Thursday, October 18th, 2007

NAPOLEON PERDIS CHINA DOLL FOUNDATIONNapoleon Perdis’ China Doll Foundation ($50.00) makes me feel like I’m living in a bit of my own personal luxury with how creamy this product is. It is described as a “lightweight, long wearing luxe liquid formula” that is a self-setting foundation and powder in one. It sets to a soft velvet finish (very matte), which is quite dreamy. My skin feels softer than it normally does when properly moisturized!

What do I look for a holy grail foundation? I want my complexion to look flawless, and I don’t care what it takes to make it look that way. If it means a dewy finish, I’m there; if it means no SPF, I’m down! I have found through experience that I have a definite preference for a foundation that sets or dries to a matte finish, has a high liquidity, provides light to medium coverage (preferably the ability to build from light to medium easily), and wears all day without requiring touch-ups.

How does this one stand up? Very well. I honestly couldn’t feel the product on my face once it set (this product is designed to give you several minutes to add blush, contour, etc. before it sets), which is an absolute for me. I also love that it does have SPF 15 in it, because I’ve been using Napoleon Perdis’ Dream Cream beforehand, which doesn’t, and I just have to have SPF!

Initially, I was shocked by how small the tube is, but when I looked at it by weight, (30ml), to discover it is the exact same amount in my usual foundation (MAC Studio Fix Fluid). However, this is a creamy foundation, not quite a liquid in my opinion, so you may use a touch more. Nonetheless, you do not need much for good coverage. The line comes in four colors – I was look 3, which only leaves one darker shade, two lighter ones. For a comparison point, I am a NC30 in MAC foundations.

China Doll evened out my skintone subtly, and it looked very natural. It also photographed well, which is a concern to be noted for any foundation containing SPF (as it can reflect light at times). The foundation also lasts throughout the day with no need for repair – no melting or sliding off that I noted. I love that it is a foundation and powder in one, because I never bother using a powder to set, so I finally reap the benefits of it without changing up my routine! I used MAC’s 182 brush to apply this, sometimes gently spritzing the brush with water to thin out the foundation, and I enjoyed the results.

I definitely recommend this product to anyone who’s been curious about China Doll or in need of a great lightweight foundation that finishes with a polished look.

Find China Doll at or

Left half – bare (gasp!); Right half – China Doll

Discussion and debate are highly encouraged, and we expect community members to participate respectfully. When asking a question, please check the FAQ section (above) for information about purchasing, price, dupes, and the like. If you have general feedback or need technical support, please contact us.

Comments that include advertisements, self-promotion, insults, etc. may be in violation of our comment policy and subject to deletion. Please see our comment policy for more information.

15 thoughts on “Flawless Foundation – Napoleon Perdis – China Doll Foundation

  1. I really appreciate this review Christine! I have very curious about this foundation for a long time but wanted to know more about it before making the investment. I was also curious about how good NP concealer & lash conditioner is (crystal mascara i believe its called).

    Do you know if it states that it does not clog pores?

    BTW – You’re beautiful with makeup – but imo…you are very beautiful in this photo with hardly any makeup!

    • Were you the one who mentioned it on a previous Napoleon post? I saw someone mention it, which is why I made sure to try it!

      I don’t know if it states that, but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t.

      Haven’t tried the concealer or lash conditioner, but if I do, I’ll be sure to report the results.

      And thank you! I was so nervous with my half no-makeup self!

  2. wow i love that difference, its subtle but so effective. REally smooth. Unfortunately i’m NC 43 so i doubt their darkest shade would do. boo :( Maybe they’ll start making some more shades. I’m shopping for new foundation i’m tired of MAC formulations i haven’t found one that works well enough for me. But i do love how they photograph! Maybe u could do a review on some other brands and how they photograph? ( in the pricerange of mac or lower too!)

    • Me too, Kris! It’s such a great lightweight foundation – just perfect for those of us who mostly want to even out skin rather than need to hide tons and tons of “flaws.”

      I’m doing a foundation review series, so you’ll see some more as I try them out!

  3. dee

    Wow. I know you’re only a little bit younger than me, but without make-up you could pass for a young teenager. To the make-up, I’m not rolling enough to wear 50 dollar foundation and like Kris, I don’t think that fourth color would match me very well, but it does look to have good coverage and it looks very natural on you.

    • I know, I look really, really young sometimes. I hate it now, though I’m sure it’ll pay off when I hit 30, right? Well, I hope!

      I love the coverage it gives and how lightweight it is. If a foundation can last you 2-3 months, then $50 doesn’t seem SO bad in comparison to if you had to replace it every month or every few weeks!

  4. Yvette

    You are so pretty without makeup..PYT..
    You have a babyface..I’m going to sephora’s tomorrow. I was going to MUFE foundation 29 but I’m see how this works out. It seems a little goes a long way..I’ll keep you posted.

    • Thanks Yvette :) I look sooo young without makeup, it’s ridiculous!

      Let me know how it goes. Everybody’s raving about it so I’d love to see how it works for you!

  5. Mary

    Hi Christine,
    I came across your review by doing a google search on China Doll, but after reading your review it made me more determine to buy it! I brought it last night and tried it this morning and I love it!!! it is as exactly as you described, i tend to always get oily skin no matter what matt foundation i try (I have tried them all) but with China doll its like im not wearing foundation and my face looks flawless. I highly recommend China Doll to everyone! Thanks heaps Christine!!!

  6. Lisa

    Hi, I just purchased this foundation after wearing MAC for years. I haven’t yet tried it but am hoping it works for me. What is your opinion with this product verses MAC?

    Thank you..

  7. Robin

    Each of the “look 1″ shades of China Doll are too dark for me *eye roll* – but I love the coverage. Is there something similar that you recommend? I have bad skin that is uneven in tone and some acne scarring :( I see that Lisa mentioned Studio Fix so I will look into that. Thanks!

  8. Lisa

    This foundation is amazing! I have pretty much the worst skin .. Hormonal acne , scarring , uneven skin tone , etc so i need the maximum coverage; it covers everything !Not to mention long lasting and easily blendable .. Definately recommend this foundation