May 15, 2012

Josie Maran Argan Matchmaker Powder Foundation SPF 20 Review and Swatches

The new Josie Maran Argan Matchmaker Powder Foundation SPF 20 is a very interesting color change technology that actually works, somewhat.

This instant self-adjusting powder foundation might sound gimmicky considering the track record with many brands producing “color changing” everything from gloss to blush and foundation products too.

Let’s take a look!

This comes in a gorgeous rose gold compact. The packaging deserves to be hailed as I felt like it was stunning. It’s a dual layer compact that features a super soft dual textured sponge in one well and the powder and mirror in the flip side. I love the sponge included with this as it has a soft, fluffy side or you can reverse it and use the powder wet with the other side of the sponge which has more of a traditional, rubbery feel.

I think it’s stunning but a little odd since they seemed to have mistakenly placed the mirror with the powder. It would have been smarter if the mirror was in with the sponge as now the mirror gets a kick up of dust from the powder and dirties easily. Hmmm!

Overall, I was more than pleased with the packaging and felt like it deserved a mention as I really loved this and thought it was a beautiful piece for my makeup bag and touch ups.

The formula here does contain zinc oxide as well as titanium dioxide. I’m not sensitive to such ingredients but I thought it deserved a mention for those who do. I find SPF in powder products a tad odd as you REALLY need to apply a ton of it for any real protection. I appreciate the SPF 20 here but I also find it slightly unnecessary as there is no way I am piling on enough to actually protect me well enough so I do recommend an SPF prior to powder for the best sun protection.

The formula is soft, silky, and blends oh so easily. It’s a speckled design which features a medium pigment as well as a translucent powder. The two shades combine and self adjust to skin. I was delighted as the technology actually works. Having tried many products like this I was surprised to see it swatched dark on my arm at first but immediately adjusted to fit my skin perfectly. Delightful! You can see in my swatch below how spot on a match it is, this is within seconds of me swatching it.

But some down fall is ahead….

Coverage is sheer to medium…it’ll perfect skin but I don’t find it workable as a full coverage foundation product so if you have dark spots, acne scarring issues, etc…you’ll need more coverage than this simple powder. I enjoy it for a little light coverage when I’m not wanting a full foundation experience or I use it as a touch up or finishing powder.

The downside…

I’m disappointed to report the shade goes orange on me sadly. Since the fair/light color is meant for those with fairer skin and pink undertones, I went with the light/medium. It applies beautifully at first but within 5-10 minutes I started looking like an oompa loompa.

I’m curious if the fair/light color might be a better fit.

Overall, Josie Maran Argan Matchmaker Powder Foundation SPF 20 proves an excellent little powder with a lovely formula. The powder is soft, silky, and whisper soft on skin even my dry skin looks flawless in it. It’s the type of formula that works beautifully with most any skin type including dry skin so it might just be the argan oil infused in the powder that allows it to sit lovely on skin without accentuating dryness. The packaging also gets points from me as the rose gold is lovely and the little extras like a sponge with a dual texture is interesting and different!

However, do be aware when selecting a shade as the color tends to swatch well and adjusts wonderfully well but within several minutes I did find it went completely wrong for me. I’m going to purchase the lighter shade as I love everything about this one and I’m hopeful it’ll adjust better than this shade selection did!

Likey but does have a few hurdles to jump over to be great and wearable for that matter.

Tried it?

Loved it?

Do share!

Available at

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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  • Candee702

    I’ve got this in my Sephora cart. I hate that these sites don’t give detailed descriptions of the colors and who they’d look best on (undertones and what not).

    • the Muse

      candee there is a little read more on sephora’s site and it gives details about the colors and undertones there

  • Kate

    I purchased the fair/light version of this (I’m pale/light with freckles) and I think it’s a good match for fair skin. The coverage is sheer to medium as you’ve indicated, but I found it can be a nice finishing powder too over foundation or tinted moisturizer. It hasn’t turned orange on me, and a lot of products that claim color adjustment (ahem, Boscia BB cream) do. The lighter color may work for you too. Nice review though. 🙂

    • the Muse

      kate, I’m going to try the light, I really LOVE this but it went so orange on me 🙁 def trying the light ;D!

  • bean

    hey muse! is this available at Sephora instores? Pretty sure i havent seen this brand before… anyway the color looks amazing! the packaging is also pretty i think i need this in my makeup stash!!

    • the Muse

      i haven’t seen it at my sephora yet bean but josie is sold at sephora and this is available at depends on your location..some stores start stocking new products early and some don’t 🙂

  • dina

    look forward to hearing your thoughts on the light/fair if you pick it up 😀 i’m not a fan of foundation but being that it’s sheer coverage i’d give it a whirl!

  • Jennifer

    I purchased this this summer, and I really like it for the most part. I don’t use the sponge that it comes with, i use a powder foundation brush/Kabuki brush, i find this spreads it out and it doesn’t sit so heavily.

  • Diana

    I have it in medium/dark (nc-40) and I love, love, love it! It lives in my purse stash for use on days I’m out and about and decide to polish up the face a bit. It has not morphed into orangeness on me. Great review, and I hope the lighter one worked out better for you.