Category Archives: Foundation Reviews

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The Foundation Files: Tom Ford Traceless Foundation Stick

You know, I actually should call this post ‘The Concealer Files’ since it’s about a foundation stick, but I’m crazy about it as a concealer. Some things I recommend to you guys because it’s in my kit, and some I recommend that seem to have taken up permanent residence in my personal makeup bag, and this product is one of those.

Again, it’s Tom Ford (I know, I know with Tom Ford – you guys are going to start thinking I have shares in the company, but I don’t. I just really, REALLY love everything in his line that I’ve tried. I have yet to find a dud product in this range.)

This is a beautiful, thick creamy foundation which I love for concealing as it has the perfect texture as it melts into the skin, even in the delicate under eye area. I still love the Bobbi Brown foundation stick (that’s been a kit staple of mine for years), but it can be a bit dry to use as a spot concealer and I prefer Bobbi’s undereye concealers for covering those dark circles that let’s face it, we all have to one degree or another (models, super or otherwise, included).

The Tom Ford Traceless Stick is also brilliant for concealing around the nose which often gets quite red, especially in winter when the skin can get chapped and raw. Because it has more of a greasy texture, it just glides on and stays on the red bits that you want it to, without looking like a big ole’ patchy, cakey mess.

I have tried the Tom Ford foundation as a foundation on the whole face and to be honest I didn’t love it on me, as it felt a bit heavy when applied with a brush. However more testing in the lab might be in order as it could be perfection when applied wet with a damp sponge.

I like to just grab a nice concealer brush and whack it on where needed – two seconds later and you’re ready to roll. So quick and easy. Tom Ford has just come out with a whole new range called the Flawless Complexion collection which I’ll be very curious to try. Foundations are a notoriously tricky part of a makeup range to get right, so if they can nail the foundations there’s a pretty good chance the rest of the range will be incroyable as well.

 www.tomford.com

Bobbi Brown BB Cream

The Foundation Files – Bobbi Brown BB Cream

I’ve been very naughty – I’ve been using this for nearly a YEAR without telling you about it. In fact, I’ve nearly finished the tube and I haven’t said a word. Let’s just say it’s a very rare thing for me to finish a foundation – I always switch them out for whatever new one I happen to be testing. But this one – I just keep going back to it.

The finish is perfect – it’s like a souped up tinted moisturizer. It melts into the skin, eradicating any redness or discoloration that you might have. It never looks masky and it has just the right amount of glow to look like – well, like nothing at all. Like Mother Nature really, really likes you.

I love the practical black tube which you can toss in your handbag or kit, and for a BB cream it comes in a decent range of shades – 9 in total. Like all BB foundations it covers the skin spectrum from alabaster to mahogany. (One of the many reasons I do love her range of makeup so).

I was super skeptical of BB creams when they first came out, which is why I was so late to that party – they seemed to me like a cynical rebranding of tinted moisturisers. I’m always a bit wary of new products that get released as there is a fair amount of Emperor’s New Clothes that goes into makeup. New! Shiny! Fantastic! Exactly like something that came out four years ago that we’re hoping you’ve forgotten about!  Plus the first BB creams that I tried only came in about two colours – fantastic for the two people who happen to come in those shades! The rest of us? In the too hard basket.

That is, until I tried the Bobbi Brown BB Cream for a foundation article I was writing, and I was sold, hook line and sinker. These *MAY* even make it into my kit when I do a foundation reorganize. You never know your luck in the big city.

www.bobbibrowncosmetics.com.au

Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint

Foundation Files: Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint

I’ve fallen in love with a new brand! Well actually it’s not a new brand, it’s been around for awhile. It’s called Jouer, and it’s a gorgeous natural cosmetics range from LA.

I’d been wanting to check it out since it started, (which is quite a long time as it launched in 2008!) but I never seemed to find myself near a counter in the US. And then I discovered it’s stocked by the genius website Cult Beauty. Cult Beauty is my favourite online beauty destination as it has all the MM picks such as Ellis Faas, Japonesque, Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics, Rodin Olio Lusso, Prtty Peaushun, Stila, Sunday Riley, Priti NYC, RMS cosmetics – I could just go on, and on and on. Seriously it’s like an online treasure trove of the fabulous and hard to find.

I was in the market for a new tinted moisturiser, and this one fits perfectly with my “Green for 2013” ethos, as I pare down my personal beauty bag and find gentler, less chemical alternatives, The Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint oil-free formula is hypo-allergenic and fragrance-free and boasts Gingko Biloba, Vitamin E and Ginseng to deliver antioxidants to the skin.

I love it – it smoothes away redness (key for me as my skin gets lovely and red each morning and needs a severe talking to, in order to sort it out). It’s quite rare for me to use tinted moisturisers anymore as generally they don’t do enough of what I need them to. Yet I don’t want to commit on a daily basis to a full-on foundation, if you know what I mean.

But this guy – well it has optical reflections so it seems to bathe your skin in tiny little candles, and it’s super moisturizing yet has an oil-free finish. I’m not sure how they pull that trick off, but it’s perfect for my awesome dehydrated yet oily skin (thanks God – just what every girl wishes for).

In typical tinted moisturiser style it only comes in five shades, which tend to favour the fairer-complected (for my darker complected readers I encourage you as always to check out the foundation ranges of Laura Mercier, Bobbi Brown and Becca).

And if you’re a bit of a Sweaty Betty – aren’t we all, from time to time? I discovered it also comes also in a Matte version, which would be ideal for the summer months when your glow becomes an oil slick you could see from space.

I’m planning to “jouer” a lot more with “Jouer”.

www.cultbeauty.co.uk

Christine Zilber, Founder & Director of Jouer talks about the brand

Liz Earle Sheer Skin Tint

The Foundation Files: Liz Earle Sheer Skin Tint

I didn’t think that Laura Mercier’s Tinted Moisturiser could ever be superseded, but I have to tell you, it has. I had firmly removed myself from the tinted moisturiser category, finding that much as I loved it on younger skin than mine for work, it just didn’t offer enough coverage for my skin now (although I was a faithful personal devotee for many years).Enter Liz Earle’s Sheer Skin Tint, the incredible cult skincare brand’s first (and I hope not last) foray into colour. This has knocked my socks off, quite frankly. It’s super rich and moisturizing, with shea butter, Vitamin E and avocado – so not dissimilar to their Superskin moisturiser which I use religiously in the colder months. It glides on with the tiniest amount of product and spreads perfectly and evenly, as if your skin was supermodel perfect underneath (even if that’s far from the truth). It’s just rich and buttery and delicious, and the coverage it provides is significant for a tinted moisturiser. More importantly, the coverage is undetectable. It stays all day and when you clean your face at night it’s still coming off on the cotton pad or towel. This is all-day coverage with more guts than it’s chemical counterparts.

The only drawback with it is the shade range which only comes in three tones. This I’m sure will be increased in future, as great skin lovers come in all shades of the skin spectrum. Also as it comes in only three colours you might find you are somewhere in between and need to blend two together – I’m a Bare 01 but only just and as I get subtly darker over the summer (it’s impossible to prevent, even if you use Wednesday Adams as your role model with regards to sunscreen, like I do) I will probably end up wearing a mix of my current one and the next step up. Oh, did I mention that it has an SPF of 15? So for those who dislike wearing separate sunscreen, that part is done for you. Love a multi-tasking product!

And for my oily ladies – please do try this before you buy as it’s super glowy due to being very emollient, and if you’re already channeling the greasies I think it will be too rich for you. I would try Laura Mercier’s Oil-Free Tinted Moisturiser instead.

So if you’re in the market for natural, perfect skin and the product that can deliver it, Liz Earle Sheer Skin is my new top rec.

lizearle.com

 

 

The Foundation Files: Revlon Age Defy Foundation

Regular MM readers will know that I’m not generally a drugstore girl. I’m not a big cosmetics bargain hunter as I’ve tried a lot of the cheaper lines and found the pigmentation quality insufficient for my makeup work, and thus most cheaper makeup has no place in my kit, or my makeup bag.

The two exceptions to this rule are MyFace cosmetics, and Revlon. I do love a bit of Revlon (always have, ever since I used to fantastise about being one of the most Unforgettable Women in the World when becoming a woman was far in the future). I think the products are great quality, well priced, and practically and elegantly packaged. I love the work of their Creative Director, Gucci Westman, who has been working hard to make the brand more glamorous and more practical for modern women (her Multi-Use palettes are a work of genius). I also love that they were one of the first companies that banned animal testing, so they get serious kudos for that as well in my book, and I’m a fan of their new animal-friendly and beautiful Revlon faces, Olivia Wilde and Emma Stone.

So I was pretty excited when I got the chance a couple of years ago to work on the Revlon Age Defy TV commercial in London, assisting Kay Montano, who has made something of a specialty in working with the original supermodels. Not only is it an iconic makeup brand, but it starred none other than the original Aussie supermodel, Elle Macpherson. This was a woman who I used to plaster my school books with, who epitomizes outdoor Australian beauty, the ultimate girl next door (if you happen to live next door to Glamazonia).

It turns out, Elle is lovely. We swapped holiday plans with children – her, skiing in Aspen, me, bike riding with my son in Wandsworth Park. Both Australian, both working mums, we had A LOT in common, let me tell you. And if I look that good at 48, I’ll be one happy woman.

Shot by Jake Nava (of Beyonce’s Single Ladies video fame), and Kay’s makeup as immaculate as ever it was a blissful, easy day of shooting on a country estate outside London. One of those days that just doesn’t feel like work.

So when in the makeup trailer Elle told me that the Age Defy foundation was one of her favourite Revlon products and one she uses herself, I had to check it out. The makeup trailer is where you get the real deal, the behind the scenes action and the type of gossip – well let’s just say it STAYS in the makeup trailer. No PR teams, no camera crews, and no reason to say it if it ain’t true. To get a genuine celeb endorsement of a product is rarer than you think.

Age Defy is a very creamy, moisturizing foundation with a dewy finish – a little bit like an MM fave, Chanel Vitalumiere. I like to apply it with my fingers and go lightly, just where needed as I find that a heavy application can look like too much on the skin. With a light application it gives great coverage and the extra moisture that dry or older skin needs. It’s not oil-free, so if you have oily skin this wouldn’t be one for you, and I do like to give it a loose powder afterwards. It has a decent range of shades (although to be honest if you have a very deep skin tone, you won’t meet your match here. Try MAC, Illamasqua or Becca instead).

Age Defy has been developed for more ‘mature’ skins – and when you reach that age bracket, you will know about it. You want a foundation that is going to slip on the skin, and have a slight luminosity to disguise those incipient wrinkles (let’s call a spade a spade, it’s not an “expression line, it’s a wrinkle) and any discolorations that are another one of those joys of aging. I’ve tried it and liked it, and I think that if your budget is more Superdrug than Harvey Nichols, it’s a fantastic foundation in that price point. Elle MacPherson loves it and if it makes me look anything like her – Unforgettable indeed.

www.revlon.com

Here’s a Behind-the-Scenes of the Age Defy commercial I worked on with Kay:

 

 

The Foundation Files: Armani Luminous Silk

Armani Luminous Silk foundationThis was my first favourite foundation. I worked with this so much in the beginning of my career, and after a break of a few years, I’m coming back to it again.

It’s a lightweight, oil-free fluid foundation that gives good coverage without heaviness, and gives a beautiful sheen to the skin. It’s perfect for evening, or the red carpet, or if your life is more supermarket than red carpet, it works for that too!

Developed by Pat McGrath when she was the Creative Director of Armani Beauty when it first started, it very much espouses her philosophy of luminous, glowing skin. At the same time she also developed the Armani Fluid Sheers, which are luminizing liquids that were designed to be mixed in with the foundations, and they are absolutely gorgeous either on their own as a strategic highlight, or mixed in with the Luminous Silk foundation. I have a few of the Fluid Sheers but my favourite is no 2.

I like the colours that Luminous Silk comes in, as the colour range starts very pale and goes into really quite deep tones, although my one grumble with the shade range is that the shades for very dark skintones are just too red. In the States it goes up to Shade 13, and I find that anything up from 10 is very red-brown, so I hardly ever use them. (Becca is amazing for black skin, as are some of the Illamasqua deeper shades). The shade of 5 or 5.5 is so universally perfect that I go through far more bottles of that than any of the others.

I would say that it’s a slightly lighter weight foundation than Chanel Vitalumiere, and applies beautifully with a brush or sponge. The shade range is also more extensive than the other prestige beauty houses (Dior, Chanel, YSL), as it comes in 17 shades in the US.

It is an oil-free foundation, but as always if you are an oily gal do try before you buy as it can look a bit greasy if you live in a hot climate or have very oily skin.

And a big PS – the Armani Foundation brush is also awesome.

Armani Beauty has a new Creative Director, Linda Cantello, one of the most awesome of awesome makeup artists – let me tell you this lady was wielding a brush when you were in nappies, so she knows what she’s doing! The new face of the brand is the super-vixen, Megan Fox, and after a bit of a break Armani is back on my beauty radar in a big way.

See Linda’s work on the impeccably beautiful Megan Fox here: