Drugstore makeup has come a very long way in recent years, but certain products are still tough to find at affordable prices. One category that’s difficult to find at the drugstore or in the drugstore price range, is clean beauty. I’ve seen some products here and there, but most of them aren’t 100% cruelty-free. Pacifica makeup is often overlooked, but Pacifica was probably one of the first affordable brands to start making clean makeup. One of their most popular makeup products is the Pacifica Alight Clean Foundation that launched a couple of years ago.
I’m pretty late to the game on this one, but I hesitated to purchase this foundation due to mixed reviews. I finally went for it when Pacifica recently had a good sale! I decided it would be worth a try since this foundation is kind of a “unicorn” in the makeup world (since it’s clean and affordable). Also, there is no single foundation that will work for every single person; inevitably, some will love it, others will hate it, and some will fall in the middle.
Please keep reading for my thoughts on this foundation, including a thorough review of its ingredients!
Pacifica Alight Clean Foundation product claims directly from PacificaBeauty.com
Get the flawless coverage of your dreams in 30 shades designed for real skin tones. Our innovative, non-comedogenic, dermatologist tested formula goes on smooth, covers pores and lasts throughout the day.* But we weren’t just concerned about creating your perfect shade, we also care about the ingredients you use. This formula is free of silicone, parabens, phthalates, talc, BHA, BHT, petroleum and drying alcohols (and a huge list of other things your skin doesn’t love).
- Flawless, seamless coverage
- Skin feels clean
- More radiant, healthy looking skin
- Pore free appearance and vibrant
- Lasts day to night
After 6 weeks of use:*
- Skin looks more healthy
- Skin feels smoother
*93% or more participants agreed in clinical study
Disclosure: IntegriBeauty includes affiliate links within product review posts. I receive commissions for purchases made through these links at no additional cost to you. Additionally, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. IntegriBeauty is independently owned and all products discussed within IntegriBeauty product review posts are thoroughly tested and given honest reviews.
Other product details
- Price: $16.00 (price varies by shade on Amazon)
- Net weight: 0.90 oz. | 28 ml
- Made in the USA
- 30 shades ranging from fair to deep
- Satin finish
- Where to buy: PacificaBeauty.com and Amazon.com (please note that every shade is listed separately on Amazon; this link will take you to my shade, 38NF)
- PacificaBeauty.com ships to the USA and Canada only.
- Amazon.com ships internationally to over 100 countries, but not all items will ship to every country. Update your default shipping address to see items that will ship to your location.
- Overall rating: 8.8/10
- Inclusivity: 9/10
- Packaging/ease of application: 10/10
- Staying power: 7/10
- Ingredients: 8/10
- Price: 10/10
Please note that I am not a makeup artist. The opinions expressed in this review are my own, as a regular person that loves makeup.
Pacifica Alight Clean Foundation comes in 30 shades ranging from fair to deep. This isn’t the most impressive foundation shade range I’ve ever seen, but it’s pretty great for a couple of reasons!
First, a lot of clean foundations have quite limited shade ranges. I previously reviewed the Clove + Hallow Liquid Skin Tint and Clove + Hallow Pressed Mineral Foundation (Clove + Hallow is a mid-range clean brand), which come in 12 and 14 shades, respectively. Unfortunately, those aren’t even the worst shade ranges I’ve seen.
Pacifica Alight Clean Foundation isn’t the only Pacifica coverage product. Before this foundation was launched, there was already an illuminating foundation, as well as a CC cream and BB Cream. Those products have abysmal shade ranges, so I was very happy to see Pacifica do better with this foundation’s inclusivity.
I looked at each shade in this range, and found that the shades are distributed as follows:
- Fair: 3 (2 neutral; 1 cool)
- Light: 6 (2 neutral; 2 cool; 2 warm)
- Medium: 7 (2 neutral; 3 cool; 2 warm)
- Tan: 7 (2 neutral; 1 cool; 4 warm)
- Deep: 7 (2 neutral; 2 cool; 3 warm)
I’m very glad to see that there are at least two undertones available for each shade category! It’s also wonderful that there are so many medium to deep shades. A lot of coverage products come in several fair to light shades without going nearly deep enough.
My only complaint about this shade range is that there aren’t more undertones available for fair skin. If you have fair skin with a warm undertone, unfortunately you won’t be able to find an ideal shade match in this foundation.
I also think Pacifica should add a photo on the website showing all shades swatched side-by-side. Since shades can only be viewed one at a time, it’s difficult to select the correct shade. I have fair skin with a neutral undertone, so it took me a while to settle on shade 38NF instead of 40NF. I’m very pleased with my selection, as 38NF might be my best shade match ever! 🙂
Packaging/ease of application
Pacifica Alight Clean Foundation comes packaged in a gorgeous frosted glass bottle. Packaging is one thing that Pacifica almost always does right! If you like displaying products with pretty packaging, this is definitely one you’d want to keep out. There is also a plastic cap and plastic pump. The pump makes it very easy to control how much foundation is dispensed. I find that I need about half a pump to a full pump of this foundation, depending on how much coverage I want.
This foundation has a fairly lightweight texture that’s easy to blend into the skin. It actually feels very similar to the Colourpop Pretty Fresh Hyaluronic Hydrating Foundation if you’re familiar with that product. Both foundations are nicely hydrating without feeling greasy at all.
Pacifica states that this foundation can be applied with a sponge, brush, or fingers. I use a brush to apply most foundations, but on my skin, I’ve found that this foundation applies best with a sponge. My sponge blends this foundation smoothly, but I’ve found that it can look a bit patchy with a brush. Yesterday, I applied this foundation with a sponge on one side of my face, and used a brush on the other side. These photos show the foundation freshly applied and comparing each side. The difference is subtle, so I’m not sure if you’ll be able to see it. I get medium to full coverage from this foundation whether I use a sponge or brush for application.
I never apply foundation with my fingers, but I tried that today just to see if it would work. As I suspected, I didn’t like that method at all! Fingers might work better with a very light coverage product, but with this foundation it looks streaky and uneven. I did find that it looked OK after I went back over it with a sponge, but it’s easiest to do it all with a sponge from the beginning.
No matter which application method is used, I highly recommend setting this foundation with powder. It is tacky to the touch without a light dusting of powder. Setting powder will also somewhat help to prevent the foundation from settling into fine lines.
Speaking of fine lines, this foundation tends to settle into the fine lines around my eyes very quickly. I often skip concealer and just apply foundation around my eyes, but that isn’t the best choice with this foundation. I get much better results if I don’t take this foundation all the way up around my eyes. Instead, I leave that area bare of foundation and apply my e.l.f. Hydrating Camo Concealer to cover dark circles and brighten my under-eyes. If you’d prefer a Pacifica concealer to pair with this Pacifica foundation, I’ve heard the Pacifica Liquid Cover Lasting Concealer is really good!
In the last section, I compared Pacifica Alight Clean Foundation to Colourpop Pretty Fresh Hyaluronic Hydrating Foundation. The staying power of these foundations is also quite similar!
Pacifica claims that this foundation will “last day to night.” While it still looks good from a distance after being worn all day, it definitely does break down in some areas. It also settles into fine lines throughout the day.
I did a 9-hour wear test yesterday to illustrate the longevity of Pacifica Alight Clean Foundation. Please don’t judge my “RBF” in the second and third photos; I wanted to make sure the signs of wear were visible (that’s why I wasn’t smiling), and I also wasn’t feeling well.
When I completed my makeup at noon, the foundation looked flawless except for some settling into a line on my forehead. I think all foundations do that on me, so not a big deal. At the 4-hour mark, the foundation had really started to badly settle into the fine lines around my eyes to make that area look crepey and dry. I also noticed that the foundation had started to break up on my chin and around my mouth (that’s at least partly from eating lunch). At the 9-hour mark, there were no major changes, but foundation had settled into my smile lines. More foundation had also further broken down on my chin and around my nose at that point. As far as oil-control goes, my face remained looking mostly matte until shortly after the 4-hour mark.
I think it’s really difficult to formulate a foundation with good staying power. Overall, I’m happy with the longevity of Pacifica Alight Clean Foundation. It’s not perfect, but it does last better than a lot of other foundations.
I don’t usually review the ingredients for foundations, but since Pacifica has labeled this a clean foundation with skincare benefits, I was curious to see which ingredients they would choose to use. Please note that the ingredient list shown on PacificaBeauty.com does not exactly match the ingredient list on the packaging. That’s because Pacifica made a couple of small changes to the formula. The ingredient list below is from the product packaging:
Aqua, Squalane, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Polyglyceryl-3 Diisostearate, Propanediol, Glycerin, Isostearic Acid, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Boron Nitride, Sodium Chloride, Hyaluronic Acid, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Water, Iris Pallida Leaf Cell Extract, Ascophyllum Nodosum (Brown Seaweed) Extract, Rosa Damascena Leaf Cell Extract, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Phytic Acid, Jojoba Esters, Mica, Silica, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Benzyl Alcohol, Linalool, Parfum (natural)
May contain: Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxide (CI 77492), Iron Oxide (CI 77491), Iron Oxide (CI 77499)
The majority of these ingredients are what I call “neutral” (they don’t benefit or harm the skin) which isn’t surprising since this foundation is first and foremost meant to provide coverage. What is surprising, is that there are seven ingredients (that’s 28% of the ingredients) that I have labeled as “good” because they provide skincare benefits! It’s always great to see skincare ingredients incorporated into makeup. I’ll provide brief descriptions of the seven skin-loving ingredients:
- Natural moisturizer
- Another natural moisturizer
- Hyaluronic Acid
- Humectant that binds up to 1,000x its weight in water
- Plumps skin and reduces appearance of wrinkles
- Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Water
- Moisturizes and nourishes skin
- Iris Pallida Leaf Cell Extract
- Ascophyllum Nodosum (Brown Seaweed) Extract
- Also used as a texture enhancer
- Rosa Damascena Leaf Cell Extract
- Skin protectant
The first thing that caught my attention when I looked at the list of ingredients, is that squalane is the second ingredient! I was very surprised to see that a skincare ingredient would have the second highest concentration, since this is foundation, not moisturizer or any other skincare product. The squalane, glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and coconut water definitely go a long way in making this foundation feel very hydrating on the skin.
I’m sad to say that there are a couple of ingredients that fall into the “bad” category. Pacifica is big on fragrance, and this foundation is no exception. Pacifica Alight Clean Foundation contains both linalool (a common fragrance ingredient) and a natural fragrance blend. Fragrance ingredients are some of the most common irritants for skin, so it’s disappointing to see them added to this product. To be completely honest, I actually enjoy the scent of this foundation, but I recognize that it could be problematic for people with sensitive skin (or people that simply don’t like fragrance in makeup products).
Pacifica Alight Clean Foundation is $16.00, or $17.78/ounce since the bottle contains only 0.9 oz. instead of the standard full ounce of product. That is definitely on the pricier side for drugstore foundations, considering there are several options for $10.00 or less.
It’s important to remember that this is not just any drugstore foundation, however. It has a clean formula with several skincare ingredients. It’s also 100% cruelty-free and vegan, which isn’t as common as it should be.
Pacifica Alight Clean Foundation really shines as a great value when compared to the majority of clean foundations. Most clean foundations have mid-range or high-end price tags. Many are $40+! I’m so glad Pacifica offers clean makeup options at affordable prices.
Pacifica Alight Clean Foundation has impressed me in many ways. I’ve definitely enjoyed it and I’m so happy to finally have a foundation that’s a perfect shade match!
The claims for this product are quite extensive. Since this is meant to be a clean foundation, Pacifica really touts the ingredients. I have to agree that they are very good overall! As far as the “immediate results” claims, I mostly agree. This foundation does provide beautiful seamless coverage that doesn’t feel heavy on the skin. It also makes skin look bright and healthy. I have to disagree about the “pore free appearance” claim as pores become obvious (at least on my combination skin) after maybe a few hours. Finally, the “lasts day to night” claim; I agree that it lasts reasonably well, but it doesn’t look flawless at the end of the day.
Pacifica also makes long-term claims about this foundation. It’s supposed to make skin look healthier and feel smoother after six weeks of use. I can’t respond to those claims as I don’t wear this foundation every day. However, the skincare ingredients in this formula could certainly contribute to healthier and smoother skin.
I would highly recommend this foundation to almost anyone looking for an affordable, cruelty-free, vegan, clean foundation. Even if you aren’t looking for a “clean” foundation specifically, it’s a great option! The only people that might need to steer clear of this foundation are those with sensitive or oily skin. It has the potential to irritate sensitive skin, and may be too hydrating for oily skin.
Have you tried Pacifica Alight Clean Foundation or any other Pacifica coverage products? Do you think they deserve more love from the beauty community? Please share your thoughts with me in the comments below!