Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Edward Bess Ultra Dewy Complexion Perfector in Light

I'm a bit late to this party, but I didn't want spring to pass before I featured Edward Bess's relatively new Ultra Dewy Complexion Perfector ($56). I purchased Light, one of four available shades. Described as a face cream that imparts a healthy radiance, Ultra Dewy Complexion Perfection is a multifunction product.

Not a foundation, not a tinted moisturizer, not even a BB cream, it’s an "EB cream" that makes everything better. Edward Bess masters the look of glowing skin in a natural finish. Its weightless feel glides right on with special light-diffusers that impart a dewy luminosity, but still look like your natural complexion - only better.

I didn't know what to expect from it. Sabrina at The Beauty Look Book gave it a thumbs up while wishing it was available in more shades. She found herself between a Light and Medium. I am a "perfect Light."

Here are two swatch photos of the Light shade, both taken in full sun. I dispensed a small amount of the product at the top or my arm. Then I dispensed the same amount below and blended it with my fingers. I did not blend it into my skin entirely because it would have disappeared in the photos.

The color is fairly neutral, but I think it leans ever-so-slightly yellow. That's fine with me because yellow neutralizes any redness in my skin. When apply it, it doesn't appear yellow. It look like my skin. I see no line of demarcation at my jaw line when I apply it to my face.

To my eyes, Ultra Dewy Complexion Perfector is a lightweight foundation. It is not advertised as containing a sunscreen, so I think that gives it a demerit. It does contain titanium dioxide, but apparently not in sufficient quantity to provide a legitimate SPF rating.

When I apply it, I see overall smoothing of my skin tone with sheer coverage. It does leave a "feel" of hydration on my skin, but only to the touch. It looks very natural, as advertised, but I don't see that it adds much radiance to my skin. That's a tall order for dry skin, and it's advertised for normal or normal-to-dry skin types. If I shine a light on my skin, I see a luminous quality. In normal indoor and outdoor lighting, I do not see a dewy finish.

If you look hard, you may see a chalkiness in my photos. That's how it feels when first applied. That feeling goes away quickly, but I find it curious. One might expect that from a foundation containing a physical sunscreen, but this one doesn't. Perhaps it's the titanium dioxide?

It was made in Taiwan, a subject of much conversation of late. I'm not sure I would have ordered it had I known.

If it's not a BB cream (no sunscreen), and it's not a foundation, I'm not sure what it is. I have better foundations, better luminizing products, and better moisturizers. It's too thick to be a primer (in my opinion), so I can't find a compelling case for using it - or purchasing again. That's too bad. Edward Bess products seldom disappoint me.

You can find Ultra Dewy Complexion Perfector, where I purchased mine, at Sephora and Bergdorf Goodman, along with a few Neiman Marcus stores and, of course, the Edward Bess Web site. I really want to try his new Complexion Correcting Black Sea Mousse Foundation, which looks more intriguing. You can find that at QVC, and it was made in the U.S.

Photo at top courtesy of Sephora; other photos by Best Things in Beauty


Anonymous said...

I tried the mousse foundation. While it was a nice foundation, I tried it in two colors and neither was good for my fair/light skin. They were funky colors that leaned towards orange.

Unknown said...

Hi Charleston Girl! Thanks for a very informative and thorough review of this product.
I will not order after reading your review. Disappointed that it is made in Taiwan and the product doesn't appear to have a lot of positive features, sadly...

angusmum1 said...

This looks quite similar to a Clarins product I have owned several times in the past and will likely again, think its $10 or so less. It is called Instant Light Complexion Perfector and I think it is only in one light shade but if you are fair it really adds a natural glow to your face for those who prefer to skip bronzer and bask in their paleness, I think it does make the skin appear close to perfect and deflects lines. I often mixed with moisturizer. Now I want to get one and would love a chance to try this one. So many "BTIB" for everyone!! Where is it sold in ON, Canada does any1 know?

Dlori said...

Hi Charleston Girl, I apologize because my comment is off point. But I'm hoping you won't mind. I haven't been online much the last several days so I don't know if you've been writing about the Le Metier Auctions going on now until May 12. Every day, a retired Eye Kaleidoscope will be auctioned off along with a gift from another company, with 100% of the proceeds going to a very worthy cause, The ALS Association, better known as The Lou Gehrig's Association. Additionally, 10% of all Le Metier purchases between May 6th (I believe) and May 12th will also be donated to ALS. I can't imagine any disease worse than ALS in that you eventually lose the ability to move and breath, finally leading to death, but your brain still functions, remaining fully intact. I can't imagine what it feels like to know what you want to communicate but having no way of doing so. I've been posting on my Facebook and Twitter Pages about this event and I am hoping you are as well. We all love Le Metier for their fabulous skincare and make up products. But now, I love them even more and have to give them mucho kudos for participating in this wonderful event. That's all I wanted to say. I apologize again for commenting off point. Have a great day.


Anonymous said...

I cannot see a need for this product for me personally. I'm not a fan of the limited shade selection and suspect like Sabrina, I'm somewhere between light and medium. This is my usual experience with these general shades ad nauseum. Today I am wearing NARS tinted moisturizer with a bit of GA Maestro foundation on top just in places where I traditionally show redness--nose, cheeks, chin--and these two products work synergistically to create a very lovely and naturally slightly dewy look with the added benefit of having an SPF 30 in the Nars TM. I just do not see this product as something I would gravitate towards. If I were looking for sheer coverage, at a minimum, I would expect this product to contain SPF. It's a huge oversight in my opinion.. but perhaps not for those with SPF sensitivities.

Christina said...

I met Edward Bess just before his makeup line was released. He was in Toronto applying makeup and he did mine. What a nice young man! Great hair also!

He told me that he is opening up a line of his own, but I had no idea how big it is, but I was very excited for him. I told him to make quality & have great packaging.

I would not doubt that his line will be sold here and I look forward to try his EB. :)

Claire said...

Thank you for a thorough review, CG! Well, to EB's defense, I actually prefer foundation/TM without SPF since I wear a good SPF base and some of the sunscreen ingredients can interact with each other, making them unstable. But like you, I don't know how this product may fill the niche in my carefully selected cosmetic drawer. It claims to give a glowy coverage while it is not (a must for dry skin like mine), then also it is made in Taiwan (I have had not so good experience with EB products that were made in Taiwan). This is one product I'd easily pass.

lovethescents said...

Sounds like a major miss for me, which is a relief! Thank you for the review.

Anonymous said...

Why a big deal if it's made in Taiwan? European and U.S. made products are better? As if Taiwan were not equally advanced, if not more, than other countries.

Charlestongirl said...

Hi, I'm back! Missed last night's comments while I was watching The Voice.

Anonymous, you have convinced me I need to try that foundation before I buy. Thanks!

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Purple Peacock,

Alone, the fact that it was made in Taiwan wouldn't be a big deal. The only problem is that Edward stumbled when he moved production to Taiwan. Whatever factory he was using was failing him. His products suddenly became sub-standard.

I can't think of a single reason to buy this "skin perfector."

Charlestongirl said...

Hi angusmum1,

Google Clarins + Canada.

I like Clarins and found some pretties on their new display for summer.

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Wwendalynne,

In general, foundations in only four shades are trouble for 80% of women. I think this is a lightweight foundation - it's not a priming perfector or BB cream - so I think it has a limited market.

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Christina,

Edward has never been to DC because we don't have a counter here. I'm bummed about that because everyone says he is a gracious gentleman.

Charlestongirl said...


I think your reasoning is well-founded.

Charlestongirl said...


You need sunscreen, particularly with all the time you spend outside with your kids. Not for you.

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Anonymous,

The Taiwan angle is an EB problem, not a general problem.

Alone, the fact that it was made in Taiwan wouldn't be a big deal. The only problem is that Edward stumbled when he moved production to Taiwan. Whatever factory he was using was failing him. His products suddenly became sub-standard, and everyone noticed. Now, as he has moved his lipstick production back to the U.S., the quality is back up to snuff. You need to understand the EB/Taiwan history to frame my comments.

Anonymous said...

I've tried the EB complexion perfector and it's ok.
However, I like the NARS tinted moisturizer much better.

Claire said...

Hi Anonymous (RE: EB Taiwanese production),
I second CG's comment wholeheartedly. I have been purchasing EB products since the conception of the brand (while he was out with just lipsticks only -- the original ones have magnetic snaps and the formula is smooth like butter). Over time, I did notice that the product quality is not as good when the products are made in Taiwan. I wish this is not the case since EB's brand is very well-curated. So yes, it is not the "country" that is the problem, but more the product quality itself.

Anonymous said...

This product not containing SPF should not be considered a flaw or a deficit. I'm highly allergic to the majority of SPF products and can only use very limited sunscreen products. Have been on the hunt for a good tinted product to use on top of my regular sunscreen and it's such a pain how majority of foundations and tinted moisturisers come with SPF these days, which is so pointless because 1) Being allergic to chemical filters means I'd probably be allergic to these products and 2) We need to apply approximately 1.25ml of whichever sunscreen we use to get the full extent of sun protection the product offers and obviously I am not going to use 1.25ml of foundation. Just my two cents.

Anonymous said...

Hello CG! Going to agree with Anon poster above me that I consider it a plus this product offers the dewy finish of a tinted moisturizer/bb cream without the inclusion of SPF as I prefer to apply separate more effective SPF regardless of which foundation I wear that day. Before I buy, how is the overall quality of this product and packaging? I love his eyeshadow primer and it's made in Taiwan and I find it to be very high quality. Thanks!