REVIEW: Laura Mercier Silk Crème Oil Free Photo Edition Foundation in “Ivory”

Since I’m getting married in February, I’ve made it a recent goal of mine to find the best wedding/photograph friendly foundation for the big day. There have been many that have come close, but recently, I decided to try the Laura Mercier Silk Crème Oil Free Photo Edition Foundation after reading some reviews. While I can say that most likely this won’t be my big-day-foundation, it did come dangerously close to being picked.

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The Laura Mercier Silk Crème Oil Free Photo Edition Foundation a “long-wear, oil-free foundation for a photo-ready, natural-looking matte finish.” In addition, this foundation features “the same great formula with revamped packaging and a broader shade range” than the previous version of this foundation. It provides “12-hour wear, highly-pigmented formula that blends seamlessly onto skin, hiding even hard-to-cover imperfections. It leaves a flawless finish, making it ideal for video, photography, and special events. Infused with a silk powder blend, it absorbs oil and balances moisture for normal to oily skin. Get smooth skin and visibly even the look of skintone with this long-lasting foundation.”

I have to say that this is a good foundation. It provides a natural-looking finish and is oil-absorbing and non-drying on the skin. For these reasons, it feels light on the skin, conceals redness and pores, and doesn’t feel like foundation on the skin. However, what I didn’t really like about the foundation that it only looked great in the beginning right after application. I felt that this foundation was more full-coverage, but as the day wore on, it got patchy and parts of my face and when I would blot, the foundation that was sitting on my skin would move around. Then, coverage was compromised. I didn’t feel that it was particularly long-wearing because throughout the day it wouldn’t look as good, and even with a good primer and setting primer, the foundation would “lift” in odd places like my forehead.

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The color match was pretty good. The shade “Ivory” was for “very fair with warm undertones.” The “Rose Ivory” was too pink for me, but it would’ve been better had “Ivory” been slightly on the peachy/pinky side. I’ve read that this foundation has worked great for other people, so take that into consideration. It’s not a bad foundation, but for me, I need something that’s a little bit more reliable. While the search for the most perfect wedding foundation continues, I think this foundation isn’t too bad and I still feel like there will be many people out there who will like this.

Retails for $48.00 USD.

REVIEW: Neutrogena Healthy Skin Liquid Makeup in “Classic Ivory 10”

The Neutrogena Healthy Skin Liquid Makeup foundation was rumored awhile ago to be the drugstore dupe for the NARS Sheer Glow Foundation. For me, this wasn’t the case — perhaps, because I have quite high expectations for foundations in general. As a foundation that claims to provide “naturally beautiful coverage,” this product says that it “takes over where your skin care leaves off” as a foundation that provides both skincare benefits and coverage. The “silky-light coverage” of this product “glides on for a perfectly natural look, while the exclusive blend plus SPF 20 work together to visibly improve skin’s luminosity, tone, and texture.”

To begin, the finish, texture, and the feel of the Neutrogena Healthy Skin Liquid Makeup on the skin is superb. It settles nicely on the skin, looks natural and glowy (without looking/feeling oily), and looks great in photographs and in natural lighting. Initially, I was impressed with this foundation as it provided sheer to medium coverage and it concealed pores and imperfections nicely. I was also impressed by how light it felt on the skin. Regarding these points, this foundation does mimic the NARS Sheer Glow nicely.

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The shade “Classic Ivory 10” is a good match, but not a perfect match. It warms up on the skin nicely and blends well, so that’s fine with me. The formula is smooth and blendable, which makes it very easy to work with. However, the difference is clear after about 3-4 hours of wear. The Neutrogena Healthy Skin Liquid Makeup began to slip and slide, with noticeable demarcation — subtle indications that the foundation was indeed moving around and rubbing off in areas — like my nose and chin. The longer it stayed on my face, the worse it began to look/feel. With this foundation, I had to blot multiple times, and each time, the foundation rubbed off little by little. To be fair, I powdered over this foundation the next day to give it another shot and it didn’t make a difference. For me, while the foundation started off great, there was pretty much nothing left of it by the end of my day.

Because my obsession for base makeup has allowed me to gain high expectations of foundations in general, I can’t say that this foundation performed well. I think if you wanted to wear a light foundation for 2-4 hours this may work, but realistically, this wouldn’t hold up well through a work day, school day, or at any event. In all honesty, it’s a bummer since it’s great on every level, but the fact that it starts to look and feel horrible throughout the day is a major deal breaker for me. I would recommend the NARS Sheer Glow Foundation over this product, and I do not consider it as a worthy “dupe.” I’d say that a more comparable drugstore and budget-friendly option is the Revlon ColorStay Foundation.

Made in USA.
Retails for $13.99 USD.

REVIEW: Tom Ford Traceless Foundation SPF15 – “Pale Dune”

While I was home for spring break, I stopped by the Tom Ford counter at Neiman Marcus because I was itching to test out the foundation. While I didn’t do any additional research before going, I was disappointed with the small color selection and lack of proper customer service. Nonetheless, I requested a sample of the product because the foundation was expensive and I didn’t like how I couldn’t play with the foundation by myself (like at Sephora or at Ulta). The Tom Ford Traceless Foundation SPF15 in “Pale Dune” had been on my wish list for months.

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I was matched to the shade “Pale Dune,” which the sales associate transferred for me into a small bottle. This is the 2nd lightest shade with beige-yellow undertones, but I kind of wanted to see what “Alabaster” would’ve looked like on my skin. I didn’t like how the sales associate eye-balled my shade and didn’t really try anything on my skin. When I asked to see “Alabaster,” she said it would be too light and dismissed the request. I took the sample of “Pale Dune” because it was quite obvious that all the other shades after that were super dark.

The Neiman Marcus website states that this foundation is unique because its 3-in-1 formula “delivers a balanced complexion that glows with vitality and radiance.” It claims to be “extremely lightweight and luminous [and] includes the skin-nourishing Tom Ford Infusing Complex to help protect skin and promote its vibrancy from within.” The foundation’s “micronized pigments deliver seamless and undetectable coverage that is easy to build up or sheer down.”

“Pale Dune” is too dark for me but I’ve tried to make this sample work in so many ways. I’ve been wanting to dabble into the Tom Ford beauty range, and starting with the foundation was a bad start because I was disappointed and I wouldn’t recommend it at all. As a foundation and base makeup fanatic, I have high expectations as you all may know. Because of the brand and the price of this product, I had high hopes that this would be like magic.

Unfortunately, this shade is about 2 shades too dark for my skin and sat heavily on my face all day. The formula is easy to work with and has a pleasant, herbally scent. However, the formula is quite thick even though it didn’t provide that much coverage. The foundation was luminous but made me really oily; and, even with powder, still made me oily.

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“The Tom Ford Infusing Complex infuses skin with a potent combination of specially selected nutrients that help skin stimulate its natural repair mechanisms. By helping skin cells replenish their natural energy, it fundamentally rejuvenates the complexion, so it looks and feels brighter, fresher, and less tired. High-performing antioxidants help protect the skin, creating a vital-looking face. The skin is left looking renewed, resilient, and smoother.”

While we can assume this foundation is packed with skincare ingredients, my complexion didn’t look extra radiant or smooth. In my opinion, the performance of this foundation was mediocre and didn’t really “wow” me in any way. Also, the heavy feeling on my face didn’t really have a “traceless” effect either — so I find it strange that this foundation is called “the traceless foundation.” It also didn’t help that I didn’t really get focused attention and help at the counter either. It’s a good thing I asked for a sample because I’ll be throwing it away anyway. I may re-visit this issue and try “Alabaster” and see if a better color match will make me feel better.

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There’s different kind of foundation formulas out there and it’s important to find the one that works for your skin tone, your skin type, and your personal concerns/needs. I’ve included this magazine excerpt for those who are on the hunt for the perfect foundation. Please remember that the brand nor the price will all of sudden give you perfect skin. I was mainly disappointed with the Tom Ford foundation because I had high expectation because of the brand and price. However, it just sat on my skin and did nothing. For me, I don’t have a lot skincare concerns and I require very little coverage anyway; so, when I notice a foundation not performing, it’s a big red flag for me.

My other complaint is the poor customer service. I’ve always been physically matched to a shade at a counter, with the sales associate actually applying the product on my skin. This was the first time someone just eye-balled my potential shade. Meh.

30 mL/1 fl. oz.
Retails for $78.00 USD.

Summer Foundation Routine – SHISEIDO Sun Protection Compact Foundation SPF 34 PA+++

Summer is in full heat here in Texas and it’s allowed me to explore some new options for makeup. Normally, I’m a liquid-foundation-kinda-girl because powder foundation tends to get/look/feel cakey throughout the day. Sometimes I opt for mineral foundation (like the Laura Mercier), but in the summer months, it tends to make me more oilier than usual.

Recently, I decided to purchase and try out the Shiseido Sun Protection Compact Foundation SPF 34. I figured since I liked their regular suncare line anyway, the suncare-makeup line should be just as good.

I did my homework online and looked up reviews for both the liquid and compact foundation in this range, and decided that for right now, the powder foundation would be my choice since I was trying to avoid anything heavy and liquid on my face during the sweaty and humid months.

As with all Shiseido compact products, the refill and compact is to be purchased separately. I suppose this is more earth-friendly, but I do find it a tad bit inconvenient. I also read online that the compacts tends to break before the actual product runs out. I was told by the sales associate at the Shiseido counter that if the compact breaks to just bring it back to the counter for a replacement.

Sephora’s website describes this foundation as “a powdery foundation that resists perspiration and oil to remain fresh and color-true for hours.” It’s designed to be a “convenient solution” that “unites optimal sun protection with skin-caring makeup, in a single travel-perfect compact.” This foundation “minimize[s] imperfections [to] achieve a flawless, matte finish as you defend your skin against damaging UVA/UVB rays.”

“It smoothes on with a lightweight feeling and a natural, subtle look. It is recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation as an effective UV sunscreen.”

First of all, let’s talk about the packaging. It’s cute and bright colored, which is appropriate for anything catered towards “summer time.” Also, I like that the sponge is housed in a separate compartment so the powder foundation itself doesn’t get ruined. The flip-top compact has mirror included. The sponge is thick and durable; not thin and cheapy feeling.

Second, let’s talk about the claims. I agree that the prodcut “resists perspiration” and remains “color-true” all day. In fact, this product is truly the longest-wearing foundation I have ever owned. Upon application in the morning, it’s very matte and flat. However, after settling in on the face, it gets better and better. I can wear this for up to 10 hours without having to blot – and, this includes being out and about and sweating.

The powder smells like Shiseido’s suncare line. I personally still wear sunscreen under this powder foundation to double-up on protection since I reserve this product specficially for summer time and being outside. It’s quite impressive for a powder foundation and you don’t have to worry about your makeup melting, getting blotchy, or running off your face due to the heat.

The color match for this foundation is tricky because it ALL looks dark in the pan. Upon first glance, I would’ve assumed they were bronzers. It appears the color choices don’t suit darker skin tones, which is such a shame. I wear this powder foundation in SP20 which is the second to lightest color. SP10 was a reddish pink color and even though SP20 looked a bit dark, it swatches nearly invisible and blends in extremely well.

Also, the coverage for this foundation is amazing. Who would’ve thought a powder foundation could be so reliable with coverage? I can skip concealer most of the time, unless I’m having a “bad skin day.” And, even then, the redness from bumps and pimples is covered.

I apply this with the sponge provided. I normally steer clear of sponges, but I like this sponge and it seems to deposit the product perfectly onto my skin. I just do 2 swipes and pat it onto different portions of my face. It’s not cakey or powdery-looking at all. The directions for the product indidcates that it “can be applied with a dry or moistened sponge, for flexible coverage,” but I don’t really feel the need to use the product wet.

0.42 oz.
Made in USA
Container made in Japan

Active ingredient: Thiotaurineprovides antioxidant protection against free radicals.

$27.00 for refill
$8 for compact