 3: Light to Medium, i.e. Sarah Jessica Parker or Angelina Jolie
- Level 4: Medium, think Jennifer Lopez or Eva Mendes
- Level 5: Medium to Tan, such as Rashida Jones or Halle Berry
So. This foundation offers sheer to medium coverage and is not very buildable, so lovers of full-coverage foundations only (think Estee Lauder Double Wear, Kat Von D Lock It, Vichy Dermablend, Revlon Colorstay, etc.), steer clear. Here is my hand with no product on it - note the red blotchiness and small light brown mole:
And here is the same patch of skin with Level 0 Porcelain blended over it - note that you can still see the mole, but the red blotchiness is mostly covered/evened out. Also note how beautifully it blends into my skin - you probably wouldn't know there was foundation there if I hadn't just told you, right?
I get very oily in my t-zone, especially under the pervasive heating/air conditioning system at my work that dries my skin out like whoa (I think my skin is compensating), and I noticed that I was able to go an extra two hours longer than I usually can without blotting and powdering my oily areas while wearing the Resist foundation, so I can definitely recommend this for oilier skin types. I also did not feel at any point that it was drying at all, so I would also recommend it for normal to dry skin - probably anything except very dry skin, as I also didn't find it particularly moisturizing. The finish of this foundation is a natural matte (not a flat matte) after it dries, but I set it with powder anyway to help with the lasting power. On my makeup wipe at the end of the day, there was just a small amount of product left, but this is also a sheerer foundation than the others I tend to reach for the most (Clinique BB cream, Bourjois Healthy Mix, and Revlon Colorstay Whipped) so that tells me that what little color/coverage is applied to my face in the morning is lasting throughout the workday. I have tried applying it with fingers and with my Sephora #56 brush so far, and also over bare skin and over Too Faced Primed & Poreless Pure primer, and it looked good in all of those conditions.
If you have heavy scarring, a deep flush of rosacea, or active breakouts you're looking to cover, this may not be the foundation for you. However, if you are just looking for slightly evened, nicer-looking skin from a foundation you can count on to last through the day, Resist could be perfect for you. I should also note that I have not experienced any breakouts or clogged pores from this foundation in the four days I've been wearing it (usually by now I'd have started to see breakouts, if I was going to) or any irritation from it on my face. I did experience some minor irritation on my eyelids yesterday that may have been because I put it on my them to smooth out some post-waxing unevenness, but then again, it could also have been from the brow wax! Resist also does not have any SPF at all, which is a good thing in my book! I normally wear sunscreen under my foundation anyway, and this makes it much more friendly to those who struggle with allergies to common sun protection ingredients.
I hope this is helpful to those of you as curious about this foundation as I was. I haven't decided yet if I'm going to purchase the full size - I may - I want to use up my four Level 0 Porcelain sample jars first and see if I feel like it's a must-have for me after that, as most of the time I prefer slightly more coverage than this offers. I do love how it helps with my oilies, though! If you'd like to purchase this foundation or any other Paula's Choice products, they are only available for purchase on the Paula's Choice website here. If you plan to make an order and want to know what else you should get while you're at it, I refer you to my skincare favorites post once again for my top recommendations.