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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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Laura Geller Filter Finish Baked Radiant Setting Powder

Laura Geller Filter Finish Setting Powder
Laura Geller Filter Finish Setting Powder

Laura Geller Filter Finish Setting Powder ($32.00 for 0.24 oz.) is a translucent beige with subtle, warmer tones and a pearly shimmer-sheen finish. MAC Too Chic (LE, $22.00) is less shimmery (95% similar). Cle de Peau Delicate Pink (14) (P, $55.00) is less shimmery (95% similar). Cle de Peau Bal Masque (LE, $120.00) is more shimmery (90% similar). Kevyn Aucoin Candlelight (P, $44.00) is darker, warmer (90% similar). Urban Decay Luminous (P, $30.00) is more shimmery (90% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

It’s new to the Laura Geller range, and it’s supposed to be a “sheer silky powder [that] creates soft focus perfection.” It “sets foundation” while “color-correcting pigments blur imperfections” and “looks naturally radiant.” I think it makes for a lovely, light-medium intensity highlighter, but there are other setting powders that do more for longevity and for blurring the skin and its natural texture. I actually found that by dusting this all over the face, my face was more textured than it was normally (both just dusted over bare skin as well as over various liquid foundations). It seemed far too shimmery to be applied all-over–it competed with the average highlighter I’d dust on cheek bones and other high planes on the face. When I applied it with a highlighting brush on cheek bones, it emphasized pores slightly.

It’s more semi-sheer than sheer, and the shimmer is larger and more noticeable in the product, which doesn’t make it inherently poor for setting one’s base (but it wouldn’t be for everyone), except that the amount of shimmer seems to draw attention to areas of the skin that I didn’t even realize were a little drier or had more noticeable pores–not good when it’s supposed to do the exact opposite. I applied it with a fan brush and a light-hand, which is about as light as one could dust it on, and it still didn’t seem to blur or give me any Photoshop-esque effect but at least didn’t make me look worse. When applied so lightly, it did nothing for longevity (foundation lasted as long as it normally did). When I applied with a more traditional powder brush (like I would use with a multitude of other setting powders), it extended the wear of my base by an hour and a half or so, but it was very, very radiant and I was self-conscious about my skin all day due to how much it brought out every imperfection on my skin.

I’ve really enjoyed a lot of Laura Geller products that I’ve tried recently, so I had higher hopes for this one, but it was a major miss. The brand actually says that one can “swirl it on liberally over your makeup–there’s no such thing as too much” but that was the opposite of my experience. I think, at best, it would work for highlighting specific areas or very lightly dusted over setting powder as a finishing powder, but I felt it fell very short of a setting powder.

Laura Geller Filter Finish Baked Radiant Setting Powder Universal
Universal
Universal
4
Product
7.5
Pigmentation
8
Texture
8
Longevity
3
Application
68%
Total

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Guerlain Mythic Meteorites Voyage Face Powder (Spring 2016)

Guerlain Mythic Meteorites Voyage Powder
Guerlain Mythic Meteorites Voyage Powder

Guerlain Mythic Meteorites Voyage Powder ($59.00 for 0.30 oz. / $179.00 for 0.30 oz. in compact) is a translucent, cool-toned pink and lavender hue with a satin finish. Guerlain Perles des Neiges (LE, $80.00) is more shimmery (95% similar). Guerlain Perles de Nuit (LE, $60.00) is more shimmery (95% similar). Guerlain Parure de Nuit (LE, $67.00) is more shimmery (95% similar). Guerlain Clair (02) (P, $62.00) is more shimmery (95% similar). MAC Hot Sensation (LE, $22.00) is less shimmery (95% similar). Guerlain Perles du Dragon (LE, $60.00) is more shimmery (95% similar). Guerlain Teint Rose (DC, $58.00) is more shimmery, lighter (95% similar). Guerlain Mythic (P, $55.00) is more shimmery (95% similar). Cle de Peau Pastel (11) (P, $55.00) is more shimmery, lighter (95% similar). Guerlain Teint Beige (DC, $58.00) is more shimmery (95% similar). NARS Paloma Highlight (P) is less shimmery (95% similar). Chanel Poudre Signee de Chanel Illuminating Powder (LE, $68.00) is more shimmery, warmer (90% similar). MAC Forever Marilyn (LE, $22.00) is less shimmery, lighter, brighter (90% similar). Chanel Lumiere Sculptee de Chanel Highlighting Powder (LE, $72.00) is less shimmery, lighter, brighter (90% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

For spring, Guerlain released a new Meteorites Voyage powder, except that I’m not sure that it is genuinely new in terms of the shade. It also appears to be part of the permanent range, as it is available for purchase with the compact ($179) or as a refill/pan only ($59), which is how the Mythic/Voyage Powder was sold before. As far as I could tell, this is an updated representation of the previously released Mythic, but the color, application, texture, and appearance applied were nearly the same, except I think the new version is slightly smoother and more even and has a little less shimmer. The new version contains slightly more product (0.30 oz. compared to 0.26 oz.) and retails for $2 more ($59 compared to $57). According to the brand, my older version of Mythic had six correcting/illuminating shades while this one has five. Similarly, when I reviewed Claire last January, I also found that it was nearly impossible to tell the difference between that and Mythic on, so that is worth a look if you’re in the market for this type of product but want to get more for your money.

There’s a little more information with respect to the new version, and the powder is supposed to: correct and illuminate as a translucent, pressed powder that can be applied “to the entire face to fix makeup and improve hold.” The brand also suggests that you can highlight specific areas of the face by building up the product on the areas desired. It’s more of a slightly mattifying, brightening, and smoothing powder than a true highlighter, so I think if you were looking for a targeted highlighter, there are better optinos out there, but if you want a finishing or light setting powder, this might work for you. It extends the wear of my base products by one to two hours (but keep in mind, I have normal skin), but the wonder that I’ve always appreciated from the Meteorites Voyage powders has been how it blurs the skin and makes it appear smoother, more even, and a little brighter.

Guerlain Meteorites Voyage Face Powder (2016) Mythic
Mythic
Mythic
9.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
9.5
Longevity
5
Application
98%
Total

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Guerlain Meteorites Voyage Enchante Illuminating Matte Powder

Guerlain Meteorites Voyage Enchante Illuminating Matte Powder
Guerlain Meteorites Voyage Enchante Illuminating Matte Powder

Guerlain Meteorites Voyage Enchante Illuminating Matte Powder ($179.00 for 0.28 oz.) is supposed to mattify the skin while “instantly blur[ring] the appearance of small imperfections.” Guerlain says to apply it “over foundation to set it.” The powder has the brand’s signature violet scent, though I found it very subtle (which was a surprise, given Guerlain has tended to heavily scent their powders recently).

It’s incredibly soft and thin with a smooth texture with lightweight coverage that does mattify the skin without making it appear dry or powdery. I thought it would look chalkier against my complexion, but it didn’t, though it makes my skin appear lighter than it is, which I don’t think works out for me at all. I would disagree with Guerlain’s premise that it is a universal shade. The powder softens the appearance of pores, and the mattifying effect lasted for nine hours on me (my skin type is normal presently). I think that the pressed Les Voilettes ends up working very, very similarly to this, and I actually prefer the softer texture of Les Voilettes over the thinness of the powder in the holiday compact. The majority of the price tag is going towards the compact, which is hefty to hold. The product itself is good, but I don’t think it will work for every skin tone, and the packaging has to pull you in, otherwise there are plenty of alternatives (including ones by Guerlain). There is a small, pin-sized hole on the back, but I wasn’t able to successfully push the pan of product out, so refilling it may require some more creativity.

Guerlain Illuminating Matte Powder Meteorites Voyage Enchante
9
Product
10
Pigmentation
9
Texture
9
Longevity
5
Application
93%
Total

See more photos & swatches!

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