a) I've just purchased it.
b) It's a widely popular foundation.
What was I looking for?
As an everyday make-up base, my favourite one has to be MAC Face and Body Foundation (which I'll review later), but lately I began to realize that it might not be suitable for winter, when my skin tends to get rather dehydrated. Because it is so sheer, sometimes I felt it did not provide enough protection, especially in harsh conditions such as dryness, strong wind, etc. So I started my research for a new foundation that would be suitable for the cold weather.
Which shade was the best match?
I was led to try this popular foundation because it truly has a great shade choice! I was matched to #115 by the SA at Sephora, but she obviously didn't know her thing, as I have to stay away from pinkish foundations to counteract redness on nose and cheeks. The actual perfect match was #117 (I am NW15 in MAC). I think anyone can find a great colour match with this product. #117 is great for fair ladies with yellow undertones and/or redness that needs to be covered. I would recommend #115 to someone with a strong yellowish cast to brighten up her complexion.
What were my first impressions?
Now, down to the product itself. It comes in a nice and functional plastic packaging, and fortunately it has a pump, which makes it more hygenic. The foundation comes out very liquidy in texture, but not as watery as MAC Face&Body or MUFE Face&Body. It is easy to work with, although it tends to dry out quite fast, so you might want to do every part of your face separately for a flawless finish. As I said, the colour match was absolutely perfect for me, with no detectable difference in the jawline area!
How would I apply this foundation?
a) Fingers: I always use my fingers when it's the first time I've tried a new foundation. Coverage is moderate and it allows you to warm up the product so as to better let it sink into your skin.
b) Regular foundation brush (Sigma E60): this is my favourite one. Application was easy, hygenic, with medium but very natural coverage and no streaks. I think this would be the method to go.
c) Stippling brush (MAC 187): the stippling technique allows to build the foundation up to full coverage, with a fairly natural result. I didn't like this one very much though, as it made the product feel quite dry after the application.
Did it live up to my expectations?
In general, this is a medium coverage foundation, that can be built up to full, suitable for normal to dry skin IMHO. It feels comfortable on my skin, and I can definitely see the "HD effect" when I'm wearing it. It DOES look good in any lighting, my pores disappear, and it generally improves the appearance of my skin!
I do wear it over the HD primer (#5 Blue), which makes a difference. I find it doesn't look that good without a good base. Also, if you have normal to dry skin like me, you want to make sure you use a rich moisturizer underneath because oddly, this foundation dries out to a satin/matt finish but when it settles it blends with the natural oils in your skin and can look a little bit dewey (not greasy on me, but I guess it would be an issue for people with oily skin). I also realized that, for the same reasons, it is a good idea to dust a finely-milled powder over it to set. I use ELF's HD Powder or Clinique Redness Solution Mineral Pressed Powder. The only other minor con I could find is that it tends to emphasize any dryness or uneven spots when you haven't exfoliated for a while.
What are my final thoughts?
In sum, this is not a low-maintenance foundation: I feel I need to exfoliate, prime and powder for best results. Otherwise, it truly looks AMAZING and lives up to my expectations!
This is not the thicker, protective foundation I was looking for and it does have some minor flaws. However, I definitely liked it a lot for how flawless my face looks when I'm wearing this (read soft focus effect!). I gave in and bought it, for €38 (NOT cheap).
DO buy this if:- you have normal to slightly dry skin
- you want something lightweight that provides medium coverage
- you need a good makeup for flash photography
DON'T buy this if:- you have oily or extremely dry skin
- your skin is ruddy, very uneven or has bad acne issues
- you don't like splurging on foundations
Final rating: 4.5/5