Almay Smart Shade Anti-Aging Makeup Base

Continuing with the foundation makeup theme, I thought I’d mix things up and shift from BBs to cream foundation. In my post, Foundation Makeup: Friend or Foe, I mentioned that a few years ago I used Almay Smart Shade foundation, the regular version, and I liked it.

Almay Smart Shade Anti-aging Foundation is a relatively new product, and I can certainly use whatever is “anti-aging” about it. Looking at the ingredient list (see the entire list at the end of the post), I can see that it has anti-aging ingredients such as sodium hyaluronate to attract and keep in moisture and silicones (dimethicone, trimethicone, methicone etc) to help prevent it from settling into lines and wrinkles. That’s a good start. Almay is a brand for sensitive skin, and I noticed there were lots of ingredients derived from plants/natural sources. Also a good thing.

Anti-aging Foundation

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Almay Smart Shade Anti-Aging Makeup Base has SPF 20 which is decent. I noticed that the sunscreen ingredients are titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, mineral physical blockers that have effective UV light absorption capabilities. Not only are they recommended for sensitive skin, some people believe that are a better choice than chemical sunblock ingredients.


The product comes out of the not-so-attractive plastic tube a whitish color with tiny dark flecks in it. Almay SS white creamWhen you rub it in, it turns to a flesh tone. Almay Smart Shade Anti-Aging Makeup Base comes in 3 shades: Light, Light/Medium and Medium. It doesn’t have a shade for dark skin. I chose Light, and as promised, the shade turned to match my skin perfectly! I was actually pretty amazed, even though that was how the original formula worked too.

Though it has silicone and sodium hyaluronate in it, the product is not listed as a BB cream, so I put on moisturizer and primer first, like I would for a traditional foundation. The cream is neither thin nor thick but something in the middle, and it spreads and absorbs easily. It feels really smooth and lightweight on the skin, like I’m not wearing any makeup. I tried some on my hand without moisturizer and primer, and it still felt silky smooth and lightweight.Almay SS hand

The Look

In terms of coverage, I’d describe Almay Smart Shade Anti-Aging Makeup Base as light to medium coverage for me. It covered some of my sun damage completely, and it toned down the darker spots. For everyday coverage, it was fine. One day, I didn’t even bother with concealer, and another day, I dabbed concealer on my hard-to-hide spots. If you have concerns about “mask-like” coverage from a liquid or cream foundation, you need not be concerned about this brand.

The Almay website says: “this breakthrough foundation matches your skin tone and fights signs of aging. 4 out of 5 women saw an instant reduction in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. for a beautiful, natural finish every time”. Well, in spite of the primer I applied and the silicone in the product, I didn’t see a reduction in my lines and wrinkles, but I can live with it. I must be the 5th woman lol. But I really liked the “natural finish”. It made my skin look more even-toned, and the foundation is almost sheer, though it provides good coverage. Kind of a flakey photo of me, but you get the idea.

Almay SS AA me

Other Benefits

Did I mention how long-lasting it is? I wore it 10 hours yesterday, and 13 hours so far today, and it still looks good. No patchiness, just a smooth natural look.

One of my friends emailed me that she wears an untinted BB cream because she dislikes how many BBs and foundations “rub off onto things”. For me, the test is whether foundation comes off on the telephone, and I can attest that Almay Smart Shade Anti-Aging Makeup Base passes the phone test. My telephone is clean!

The product is listed as dermatologist-tested, noncomedogenic and oil-free. It is made in the U.S. with both U.S. and non-U.S. components.

Almay is a drugstore brand, and I bought mine at CVS for $14.79 for 1 fl. oz. I consider that quite affordable, but I just saw it for $8.93 on Amazon.

In sum, I liked the Almay Smart Shade Anti-Aging Makeup Base even more than I expected to. In spite of having used the Smart Shade previously, I can’t say that I understand the color match technology, but it works on me. I’ve used it for several days now, and I really love the ease of application, the decent coverage, and the very natural look. I looked at several review sights, and my experience was right in line with those of others. Plus it’s affordable. It will be my go-to everyday foundation.

Has anyone tried the product? If so, give me your feedback please!

Active Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide (3.9%), Zinc Oxide (2.0%). Inactive Ingredients: Water, Dimethicone, Isododecane, Trisiloxane, Butylene Glycol, PEG/PPG 19/19 Dimethicone, C13 15 Isoparaffin, HDI/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Cetyl/PEG/PPG 10/1 Dimethicone, Nylon 12, Sodium Chloride, Phenyl Trimethicone, Alumina, Glycerin, Palmitoyl Tripeptide 5, Oligopeptide 24, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Saccharomyces Magnesium Ferment, Saccharomyces Potassium Ferment, Pisum Sativum Extract (Pea), Macrocystis Pyrifera Extract, Nereocystis Leutkeana Extract, Laminaria Japonica Extract, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Seed Extract (Sweet Almond), Hydrolyzed Rice Protein, Sodium Hyaluronate, Palmitoyl Hydroxypropyltrimonium Amylopectin/Glycerin Crosspolymer, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Pentylene Glycol, Isodecyl Neopentanoate, Dimethicone/Bis Isobutyl PPG 20 Crosspolymer, Galactoarabinan, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Boron Nitride, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Polyisobutene, C10 30 Isoparaffin, Methicone, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Tribehenin, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tocopherol, Propylene Glycol, Tetrasodium EDTA, Caprylyl Glycol, 1,2 Hexanediol, May Contain (+/-): Mica, Iron Oxides (CI 77491, 77492, 77499)

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6 thoughts on “Almay Smart Shade Anti-Aging Makeup Base

    • I hope you like it, Dima. It has become my everyday makeup base. I love the fact that the color match is perfect for me. BB creams don’t seem to suit me so I’d just as soon use this lightweight makeup along with my moisturizer & sometimes a primer.

      Having read your blog, I know that you look for natural products, and I think Almay is a good choice among the mainstream brands. Because they target women with sensitive skin, they leave out many harsh chemicals. And as I mentioned in the review, the SPF is accomplished via physical barriers: titanium & zinc oxide.

    • Thank you, Dima! I should do a post on natural masks (I did one earlier in the year on exfoliation), and link to you. Also, I will email you privately to ask about your experiences with

  1. Hi Allison,
    Writing a post about facial masks would be a good idea. And it would be an honor for me to link to it to my blog. You have a very good experience in beauty products,it is nice to have a link from a professional blogger 🙂
    Please feel free to email me anytime,
    Have a nice weekend 🙂

    • Dima, I will do a post on DIY lip scrubs this weekend, and I’ll be glad to put in a mention and link to your blog. If you like it, I’d be so pleased if you’d link back to my blog. Also, I just “liked” your FB fanpage. I just started mine, Never Say Die Beauty, and I’d be grateful if you’d like it back lol.

      Have a good weekend too tho’ I have so much to do before the weekend LOL

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