Review: Makeup Revolution Fast Base Stick Foundation in F1

Posted on July 10, 2018 under Reviews

Let me tell you something. Sometimes you meet someone on the internet in 2006 and 12 years later you are still friends with them. Sometimes that person keeps a box full of their old castoff makeup that they give to you whenever you visit. Maybe there are other people like that out there with other names, but I am talking about my friend Aisling, who I met online when people still used MSN to communicate and who I have now spent enough time with in real life to consider “a friend” instead of “an internet friend”. (I have been to all of the flats she’s lived in and neither one of us has revealed ourselves to be murderers, so I think it’s real.)

Aisling is a fellow Canadian, though she now lives in Brighton, which is the most adorable seaside city that I love visiting even though it’s literally always grey and rainy when I’m there. I’ve been there four times now and the weather is always TRASH! But that’s okay, because I always get a box full of Aisling’s old makeup to go through. Also, I get to hang out with her, and she introduces me to insane British reality shows. (I firmly maintain that British reality TV is balls to the wall, and since reality TV is my main academic interest I think I’m qualified to make that statement.)

The things Aisling gives me fall into three categories. We have nice stuff that she just didn’t want (and it is this category that allowed me to discover the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes, which I fell in love with and then in turn made my mom fall in love with). We have garbage that I also do not want but that she puts in the box on the off chance that I will liberate it from its fate at the bottom of the trash can. And we have things that she hates but that I want to try anyway. Many times I also end up hating these things. Like, she warned me about Urban Decay All Nighter. I can’t say she didn’t!

One of the things Aisling passed on to me on my last (grey, drizzling) trip to Brighton was the Makeup Revolution Fast Base Stick Foundation. Aisling hated this product and told me that it looked like “crusty garbage” on her face. She very adamantly told me that she wanted me to include that phrase in this blog post, so here I am, reporting this faithfully. I am no stranger to my face looking like crusty garbage because I have dry skin and that’s the way it goes sometimes. I will cut to chase here and say that this foundation does NOT look like crusty garbage on my face, so there is hope for you too.

Shade Range

Like the Conceal and Define Concealer, this foundation launched with eighteen shades, which is pretty good for a drugstore range. (I see that the concealer range is now up to twenty-five shades!) The foundations are labelled with F and a number, with no indication of undertone, although MUR does claim that cool, neutral, and warm undertones are represented in this range. You can see the darkest four shades swatched in this video. As I’ve now left the UK, I can’t comment on which shades are actually sold in-store, although I know for sure that only about half of the concealer shades are stocked in Glasgow Superdrugs.

In terms of the lighter end of the spectrum, the shade F1 is fair with a grey-pink undertone. I do best with neutral or cool yellow tones, so this isn’t a perfect match for me, though it’s passable. The pink doesn’t come across quite so strongly in photographs, and it looks more seamless in my pictures here than in real life.

You can see that The Ordinary and IT Cosmetics bases have more yellow in them compared to MUR F1, which is quite a bit cooler and greyer. I do find it interesting that the shade is so different from C1 in the Conceal and Define Concealer – you’d think there’d be some consistency across base products in the same line! On MUR’s website, they recommend F1 “for fair skin with neutral undertone”, but I think you’d need to be leaning significantly pinker for this to be a perfect match. F2 is apparently “for fair skin with yellow undertone”. Looking at the swatches on Superdrug’s blog, F2 does appear to be a hair darker than F1. I think it would probably match me pretty well, but if you’re very, very fair with neutral to warm undertones, it might be too dark.

Packaging

This is as far as it rolls up.

This packaging is not exactly my favoured aesthetic; I’m not a huge fan of the rose gold and nude combo, but then, I’m not a huge rose gold person in general. (Sacrilege, I know!) However, it’s certainly cute and seems to situate this foundation a step up from its £5 price point. The stick twists smoothly up and so far everything appears to be sturdy. At £5 I’m really only looking for functional packaging; the fact that it looks relatively cute (if not overly expensive or to my personal taste) is a bonus.

Both the matte plastic tube and the shiny rose gold accents will attract fingerprints, which real beauty bloggers would wipe off prior to photographing but which I leave because I’m a #normal #relatable #real person.

The Fast Base Stick Foundation contains 0.21oz or just under 6 grams of product. That’s comparable to Hourglass (0.25oz), Clinique, and NYX (both also 0.21oz), but considerably smaller than Lancôme (0.31oz), Anastasia/Tarte/Maybelline (0.32oz), and MUFE (0.44oz). However, at £5, the cost is so low that I think the slightly stingy amount of product is allowable.

Application and Finish

The Fast Base Stick Foundation can be applied with a brush on my normal-to-dry skin. I’ve been using the above pictured MUR Face Precision Oval Makeup Brush, also passed on from Aisling. (The brush is double the cost of the foundation, which seems a bit silly.) Dense, Artis-style brushes work the best with a cream formula, in my opinion – flimsy brushes are just not going to blend adequately. However, I get the best finish with a damp sponge. With a brush, I get slightly fuller coverage and a satin finish; with a sponge, I get reduced coverage and a much dewier finish, plus a more natural look overall. It’s nice that I can technically apply this foundation with a brush, but I’ll admit that I’m not likely to.

I generally associate stick foundations with thick, heavy coverage, but that’s not the case here. By my standards this is a nice medium coverage that feels surprisingly lightweight on my face. My only other foray into the world of stick foundations was last summer, with Hourglass, and that one was substantially thicker. (I ended up returning it because I just didn’t envision it as an everyday product for myself, though it did dutifully get me through my friends’ wedding.) I appreciate that this is a slightly less intense option for those of us who prefer a more natural base.

Here’s how much I apply to my face. Excuse the out-of-focus picture; I think you get the idea.

You can definitely get more coverage if you apply more (uh, duh), but I find that over time it will start to look particularly heavy in areas with multiple layers.

And here’s are some before and after shots. In the before shots, all I have on are moisturizer and sunscreen.

I think you can see that this foundation does not, in fact, look like crusty garbage on me. The water from the sponge meshes really well with the foundation to create a lovely dewy finish, though it does dry down a bit throughout the day. The coverage certainly isn’t full, but it substantially evens out the redness on my cheeks and does a decent job of covering my forehead zits.

Wear

I tend not to set this foundation with powder, and it wears pretty well over the course of a busy, active day. It looks marginally better at the end of the day if I do use a strategic dusting of loose powder, but I prefer not to use powder since I do have a dryer skin type. As I mentioned, when I’ve tried layering this foundation I don’t think it wears as nicely, but when I apply one layer it looks decent by the end of the day.

Here I am a little after six at night, after applying it around nine in the morning, working a full eight hours, and walking for forty minutes in the hot sun.

You can see that it’s worn off around my nose, which happens with basically every foundation. My nose does look, perhaps, like crusty garbage, but that is because that particular side of my nose has been dry and crusty for three months now. (The other side is unaffected. It’s very weird.) It’s a bit heavy around my chin, but it looks really nice across my cheeks.

My forehead looks incredibly shiny, but I literally took these pictures immediately after walking home from work in thirty degree weather, so that might have something to do with it. If I’d blotted before taking these pictures, my forehead would have looked similar to my cheeks. I guess I just really wanted to put a closeup of my sweaty forehead on the internet, you know?

Overall Thoughts

I still prefer a nice emollient liquid foundation for its versatility: I like something that I can blend out with my fingers if I’m in a rush. But stick foundations have their upsides too, primarily how travel-friendly they are. I certainly did not think that a £5 foundation that was described so harshly to me by my trusted friend would end up satisfying me, but it really did. I’m still a bit iffy on the stick foundation format as a whole, but I find this one to be a good example of its genre.

Review: Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation in Alabaster

Posted on July 10, 2017 under Reviews

Hourglass Seamless Finish Foundation

Everyone who read my foundation inventory post: Clem, didn’t you just finish saying you have too much foundation and it stresses you out?
Me: Yes.
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.

Shade Range

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.

Hourglass Seamless Finish Foundation

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.)

Colour reference:

L-R: Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation in Alabaster; The Ordinary Serum Foundation in 1.1N; Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Foundation in Y215; NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation in Siberia

Packaging

Hourglass Seamless Finish Foundation

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.)

Hourglass Seamless Finish Foundation

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:

Hourglass Seamless Finish Foundation

Now, enough talk, here are some before and afters:

Hourglass Seamless Finish Foundation before

Hourglass Seamless Finish Foundation after

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:

Hourglass Seamless Finish Foundation before

Hourglass Seamless Finish Foundation after

Look, Mom! I posted a huge closeup of my zits on the internet!

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.

Wear

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!

Overall Thoughts

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.