Everyone who read my foundation inventory post: Clem, didn’t you just finish saying you have too much foundation and it stresses you out?
Everyone: Then why did you buy ANOTHER FOUNDATION that you DO NOT NEED?
Me: I don’t know!!!!!!
… Yes. I am not going to make any excuses. I bought another foundation. This is my first foray into the world of stick foundations, a format which I have typically avoided because I have always assumed they would be bad for dry skin. However, I’ve heard good things about the Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation from dry-skinned YouTubers such as Jessica Braun and KathleenLights, and I really wanted a long-wearing, flawless base for an upcoming wedding.
The Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation comes in 26 shades ranging from extremely fair to quite deep, with a variety of undertones represented. As is the norm with foundation, you’ll find more subtle variations in the light to medium part of the spectrum and less as you get to the darker shades. I feel like I’m beating a dead horse saying this, but this is a subtle way that people of colour are shut out in the makeup world – sure, there may be dark colours available, but they are fewer and less varied than the 900 shades of light tan that a range has.
I used my tried and true method of matching the back of my hand (which seems to work for me) and selected the shade Alabaster. The Sephora website describes it as “fair, cool undertone”, though I wouldn’t say it leans particularly pink or yellow. There is one lighter shade, Blanc, which I’d put on par with MUFE Y205. (I’m the second-lightest shade in the MUFE range as well, for reference.)
The Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation comes in a triangular tube with brown metallic packaging. It’s very consistent with the Hourglass aesthetic, which I tend to enjoy. It looks and feels expensive. I’m a sucker for nice packaging a lot of the time, but I don’t really care if foundation packaging looks pretty as long as it’s functional. The fact that I find this packaging attractive is a nice bonus but not really a factor for me one way or the other. Of course, the reflective packaging collects fingerprints quickly, but they can be wiped off for blog pictures to preserve the illusion that you aren’t crusty. (That’s more than you can say for NARS packaging, which is a magnet for dirt that you can’t get off.) The twisting mechanism is smooth. I like that the stick itself is triangular: you can use one of the corners to apply the foundation to smaller areas, like the nose.
Whereas liquid foundations almost always clock in at a standard 1 fl oz/30 mL, stick foundations seem to vary in size substantially. The MUFE one is 0.44oz, Anastasia and Maybelline are 0.32 oz, and Bobbi Brown and Lancôme are 0.31 oz. Hourglass, in typical fashion, has given us a mere 0.25 oz of product. (Um, hopefully I’ll get more than 17-20 uses out of it, which is what they promise from their $21 gel eyeliner.)
Application and Finish
This is a very emollient cream product with a lot of glide. It does eventually set on the face, but you have a bit of play time during which it’s quite malleable. I’ve tried blending it with several brushes and with a wet sponge and I prefer the sponge. Denser brushes work nicely, too, and maintain more coverage; stippling brushes aren’t the best with this formula and will leave you with streaks. I tend to like a sponge with fuller-coverage products anyway because I find that on my dryer skin I get the most natural finish that way. On me, this foundation is prone to looking a little bit heavy around my jawline if I apply too much or blend too little. For reference, my skin leans quite dry in the winter but I’m more of a normal type in the warmer months, and I don’t currently have any dry patches on my face.
This is the amount of product that I apply to get a – wait for it – seamless finish that doesn’t look heavy in the slightest:
Now, enough talk, here are some before and afters:
It seems like every time I’m set to photograph a foundation for review, my skin helpfully decides to break out so that I can show what it actually does. I’ve been fighting a really tenacious chin breakout for a few weeks now, which is super annoying but actually pretty convenient review-wise. Close-ups of the breakout before and after:
Here I’ve put a second layer of the Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation over the breakout. I think this foundation does act pretty well as a concealer. When I’m wearing it I never put concealer over my blemishes. I don’t think it looks too heavy in this instance, either, though I don’t think I’d want to put a second layer all over my face. Obviously, you can still see the breakout, but this is how it would look if I’d used a concealer over it instead of a second layer of foundation.
The lasting power on the Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation is great. What I really like about this foundation is that it seems to mesh really well with my skin’s natural oils. At the end of 10 hours of wear, my skin looks healthy and luminous; the foundation doesn’t look dry or visibly broken down, as some do on me. My nose is, of course, the ultimate test – it’s the only place foundation ever wears off fully on my face, whether I’m wearing glasses or not. I would say I make it to about the 7 hour mark with my nose makeup intact with this foundation, which is longer than any other foundation I own, including NARS All Day Luminous Weightless. If I took the time to blot I could probably stretch this a bit longer, but with busy retail days I rarely do!
Normally I like to include a photo of a full day of wear when I’m doing foundation reviews. Unfortunately my work schedule lately has not been very conducive to this: I’ve been working until midnight most nights, so I can’t get good lighting for photos (and I also want to wash my makeup off and fall into bed as soon as I get home). So you’ll just have to take my word for it, sadly!
I don’t have particularly problematic skin in general: I get hormonal breakouts around my chin (as you can see!), but otherwise my skin is pretty clear and even. I also like for my skin to look like skin, and enjoy when my moles show through. For this reason, I tend towards light to medium coverage foundations for day-to-day, and I’ll often apply it to the perimeters of my face and leave my cheeks bare. Though the Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation can be sheered out somewhat (when applied sparingly and blended with a damp sponge), it’s definitely a thicker, fuller-coverage product by nature, so this won’t be a day-to-day one for me. It’s great for special events, though, and photographs beautifully. I’m also very into it for travel – you know I’m all about limiting my liquids wherever possible. It’s pricey and contains quite a small amount of product, but this is a foundation that I really feel I can rely on. I don’t think it’s for everyone, but neither is anything on this earth.
The Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation retails for $56 CAD for 0.25oz, or $224 per oz, and can be purchased from Sephora.
There are 2 responses to “Review: Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation in Alabaster”
Leave a Reply
Please feel free to leave a comment; I'd love to hear your thoughts on this post. Please don't leave a link to your blog in the body of your comment. If you leave your URL in the appropriate field in the form I will be able to click your name and check out your blog. Comments that don't adhere to this policy will be edited or deleted.