Product Review: Sofina Primavista Liquid Foundation UV

Sofina Primavista Liquid Foundation UV SPF25 PA+++, 30ml
Sofina Primavista Liquid Foundation UV SPF25 PA++, 30ml

5 months of not sleeping left my skin looking haggard, dehydrated and dull. When I saw that Sofina Primavista released a foundation for Spring/Summer 2012 (in liquid and also powder form) that promises to work on dehydrated, fatigued, stressed skin, I jumped the gun and purchased it, since Sofina has always been one of my favourite brands, and their -5 years (minus 5 years in skin age) campaign always speaks to me, calling out my name!

At the time of purchase (late May), not many places sell this liquid version – only one seller on eBay and Ichibankao. Ichibankao is always the most expensive (with regular shipping=US$53.00). I went with the ebay seller – though the foundation was listed as OC-05 (“standard” shade for average Japanese skin tone), when I received it, it was actually BO-05, the yellow-based version of the standard shade. The shade name is written in Japanese, but still, the seller should have known. BUT, since my skin has become more yellow from lack of sleep, I thought this might work, so I kept it anyway without making a fuss or complaint. has this in stock now by the way, much cheaper than eBay or ichibankao.

The texture:
This is a liquid foundation, but it’s not runny at all. It has a milky consistency, blends easily and dries to a ‘natural’ finish. By natural, I mean neither matte or dewy – just natural, like your own skin. I like this, because I hate super greasy/dewy foundations that don’t dry quickly, when you run your powdered brush over your skin with loose powder, it streaks. Anyway, no such problem with this one. It isn’t runny and once applied, it becomes like a moisturizer without feeling heavy. (Usage is only a dab of 8mm diameter for the entire face, so don’t overuse or it will feel heavy and smear more)

Also, it doesn’t settle into pores like that awful Hada Labo BB Moist Cream.

Magnified look of my pores near my nose after applying Sofina Primavista Liquid Foundation UV

Well, this turns out to be a nearly perfect match! It’s slightly (I am saying just really slightly) darker than my natural skin tone, but with a translucent loose powder, it’s a perfect match.

Generally, I was mismatched to the OC shades, and have always found them to be a little too pink(you can look at my profile page picture below – my face is redder than my neck); but now that I am in the BO range, the foundation looks like second skin on me! It was just a little darker, so next time I will go for BO-03.

Here, in my ‘about me’ page, my face is redder than my neck from using an OC (neutral) shade.

As for its claims to make your skin look more lively and less tired, I think it comes down to the right amount of coverage. I would say this foundation has medium coverage – if you have very dark pigmentation you will need concealers to layer up the camouflage. This conceals my dark circles better than my Bobbi Brown concealers, and blends much more easily as well.

As for its other claim about the color not changing for 10 hours, this is absolutely true. I have worn this out in the sun for at least 4 hours, and then another 7-8 hours indoors, and the colour stays exactly the same, with no oxidizing whatsoever. It also does an ok job controlling oil, even though it doesn’t feel or look matte on your skin.  I use a primer (Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Light) and a loose powder (to set, and then to blot), after a touch up at noon, I do two more touch ups (2pm, 4pm) and I do have moderate smearing around the mouth and chin. It’s not the best in terms of oil control so even though this is the ‘summer’ version of foundation, I wouldn’t recommend this to people with oily skin.

One of the selling points and claims about this foundation was that this makes application easier for days when your skin is acting up from lack of sleep, stress, etc. I personally do not find this adhere or blend any better than regular foundation(better than the Hada Labo BB Moist Cream by a long shot though). It’s probably just a marketing gimmick…there was no improvement for myself, since I don’t sleep well at night and my skin is generally quite rough at the moment, suffering from stress and fatigue.

The best foundation I have used was Kanebo’s Revue, which I used years ago and loved. That one was still my favourite – it was sheer and creamy and my own skin showed through.  Sofina Primavista Liquid Foundation UV is a nice foundation, but I wish it had better oil control, especially when I don’t even have oily skin and find myself touching up and blotting frequently in the afternoon.

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to find any animal testing information on Sofina. I was told that as long as it doesn’t boast any new ingredient the government doesn’t require animal testing, but this doesn’t really mean the company doesn’t test. There is just so little information on who does and who doesn’t test when it comes to foreign companies.

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