Review: Impress IC Brightening Sun Protector SPF50+

My first Kanebo product! And yes, I did stray from my beloved Shiseido Perfect UV Protector (review here), which I have been using for absolutely ages. If you have been reading for a while, you would have seen many a bottle of Shiseido goodness on the blog, as I display backups of backups and even empties. In fact, I’m a little embarrassed to have strayed as I have nothing but high praises for my HG sunscreen.

An incredibly impressive sun protector indeed!

But onto the Kanebo Impress IC Brightening Sun Protector. Yes, it has 50+, it has one “+” short from its PA levels, which means this does not provide as much UVA protection as Shiseido’s suncreen. However, I have a confession, and this is a very big one indeed:

Yours truly wore this product during her wedding week. Yes, I applied this underneath all that makeup for my Fraser’s Hill ceremony and yes, this was also worn during my Chinese wedding ceremony. Oh… I also wore this during my pre-wedding photoshoot. The horror.

Shiseido, I’m sorry. I’m not sure what got into me.

Okay, I know. The Kanebo Impress IC Brightening Sun Protector has a matte-r finish than my HG Shiseido Perfect UV Protector. Shiseido is already perfect for me, no doubt about that. But this. It’s less creamy than the Perfect UV Protector, goes on runnier, and I just felt it would wear better underneath all the makeup my makeup artist was going to pile on my skin.

How do I know this, you ask?

Well… during my bridal makeup trial, I had my Shiseido Perfect UV Protector on as a base. And post airbrush application, I felt my skin looked a tad greasy. No, I wasn’t rocking the “glowing, radiant bride” look. I looked like an oil slick.

This then got me wondering… What if I used the Kanebo one instead?

I took a massive gamble, and it paid off. My complexion remained relatively matte despite me being a nervous bride. Thank goodness.

Okay Sukie. Enough with your excuses. What made you purchase the Kanebo sunscreen in the first place?

You know me… Bad service puts me off. And bad service was what I experienced at a certain departmental store, while I was going to repurchase my Shiseido Perfect UV Protector. I usually repurchase by the bulk – at least three bottles every time – as I like taking advantage of the Gift With Purchases (GWPs) and because I really like using Shiseido’s deluxe-sized gifts.

But on that fateful day, I walked towards the Shiseido counter and the beauty consultant was nowhere to be seen. I hung around for a bit and saw her chatting with another consultant from a different brand (I recognise Shiseido’s uniform). I then walked over to her and asked if she could help me out with my purchase.

Said beauty consultant gave me a sullen look and grumpily left her friend.

Upon arrival at the Shiseido counter, she rudely asked

“What do you want? Tell you first, I don’t have samples to give you.”

That made me walk away.

I was about to stomp out of the store when I saw the Kanebo counter. This lovely lady smiled at me, and remembering Paris’ post where she mentioned the Brightening Sun Protector wasn’t half bad… I then went over and bought a bottle because I thought I had nothing to lose and I really needed a bottle of sunscreen as I was running out of the good stuff at home.

I tried it, and I liked it. Quite a bit. Enough for me to wear it on my big day, which is shocking not only to me, to Paul* too as he exclaimed

“What? You aren’t wearing your usual sunscreen? What if you breakout?!? Are you sure about this?”

Calm down, ladies. I tested the sunscreen a good three months before the wedding and it didn’t give me any issues. No breakouts, just smooth, matte skin. Which made for a very good makeup base. Even better than Shiseido’s Perfect UV Perfector, if I may add.

If you have oily skin, or combination-leaning-towards-oily skin, I’d say go with the Kanebo Impress IC Brightening Sun Protector. But if you have combination skin, both Shiseido and Kanebo work equally well. It all boils down to personal preference, or brand preference, really.

Then again… I’m comparing the Kanebo Impress IC Brightening Sun Protector with the original version of Shiseido’s Perfect UV Protector. Shiseido has now discontinued the Perfect UV Protector and replaced it with an upgraded version – the Perfect UV Protector WetForce.

As I mentioned in my earlier post, I discovered that the WetForce version seems to be better at keeping my skin oil-free. A comparison post is in the works, but bear with me while I further test the brand new WetForce sunscreen.

This is my first venture into Kanebo’s skincare range and I’m really impressed. I’ve since picked up the Brightener, which reminds me I’m pretty behind on my product reviews… It’s lovely, by the way! I’m slowly looking at trying out more skincare from Kanebo, but that’s a story for another day.

Speaking of brand loyalty, I’ve always been loyal to Shiseido… Have perhaps gone through more than 20 bottles of Perfect UV Protector. But I’m always on the lookout for something better, and the original Perfect UV Protector definitely met its match in the Kanebo Impress IC Brightening Sun Protector.

As corny as it may sound, I am truly Impress-ed.