Monday, August 11, 2014

Princess Lea Flies Again

I must be a glutton for punishment. 

Nearly two years ago I swore off liquid foundation. I just couldn't handle the disappointment anymore.
To recap, my skin tone is elusive enough (fair with a soupçon of yellow) that I usually have to blend two shades, as I do with my mineral makeup. For daily use, in terms of easy application and sufficient wear, mineral makeup really is great, especially in the summer months when my combination skin gets shiny real fast. I appear "dewy" instead of "shvitzy." 

A while back, in a moment of weakness, I got a sample of Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Even Finish Foundation SPF 15 in Sand. I forgot about it until, following an accidentally violent glycolic acid treatment, I had a patch of flaking skin that had to be babied. Donning my usual mineral makeup before Shabbos would aggravate and highlight the boo-boo. 

I scrabbled about in a few drawers until I found the tiny container, whipped out the top-rated yet so far unused Sigma F80 flat kabuki brush, and applied.


Not only that, the coverage lasted way longer than the mineral makeup. Shabbos morning I carefully blotted away excess oil on my t-zone, and I was good to go. 

Okay, liquid foundation! I have been convinced. I was all set to purchase a full bottle, but the reviews online for the BB were less than ecstatic. Even though I had been receiving compliments, I decided to experiment.

Sephora has a Color IQ thingamajig into which you input the brand and color of your matching foundation, and they provide different options. It's less than infallible; with the different options I put in I got a different skin tone conclusions. To winnow down the options further: specifically long-wear formulations for combination/oily skin types that are also non-comedogenic, SPF would be nice, and they should be somewhat loved by other women (MakeupAlley and Sephora for user ratings).
After rigorous research, I was able to plunk down my carefully culled selections before a less-than-cheerful Sephora associate, and I bore home numerous, precious containers of samples to experiment with.

For all of these, I first applied Murad Oil-Control Mattifier SPF 15 PA+++ to moisturize my skin, moved on to my eye makeup to allow it time to sink in, then the liquid foundation. (I have also dabbled with a makeup primer on top of the Mattifier and beneath the foundation, but quite frankly my results with the Mattifier has rendered the primer moot.)

All makeups were set with loose powder.

To the lab!

Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup in Bone 1W1 and Sand 1W2: This foundation is, like, the most loved, ever. I had considered it beforehand and thought all options too dark without trying it on, but now with samples I could experiment calmly. "15-hour staying power," they say. Not only that, the color selection defies belief: THIRTY (30) options. THIRTY.
Conclusions: Oh, the divine yellow-ness! Is it so hard, cosmetic companies, to provide a range of shades? Finally, my face seems to match my neck!  Then I saw her face, now I'm a believer! Without a trace of doubt in my mind! I'm in love, I'm a believer, I couldn't leave her if I tried . . . Sing with me! (Read through the full lyrics; it is definitely the "I found the best makeup" song.)

Back up, PL. No need to announce the engagement yet. Let's see.

The design of the bottle is a real drag. No applicator, no pump, which makes overspillage, waste, and contamination a concern. Yet, if it is truly divine, I can overlook that. 

It keeps shine amazingly at bay; I didn't even know it mattifies. I had initially donned it at 7:45 on a sunny June morning; by 4:30, my t-zone was still matte, no blotting required. By 7, my face had that "dewy/shvitzy" finish, but really, it held out amazingly well. Nor was there any dreaded oxidation; the color remained the same throughout the day. It had settled into my pores somewhat, but I'm just impressed at its day-long performance. Good show, fellas, walk it off. Or do I mean wash it off? 

Kat Von D Lock-It Tattoo Foundation in Light 45: This is full coverage, and supposedly lasts through Yimei Moshiach. Not quite, but "24-hour wear." I don't really require such serious coverage, but for Shabbos Face . . .

It also claims to absorb oil and hydrate the skin at the same time.
Conclusions: It is nicely yellow, but I think slightly too pale for my skin. I fetched from Sephora a sample of M52 to blend with the L45. I need just a touch of it to have it match my neck.

In terms of performance, it did a great job, even better, than the EL in keeping shine away. The color stayed true as well. 

At 9 p.m., I inspected my face carefully. The coverage seemed to have faded slightly on my noise, but that is preferable to having it settling into my pores and highlighting them. As for the rest of my face . . .  well, it looked an awful lot as though I had just applied the foundation

Stay calm, stay calm, deep breaths . . .



One lack: it doesn't have SPF. What this means (besides applying a stronger SPF beneath) is that it is flash-photography friendly. See, from what I've read, it is those SPF ingredients in foundation (like titanium dioxide) that can cause serious white-face when taking photos. Maybe now I can get a normal shot by weddings.

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation SPF 15 in Fair Sand and Light Sand: The consistency is more like a mousse, not really liquid, supposedly "weightless."
Conclusions: It's certainly heavier than the previous two; BB and EL are both quite liquidy in texture, KVD a trifle stiffer than that. For that thickness I thought the Tarte coverage would be better. Yet it's merely . . . eh, aright. 

The finish is actually a lot like mineral makeup, rather powdery and dry. It's also matte, which I like, but the color match is . . . eh, okay, as opposed to divine. Additionally, it performed just like my mineral makeup (such as highlighting dry areas), and I'm not in the market for another mineral makeup.

It did not make it to the next round. 

Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Even Finish Foundation in Sand: How does it stand against the competition?

Conclusions: One Sunday I was pretty busy, with two simchas back to back. I applied my face at 4:30 for Party #1, changing only my clothing for Party #2. In the car to Party #2, at 7:15, my face was already "dewy/shvitzy," and could have used blotting. The makeup wasn't melting off, but with EL and KVD my face stayed matte for a lot longer.

We have two finalists: EL and KVD! Ding-ding-ding, let's get ready to ruuuuuuumble! 

Shabbos Face!  

That's right, the 25-hour Face-Off (pun intended)!

This took some time to figure out. One week EL, the next KVD, back and forth. They both seemed to perform pretty well. I was really dithering until Ma called it: 

"It's definitely this one," she insisted. 


The champion! It really looks as though I just applied it on Shabbos morning, which is totally ridonkulous. For those who need serious coverage, by the way, this will fit the bill.

As opposed to the EL, however, there are only 18 shades. Additionally, despite the fact I contacted Sephora to complain that when they added new shades, there is no description of those shades. "Light 49." That's it. Yellow? Golden? Neutral? Peach? Pink? Help a girl out! I had to go to the store, pump a dab of each onto my hand and peer at it in varying lights (natural sunlight is best). 

Those with problem skin tend to swoon over the KVD coverage, that just a little does an amazing job.       
The above video recommends applying with the fingers, but I tried it last week and didn't like the results. It went on too thick, and my face was so bleakly one shade that I lunged at my bronzer to apply contouring (I'm doing a refresher post on just that soon). 

My brush spreads the foundation in a delightfully sheer manner that doesn't obliterate my own skin tone. Therein, since not all skin types are the same, follow thy heart.

There is a reason I compare myself to the toughest Princess in the canon: Makeup quests are not for the faint of heart. I need a nap.  


Yocheved said...

Oh my gosh, thank you for this writeup! I think we have the exact same skin tone. I'm cruising up on 50 pretty quickly, and getting age spots on my face. I really need to upgrade my foundation.

I've been using KVD tattoo cover cream for dark circles and areas of redness under my old foundation, but I am definitely going to check this out.

You are amazing. <3

Princess Lea said...

Don't forget nighttime skin treatments! Retinol is AWESOME, as well as AHA. Retinol is best used only at night, since the sun's rays cause it to degenerate. Be careful when it comes to items marketed "dark spot correctors" - check the ingredients that it DOESN'T contain hydroquinine, which has been banned in Europe.

Using AHA and retinol (me and Ma alternate weekly between different products) can make a MAJOR difference!

Also, the foundation which Ma adores above all else is the Armani Luminous Silk Foundation. Every year it is on the "best makeup" lists. I didn't try it (even though Ma begs me to) because I can't find anywhere that it is non-comedogenic, and my skin will yell at me big time if I'm not careful with products.