Right, first of all, this review is mighty premature. I've only worn this foundation a handful of times and yet here I am extolling it's virtues.
A second key point is that I am not a massive Make Up For Ever HD line enthusiast. The liquid foundation, particularly the newly formulated version, is not an impressive product in my opinion and I have not fallen head over heels for the new concealers, a concept that I think fails to usurp the ubiquitous Full Cover.
I am therefore as surprised as anyone that this stick foundation has got me so excited. And now I shall tell you why!
Stick foundation has always seemed like such a bloody good idea. In theory.
It's so portable and handbag friendly. It's buildable as a formula and can take you from barely there to caked in a few swipes. It's easy to work with and can easily be applied with fingers or a brush.
Blah blah blah.
In reality, even though I have owned a Bobbi Brown version for longer than I want to admit, (let's not think about how many years that baby is past it's expiry date) I just don't reach for it. Sure, it's a worthy touch up product that can be whipped out for a cliched post-work day-to-night transformation but can it give an overall even foundation result on it's own?
Let's just cut to the chase here with the posing of the most critical of foundation questions: can a stick foundation give me plastic perfect skin?
Well, now apparently it can.
I was sent two shades - one of which matches my skin and one of which does not but which could be enlisted as a contour shade, should I ever be bothered to do that on the daily.
117 (good for fair skin with yellow undertones) and 177
The first thing I noticed about this was the formula - specifically just how creamy it is. It's as if they poured Kevyn Auction's Sensual Skin Enhancer into a stick mould. This stuff glides onto your skin and from here it's a dream to blend. Fingers, brush or Beauty Blender - any tool will work because this is so easy to work with.
When I start working it in - with a Beauty Blender, albeit the one for body because I prefer the shape and find it gives a better result - I notice a few good things:
a) Coverage - without effort it's a medium coverage finish although the more you blend and smooth it around your face the lighter the effect will be.
b) Finish - it sets to a satin-esque finish and gives a slightly diffused finish to the skin which is not surprising considering the very concept behind this HD line and it's intention to work under the most unforgiving of cameras.
My recent extreme dermal stamping facial has resulted in a flaky pastry of a nose and right now it is not foundation friendly. It is true that nothing I put on this area would look good and not even a product as creamy as this can overcome the struggle. Severe dry skin owners beware - or be very prepared with hydrating primers.
That aside the wear experience is a good one. It doesn't slip around on the skin, or separate after a few hours (providing you dab some translucent powder on high oil areas) and that clear diffused finish I mentioned above remains for a good 6 hours.
It goes without saying that I consider this superior to the liquid foundation from the HD line. That just never sat right with me and I could never put my finger on why. It's not a bad product but it's not one that gets me excited and makes me feel like a prettier version of myself either. The stick is better at delivering coverage and the finish is a more impressive one.
Before I wrap up this love letter to a foundation I thought I would invent a Q&A to address some common questions that may arise:
Should I set it? Yes. On combination or oily skin, translucent powder will be very important. This is too creamy to risk not doing so.
Is it better than Double Wear? No. Come high summer I will be reaching for Double Wear because I cannot imagine that the creamy texture of this foundation will lend itself well to 40 plus degree celsius.
Is there a dupe? Yes, Tom Ford's. If you are a die-hard brand snob consider upgrading from MUFE and blow your money on a product double the price. If you are a keen and current Kevyn Aucoin Skin Enhancer user I'm not sure you really need to go here - effect wise I feel there is a similarity.
How do you apply it? I swipe it, concentrating on the centre of my face, and then take my massive Beauty Blender and tap tap tap for what feels like an eternity.
Can I use it as a concealer? I'd say yes. Under the eyes doesn't cause a massive enhancement of wrinkles so you could double it up as foundation/concealer. I'd also say that should you like applying a classic liquid foundation in the morning this could be a great accompaniment for evenings as a toucher-upper on specific parts of your face.
Does it smell? Not at all. It's pretty boring in that department.
Should I buy it? I mean if you are like me and have x3430430 foundations then you don't need to stress and rush out to get it. If you are looking for a foundation that will
a) Be quick to apply
b) Give you a natural but covered, even finish and
c) Be useful as a touch-up during the day/be convenient when travelling...
...then you should absolutely consider this one, either right now or in the future.
Thank you for reading!
PS. This is $43 from Sephora.