Product Review: Revlon’s New Complextion One-Step Compact

For the last 10ish years I’ve embraced the “no makeup, no makeup” look and rarely wear makeup of any kind unless I need to look un-dead at work or I have a night out that I want to look snazzy for. Foundation, in particular, is one I try to go without because I seem to be unhappy with the product and so does my skin. My skin is okay, not great, but not terrible, so I just assume let it be. Mentally, I have my reasons for not wearing makeup on the regular, too.

However, sometimes a girl just likes to shine. If you’ve read my review on Nars’ Natural Radiance Longwear Foundation, you’ll know I’m a bit of a Goldie Locks when it comes to foundations. I have combination skin, smooth texture but large pores, redness in the cheeks, dusting of freckles, acne prone and aging skin. My coloring is also some mix of neutral, warm, and peach; I’m not an ivory, but I’m not a beige. You can see where the problems lie when forking over a ton of moolah for a foundation that claims to be a miracle worker and I’m constantly disappointed.

While grabbing some items for a road trip at my local CVS I figured I’d buy a cheap DS powder since I knew I’d be sitting outside in the swampy heat. I dislike powders in general because my skin is dehydrated/combo so powder sucks the life from it and accentuates lines, but I needed staying power and somehow gravitated to the Revlon section. A beacon called me to zero in on the “New Complexion” compact. I’d never heard of this before but for the $6 it was going to cost me after my CVS coupon, my expectations were low and my decision quick. I think I thought longer about the flavor of Redbull I was purchasing.

What is the New Complextion One-Step Compact

Photo credit: Revlon.com

I typically heavily research items before purchasing and as mentioned did no such thing here, so imagine my pleasant surprise when I looked it up prior to putting it on my face. Revlon’s website says, “Glides on creamy, finishes powder-light. This compact makeup delivers skin that’s smooth, even-toned and naturally utterly gorgeous…It melts for a skin-like coverage, won’t clog pores, and has a weightless feel.” Do I hear an echo from my wishes from Nars?

Although I bought it thinking more on the powder spectrum, this is actually a medium-yet-buildable cream foundation in a handy compact with mirror and sponge all in one. The idea is to go on creamy and blendable, and settle down to a satin-like finish that isn’t oily or cakey. I liked the idea of a cream vs. a typical powder for being kind on my dehydrated skin, but the powder finish keeping the shine down.

Packaging

The packaging is typical of what you’d expect of a drugstore item. It was convenient with the mirror and sponge hidden in the back compartment. It is great for “on the go” or something to throw in your purse for a touch up throughout the night. However it isn’t going to win any awards. It feels cheap and flimsy, opens easily and with the (what I’m assuming is) a package update to white, looks dirty quickly with makeup smudges and fingerprints. I also have a visceral reaction to opening the dirty, used sponge and seeing it, then dipping it back into the product and on my face. This is a personal thing and not the product’s fault as it is the nature of the cream compact, however I prefer to use single use applicators or my clean fingers from a pump. I’d suggest acne-prone skin purchase single-use makeup sponges and toss one in after using.

Application

I swirled around the sponge on the compact and put it on my face starting in the center and blending out. It blended very easily. It wasn’t as watery as a typical foundation, but wasn’t stiff or putty-like and felt zero drag. I had just put on moisturizer so it did slide around a little bit so I went from swiping to dabbing. Dabbing too much or hard as in stippling caused foundation to come up. A light dab and letting it dry down for a few seconds in-between building layers seemed to be the best.

I purchased ivory/beige which is great because I fall smack in the middle of those colors. The shade range is limited to only 8 so it is not the most inclusive range, but given that there is some wiggle room it may transition and work for a decent amount of people. I would definitely consider this medium to full coverage. While the look was not mask-like, my skin did not come through. I was very “one shade” that happens with full coverage foundations. It was sort of an eraser of imperfections which is great if that is what you want, but won’t likely be a product that you dab a few areas and blend out for a quick touch and go YSSB look. If your skin is relatively even-toned, this might work but for someone like me with freckles and redness, it would be obvious where the product was, and where it was not. It will require some contouring (bronzer, blush and/or highlighter) to give this movement and not look like a wash of one color which is an extra step.

My final thoughts

Pros:

It covered my combination skin with ease and I receive compliments on my skin complexion every time I wear it. I don’t feel smothered. I don’t feel oily or dry. I don’t get the dreaded dots in my t-zone due to my large oil buckets of pores. It doesn’t accentuate fine lines. It covers my redness and freckles really well. It is easy to use. It is available at drugstores and even better, one that has coupons on the regular. It didn’t break me out, although I did get a rogue pimple here and there which happens when I put anything on my face. It matched my skin very well.

Cons:

The packaging is flimsy and bacteria-prone (which can be alleviated with some additional steps). It is not paraben-free or cause-conscious (e.g. organic, cruelty free) nor carries loads of skincare benefits. I couldn’t find the ingredient list on Revlon’s website, but there does seem to be titanium dioxide. It is likely more for pigment than sunscreen. The lack of sunscreen isn’t a bad thing for full-coverage which typically goes for finish and reduction of flash-back in photography, but would be an additional step for you. There’s a limited shade range. It is not transfer-proof entirely and isn’t waterproof. Essentially it isn’t bulletproof but what more can you ask for in a drugstore $13 sale item?

Overall:

I have to say I am THOROUGHLY impressed with this purchase. IT WAS BORDERLINE INCREDIBLE. Move over, Nars! I found something that overperformed and met the marketing claims. I wouldn’t say that everyone will love this as much as I do. If you sway really dry or really oily, this may not be the option for you. The powder finish could cling to dry patches, and the cream may be too heavy for oily-skinned folks. If you are combination-skinned and have an extreme like very dry undereyes or very oily t-zone, it may require extra prep to bring it back to slightly middle.

The finish is very skin-like and with a healthy sheen vs. glow. What I appreciated most is that it overperformed for something that had me at zero expectation. You have to love the beauty industry. Price doesn’t dictate performance, and sometimes you stumbled across a hidden gem that warms your heart after looking at a drawer full of pricey fails. I haven’t had this long enough to give it a Certified ReadHead best, but I might come back to give it that stamp of approval.

Overall: 4.5/5

Price: $$$$$

Packaging: 3/5

Have you tried this before? Drop us a line in the comments

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