Bobbi Brown’s Extra Repair SPD 25 Foundation ($58 for 1 oz. at Sephora, Nordstrom, Macy’s) is a rich, medium to full coverage foundation that’s intended to be moisturizing and help repair skin. (Sephora says it will “undo” signs of aging, which no product can actually do, but the Bobbi Brown website makes the more sensible claim that “Over time, it also helps replenish & strengthen skin.”) I actually finished a full pot of it, and will discuss that skin repair claim as well as how the foundation works generally.
Please note that how well a foundation works for you depends on a lot of things: your skin type, what other products you wear under or over it and the climate you live in. I can only tell you how I wore it and how it worked for me. Moreso than with other products, foundation is very much a “your mileage may vary” kind of thing.
The Extra Repair formula is a cream, so it seems to apply thickly at first. But as with all full coverage foundations, you can sheer it out as much as you want. At the time I bought this product, my skin was extremely dry because of both wintertime dry air and recovering from a bout of contact dermatitis (where you put something on your skin that it doesn’t like, and it lets you know it doesn’t like it by looking like it’s been burned or developing hives – fun times!).
I found that Extra Repair applied best with a brush, followed by gently patting it with hands and fingertips to melt it a little bit further into the skin. With that application technique, I got a very airbrushed, flawless look. I wore it with and without primer, with and without setting powder, over about eight months. For me, it wore all day easily and never caked or looked like makeup, but I have dry skin and live in a dry climate: oily skin and/or humidity might reduce the wear time. This has a lavender scent which will be too strong for some. (I prefer unscented face products, but could live with this one.)
Extra Repair covered my skin problems, which involved severe redness and flaky patches, very well. It has a dewy finish which you can tone down with powder if desired. It never caked or looked fake – it just looked like my skin was pretty healthy when in fact it was pretty messed up when I first started using this foundation. I continued to wear it after my skin had healed, and I never experienced a breakout. However…
My mother’s skin reaction
Please note that every ingredient in the world is capable of causing a reaction in somebody, and the fact that it happens doesn’t mean the product is evil, it just means allergies and sensitivities happen. Even “hypoallergenic” means “less likely to cause reactions” rather than “we absolutely guarantee you can’t be allergic to this.”
With that understanding, I’m going to tell you what happened when I let my mother try this product. Her skin is even more sensitive than mine, and she’s more likely to have a bad reaction to a product than I am. For some reason, this foundation caused her skin to feel like it was stinging. When she removed it, her skin was fine and there was no lasting effect.
I don’t rate the product any worse because of this. I’m just offering it for your information. As always, I recommend getting a sample if you can first, or at least buying it where you can return it (if that’s allowed in your country). The Bobbi Brown website always allows returns on foundations, which is nice.
Skin repair claim?
Extra Repair did seem to accelerate the slow recovery my skin was making from that dermatitis. This really surprised me because I wore it over a barrier moisturizer that should have prevented it from really sinking into my skin. I think in my case it just added an additional layer of protection from the dry air and other environmental factors that were slowing down my skin’s recovery. But I really do feel that over time, Extra Repair did some repairing!
Extra Repair Foundation is intended to moisturize and repair normal to dry skin, and it worked for me. No foundation works for everyone, because it depends on so many things, but if you’re looking for a medium to full coverage foundation with a lot of shade selections, some SPF and a dewy finish, this one is worth a look!