Review complete with swatching against other Boujois and MAC. Warning, this is not a pretty post. Macro skin time stamped photos alert.


Coverage & Finish

Medium coverage. Radiance finish. The radiance is obvious that there’s something on the face.

I won’t call it a buildable coverage. If I use too much of this stuff there is too much radiance, borderline shimmer finish? It’s not cakey, just too much radiance; not a good look. Below are my time stamped photos. If you hover the mouse over the photo, there’s caption. **The hover doesn’t work on mobile device, I haven’t figured out how to fix that yet.

Skin type

For dry or normal to dry. I can’t imagine it working for other skin types even with primer + powder. Not for people with dry patches either.

My skin profile? click here



Floral sweet. It’s a very typical French product smell? I don’t know how to pin point it. Just by smell alone, if one is blind folded, you may not have guess this is a drugstore product. Not pungent and can’t smell within seconds it hits my face.



Soft pearly pink tube with embossed silver lid. Difficult to not like this packaging. Totally plastic and light. Total weight 49g.

Once the sticker is removed, there’s no way of telling what shade the tube holds


12 months recommended shelf life after opening.

Mega travel friendly packaging. I really love this packaging.


Country of Origin

Made in France

Bourjois is from Paris, France since 1863. Currently owned by Coty Inc.


Application Method

I prefer synthetic buffing brush – real technique expert face. Medium density for medium-high coverage.

MAC 190 was okay, but it was work. MAC 187 / duo fibre brush totally didn’t work out for me.

Sponge is preferred for fuller coverage.

Finger/hands application is possible, but it was just not as easy as brush / sponge.



There are only 6 colours to choose from and the name of the colours are misleading. I use 02 Vanilla. I am not sure whether it was too light or if the foundation just glows a lot.

Left (wrist) to right: (1) L’oreal Nude Magique 03 vanilla EU version (2) MAC studio sculp NC25 (3) Bourjois city radiance 02 vanilla (4) Bourjois healthy Mix 52 vanilla old version (5) Bourjois healthy mix serum 52 vanilla (6) Bourjois healthy mix 53 light beige (7) MAC face & body C3 (8) MAC face & body C2

All colours run yellow. 02 Vanilla oxidises a lot! Changes to peach like crazy. Pre-oxidation is like NC20. After oxidation, it was like a MAC studio finish concealer NW25

Bottom: Bourjois City Radiance 02 Vanilla fresh application (photo within 2min application) Top: Post oxidation (photo 30min after application)


Parisian late May 20-30 degrees Celsius. I tested for 2 weeks. As usual, no primer and no powder. This thing was a slippery sliding mess! Visible melt down started 4 hours after initial application. The melt down was brutal. It died into a glow that sunk into pore that I didn’t know I had. I have combination skin, but towards the dry side. Glowing pore was not a great look. The coverage was definitely gone by 5th hour. The foundation doesn’t break visibly, but I could tell that the coverage was gone. But fear not, the glowy pores effect endured. It was like glowy “dented” skin? Not loving it.


Here are photos with time stamps… (started at 6h00) Hover mouse over the photo to see the caption.

I did experience honeymoon period (winter months) and thought I loved it. I only later discover that in outdoor lighting this foundation was a radiance shimmery mess. I get sunlight until 21h00 now, so I see the performance in a whole different way.

Just for reference, my skin condition looked better without the foundation. The foundation either highlighted my texture or caused texture that I didn’t have before, made pores visible and created lines that I did not have before makeup. People who knows me in real life knows that I have no lines. Pigmentation is an issue, but this foundation is a whole new level.


Seriously, my chins and cheeks are dry, where the hell did those pores come from?


There isn’t actual shimmer in the foundation, but I don’t know how to discribe the crazy glow.



Comfortable, moisturised. After 10min, my face felt more supple. Didn’t feel oily despite the horrific look. Clinged to dry patches that I didn’t know I have within the hour of application. Even as it melt down there was not sticky / weird feeling.


Price EUR14.95 ===> WHY?!?!?!? EUR17.50 ?!?!?!?!?!? GBP9.99

I don’t find official page for USA/CA. All I need to know is that I’m always pissed that France is consistently more expensive.



I am quite impressed by this formula, though you can tell that I didn’t like how it melted down on me. Impressive skin care in their ingredient list.


CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499 (IRON OXIDES),

  • Hydrogenated lecithin is a emulsifying agent that aid ingredients to penetrate the skin. Although it is deemed safe by FDA, there are concern that this maybe carcinogenic. I don’t find solid proof of it causing cancer though. So this one I highlight in orange *LOL* The overall formula has some skin care items, perhaps in this case it is a good thing?
  • Biosaccharide gum-4 in short is a moisturiser. It binds water to the skin.
  • Imperata cylindrica root extract is known for it’s hydrating properties. Well, in SE Asian skincare and in Chinese medicine. Kiehls use this stuff in a few of their products. I am impressed to find this in a drug store product.
  • Tocopheraol – a type of vitamin E. Anti-oxidant can never hurt?
  • Biotin – aka vitamin B7 is great for hair/nails/skin.Though I don’t think this stuff can be absorbed by the skin.
  • Linalool – Potential skin irritation from this sweet fragrance (it is a naturally formed fragrance)
  • BHT – slows down oxidation rate / or prevent change of colour. Not sure if this is a yey or nay, because there’s contradicting results from various studies (also used in food, so some reports are food test based). Some say that it causes cancer (and/or accumulate in body tissue), other says that it helps to retard development of cancer due to its anti-oxidation property Either way, it is FDA and EU approved at the moment.

I am more detailed with drugstore products’ ingredient lists, because with higher priced product I expected them to have a bunch of good stuff. So if even if they do have fab ingredients, it is still not worth mentioning.



Hell no. I am considering how to use it up. Maybe it is only good for background prop?


Rating: E

Packaging 4/5

Scent 3/5

Blendability 4/5

Look 4/10

Comfort 9/10

Longevity 2/10

Oxidation – severe colour change. I would classify this as a greyscale 2

Value for money 2/5


I am trying a new way to show how the foundation is performing. I hope that you find this post useful. Please comment below what you think of this foundation.


Camera: Canon 5D mark 3, Canon IXUS 510 HS (face), Sony Z3+

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Salut, I am Joyce. 40 something living in Paris. Appreciate little things and share giggles. Prudent, no nonsense reviews. #ExploreLaughRepeat


  1. I’m so sorry that this foundation didn’t work with your skin so great. I have super dry skin but I moisture my face a lot before I put any kinds of foundation or makeup in general. I love design of the product it is travel friendly. 🙂
    Check out post on my blog for the same foundation. I have used number 3 Light beige

    • I haven’t bought any Maybelline foundation yet. I can’t colour match somehow. Now that you mention it, I need to look into that. Thanks, Sangeetha xox

  2. Wow this oxidizes like crazy! I’m staying away.
    Also, I don’t love crazy shine in my foundation – I prefer putting shine in isolated areas, not all over my face.
    The wear time and accentuating your pores is terrible!
    I actually do not think this foundation is available in Canada yet! Thank goodness we avoided this monstrosity for now…
    Great review!

    Semi related question since you mentioned the MAC 187 brush. Do you use it to blend foundation? It was sold to me to blend foundation and it doesn’t work for me that way! It’s a streaky mess every time. I used it mainly for bronzing until I got sick of it and gave it away to a friend.

    • Honestly, they’re better off not releasing this product in Canada or rename the foundation to “City Radiance – Shine never dies and Maximum oxidation”.

      MAC 187 when used with large circular motion ==> streaky hell LOL I had that problem at the beginning.

      If use in small circular movement, it adds radiance / sheer out foundation. Yes, it is a slower process, but beautiful finish. It works very well with MAC face & body (best combo, I’ve found for this brush). Quite good with Armani luminous silk too.

      Wahaha, maybe you can give it another try? I suppose it is quite good for sheering out over application as well.

      • I have a few other duo fibre type brushes still in my stash, I’ll give them a try that way. Lately I’ve mostly been using sponges or fingers!

        • Finger/hand application is my favorite, easy to wash the ‘tool’. Lol. Doesn’t work for all foundations though.

          Sponges are fab, if only they will clean themselves 😅

  3. Eek. I hate it when a foundation has a melt down like this. I’ve tried ones that look worse than my bare skin! Bourjouis is French but has it been bought out by a company? I thought it’d be cheaper in France! X

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