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Guerlain Lingerie de Peau Natural Perfection Foundation

Guerlain 03N Naturel Lingerie de Peau
Guerlain 03N Naturel Lingerie de Peau

Guerlain 03N Naturel Lingerie de Peau ($63.00 for 1.0 fl. oz.) is the latest and greatest version of the Lingerie de Peau formula–it has been reformulated and now features 14 shades. The packaging was also updated to more of a rounded, square shape, which makes it easier to store, I think, and it is more comparable in diameter to many other liquid foundations on the market. The formula is supposed to be “invisible to the eye and to the touch” while “smoothing” and creating a “second skin.” It is a silicone-based foundation from what I can tell from the ingredient list. It has a very subtle floral fragrance–so subtle to my nose that I didn’t know it had fragrance until I checked for it.

Guerlain’s Lingerie de Peau is an exceptional foundation; I have always enjoyed it, and I’ve worn it extensively in its original formulation. I’m pleased to report that the reformulated version is excellent and has a comparable finish, wear, and blendability of the original. Where it differs is in the consistency: the new formula is much thinner and more like a liquid, whereas the original formula was more cream-like. I get more coverage faster with the original formula, but the new formula is more buildable from light to medium coverage. I wore them side-by-side one day, and other than that initial difference in application and cover, I couldn’t tell a difference between the two.

The new formula delivers buildable coverage from light to medium (about two layers), blends and spreads well across the skin and doesn’t sink into lines easily, sets and is touchable but still has a soft, natural finish, and looks like skin. I would actually agree that it made my skin appear smoother as well as more even in tone. The finish is just fantastic, as it doesn’t look overly dewy or totally matte but has enough luminosity to mimic the look of happy skin. The texture was thin, almost runny in a way, but it still yielded noticeable coverage in a single layer, which was easy to build upon as needed, whether all over or in specific areas. It took about a minute to two minutes for it to dry down, and it does look darker dried down than initially pumped from the bottle (true with the previous formula and most liquid formulas). I didn’t experience any oxidization or color changes throughout the day.

It wore well throughout the day, and it felt fuss-free because I often forgot I was wearing foundation at all–and that is the dream! It was easy to wear with or without setting powder, as it wore well and broke down nicely either way. The foundation was mostly transfer-resistant for me, even without setting powder, but if you are oilier, you might find it more likely to transfer. When I wore it on its own, it lasted for a solid ten hours with minimal signs of wear (slightly dewier but still even coverage). When I wore it with a setting powder, it lasted well for twelve hours. It wore long, and more importantly, well, because it was a gradual, even break down and doesn’t look oily, separated, or patchy at the end of the day.

Shade Range + Shade Tested

There are 14 shades available, and it is broken down into three groupings: cool (pink undertones), neutral (balance of pink and yellow undertones), and warm (yellow undertones). This is the most extensive shade range Guerlain has for any of its foundations, which is great news as the previous shade range was hard to fit into. However, the range could definitely use more medium-dark and darker shades (the range is more concentrated for fair to light-medium). I bought 03N Naturel to try, as I normally mix 02 Beige Clair and 03 Beige Naturel in Guerlain’s foundations (including the previous Lingerie de Peau formula), but I think 02N Naturel is going to be the better match as 03N Naturel is about a shade too dark on me. It matches the darker parts of my face but is noticeably different from my neck, so I’ve usually blended down my neck, just past my collarbone, which makes it wearable on me. 03N Naturel was more neutral in undertone compared to 03 Beige Naturel in the older formula, just slightly. I suspect I’ll grab 02N Naturel next time there’s a gift card event/sale.

For other foundation shades that I’ve tried, please see this FAQ, which includes my best matches as well as ones I have tried that are too dark/too light.

About My Skin

I have normal-to-dry skin, which tends to be mostly normal but occasionally has dry patches or spots around my upper cheeks, eyelids, and around the nose. I am not always dry in these areas, though. I consider myself light-medium in color with soft, warmer yellow undertones; I am not a true neutral (sometimes neutrals can look rosy on me), but foundations that are touted as warm-toned can lean too yellow on my complexion if they have fuller coverage. My neck is lighter than my face, while the edges of my face are darker than the center, so I try to match closer to my neck to minimize how far down I have to blend. While testing this foundation, I was mostly normal throughout and only had a bit of dryness around my nostrils.

Guerlain Lingerie de Peau Natural Perfection Foundation SPF20 03N Natural

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Tarte Double Duty Beauty Empowered Hybrid Gel Foundation

Tarte Double Duty Beauty Empowered Hybrid Gel Foundation
Tarte Double Duty Beauty Empowered Hybrid Gel Foundation

Tarte Double Duty Beauty Empowered Hybrid Gel Foundation ($39.00 for 1.0 oz.) is supposed to be a full-coverage, cream-gel hybrid foundation with hydrating, 12-hour wear and is rose-scented. I liked it as a medium-to-full coverage option that’s hydrating over time, is more forgiving on dryness or dry patches, with eight- to ten-hour wear. It was very comfortable to wear, never felt tight, and faded/wore away nicely (no major separation), but it never fully set without a powder (which will take down the dewiness of the finish quite a bit, even with a light dusting of powder) and has mild to moderate transfer. I felt like it was quite hydrating, so it seems like it will be more suitable for drier skin types than normal to oily skin types.

It felt like a lighter-weight moisturizer when I used it, not quite whipped or airy but still light-to-medium in weight and didn’t feel greasy on the skin. I agree that it felt like a cream-gel hybrid, and it even felt cooling as it went on the skin. The texture is thick enough with higher coverage that it was less prone to streaking on me but not so thick that it became hard to spread around nor did it feel particularly heavy on the skin. I liked applying it initially with fingertips to spread across the face, like a tinted moisturizer, and then used a synthetic brush (like Real Techniques Expert Face) to get into the nooks and crannies and finish blending toward the hairline. I felt that sponges, like a beautyblender, soaked up more product initially, so again, I’d use fingertips first for most of the initial spreading of the foundation onto the skin and then go back in with a beautyblender for blending and diffusing into edges and corners.

The coverage was more medium-full to full, and you could build to full coverage with two layers. When I used it, I could definitely tell it was a higher coverage formulation than a true medium coverage formula, but it would spread out so easily that it sheered out some, so a second layer was necessary for true full coverage. While I personally seek out foundations that have a more buildable nature to them, so I can use the lightest coverage I need all-over and then build-up just where I need the coverage, that’s not what this foundation promises.

It has a dewy finish; I don’t think it makes me look oily, but it is definitely radiant as described. I don’t think the finish makes the skin appear smoother as Tarte claims, but it didn’t emphasize my natural texture either. However, I expect that unless you encounter extraordinarily longer wear than I, most will still use a setting powder or primer to extend the wear, and the former tends to bring the finish to more of a softly lit sheen.

I did like that wasn’t so high coverage where a tiny dot is all you need because I tend to find those harder to diffuse across the skin and often hard to avoid over-applying. So in that respect, it was easy to apply and get consistently smooth, even results that didn’t look cakey on the skin. I very much have come to appreciate a foundation that goes on about the same every time I use it because a foundation that looks great one day but terrible the next is a roller coaster ride I just want to get off!

The foundation lasted between eight and ten hours on me, but it seemed to fade more subtly without major separation or gathering in fine lines, so I didn’t notice the product wear away at a glance. With a light dusting of setting powder, the wear was closer to 10-12 hours. With a primer, the wear was between 9 and 10 hours. When I used both setting powder and a primer, it still looked mostly intact after 12 hours of wear.

Shade Range + Shade Tested

This formula is only available ten shades, which is a narrow range. I wish they would consider extending the range, as Tarte knows how to create more comprehensive shade ranges already (see Amazonian Clay 12-Hour, which has 25 shades), and based on the shade range, there are only three shades darker than the one I bought–and that’s a very short shade range for darker skin tones. Tarte’s Rainforest of the Sea foundation has given me my closest match–Light-Medium Neutral–and so I ended up buying Medium Neutral, as it seemed like the best bet, but after trying it, I would describe it as a true neutral undertone, so it runs a touch pinker than ideal and is too dark for me (more noticeable in person, so I take this formula all the way down to my neck). If I set with tinted setting powder, it balances out to a more natural undertone on me. For reference, Medium Neutral is very similar in color to Medium Neutral in the Rainforest of the Sea formula, which also has more of a pink-peach undertone.

About My Skin

I have normal-to-dry skin, which tends to be mostly normal but occasionally has dry patches or spots around my upper cheeks, eyelids, and around the nose. I am not always dry in these areas, though. I consider myself light-medium in color with soft, warmer yellow undertones; I am not a true neutral (sometimes neutrals can look rosy on me), but foundations that are touted as warm-toned can lean too yellow on my complexion if they have fuller coverage. My neck is lighter than my face, while the edges of my face are darker than the center, so I try to match closer to my neck to minimize how far down I have to blend. While testing this foundation, I was mostly normal throughout and only had a bit of dryness around my nostrils.

Tarte Double Duty Beauty Empowered Hybrid Gel Foundation Medium Neutral
8.5
Product
8.5
Pigmentation
9
Texture
7.5
Longevity
5
Application
86%
Total

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Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation

Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation
Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation

Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation ($40.00 for 1.0 fl. oz.) is supposed to be a full coverage and waterproof liquid foundation with a matte finish. It delivered on its promise of full coverage, and it was fairly matte when it dried down (not so matte that it appeared flat), but it was unforgiving on dry patches and can be harder to spread across the skin if you don’t work quickly. It lasted well for six hours before becoming noticeably less matte, which indicated the natural oils of my skin were coming through and beginning to break down the foundation. I noticed some separation around my nose and on my chin after eight hours of wear.  My biggest issue with this is how it sits on my skin, because it’s very hard to get it to look really smooth and skin-like–I had two days where it looked that way but all the rest were days where areas looked cakey (especially underneath my eyes and on my nose).

Early reader reports are all over the place–issues with shade matching due to darkening and oxidation along with incredibly varied wear times–makes this one a must to try in-store or else be prepared to return.  For me, I noticed that the foundation dries much darker than it appears pumped out of the bottle, more so than the average liquid foundation, but this is something that occurs within 30 seconds to a minute as I apply. I didn’t have the foundation darken any further than it did at dry down.

I tried two shades–3.25 (described as a “light with neutral undertone”) and 4.0 (described as a “medium-light with soft warm undertone”), neither of which was a perfect fit, but a 60/40 ratio worked for me. It is easier for me to wear 3.25 than 4.0, because 4.0 is very yellow and makes my skin appear significantly yellow in tone. I thought there was no way 3.25 could be the right color, but it dries down darker–the difference in color at dry down is a bit more severe than I normally get when a foundation goes from liquid to totally dry and matte. It didn’t seem to oxidize over time on my skin, even after 10 hours, but it seems to be a fairly common experience by those who have tried it, so it’s something to keep in mind (it sounds like sampling this is a must). I wore this ten times, including outdoors (it’s been somewhat humid, in the low 100s here) for brief periods, like running errands or walking a few blocks, as well as for a few walks around the neighborhood (more like high 80s to low 90s in temperature).

For my face, one to one and a half pumps was all that was necessary for full coverage. If you want to build up coverage, I would recommend half a pump dabbed in three to four spots per area of the face (forehead, each cheek, one or two down the nose, and two to three on the chin). I liked to put a couple of dabs underneath my chin and jaw line so I can blend the foundation down the neck, almost to the base of my neck to ensure a seamless match. If you’re someone who works more slowly with their foundation application, I would suggest applying to about half the face, blending and spreading the foundation out, and then applying to the other half of the face to ensure the best application possible.  The faster you work, the better the finish is; the slower you work, the more cakey it appears on the skin.  It does not like to be blended or fiddled with after it dries down (it always looked terrible if I tried to blend an area that had dried down–it would separate, look powdery and cakey, and dry).

If you have drier skin, a damp sponge (like a beautyblender) tended to move the skin the least and resulted in a more forgiving finish along a dry patch I have (just to the right of my nose and below the eye) for a couple of days while testing this, where a brush was often too prone to catching on the edge of the dryness.  On the days prior and after that dry patch appearing, it looked decent to good if I worked very quickly and was able to blend everything out before it dried down. Assuming one likes a matte finish, the foundation looked good on my skin with smooth, even coverage overall. However, when I had dryness, the foundation was more noticeable on the skin and had a tendency to sit on the skin and look cakey. I also found that if I overapplied or did not apply fast enough, it can look cakey–so this isn’t a foolproof foundation as far as I’m concerned.

I liked the feel of it on the skin, as it wasn’t heavy or clingy, though it is more noticeable that I am wearing something all over my face compared to my go-to foundations, which I tend to wear at light-medium to medium coverage (Guerlain Lingerie de Peau, Tarte Rainforest of the Sea). The coverage was opaque enough that it hid my dark circles, so I did not need concealer–you can really see how much it minimizes the shadow and bagginess of my under eye area on my right eye (your left) when looking at the before and after photos. When I’m testing a foundation, I want to forget I have it on, because that means it looked good, wore well, and didn’t require a lot of ongoing maintenance–given that I’m mostly indoors (with air conditioning), it’s the least a foundation can do!

That’s how All Nighter was for the first six to eight hours of wear, but it started to separate and break down after eight hours and seemed to go downhill quickly. It’s more of an average wearing foundation on my normal-to-dry skin than a long-wearing (or “all night,” if you will!) formulation for me. With setting powder, I was able to get an additional two hours or so of good wear out of it. With Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray, it lasted for eight to nine hours well. With respect to the waterproof claims, I have no pool so I did not swim, but I took a shower and found it was intact so long as I gently patted my face and did not rub. It can withstand light rubbing if you pat first, then lightly rub.  I didn’t have any issues with removal (I use shu uemura’s cleansing oil).

This is a foundation I would try to get a sample of for more accurate shade matching but also to see how it does on your skin. It was a foundation that looked good one day, bad the next, and so-so on other days–and these are the foundations that can be frustrating to wear, because you cannot apply with confidence. I really enjoyed the way it felt on the skin, as it was lightweight but covered well, but I prefer something that has a more forgiving application and initial appearance as well as one that wears longer and breaks down subtly (I’d rather something fade more evenly than disintegrate!).

Urban Decay All-Nighter Liquid Foundation 3.25
3.25
3.25
7
Product
10
Pigmentation
7
Texture
7
Longevity
3
Application
76%
Total
Urban Decay All-Nighter Liquid Foundation 4.0
4.0
4.0
7
Product
10
Pigmentation
7
Texture
7
Longevity
3
Application
76%
Total

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Make Up For Ever Water Blend Foundation

Make Up For Ever Water Blend Face & Body Foundation
Make Up For Ever Water Blend Face & Body Foundation

Make Up For Ever Water Blend Face & Body Foundation ($43.00 for 1.69 fl. oz.) is a new formula that offers “sheer to buildable coverage” with a “dewy glow and flawless finish” using a “water-gel” texture, and it is supposed to be waterproof and transfer-proof. This formula comes in 20 shades, which is decent but not as impressive as the Ultra HD Liquid range, but the numbering system used for Water Blend is the same as Ultra HD (though I haven’t personally seen all the shades, so there may be differences – I expect shade mismatching to be more forgiving, as this is a sheerer formula). It is an updated version of the brand’s previous Face & Body formula (which I recall being a smidgen thicker but not by much).

I tried two shades–Y305 and Y315–and as you might guess, I ended up mixing them together when I was trying out the new formula. I find Y305 to be darker and yellower than Y315, which is a smidgen lighter and more neutral-to-warm and has a more peach undertone than true yellow (this is closer to my skin tone). If someone likes sheer, weightless coverage that is just enough to even out very minor variations with decent wear and a natural sheen, you might like this. It’s almost undetectable to me when applied, and it sat well on the skin without emphasizing pores, clinging to dryness/flakes (I had a wee bit of dryness around my nose). The wear was modest–seven to eight hours without primer or powder–but the nice part is the sheerer coverage makes it look less obvious as the foundation starts to wear down as it always looked very skin-like. Worth noting, it seemed to have a very faint, floral scent to it, which I noticed for the first hour or so of wear but not later in the day.

The texture was very water-like; it felt wet, thin, and ran easily when I put a pump on the back of my hand. It spread well, but it could get streaky if I wasn’t careful. I preferred using a dense foundation brush (like Real Techniques Expert Face) for initial application and then using a damp Beautyblender to buff and blend the remainder in. If I used a Beautyblender first, it absorbed a lot of the product and made it harder to spread out the actual product evenly. I also liked applying and blending out with fingertips, which helped avoid streakiness and made the process faster overall than using a brush and then a sponge.

It’s a very, very sheer foundation with one to two pumps of product, while two to three pumps yielded sheer to light coverage. I didn’t feel like I could really build it up beyond light coverage, as applying more than two to three layers seemed to make the underlying layers lift and shift, which made the texture appear more uneven. I think the coverage seems mostly in line with how it’s described, as it is buildable from very sheer to sheer to light coverage. It dries down to a mostly non-tacky finish that doesn’t transfer easily for most of the wear (it had slight transfer after six hours of wear). It seemed waterproof in the sense that a splash of water didn’t cause the foundation to separate or run, but if I splashed water on my face and then patted my face with a towel, the product did come off.

I have normal-to-dry skin (leaning normal) with minimal dryness at the moment. It was hard to judge if it was hydrating or not, because I don’t normally see signs of dryness coming through with most foundations or during the day (with no foundation), and the best I could judge was that it didn’t seem to emphasize the lines or texture of my under eye area, which I find to be the least forgiving area on my face. I’d love to hear from others with drier skin types to see if they find this a particularly hydrating foundation.

The foundation was comfortable to wear and wasn’t a fussy foundation to wear all day; it didn’t break down in such a way that it looked awful at any point (I think that’s mostly due to the coverage level!), and it didn’t transfer easily, so I didn’t worry about clothes or scratching my nose or blotting around the corners of my mouth with a napkin after a meal. I think it delivers on being ultra-lightweight, sheer, and natural; I think it looks a lot like my skin-but-better and manages to mask some of the natural pink tones I have in my cheeks and chin area. I personally prefer light-medium to medium coverage, so I don’t think you’ll see me reaching or wearing this, but if I wanted sheerer coverage, this would definitely be one I’d consider.

Make Up For Ever Water Blend Foundation Y305
Y305
Y305
9
Product
10
Pigmentation
9
Texture
8
Longevity
5
Application
91%
Total
Make Up For Ever Water Blend Foundation Y315
Y315
Y315
9
Product
10
Pigmentation
9
Texture
8
Longevity
5
Application
91%
Total

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Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation

Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation
Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation

Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation ($46.00 for 0.25 oz.) is a new stick foundation that’s supposed to have full coverage, be long-wearing (12-hours) and waterproof, and feel “weightless” like a powder. There are 26 shades available, so it has a solid range of shades to choose from (I think some of the more comprehensive ranges are closer to 35-45 shades deep), and one thing I liked was that the brand gave descriptions for each shade, not just shades, which is a good starting point in picking from new shades. The brand also has a handy chart that compares matches from their other base products to the new foundation (see it here).

I tried two shades–Warm Ivory and Nude–which are fairly close to my skin tone with Nude running a little darker. For reference, I used a combination of the two shades for the best color match, since I happened to have both, but I would likely lean toward Warm Ivory to pick one for my skin tone (light-medium, light yellow undertones). I loved the way this blended and sat on the skin initially, as it covered very well, evenly, was seamless as promised, but I had a lot of issues with wear–it looked like it was breaking down after five hours of wear. It would look a little separated, slightly patchy, and it never, ever set–it would transfer very easily with the press of my fingertip to my cheek (this was at any given moment while I wore it). The latter part is frustrating, because one may inadvertently rub their nose or scratch an inch, and the foundation will transfer and move at the merest touch.

The foundation has a very creamy, emollient consistency and delivers full coverage readily. I very much advise applying a lot less than you think and blending, buffing, and working it across the planes of the face before adding more. The creaminess of the stick is felt immediately, and it seems to get creamier as it sits on the warm skin, which makes easy to spread across the skin. It is undeniably a full-coverage foundation, but the blendability of the foundation does make it possible to get coverage as sheer as light-medium coverage. At full coverage, it is still a lighter-weight foundation, though not as undetectable as a BB Cream or Tinted Moisturizer (not surprising), but it didn’t feel heavy or uncomfortable; I didn’t feel like I was wearing a mask of product, and the finish was natural enough that it looked more like my skin than anything else. I also liked how it didn’t settle into creases or fine lines, even as it wore away, creasing/settling into lines was the least visible characteristic of wear to me.

I have normal-to-dry skin that leans mostly normal (if I get dry, it’s typically on my eyelids, tip of my nose, and apples of my cheeks) and used the same skincare regimen that I’ve been using for awhile with a variety of other foundations (so I don’t suspect it’s my skincare driving any longevity concerns with this foundation, because I haven’t had sudden issues with wear with my favorites!). The foundation sat well on my skin without emphasizing my skin’s natural texture, and it had a noticeable sheen but didn’t look oily. When I wore the foundation at full coverage, I could start to see it break down after four to five hours of wear (I tested it five times); the foundation separated and looked a little patchy, slightly oily and looked like something was sitting on my face rather than seamlessly blended on my face. When I wore the foundation at more medium coverage, the wear was better at six hours, but I still couldn’t get close to the 12-hours it is marketed as. I also tried using Hourglass’ Mineral Veil primer underneath, and here were my results: at full coverage, eight to nine hours; at medium coverage, ten to eleven hours.

As a note, I’ve read and seen a lot of complaints regarding the amount of product in the tube–0.25 oz.–and a lot of comparisons are made to liquid formulas (usually containing 1.0 fl. oz.), which are not quite the same, but it’ll depend on your formulation, how much you use, and so forth. It is a lot like a twist-up pencil eyeliner and one you sharpen; they have standard amounts and which you prefer will come down to use. That being said, Hourglass’ 0.25 oz. is noticeably lower than other similarly-priced brands: Shiseido The Makeup Stick is $38.50/0.38 oz. or $101.32/oz.; Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Stick is $43.00 for 0.44 oz. or $97.73/oz.; Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick is $46.00 for 0.31 oz. or $148.39/oz.; Tom Ford Traceless Stick Foundation is $82.00 for 0.50 oz. or $164.00/oz.; and Lancome’s Teint Idole Foundation Stick is $42.00 for 0.31 oz. or $135.48/oz. Hourglass, for comparison, comes in at $184.00/oz. — and that makes it even pricier than luxury-level Tom Ford.

Lastly, I primarily used Hourglass’ new Vanish Foundation Brush ($46.00), which I am quite fond of, and it certainly works exceptionally well with the new Vanish foundation. It’s a dense, lightly angled brush with a short handle that is very, very soft and smooth. I’ve had no issues cleaning it thoroughly (I use a mix of Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Soap and water), and it doesn’t take an extraordinarily long time to dry. The new brush worked well with other cream and liquid foundations to yield very smooth, even, and streak-free results. I also used the following brushes with the new Vanish Foundation and had good results: Real Techniques Expert Face, Tom Ford 02 Foundation Brush, Shiseido Foundation Brush, Kat Von D Lock-It Edge Foundation Brush, Marc Jacobs The Face I, II, and III Brushes, and IT Cosmetics Velvet Luxe LBD Foundation Brush #302; I also used it with a damp Beautyblender, which I liked but found to soak up product a bit too much for my personal liking.Brush Dimensions: 4.5 inches / 11.5 centimeters in total length; 28mm in width and depth, 26mm in height.

Hourglass Vanish Foundation Warm Ivory
Warm Ivory
Warm Ivory
8
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
4
Longevity
5
Application
82%
Total
Hourglass Vanish Foundation Nude
Nude
Nude
8
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
4
Longevity
5
Application
82%
Total

See more photos & swatches!

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation
Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation: Light-Medium Beige, Light-Medium Neutral, Light-Medium Honey, Medium Neutral, Medium Honey

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation ($39.00 for 1.00 fl. oz.) is a new liquid foundation available in 12 shades. I believe Tarte’s Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation (in a tube) is one of their more expansive shades ranges, and it has 24 shades–so I really hope they’ll consider expanding this range as it is heavy on the light to medium range but, unsurprisingly, will likely fall short of very fair and tan to deep dark skin tones. (A note: Sephora’s “swatches” of the range are off; check Tarte’s page for a better visual of the spectrum presently represented.) The formula is supposed to be a “lightweight, full-coverage hydrating foundation” that uses Titanium Dioxide (6.23%) and Zinc Oxide (3.84%) for SPF protection. It comes in a frosted glass bottle with a twist-off cap that uses a dropper to release the foundation, which you fill by pressing the little button on the top of the foundation.

Foundation is a tough product to review, because, like skincare, it is even more dependent on your needs, skin type, skin concerns, and climate. A lot of times I try new formulas and struggle to find anything of note to say about it–I feel like I’m in the more of a “I’m somewhere in-between” camp, because it usually takes me awhile to find the right application method, amount, and 20 different trips to the car to see just how bad of a match it is in car lighting. I loved this foundation from the first application, and I’ve worn it every day since trying it (over two weeks). Here’s why: it just looks good on my skin, and it doesn’t need tricks or experimentation to look good.

I’ve applied it with dense, cream foundation brushes like Tom Ford’s, as well as with dense, synthetic cream foundation brushes like Real Techniques, but it works just as well with a stippling brush like a MAC 187 or a dampened Beautyblender. I can apply a little bit or quite a bit, and it doesn’t look caked on or start to emphasize dryness or make me wonder why I ever strayed from whatever foundation was working decently for me. I personally use Light-Medium Neutral as every shade with the word “Honey” in it was like I ate twenty pounds of bananas, and then anything with Beige was obviously far too cool-toned (that wasn’t unexpected, I am warmer!). Light-Medium Neutral is a little lighter than ideal for my face, but it matches my neck fairly well. I’ve tried mixing Light-Medium Neutral with Medium-Neutral, but it’s a little trickier to keep it from going too dark relative to my neck.

I have normal-to-dry skin with dryness most present around my nostrils with occasional dryness on cheeks. My primary concern is evening out my overall tone and getting my face to match my far-lighter neck. I have fine lines unerneath my eyes, light smile lines, as well as one larger wrinkle that runs across my forehead. The foundation doesn’t seem to settle into my fine lines or smile lines until really, really late into wear (ten hours) and only just barely, but the foundation typically settles a bit into my forehead line as it sets/dries down. I usually go back in with my foundation brush and lightly buff the foundation back out of the line, and then I don’t see it happen again until after eight or nine hours into wear. Without primer nor setting powder, the foundation wears well for ten hours, but it does feel a little emollient after eight hours. With setting powder (Guerlain Les Voilettes Loose Powder), the foundation looks good until I take it off. As the foundation breaks down over time, it doesn’t look uneven; it just seems a little dewier, a little worn to me, but it hasn’t lifted or separated noticeably to me. I think it lasted well for my general lifestyle (mostly indoors), though it wore fine and held up to light sweating (exercising outdoors for an hour in 85+ degree heat), but it’s not the foundation I would wear to Disneyland in 90 degree eat for a 14-hour day and expect to look immaculate by the end of the night on its lonesome (possibly with primer, powder, setting spray!).

The formula’s consistency is thin without being too watery or runny, but it’s not thick and spreads well across the skin. I think that’s part of why it is forgiving if you apply more one day or less the next–it disperses well across the skin and doesn’t dry down too quickly. Its natural finish is lightly dewy; it’s not shimmery or oily-looking to me. It reads well on camera, and it looks just as good in person (I will say that it looks better in person by a bit), which, to me, is where most need it to look its best. It responds well to various loose and pressed powders (both flesh-toned and translucent)–it doesn’t darken or become uneven, it doesn’t thicken or become heavy/cakey. The coverage seemed medium to full to me, depending on how you applied and how much you applied–it didn’t take half the bottle to get full coverage, and it’s going to take a very little amount for light coverage. It seemed less than true full coverage on average, though, to me. It seemed to cover the majority of the darkness I had underneath my eyes, and I didn’t feel like I needed concealer. It doesn’t last a full 12-hours on me, though it does quite well for a solid ten, and it is still visible and decent-looking after 12-14 hours (but again, I’m normal-to-dry).

P.S. — Have you checked out the newly updated Foundation Matrix? 🙂

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15 Light-Medium Neutral
9
Product
9
Pigmentation
10
Texture
8.5
Longevity
5
Application
92%
Total

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