Friday, May 8, 2009

Free sample - Fresh - Umbrian Clay® Freshface Foundation. A hit and a miss.

image from

New foundations always get me. I am still on my search for my Holy Grail Foundation. I thought it was Dianne Brill but I’m finding it way too expensive and the color match isn’t perfect. When I heard that Fresh had a new foundation out I was very excited to try it. Fresh’s Umbrian Clay line may be controversial (It’s basically
fuller’s earth which isn’t anything special. The US is the worlds largest producer of the stuff so I have a feeling that the special “white clay from Italy” isn’t so Italian. But I digress.) Whether you agree with the Umbrian clay thing or not, I have found many of the items that Fresh produces to be very high quality. I just wished the price tag wasn’t so high too.

I decided to test the new foundation before I purchased it. Best thing about Sephora is that they will give you a sample. I went with my friend Tessa to our local Sephora. Since Tessa is in there as much as me, and she is friendlier than me, she has befriended some of the Sales Associates there. The SA that helped me, recognized Tessa and gave me a HUGE sample of Fresh - Umbrian Clay® Freshface Foundation SPF 20 in Seventh Veil. When I say huge I mean, 10 days worth of sample. I used this foundation sample for 10 days before I ran out. That’s amazing.

The color Seventh Veil was an absolute perfect color match for me. No line of demarcation on my jaw line. Covered up my red areas and didn’t oxidize on me. It was perfection.
There was no scent that I could detect. Which is nice. Trust me, after 2 years of wearing Vincent Longo foundation I still cant stand the heavy perfume scent it has. It lingers on my face. It was a relief to not have to worry about that with the Fresh Umbrian Clay® Freshface Foundation.

The foundation was creamy but not runny. It applied easily with my fingers. It didn’t streak, but I found the coverage to be medium-light. I prefer a more full coverage foundation. I didn’t find the foundation very buildable either. Unlike MUFE Face & Body, which you can apply and apply and apply without looking cakey, the Fresh foundation just started to look messy if you applied more than one layer. I also used a damp cosmetic wedge to apply this foundation. This gave a better overall appearance, but it was still too sheer for my liking. I lastly used my MAC 187 brush to apply. This gave me the sheerest application out of all three techniques.

I wore this foundation with my regular Moisturizer, Sunscreen and Primer. I must say that I was very disappointed in the lack of oil control. I guess I figured that the Umbrian Clay would help absorb oils. I was wrong. Apparently The clay is supposed to help with diminishing fine lines and shrinking pore size. Ummmm. Yeah. According to Fresh the “…exclusive Umbrian Clay removes impurities from the skin to refine, nourish, and balance the complexion while Porphyridium Cruentum, a micro-algae extract, retains optimal moisture levels throughout the day. Your skin will be left fresh and radiant, with visibly reduced fine lines, noticeably improved skin tone, and with SPF 20 UV protection.” Obviously I didn’t use this long enough to reap any benefits of reducing fine lines, and whatever they use to “retains optimal moisture levels” was way too moisturizing for my oily skin. Thankfully I didn’t experience any breakouts from using this foundation. That is a Huge Plus!

The worst part was, because I have oily skin, the foundation practically slid off my face by noon each day. By 4pm I was left with remnants of the foundation that had settled into my large pores in the oily and drier areas of my face. It looked terrible. No amount of blotting through the day or powder would correct the issue of the foundation basically pooling into my pores. So even though I REALL REALLY wanted this foundation to work, despite the high price tag, I had to say “good by” to this foundation. It is just not for me.

This foundation is not for you if you have

a) Oily skin

b) Have very large pores

c) Have a lot of redness or require heavy coverage

d) Are very dark skinned. (Fresh may be known for having a good selection of pale shades, but they are seriously lacking when it comes to women of color. They need a larger selection in darker colors.

All hope is not lost If you have dry to normal skin. Medium to small pores and have a medium to fair complexion, this may be an excellent foundation for you. It feels very lightweight and applies easily. I believe if my skin was drier it would have held up better on me and I may not have had the bad pore issue I experienced had my skin tone been different.

Should you buy this?

NO if you are very oily
YES if you want a medium coverage SPF foundation that feels fresh & light.

Ah. It’s is bittersweet, I was THE PERFECT color match and I really do feel like this is a good foundation. It’s just not good for me.
Back to the drawing board.

Ingredients: All shades contain:Octinoxate (Ethylmethoxycinnamate), Water (Aqua), Cyclopentasiloxane, Isononyl Isononanoate, Sea Water (Maris Aqua), Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Beeswax (Cera Alba), Cetyl Peg/Ppg-10/1 Dimethicone, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Nylon-12, Dimethicone, Sodium Chloride, Fuller's Earth (Solum Fullonum), Phenoxyethanol, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Sodium Myristoyl Glutamate, Caprylyl Glycol, Porphyrydium Cruentum Extract, Tetrasodium Edta, Propylene Carbonate, Aluminum Hydroxide, Magnesium Pca, Bht, Tocopheryl Acetate, Carbomer, Retinyl Palmitate, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Paeonia, Suffruticosa Root Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Extract, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Polysorbate 20, Nelumbo Nucifera Flower Water (Nelumbo Nucifera), Nymphaea Coerulea Flower Water, Ceratonia Siliqua Gum (Ceratonia Siliqua), Hydroxyethylcellulose, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491,CI 77492, CI 77499)].


  1. Aww thats sucks - but the hunt continues right?

  2. Thank you for the review! I really wanted this to be my HG foundation. I thought it would have great oil control. Maybe it's a good thing since it'll be a while before I'm near a Sephora anyway.

  3. Great review! i was curious about this one myself and you saved me the trouble :)

  4. that's rather disappointing. I've not heard of this actually. Your review has saved me trouble!

  5. What from Fresh DO you like? I haven't been impressed with anything I've tried. Well, to the point of it being worth the price anyway.

  6. You're review of Fresh's foundation was just what I've been looking for -- I've been combing through Sephora's reviews, very skeptical about how this will do on my oily skin (I really wanted to feel good about buying) -- thanks so much for sharing so much detail on your experience. Sounds like your skin is like mine. Not buying this foundations...phew!

  7. Hello - have you ever tried the Umbrian Clay Treatment Bar? I really want to buy it but it's so expensive and now that you've mentioned that it's just regular old dirt I'm at a crossroads!


    1. I have tried the Umbiran clay treatment bar. It is fullers earth. It is pure clay. you can buy a pound of it from a dozen on line retailers in loose form for 1/4th the cost of the Fresh bar. I used this bark for a month straight and noticed no marked improvement in my skin tone, oil level or acne. Your results may vary, but I personally regret the purchase.


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