Foundation Face-Off (5): ZA Skin Beauty vs. ZA True White Plus

by PJ on Thursday, December 8, 2011

in _Can't Live Without, -Shiseido, -ZA, all about Japanese cosmetics, makeup, makeup - base makeup, makeup - base makeup - foundation, stash focus

Shiseido ZA Skin Beauty True White Plus Two-Way Foundation 1


After posting about the two new powder foundations from Shiseido ZA, I decided to try both in order to decide which one of them would be the successor to my ZA Two-Way Foundation. Now, after trying both, I present another Foundation Face-Off. (This time, it is sibling rivalry!)



– ZA Skin Beauty Two-Way Foundation: 8 shades, SPF 20, PA++ (shade tested: 22)
– ZA True White Plus Two-Way Foundation: 4 shades, SPF 20, PA++ (shade tested: 22)



Skin Beauty has a luminous matte finish, while True White Plus has a luminous and softly glowy finish.



Between the two, Skin Beauty is drier but it is still smooth and not chalky. True White Plus feels more emollient on the skin but I feel it is slightly less malleable. (It takes sightly more time to spread and blend evenly.)



Skin Beauty’s coverage is between light-to-medium and medium (which is generally sufficient for me), and True White Plus’ coverage is just above medium. True White Plus unifies uneven skin tone more effectively.

However, because True White Plus’ 22 is paler than my skin tone (and paler than Skin Beauty’s 22, which matches my skin tone nicely), I feel that the coverage doesn’t look natural enough for me.


Pore Coverage

Skin Beauty creates a soft-focus effect, which blurs out the appearance of pores satisfactorily. While True White Plus doesn’t exaggerate pores, I am not getting the same soft-focus effect.


Shine Control

Skin Beauty has a decent shine control and I think it should be suitable for those with combination or oily skin. True White Plus doesn’t really offer any substantial shine control and I think it should work better for those with normal or normal-to-slightly-dry skin.


Lasting Power

Skin Beauty has a good lasting power. It only darkens very minimally towards the end of the day, and it doesn’t turn cakey or patchy. On the other hand, because True White Plus’ 22 doesn’t really match my skin tone, I can see that there is some slightly noticeable patchiness on the nose towards the end of the day. (The patchiness would probably look less obvious with a more suitable shade.) Despite the patchiness, the overall shade of the foundation only darkens very minimally towards the end of the day, just like Skin Beauty.


Overall, I much prefer Skin Beauty to True White Plus. It is quite obvious (and a relief for me) that ZA Skin Beauty Two-Way Foundation is very similar to ZA Two-Way Foundation, which I have been using for years. (The similarity is also reflected by the similar ingredient lists of the two products.) If I am being picky, I would say that I wish Skin Beauty had just a touch more coverage. But this is by no means a complaint.

I am back to using the refills of ZA Two-Way Foundation that I have, but I will certainly start stocking up on Skin Beauty Two-Way Foundation.

(Note that ZA is a Shiseido line that is not available in Japan. According to ZA’s official website (link above), ZA is currently available in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, and New Zealand.)


Related posts:

Foundation Face-Off (1): Chanel vs. SUQQU

Foundation Face-Off (2): Lunasol vs. Coffret d’Or

Foundation Face-Off (3): Jill Stuart vs. SUQQU

Foundation Face-Off (4): Dior vs. Esprique Precious

Japanese Base Makeup Week

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous Friday, December 9, 2011

I like these foundation face-off posts. Reviews for powder foundations seem to be harder to find and yours are better informed and more thorough than most; the comparisons are quite helpful too.

I used to think I couldn’t wear powder foundations with my drier skin, but since discovering Japanese brands, it seem they cater to more skin types, whereas in the West, powder seems to be marketed purely for oilier skins. If there’s a day when powder really would not be suitable, I can still use them as finishing powders over liquid foundation, which also works quite well for extra coverage without looking cakey. I can even skip concealer when doing this.

It was one of these posts that prompted me to buy Lunasol Skin Fusing powder foundation and I love it! Perfect coverage without looking cakey at all. My only complaint is that even the lightest shade is a touch too dark (OC01) so might not be ideal for this time of year.

If I consider another powder foundation, I would stick to Japanese and certainly consider your reviews. Based on this post, it seems that the True White Plus might be suitable for me and possibly have a better shade match for the winter.

Thank you for all the hard work you put into these posts!


PJ Saturday, December 10, 2011


You are welcome. I am very pleased that you find this post helpful! :)

I agree with you that powder foundations from Japanese brands do seem to cater to a wider variety of skin types, and I am so glad that Lunasol’s Skin Fusing Powder Foundation has been working well for you. (I have a friend who has very dry skin, and she enjoys using it as well.)

Indeed, between these two ZA foundations, True White Plus is likely to suit you more. But I think there is still a noticeable difference between True White Plus and Skin Fusing in terms of texture and emolliency. I would say that, out of the powder foundations I have reviewed, SUQQU’s Powder Foundation Glow (in Foundation Face-Off (1)) and RMK’s Powder Foundation EX are probably the most similar to Skin Fusing.

(Unfortunately, SUQQU’s Powder Foundation Glow has been discontinued.)

Thank you very much for sharing your experience! :)


Mandy Saturday, December 10, 2011

I have been using the ZA true white plus refills after the original ZA (blue casing) ones got discontinued but I didn’t note much difference because I didn’t get to compare them side by side. Sadly I cannot use skin beauty foundation as my skin is allergic to hyaluronic acid. Little bumps popped up on my face when I tried the sample. The troublesome thing now is I am in between shades 21 and 22.


PJ Monday, December 12, 2011

Hi Mandy,

I see. When I tried True White Plus for the first time (after I had been using ZA Two-Way Foundation for about 9 years), the difference was immediately noticeable, especially in terms of coverage and pore coverage. It is Skin Beauty that I found to be very similar to ZA Two-Way Foundation (which, as I remember, had a slight revamp in 2004 (the coverage decreased slightly)).

Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts again! :)


Jan Friday, March 30, 2012

Hi, I totally agree with your review :) For me, I found it harder to find a good match with the True White. It tends to emphasize the pores by settling into them even after I have blended quite thoroughly – not good! So it is back to good ol Skin Beauty for me. That being said, the new ZA liquid foundation is really awesome!


PJ Monday, April 2, 2012

Hi Jan,

Thank you very much! I do personally think that Skin Beauty is a far better option for me since oil control and pore coverage are things I look for in a foundation. I am glad that you like it as well! :)

Thank you for stopping by again! :)


anya Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Hi, just wondering if you’ve tried the new Perfect Fit TWC & if it’s just as great as or even better than the Skin Beauty TWC? Also which shade in Skin Beauty do you recommend for MAC NC15-ish? Thank you so much!


PJ Thursday, November 15, 2012

Hi Anya,

I haven’t tried the new Perfect Fit Two-Way Foundation but it is on my list of items to try. If I have a chance to try it, I will certainly post another Foundation Face-Off post. :)

As for foundation shade recommendations for MAC foundation users, please see my FAQ page:

Thank you for your questions! :)


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