Paula’s Choice RESIST Foundation | Swatches, Photos, Review

In Face Makeup, Paula's Choice by Angie Canning17 Comments

Paula’s Choice introduced a new foundation to their cosmetic lineup at the close of 2012: the RESIST Instant Smoothing Anti-Aging Foundation.  I am excited to bring to you swatches, before and after photos, and a review on this new product.

The packaging is very sleek and has a convenient pump-top!  Thank you for that, Paula!

Current Shades in this Foundation L to R:
Level 0 Porcelain, Level 1 Fair/Light, Level 2 Light, Level 3 Light/Medium, Level 4 Medium, Level 5 Medium/Tan

Before and After: Wearing Shade Level 3 Light/Medium

RESIST Instant Smoothing Anti-Aging Foundation from Paula’s Choice is currently offered in six shade levels, 0 to 5, to suit porcelain to medium/tan skin tones.  The foundation is said to:

  • Smooth and soften wrinkles
  • Create a silky, luminous finish
  • Stimulate collagen for firmer skin
  • Perfect and repair skin.
  • Formulated for all skin types
  • Contains antioxidants.
Application & Experience
Coverage.  I found this foundation to be a light to medium build-able coverage foundation that has a very natural finish.  If I attempted to build this foundation to full-coverage it did settle into my lines as the day wore on, so using an even application followed by one thin layer where additional coverage was needed worked the best for me.  I was surprised to find that worked well with my oily skin throughout the day and I did not need any mattifying primer underneath it.  I do however, prefer to set the foundation with a mattifying translucent powder to extend wear and to set the foundation.  While I have oily skin in general, I have been experiencing dryness around the edges and tip of my nose because of the cooler weather, as well as a few dry patches from skincare treatments.  In those cases I found it most important to thoroughly moisturize so the foundation would not accentuate any flaky parts of my skin.  The instructions indicate to blend (not rub) in the foundation, using short, downward strokes.  I found that my Sigma kabuki brushes worked the best to evenly distribute and blend the foundation onto the skin using downward strokes, and then I would go back in and stipple it a bit more to smooth it out.  I experimented with a few foundation brushes before finding that I liked the finish best with the kabuki brushes.
SPF.  It is important to note that this foundation does not contain SPF, and the instructions clearly state on the back of the product to apply sunscreen before using this foundation.  I use Paula’s Choice Barely There Sheer Matte Tint with SPF 30 on a daily basis (although I did not for the photos in this post) and the RESIST foundation worked well when worn over the Sheer Matte Tint.
Shade Range.  The shade range is very generous for very fair to medium skin tones, but does lack for very dark tones.  I had experimented with a few shades myself before settling on my perfect match.  The before and after photo above of Level 3 Light/Medium is a tad warm for me during these cold dark months, but I found a half and half mixture of Levels 2 and 3 (Light and Light/Medium) to be a comfortable match:

Wearing Levels 2 Light and 3 Light/Medium (using a translucent setting powder, bronzer & blush)

I wore Level 2 Light in my Baby It’s Cold Oustide makeup look post and while it looks fine in the photos, at the end of the day of wearing this shade alone it was a little pale, and I felt the shade did not quite blend in well with my skin.

Overall, I found this foundation to give a very natural and silky luminous finish when skin is prepped and moisturized beforehand.  (It was a dream to apply after using my Weekly Resurfacing treatment 10% AHA the night before!)  I was very pleased to find that it works with my oily skin and feels very lightweight.  Application worked best for me with a flat-top kabuki style brush.  I think the key for me was to find the right shade that fit my skintone so it could blend in the best.  Fortunately Paula’s Choice offers samples to order so you can find your perfect shade before purchasing a full size if you wish, but hopefully the swatches and photos here might help you out a little in choosing your correct shade as well.

Where to Buy: $24.95,

  • Product – 10/10
  • Formula- 10/10
  • Pigmentation – 8/10
  • Longevity- 9/10
  • Application – 8/10

Disclosure: V|R was sent these products for editorial consideration.  For more details on VR’s product review policy, please see our Terms&Conditions page. Curious about how we rate products?  Visit our Product Integrity/RougeRating page.

Please note the rating does not consider the anti-aging properties of this product, and relates to the product application, wear, etc. as mentioned above.  I have not used the product long enough to verify the anti-aging properties, however I am very pleased that it contains such great things for my skin, which is rare for a foundation to include!

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  1. WOW, Angie–you have such gorgeous skin. Even in the “before” shot. Ugh, I’m jealous!! 😛 But really, that foundation looks amazing on the skin–very natural indeed! I’m so so curious about Paula’s Choice products now. I was resistant before, for some reason, but after reading all the reviews you’ve done, I don’t think I can hold out anymore! The only thing I’m nervous about is all the silicone, which is an ingredient that I know she favors. 

    1. Oh thank you Becca! Well, where you see “gorgeous skin” I of course see all of the imperfections and note to myself “I need to do another treatment of this or this” very soon! LOL 😉

      I think PC products are definitely worth taking a look into! 🙂 I am really liking them for sure! I do understand your concern about silicone and that some may have sensitivity to them. I personally have not experienced negative effects using this product, so that is good. I just added a new serum by PC that is formulated for oily skin (Ultra-Light Antioxidant Concentrate Serum) and I will be talking about it on the blog soon after I use it awhile. It does contain silicone, which is similar to another PC serum that I found to be too rich for my skin (and caused some pore-clogging) but this one seems to be formulated much differently (it does not have that silicon-slip feel to it as the other serum did, so that is a good sign) and so I will have to let you know how it reacts with my skin.
      I am not allergic to silicone as far as I know, and have not not had any horrible experiences that would cause me to avoid it altogether though, so if that where you are coming from, I am not sure what that is like, so I am sorry. 🙁

      1. Oooh very curious to hear what you think about that Ultra-Light Antioxidant Concentrate Serum! I am *obsessed* with antioxidant serums and am always on the hunt for the next best thing! I am not 100% that I’m sensitive to silicones but in the past, I’ve broken out into horrible cystic acne when I’ve used 2 serums that both contained high amounts of cyclopentasiloxane. But I’ve also used primers before that contained the same ingredient with no recurrence of the cystic acne. I’m not sure if it’s because I had a layer of skincare underneath the primer to buffer that or if it wasn’t the silicone to begin with :/ Either way, I’ve always been wary of actual skincare products that contained a lot of silicone in it ever since. I’d like to find out once and for all if I’m actually sensitive to silicone in skincare or not but I’m just so darn scared of getting horrible, painful, scarring acne again!! 😛

  2. I too love it!  Thanks for sharing your experience.  But how do you apply with the brush?  I attempted too this morning and well, let’s just say it didn’t go well.  I normally just use use my finger to apply then go back with a brush and sponge to blend in.  Details Detail please!

    1. Hi Glenda! I use a flat-top kabuki brush (linked in the article) and I put the product on my face with my fingers (just to get it onto my face), then I use the kabuki brush to blend it on my face using downward strokes all over. Then when I felt it was evenly distributed, as a final step I would use stippling motions to further blend it. I will note that I tried to use a regular flat foundation brush but that did not work well for me. It sounds like you have a great method worked out with your fingers and then brush/sponge to blend it in though! I will have to try the sponge method as well – I think it would be great to go back in and use the sponge to smooth everything out – great idea! 🙂
      I hope this helps you out some! I am planning on doing a video demonstration very soon so I will be sure to let you know when that is up on my YT channel. 🙂

      1. Thanks for additional details!  I look forward to a video demonstration — please let me know when you have it up! 

      2. Okay – so just for further clarification are you ‘dotting’ the makeup on and then blending with the brush, or more of  ‘applying’ it with finger then blending action with the brush?  Thanks.

        1. Yes, that is right, sorry I should have used the word “dotting” that describes it perfectly. I just dot the foundation on with my finger, then use the brush to blend – I hope that helps! 🙂

  3. Hi there. Thank you for the great review. I have been using Paula’s Choice skin care and makeup products for years and they are fantastic. I was hesitant to try this new foundation as I have oily skin, but after reading your review I am going to definitely try it! Also you may be interested to know that Paula’s sunscreens are the best I have found for oily skin. 

    Could I ask what makeup products you are using in the photo before the “Baby it’s cold outside” makeup look pic. I love the colours – especially the lips.Thanks.

    1. Hello! I too am loving my PC skincare routine so much! I first used the products in June 2012 and have since replenished a couple of the products that I’ve gone through, but so far everything is still PC. I am loving my skin the most I ever have, so it is a nice feeling! 🙂 So far for a daily sunscreen I’ve been using the PC Sheer Matte Tint SPF 30, and I have tried a sample of the sunscreen that comes in the orange tube, but did not like that too much. Which one do you use and I could check that out! Sometimes I want more than SPF 30 when I am just outside running and have no makeup on, so that would be very helpful. 🙂

      For the makeup look in the post I used Urban Decay Naked palette on the eyes: Naked, then Buck in the crease/outercorner and Half Baked patted on the lid. I also used Virgin as the brow and inner corner highlight. On the lips I used Paula’s Choice Perfect Shine lipgloss in Peachy Cream. In case you missed my review of the lipglosses: On the cheeks I used NYC Bronzer in Sunny as well as Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso.
      I should have thought to list the products in the post so thank you for asking – I will do that now! 🙂
      I hope you have had a fabulous weekend. 🙂 Thank you for taking the time to comment!

      1. Hi again,

        my favourite PC sunscreen is the Skin Balancing Daily Mattifying Lotion SPF 15. I live in a very humid and sunny climate in Australia, and oil control and sun protection is priority for my skin and this product is fantastic for that. Unfortunately Australian regulations prevent PC products with higher SPF ratings being sold here 🙁

        Other PC products I love include the Clear Regular Strength Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution (weightless BHA toner), Shine Stopper Instant Matte Finish (very light layer dabbed on over makeup) and the Resist Pure Radiance Skin Brightening Treatment.

        And thank you for your great blog. I have only just discovered it and am enjoying reading all of the reviews and articles.


        1. Thank you so much for your response, Nicole! I will definitely look into the Daily Mattifying Lotion – I love all the products I use from the Skin Balancing Line, so I bet I will like that too! I have heard good things about the Shine Stopper so I will also have to try that out soon as well. Thank you so much for the blog compliments! I love to do this, so I am very happy you enjoy it! 🙂
          Have a beautiful day – Angie

  4. I found your blog through the Paula’s Choice Facebook page. I’ve enjoyed going through your archives.
    Out of curiosity, what kind of skin tone do you have? — maybe in “MAC Language”?

    1. Hello! So happy you have enjoyed going through my posts. 🙂 I have warm undertones in my skin but don’t own a MAC foundation. I do use two of their face concealers that match my skintone and they are NW20. I hope that helps! 🙂

  5. And many years later… Just wanted to thank you for the swatches! I’m always looking for foundations that are offered in very fair shades as my skin is extremely pale/neutral and difficult to match. I think Level 0 Porcelain might be a great match for me so I’m going to give this a try! Seeing it swatched next to the other shades really helped! You look gorgeous btw! Love both of your makeup looks too! <3

    P.S. My roommate loves the Paula's Choice Shine Stopper! Since it sounds like you share a similar skin type I thought I'd share. It looks like there is nothing on the skin whatsoever while magically keeping shine away (even on the nose!) and making pores look smaller all day!

    1. Author

      Hi Lily, thanks so much for stopping by to comment! I’m glad this review and swatches helped you out. Thank you also for the kind compliments – you are so sweet! Yes that Paula’s Choice Shine Stopper is a good one. 🙂 I love to pat it on top of my makeup when I get shiny, especially in the summertime. I’m definitely a PC “junkie” – just can’t get enough of her products! Have you tried any of her skincare line?

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