March 31, 2011

Shiseido Perfect Refining Foundation Review & Swatches

Shiseido Perfect Refining Foundation how I love you so let me go ahead and count the ways!

  • You brighten my dull skin to the max!
  • You make me look flawless.
  • You make my skin look bright eyed and bushy tailed!
  • You create the perfect base for my makeup!
  • You come in the cutest squeeze tube!
  • You’re a runny liquid but offer incredibly flawless coverage, how do you do it? What’s your secret?
  • You surprise me over and over again with your beautiful formula!


I’m really loving the new Shiseido Perfect Refining Foundation.

You NEED it!

A semi-matte, medium-coverage liquid foundation with a crazy long wear time!

I haven’t used foundation outside of BB Creams for a very long time since many oxidize so quickly on me. I’ve kinda thrown in the hat at this point because I become frustrated with the wear time on many foundations thus my adventures led me to Asia and the longer wear of a brilliant BB Cream.

Shiseido Perfect Refining Foundation proves you can find excellent foundations outside of Asia with long wear and amazing coverage.

This new foundation blends seamlessly into skin leaving behind perfectly lightweight coverage and a flawless finish that you have to see to believe. I was amazed what a single drop could do!

The foundation comes housed in a square tube squeeze bottle with a needle nose nozzle. You can squeeze out a few drops and slide them every so gently over your face with your fingertips. If you prefer a brush or a sponge that’s perfectly fine however fingers work just as great as well. The formula is a watery, runny liquid and looks can be oh so deceiving in this case because I instantly believed it would lack pigment. Honestly, this texture reminds me of an old foundation that’s been left laying around for far too long but like I said don’t be deceived. The formula glides onto skin in a refreshing, dewy burst and absorbs easily without leaving behind a mask-like feel or a greasy, oily finish. As you apply it to your face you’ll instantly see what a flawless canvas it leaves behind. It’s as if you took up a painting brush and proceeded to refresh an old vintage canvas. You can literally see imperfections disappear, dullness eases (even erases if you will), and a fresher, more awake skin is revealed.

Seriously, it just creates perfection on your skin!

Shiseido recommends it for normal to combination skin and calls it semi-matte. I personally feel like anyone can make proper use of it. It’s light enough for oily skin, hydrating enough for dry as it won’t accentuate flaky areas, and normal and combo skin, goes without saying it’ll work for both.

As for the finish it feels quite dewy and refreshing on my skin and quite hydrating. Shiseido promises a whooping 15 hours of wear but I see about six hours if I’m lucky and about five on a good day.

Nothing bad here!

  • Anyone looking for their perfect HG foundation (here it is!).
  • Anyone who likes lightweight, hydrating coverage the perfects without appearing heavy!
  • Those will certain dullness that needs brightening.
  • Those who want flawless skin!

  • If you don’t like it, you’re crazy!

I feel like I’ve been waiting for Shiseido Perfect Refining Foundation my entire life. It’s one of those rare foundation gems that perfects skin and creates a flawless finish without looking like I have any makeup on at all. Even the price feels right to me at $38.50.

All in all I feel like it’s a you NEED this kinda base.

Try it out at your local counter.

I think you’ll be as delighted as I am with it.

VERY Muse Approved for purchase!

About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

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  • Courtney

    This looks awesome! Where can I get it? Also, what are your current top 3 favorite BB creams? I know you’ve reviewe several and I was wondering which ones you like the best.

    • Courtney

      Nevermind, found it at Sephora. Would be interested in knowing your answer on the BB creams though.

    • the Muse

      hey court, glad you got it at Sephora. They change alot but right how I like the Peach Holika Holika one, Skin79 (pink and gold labels), and also really love Shills. I have reviews of all of these up but not the Holika, Holika one. but yeah, they constantly change I rotate through about 30 of them ;-D I like to see which ones work best, wear long, etc…I have high hopes I’ll actually get around to a massive comparison one day so I keep buying all the new ones ;D!

      • Courtney

        Thanks! I’ll have to try those out. So far I’ve only tried Skinfood’s Mushroom and the Maybelline BB cream. I like Maybelline’s better but I’m still on the lookout for a better one. I may have to try some of those.

  • Kawaii Nail Art

    Oh I am so pleased to hear about a foundation that doesn’t oxidise! I have such a problem with this. I will be tracking this down I hope it comes in my shade
    Stacie xoxox

  • Doanne

    omg i was waiting for someone to review it. definately going to pick this up. Since it has SPF in it do you turn ghostly white in photography?

  • Christina

    Hi Muse,

    Have you tried Chanel’s new foundation? I’ve only used it a few times, but I believe it has a similar concept as Shiseido’s. The only thing with Chanel’s is that the shades tend to run a bit pink. =)

    • the Muse

      I haven’t christina, it’s been sitting in my to be “reviewed pile” ๐Ÿ˜‰ but agreed the chanel ones def runs more pink!

    • Asuka

      NC15 would be B00 or even B20. B is “carnation Beige” with pink undertones.

  • Asuka

    Thanks for the review, Muse! I just bought Shiseido Lifting foundation, and considered buying this Refining one around May, at a dark hue, to fit my tanned body. It’ s very important to wear a reliable foundation during the hot weather of summer. And Shis. Lifting will probably shine a lot at hot temperatures.

  • Girl Hearts Makeup

    oh lovely review! first one I’ve seen of this foundation. I’ve been pining for it for months and THANK YOU SO MUCH for this review. Just when I started to think this foundation was nothing special… I see your review! ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Fuuka

    I bet it is amazing. I always hear good things about Shiseido, I just wish they didn’t use chemical sunscreens that make me ichy >_<
    Have you tried Clarins' new foundation? I forgot what it is called..Iluminating Natural Tint?

    • Erika

      Shiseido actually uses more mineral suncreens than chemical, sometimes a combo of both ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Karrie

    This foundation sounds great.
    I will have to try it when I stop by the counter.
    Thank you for such a great post.

  • katrosado

    Does this foundation run yellowish or pinkish at all? I was going to ask about the color range but I’ll go check it out at sephora ๐Ÿ™‚

    • the Muse

      katros yup they have both yellow and pink tones. the color range is pretty nice!

  • courtlynn

    I am SO happy that you recommended this review. I think i went out and got it the same day and it’s HG for me!

  • rene

    The Muse,you are right!I’ve bought it today I20 color.I like it very much!I’m foundation junkie and I have never seen such prefect foundation until today.Sorry for my english.

    • the Muse

      yay rene so glad to hear it my dear! Your english is fine ;-D Enjoy your new foundation!

  • pinkblings

    I agree!!! I own all of Shiseido’s liquid foundations and love them all. I also have the stick foundation. My shade is O40. I just love Shiseido Skincare products and foundations/powders. Even the veil is awesome! My secret is definitely Shiseido !!!! P. S. Did you know that Shiseido purchased Bare Minerals???? for about $1.7 billion…. Now, I have to try Bare Minerals, too, just to support this line =)

  • Ola

    I am SO late here!
    But! I have been eyeing Shiseido foundations for a *long* time. And when the right time came and I decided to get it, I left with the Estee Lauder Vita-Mineral (loved it, btw). And now, I GOTTA HAVE THIS ONE! Apparently, I’m gonna have to buy it online. What are the shades like. I’m pretty fair (Estee Intensity 1.0, Lancome Ivoire, etc.). I have never tried MAC, so I have no idea what N I am.
    Are these pinkish? Yellowish? Neutral?

    Damn, I was just about to go on a no buy after getting the new Lancome lipstick, the Too Faced Matte Eye Palette, the the the…:/

  • casey23

    Hi Muse! I wamt to ask you something. I have a serious oxidization problem with most of the foundations. Why does that happen? I thought, since I have oily skin, somehow it is related to that but you mentioned the same problem here and I wonder if you have any idea about the source of this problem. Thanks!!

  • Amanda Rutledge

    Im confused. You say that you get at most six hours of wear from this??? Would you say that’s good??? I would think that’s a definite negative since a normal work day is even more than that. Am I reading that wrong?

    • the Muse

      that’s excellent for a liquid foundation in my experience with my skin type. Foundations tend to either oxidize on my dry skin or fade away within a four hour period or at the least need a touch up. I haven’t come across a foundation product, outside of BB cream, that would last from the start of my work day until the end of it. That would be a miracle for many foundation users ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Chunva

    I think you should try Coverderm classic waterproof concealing foundation, it really cover blemishes and looks fantastic. Review that shows amazing result: I’m curious at how it compares to shiseido foundation ^^

  • Rosa Abelino

    Hi Muse, I am wondering if you have heard that this foundation is being discontinued? Based on your review I went into my local Macy’s yesterday and asked for this foundation because I did not see it on the counter and the sales woman proceeded to tell me it was discontinued! I ended up buying another foundation from this line but was so disapointed! I got on Shiseido’s website this morning and I still see it offered. I have emailed Customer Service for an answer. Don’t know if this sales woman wanted me to buy something else or if she was just mistaken. Thanks!

    • Isabella Muse

      not that I know of Rosa. It’s also still readily available at Sephora! Hopefully she was wrong! I love this stuff!

  • ratna

    Hi Isabella, I want to buy shiseido foundation bt cant get which shade Will go perfect with my in my city shiseido is only available online