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!).