Bringing blush (and beyond) to Slush, we present a brand new column featuring all things cosmetics-related by makeup artist Lisa Somerset. From photo shoots to the cosmetics counters for the finest designer brands, Somerset has seen and used it all. Still, our first glimpse at her expertise occurred back in high school, John Marshall High School in Silver Lake to be exact. Her hair seemed to be a new shade of the rainbow every week, and her makeup was different and unique on a daily basis: a thin brow one week and a Siouxsie Egyptian eye the next… dark lips/light lips; pointy finger tips and a perpetually black wardrobe that always contrasted with her makeup… yeah, she was that girl. And one of our best friends. For her debut column, she starts –where else?– with foundation. -LL
By Lisa Somerset
My name is Lisa and I have a bit of a “thing” for foundations. I always buy them with the internal preface of “Well, if it doesn’t work I can use it in my kit, give it to a friend..etc.”, but I keep hope alive that I’ll eventually find one that gives me back the even and glowing skin of my 16 year old self (too much to ask?) Writing this column gives my addiction a purpose, saving you all from the horrors of cakiness, unintended shine and premature meltdown.
Having lived in the unforgiving climates of both Las Vegas and Los Angeles, I’ve found that one of the biggest challenges is finding a foundation that holds up in the heat without oxidising or separating. Whether you’re stuck in your car in 107 degree heat, dancing in a hot club, or rocking out in front of the mirror at home with your ipod on you still want to look pretty and stay that way! When you’re in a sweaty situation, the last thing you want anyone to notice about you is a partially melted, two-toned face.
I’ve road tested all of the following foundations in some severe conditions, and am sharing my personal experiences on how they’ve held up. The foundations I’m reviewing in this particular post will be medium to full coverage, meant for either the everyday glamour puss or for someone who is interested in wearing a full face of makeup on a night out. For the more natural, crunchy makeup wearers, I will address my favorite tinted moisturizers and light coverage skin tints in upcoming entries. The products below are listed in no particular order.
I’ll start with Dior Airflash. If you’ve ever had the desire to spray paint, you’ll find this foundation fascinating. To someone who’s never used a spray foundation or an airbrush gun this formulation can seem intimidating but once you get used to it, it’s perfect skin in a can. Sure, you’ll end up with flesh coloured eyebrows, eyelashes and nose hairs the first time you use it, but that’s part of the fun. Be sure to use this before you get dressed, or you risk ending up with colour on your outfit. You can spray it on lightly and blend it in with a kabuki or sponge or go heavy and spray on the perfect complexion. This covers EVERYTHING and doesn’t budge. Their shade range needs some improvement. The shades only run from 200, which is a fair golden ivory, to 400 which is a pinky red. I use the 300, which is a medium golden beige.
Next up, a foundation that has inspired countless blog posts. Makeup Forever HD Invisible Cover foundation. This foundation really is worth all of the hype behind it. The coverage is medium but buildable (that means you can pile the layers on if you desire) but even a single layer seems to cover up flaws quite nicely. The lasting power is phenomenal, I’ve even worn it to the gym (don’t ask) and it’s not broken up or worn off after an hour on the elliptical. Out of all of the foundations mentioned here, MUFE has the best selection of shades for most skin tones.
So underrated and so deserving of praise is the Illamasqua Rich Liquid foundation. This has a thick, creamy texture and a lot of coverage. It goes on full coverage right off and dries down quickly. If you don’t want it quite so full, you can dilute it a tiny bit with a drop or two of something like Darphin Eight Flower Oil. I don’t find that this affects the longevity but that depends on the chemistry of your skin. I wear this to work and find it firmly in place even after a long day under ugly flourescent lighting. Again, the only let down is their limited color range. I can’t wait to try their Skin Base to see how it compares because I adore this product.
Two honourable mentions grouped into one: Armani Lasting Silk and Yves Saint Laurent Teint Resist. I don’t ever love foundations with a high sunscreen content (they tend to photograph white-ish) but if you’re not too fussy about that, and can be matched to one of their shades, then both of these are decent and workable. The Teint Resist is particularly impressive. If you swatch some, let it dry down and then spray water on it, you can actually see it bead off. A few points off of both for foundations either being too yellow or way too pink, some more neutral shades are needed in both ranges. Coverage on both is medium, and neither wore off or sank into pores after a brutal walk in the valley sun to work.
Let me end my post with the disclaimer that everyone’s skin is slightly different. Your results may vary and all that. Is there a long lasting, full coverage foundation not mentioned here that you love and want recognized? Let us know and we’ll test it.
Follow Somerset’s glossy adventures on her Twitter @LisaSomerset.