Shiseido Fullmake Washable Base Review

The YS Beauty Lab

I’ve been trying several Japanese skincare and beauty products over the last few months, and yes, there’s always room for more! This time, I’m road-testing my very first Shiseido makeup product, the Fullmake Washable Base.

Shiseido is one of the oldest and most well-known Japanese beauty and skincare brands. The Fullmake Washable Base is one of its more recent offerings, as it launched only last March in Japan. It’s still creating buzz because it’s a makeup base that works as a primer but doesn’t require makeup remover. You only need warm water to rinse it all off. It sounded too good be true, especially since the small, minimalist 35g tube retails for an affordable US$18. But the promise of one less product cluttering my bathroom vanity and eventually the environment, or damaging my budget, is certainly worth something.

Is this the ace of base?
The secret weapon in this makeup base is the Veil Action Polymer, an ingredient developed by Shiseido. The polymer forms a water-soluble flexible film over the skin that is transfer-resistant but (along with makeup) comes off easily when rinsed with warm water. Among other things, the base also contains brightening and smoothing powders as well as silicone to create a more flawless finish and to help makeup stay put longer. The silicone ingredient makes me think that this product is really more of a primer than a foundation or a BB cream.

Apply. Rinse. Repeat
The cream comes in an off-white color, and the texture is neither too thick nor too watery. It goes on sheer, so this isn’t a good foundation replacement. The good thing is that even with its light shade, it absorbs right into my skin and doesn’t leave the typical whitish cast that other products sometimes do. I skipped my trusty primer and diligently used the base for one week, taking care to apply the recommended “two pearl-sized amounts”. Like my previous experience with other Japanese brands, this product had no adverse reactions on my skin and worked well with what little makeup I use. Using the base reduced my need for touch-ups during the day from twice to just once, even with the humid Hong Kong weather and my combination-to-oily skin type.

When it came to removing my makeup and seeing whether the base does rinse off with only warm water, I was more thorough. Things are seldom what they seem and I wanted to see if this product lives up to its promise. According to the instructions, rinsing off the base is best done while in the shower and followed by a facial cleanser. Having done that, I swiped a cotton ball over my face afterward, and for good measure, a makeup wipe, and only got barely visible beige smudges on those. I took that as a very good sign that the Veil Action Polymer does work well.

The Verdict
I’m always on the lookout for great primers and Shiseido’s Fullmake Washable Base is definitely going on my list. With the more fluid consistency of this cream, it may be more effective for dry to slightly oily skin types. The cooler weather and lower humidity here in Hong Kong certainly helped in making my skin more cooperative but if you live in a perpetually humid climate, there’s a chance that you won’t get the full benefits of this product. Overall, this washable base made me a convert.

The YesStyle Beauty Lab Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★