When it comes to putting on makeup, I operate at two speeds. The first—which only happens, like, three times a year, before very special events—involves spending an hour artfully crafting my glam in a near-meditative state, contouring my face with chubby sticks and fluffy brushes and dusting my lids in layers of shadow. The second—which happens in a frenzy basically every morning—involves taking five minutes to swipe on some mascara and dot some sort of complexion product on my acne scars before sprinting out the door.
All of this is to say that while I love the look of wearing (and the experience of applying!) a full face of makeup, I just don’t have time for that. But, I’ll admit, something about walking into the world feeling done up boosts my confidence and makes me feel like a real, non-imposter-syndrome-having adult, so I’m constantly looking for products that will take my five-minute face to the next level. The most recent favorite to enter my arsenal? The Alleven Instant Perfector ($147).
Key ingredients: botanical compound, glycerin
- Concealer, foundation, and skin treatment all in one formula
- Conceals spots and blemishes
- Fades and corrects dark spots and signs of aging over time
- Protects against broad-spectrum light
- Water-, sweat-, and transfer-resistant
- Limited shades available
Now, I am fully aware that $147 is a lot to spend on a foundation. But the thing is, this product is so, so much more than just a foundation. It’s a concealer, foundation, and skin-treatment hybrid, which means you’ll get three steps of your routine checked off in one fell swoop. And who doesn’t love a multi-purpose product?! With a little creative math (I refuse to call it “girl math”), you’re basically saving money.
The formula is made with a botanical compound that corrects three of the main culprits behind visible signs of aging—melanin (which contributes to dark spots), hemoglobin (which makes skin red and splotchy), and collagen loss (which causes fine lines and wrinkles). As someone in their mid-30s who deals with all of these issues, I’m endlessly grateful to have found a product that addresses them without requiring me to add any additional steps to my routine; I like the product because it immediately makes my skin look brighter and more even, and the fact that it’s working overtime to keep it that way after I take off my makeup is a much-appreciated added benefit. What’s more, it also offers antioxidant protection to prevent free radical damage, so it’s essentially combatting both current and future signs of skin aging.
Most of the skin-care-infused complexion products I’ve tried are more “skin tints” than traditional foundations, meaning that they offer minimal coverage and need to be paired with a heavy-duty concealer to hide my discoloration. This one, however, is a true medium-coverage, buildable product, and can be used entirely on its own. It comes with a doe-foot applicator that I like to dot directly on my skin, concealer-style, then blend out with my fingers (I typically use a Beautyblender, but have found that this formula goes on better with skin-to-skin contact). It offers an even finish that toes the line between dewy and matte and looks like skin when it dries. It feels so natural that, despite offering hefty coverage, it feels like I’m wearing nothing at all.
I’ve been testing The Alleven Instant Perfector through the hottest days of summer and can confirm that it lives up to its promise of being sweat and transfer-proof. I love that even on 90+ degree afternoons (which have recently been happening a lot in NYC) I don’t have to worry about my makeup melting off—this stuff stays on all damn day, and nourishes my skin in the process. In the two months since I’ve been wearing it, I’ve noticed a real difference in the appearance of my dark spots long after I’ve washed my face.
Though I may only have five minutes to dedicate to my makeup on a given day, this stuff helps me make that limited mirror time really count.