Neutrogena Mineral Sheers Powder Foundation got such a bad rap from users that one almost had to feel sorry for it. Almost everything about it was bad. The packaging required people to resort to power tools to get at the powder, and then once they managed to apply it, they were left with a "cakey" feel that gave "zero coverage". For the significant numbers who complained about allergic reactions, the best thing about Mineral Sheers was its weak staying power- after a couple of hours, all remnants of the foundation would have disappeared. Undaunted, Neutrogena has come out with a new version.

The new Mineral Sheers ($12.99) has made three sensible changes. The container and brush have been jettisoned in favor of a straightforward compact. It no longer contains bismuth oxychloride, an irritant that can cause cystic acne and, almost certainly, the culprit behind all the complaints about itchy breakouts. And Neutrogena has added a mineral sunscreen. As with the original version, there are vitamins A, C and E.

You have to give Neutrogena credit for trying. However, it still isn't a terribly good product. Perhaps as a result of a heavy hand with the mica, this powder is shimmery to the point of shiny. And if you apply more than a dab or light dusting, the effect is chalky.

Ingredients in new Neutrogena Mineral Sheers

Titanium Dioxide (6.6%) Mica,
Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate, Zinc Stearate, Silica, Dimethicone,
Oryza Sativa Starch (Rice), Magnesium Myristate, Methicone, Ascorbic
Acid, Tocopheryl Acetate, Retinyl Palmitate, Pantothenic Acid,
Panthenol, Glycine Soja Flour (Soybean), Alumina, Silk Powder, Water,
Polymethyl Methacrylate, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Methylparaben,
Propylparaben, May Contain: Iron Oxides, Nylon 12, Carmine