I feel like I’ve been searching for that one foundation that’s just right forever — anyone else? Some have been close (Bourjois Paris Healthy Mix, I’m looking at you), but none have ever quite perfectly hit the bullseye. Of course I know this isn’t helped by the fact that I’m a stingey mare and refuse to pay high-end prices because it’s just not worth it (I was actually quite smug when I sampled Estée Lauder Double Wear and hated it).
On my latest foundation hunt, Kiko didn’t come to mind immediately as it’s still not quite a household name in my city, but my shopping buddy vouched for them and we went inside to have a look. They do have a lovely range of foundations, in liquid, powder, wet-to-dry forms, and the salesperson I spoke to was really helpful. I told her I wanted something longlasting and buildable with quite full coverage, and of course a matte effect for my oily skin, and she steered me in the direction of their Unlimited Liquid Foundation. She did a patch test and recommended the shade Warm Beige 15.
She explained that it’s very similar in coverage to Estée Lauder’s Double Wear, only without the heavy, cakey feeling that people tend to complain about, which was good as that was one of my problems with it, and without the hefty £40 pricetag — Kiko’s Unlimited retails at £14.90, which is still a bit pricey for me personally, but let’s be honest, it’s peanuts compared to DW. I was also a little dubious about the shade she chose for me, as it looked a bit too dark and warm (I have a very cool skin tone and tend to be paler than people anticipate), but I figured she knew what she was doing and she assured me that I would be able to exchange or refund my purchase if I found the shade unsuitable. All round, top job.
Aesthetically, I love the look of this foundation. The bottle is a nice heavy frosted glass effect rather than a tacky opaque plastic which I cannot abide, and it came packaged in its own little box. Overall it gives off the vibe of being quite high-end, without charging you an arm and a leg. It also has a pump dispenser rather than a screw top or (God forbid) a dropper, which just gets messy. I always prefer a pump (ooer) over anything else as it’s so much easier to dispense and less product gets wasted. All in all, thumbs up for appearance: very chic and sophisticated.
Unfortunately that’s where the pros end. I’ll try to be positive, because I don’t like writing bad reviews, but this foundation was just not right for me.
I started off with one pump for the whole face (ooer), and used my usual dotting method. However when it came to buffing it all out with my trusty stippling brush, it was like the stuff didn’t want to budge, and I ended up with a seriously blotchy-looking face, no matter how much I blended. The next time, I used two pumps and the same thing happened. Then I tried one pump blended out first and then another. Then I tried without primer. Then with a different primer. Then without moisturing. Then I exfoliated directly before using it. Always the same result: patchy, patchy, patchy.
Hey, at least the shade was good though!
In the above picture I’d put a lil trail of the formula so you could see how thick it was. Then literally five seconds later I tried to blend it out. Here’s how that worked out for me:
Not exactly ideal.
In terms of it being longlasting, it wasn’t bad but it didn’t exactly knock it out the park either. It was ordinary longlastingness, but that doesn’t really count for anything when you’ve got an uneven blendage to begin with. I haven’t even bothered with my UD Setting Spray because it would just be a waste of product!
The best way I found to use it is to mix one part foundation with one part moisturiser and then cover it in matte setting powder, and I mean, I’ve really caked it on.
Ignore my awful skin for a sec and have a look at the areas of skin around my nose, eyebrows, under my eyes and along my jaw line. Bearing in mind that these pictures were taken maybe twenty minutes after application, you can see where the product is bunching up around my nose, drawing attention to my facial hair and going reeeeeally patchy around my jaw, even after blending to the point of carpal tunnel syndrome. It’s also just avoiding my pores altogether; I know I have massive dark pores, but most foundations I’ve had either sit over the surface or kind of sink into them and give a much smoother appearance. This one just seems to outline them and say, “Hey, look at these enormous pores over here, aren’t they massive!!!” Usually that’s a sign of the formula being too thick, but honestly, it’s such a lovely consistency that I’m so confused over why it’s acting like this on my face!
So yeah… Not hugely happy that I’ve wasted fifteen quid on something that really doesn’t work for me. I’ll be getting my money back if I can. For now, I’ve reordered Bourjois’s Healthy Mix in Vanilla, as that’s the closest I think I’m gonna get to perfect without shelling out £50 a bottle; I’ve also ordered MUA’s Skin Define Matte Perfect foundation in Natural Ivory to lighten Vanilla up a tad and really perfect that shade. I’ve never used MUA’s foundations before, but all their other products wow me for the price they ask, so I’m excited to see how that turns out!