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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.

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

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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? 🙂

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.

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 Teint Beige (DC, $58.00) is more shimmery (95% similar). Guerlain Mythic (P, $55.00) is more shimmery (95% similar). Guerlain Perles du Dragon (LE, $60.00) is more shimmery (95% similar). Guerlain Clair (02) (P, $62.00) is more shimmery (95% similar). Guerlain Perles de Nuit (LE, $60.00) is more shimmery (95% similar). Cle de Peau Pastel (11) (P, $55.00) is more shimmery, lighter (95% similar). Guerlain Teint Rose (DC, $58.00) is more shimmery, lighter (95% similar). MAC Hot Sensation (LE, $22.00) is less shimmery (95% similar). Guerlain Parure de Nuit (LE, $67.00) is more shimmery (95% similar). NARS Paloma Highlight (P, ) is less shimmery (95% 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). Chanel Poudre Signee de Chanel Illuminating Powder (LE, $68.00) is more shimmery, warmer (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.

Mythic

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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.

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Guerlain Perles des Neiges Meteorites

Guerlain Perles des Neiges Meteorites
Guerlain Perles des Neiges Meteorites

Guerlain Perles des Neiges Meteorites ($80.00 for 1.00 oz.) is described as a “frosted light, radiance, and iridescence.” It’s a translucent, gold-shimmered beige with a luminous sheen. Guerlain Teint Beige (DC, $58.00) is less shimmery (95% similar). Guerlain Mythic (P, $59.00) is less shimmery (95% similar). Guerlain Perles de Nuit (LE, $60.00) is cooler (95% similar). Guerlain Teint Rose (DC, $58.00) is less shimmery (95% similar). Dior Luxurious Beige (LE, $82.00) is darker, more pigmented (90% similar). MAC Too Chic (LE, $22.00) is less shimmery (90% similar). MAC Snowglobe (LE, $22.00) is less shimmery (90% similar). Hourglass Incandescent Strobe Light (P, $38.00) is more shimmery, more pigmented (90% similar). Guerlain Perles du Dragon (LE, $60.00) is less shimmery (95% similar). Chanel Jardin de Camelias (LE, $70.00) is less shimmery (90% similar). Laura Mercier Highlight 01 (P, $40.00) is more shimmery (90% similar). Cle de Peau Delicate Pink (14) (P, $55.00) is more shimmery (90% similar). Guerlain Perles de Legende (LE, $65.00) is more shimmery (95% similar). Guerlain Parure de Nuit (LE, $67.00) is less shimmery (95% similar). Guerlain Teint Dore (DC, $58.00) is less shimmery (95% similar). Kevyn Aucoin Candlelight (P, $44.00) is more shimmery (90% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Meteorites is a cult-favorite, and I fully expect this one to fly off the shelves–despite its wallet-crushing price tag–because it’s one of the better ones released in the last few years. It’s packaged well with a plastic, snowglobe-like container that has a flattened bottom, so it will sit without rolling, but the top of the lid has a lightly frosted, translucent covering that shows the metallic gold design through it. It’s not cheap cardboard like a more recent release, and the amount of product you get is more in line with the Meteorites of years past. That being said, Meteorites are one of those products that some can’t live without and others apply and can’t figure out why anyone likes them at all. They’re best described as a finishing powder; if you think of them as an overt cheek highlighter, you’ll likely be disappointed. This year’s holiday edition has fine shimmer that creates a luminous glow when dusted all-over the face, but it can be built-up slightly for a more targeted highlight (it’s still not over-the-top). As you might expected, the effect on the skin is not substantially different between versions of the Meteorites except slightly in tone (often only visible on some skin tones). The powder adds enough luminosity to breathe life back into very matte foundations while blurring the skin slightly. The pearls give off product without having to jab at them, and they do just fine with even softer brushes and don’t kick up a lot of excess product. When I applied more heavily on my cheek bones (easier to see how it degrades over time that way), it lasted well for eight hours.

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