Those of you who are fair will understand the particular pain of trying to find a foundation. It’s not really about finding the right undertone or deciding between two shades which are nearly identical – it’s about finding one that’s light enough in the first place. And when I say I’m fair, I really mean pale. (Fair is the polite term, isn’t it? Well, I’m just pale. Ghostly. The barest step up from white as a sheet.) So many beauty gurus on YouTube are always talking about how fair they are – and then use a foundation shade that’s one or two away from the lightest in a range. When the lightest in that same range is too dark for me, I have to call bullshit on these people who think they’re so pale!
I’m pale. I have trouble with foundation. I work in cosmetics and have access to a wealth of foundations to swatch and try on my face on any given day. The vast majority of the foundations we have in the store are too dark for me. “Ivory”, “Porcelain”, and “Alabaster” are all very promising words – but most end up disappointing me.
So, my bar is set pretty low. If I can find a foundation that is fair and that doesn’t look like a completely different colour from my neck, I’m overjoyed – undertones be damned. I make due with what I can get, you know?
One day at work, I really looked at the Rimmel display, saw the Lasting Finish 25H foundation, and thought, “Wow, those foundations are pale.” In fact, the two lightest shades that I swatched – 010 and 091 – were both what I would classify as very fair. 010, Light Porcelain, has a cooler undertone, and 091, Light Ivory, is a bit warmer and slightly darker – so there’s something for the cool and warm amongst us pale people. I’m neutral leaning cool, so I went with 010.
How does it look?
I adjusted the colours in these images slightly to bring them truer to life, but otherwise no retouching has been done. In the image labelled “No makeup”, I do not have anything on my face, even moisturizer. You can see that although I have a few blemishes, my skin has not been acting up lately. I’m looking for a bit of coverage around the chin, a general evenness of skin, and a nice finish. In the image on the right, I have used exactly one pump of the Rimmel Lasting Finish 25H Foundation all over my face. I built it up slightly around my chin, but for the most part what you’re seeing is one layer. (I also did my eyebrows, because that’s always my first step!)
Shall we zoom in?
So, some things we can clearly note here:
1) It does a pretty good job of covering – that chin zit is about as covered as it’s going to get, and some of the freckles that I just now realized I have are much less visible if not completely covered. I haven’t had too much trouble with post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation or redness at the bottom of my cheeks recently, but those are both things I struggle with often. This foundation does a good job with the PIH; not quite as well with the redness, though it is buildable and does as well as anything else I’ve used.
2) I wouldn’t say it has a terribly dewy finish, and it’s obviously not matte. I’d put it somewhere between a dewy and satin finish. It does make my dry winter skin look a bit more lively, but I think it would be suitable for normal and possibly combination skin.
3) That said, you can see that it does slightly cling to the dry patches around my nose, which are a perpetual bother for me, year-round. These days my skin is more on the normal side, but those damn nose flakes never leave me, even in the depths of summer!
What does it (claim to) do?
Rimmel claims that the Lasting Finish 25H foundation is full-coverage. I would classify it as medium to full buildable coverage; it’s definitely not full with one layer, and you can see “imperfections” peeking through in my comparisons. One layer is perfect for my preferences, but it can be built up for a flawless finish.
Rimmel also claims that it “blends flawlessly, seamlessly, instantly and easily into the skin“, which I would agree with. I’ve gone through three or four bottles of Revlon Nearly Naked, which I love, but this blends a lot more smoothly than that. It also has a thicker, less watery texture than Nearly Naked, so perhaps that’s why. I’ve applied it with my hands, a buffing brush, and a knockoff beautyblender, and I feel like it works with all three methods. I think it performs marginally less well with a damp sponge, perhaps due to its sticky texture, but it’s still absolutely usable with that method.
Another claim: “Sweat, heat, humidity and transfer proof for up to 25 hours.” The 25 hour claim is one of those ridiculous cosmetics marketing things that we all know is silly. I can’t think of a time when I’d wear foundation for 25 hours – my skin is crawling just thinking about it. And it’s such an odd number; it’s as if they looked at products claiming 24 hours and thought they’d (literally) one-up them. Anyway, you all know that this stuff does not last 25 hours. I wore this working retail all through the Christmas rush, which meant running around for eight hours a day. Generally, my foundation is on for about ten to eleven hours on a workday. I put it through a lot. The Lasting Finish 25H foundation lasts well, it really does. I find that it breaks down on my nose by the end of the day (but so does every foundation), and it never looks as flawless as it does just after application. That said, it looks better at the end of a workday than any other foundation I’ve used, and most people aren’t looking closely enough at me to notice anything particularly off. So the 25 hour claim is clearly ridiculous, but I would say that it does have strong lasting power.
This foundation has the classic Rimmel foundation scent, which is sort of citrus-y in an artificial way. I don’t like it much, and I think the idea of heavily fragranced makeup products is just plain bizarre – but I don’t notice the scent after application.
It also leaves a sticky feeling immediately after application, although powder does away with most of it. After an hour or so of wear it’s meshed with my skin enough that it doesn’t feel sticky. But if you’re particularly sensitive to texture, you may not like this – it does feel like there’s something on your face when you touch it with your hands.
On the positive side, I love that it comes with a pump! After two years straight using Revlon Nearly Naked and ColorStay exclusively, I got used to the no-pump struggle. But I must say, it feels damn good to have a pump. I don’t know why that isn’t standard for foundations. I’d gladly pay a few extra bucks per bottle for that particular luxury.
Let’s get to the most important negative: Rimmel’s shade range is painfully limited, and really only encompasses very fair to tan skin tones (and, indeed, this is symptomatic of the beauty industry’s general refusal to create products for women of colour), and that’s a downside that I want to address. I try very hard to mainly support companies who offer a wide colour range of foundations, because in 2015 I think it’s ridiculous and offensive not to. As annoying as it is for me to find foundation in a shade that matches me, I am not in any way trying to equate my experience with the complete erasure of women of colour that so many brands enact. I do slowly see brands bringing out more and more colours in their foundation ranges, but by this point there’s no excuse for the companies that haven’t. I’d like to see Rimmel follow in the footsteps of brands like L’Oréal, NARS, Bobbi Brown, and Lancôme (which is also owned by L’Oréal).
All that said, as someone who can wear a shade from the Lasting Finish 25H foundation range, I’m a fan. I think it leaves a nice finish, lasts well, and offers good coverage. This foundation doesn’t feel like settling just because it’s my colour – it’s my colour and I like it.
The Rimmel Lasting Finish 25H Foundation retails for approximately $10.99 CAD at drugstores for 1 fl oz/30mL, putting it at $10.99 per oz or $0.37 per mL.
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