Posted on November 18, 2017 under Reviews
Every time I visit Aisling, she has an enormous stash of makeup castaways for me to go through. (I mean, seriously, I filled a tote bag with stuff to bring home this time, and I only took about half the stuff she had stored for my perusal.) I always find it hard to resist mid-range and high end freebies even if I don’t really want them, so I ended up with a bottle of Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation in 0.5 to try. I have heard overall good things about this product, but I also know that I prefer a light to medium coverage and that long-wearing foundations don’t tend to mesh well with my dryer skin type. However, I could not resist trying out a $50 foundation for free. Hey, if I like it I win, and if I don’t like it one of my friends will win.
I began to realize that I would probably struggle with this foundation when I watched Katya use it on Instagram Live. Now, I appreciate all the drag queens on the internet for teaching me so much about life and gluing your eyebrows, but when it comes to foundation I think it’s safe to say that if it’s drag-approved it is going to be beyond too much for me. Katya’s go-to is the Dermablend cream foundation, which I have tried and which could not possibly be thicker or more high coverage, so that gave me enough context to realize that I was wading into shark-infested waters.
And you know what? I was right! It’s not just that the All Nighter Foundation is truly full coverage, which is a level that I think few people actually need. It’s also the fact that this foundation is most definitely suited to combination to oily skin types. I usually describe myself as “on the dryer side of normal”, and now that we’re getting into winter it’s at its driest. Winter in general doesn’t wreak havoc on my skin, but the transition into winter does, and that’s where we’re at right now. So I fully acknowledge that I am not giving this product its best shot since my skin is at its lowest potential currently, but that’s just how the cookie crumbles.
Whether applied with a brush, a sponge, or my fingers, the All Nighter Foundation tends to cling to dry patches and textured areas. When applied with a damp sponge I find that after an hour or two of wear it smooths out somewhat, but upon initial application it looks noticeably heavy on my forehead, upper lip, and jawline.
Here is my face with no makeup:
And here is my face with about 2/3 of a pump of Urban Decay All Nighter foundation applied in one even layer:
I mean, is it just me or does this look very unnatural and mask-like? It’s also a bit too light for me, although it does oxidize – more on that later.
Let’s do some close-ups so we can evaluate the coverage and texture:
Clearly, the coverage is impressive; it totally covers my blemishes and hyperpigmentation, and my moles barely show through. What does show is that I am wearing foundation. I’ve seen cakier, but come on. This is how I like my face to look (dark circles notwithstanding):
Clearly, the All Nighter foundation is not giving me this look.
Here’s how it looks after four hours of wear:
Looks okay from here, but let’s zoom in:
There is clearly some unflattering clinging going on here – not as bad as it could be, but not ideal.
The All Nighter Foundation claims to be waterproof, so I tested this by running my face under my shower head for about ten seconds. I let most of the water dry naturally and then blotted the remainder off. Some of the foundation did come off, but it maintained pretty good coverage. However, it looked way cakier.
Here’s my full face after being watered:
More heaviness on the forehead and between the brows, and it’s worn away just above the inner portion of my eyebrow.
Looks cakey on the upper lip, and it’s worn away around and on the nose.
Totally emphasizes the texture I have on my jawline, and it’s settled into my smile lines. By the way, the orange splotch is from eating soup sloppily and has nothing to do with the foundation. (Not that it needs help looking bad…)
Usually when I experience wear problems with foundation, it’s simply a matter of them wearing away. With the All Nighter Foundation, it stays on my skin but by the end of an 8- or 10-hour day it looks very heavy and textured. So I guess technically it is long-wearing, but it may not be something you actually want to wear for a long time. I wish I had photographic evidence of how it looks after a full day of wear, but unfortunately Glasgow is currently getting about 12 seconds of sunlight a day, so you’ll have to take my word.
Packaging-wise, I think this is attractive, sturdy, and functional, so it gets a Clem seal of approval. I love that it has an airless pump, because it means no product will be wasted. I’d say I wish every foundation were packaged like this, but we still can’t get every brand to include a regular pump so I won’t hold my breath. Either way, this is the only thing I wholeheartedly enjoy about this foundation.
L-R: Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation in 0.5, Rimmel BB Cream in Very Light, NARS All Day Luminous Weightless in Siberia, The Ordinary Serum Foundation in 1.1N (current best match)
Aisling told me that she bought the lightest shade, 0.5, because she had read that this product oxidizes a lot. It didn’t on her and she ended up with a product that was too light for her. On me, it definitely does oxidize – when I first apply it, it’s a hair too light, but it ends up being a hair too dark.
You can see that it’s noticeably darker around the edges where it’s dried. If after this absolutely glowing review you’re interested in this foundation, I’d keep the oxidization issue in mind and maybe get a sample before buying if possible.
If you have oily skin and/or are a drag queen, the Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation may be the product for you! If you are normal to dry, I would suggest avoiding it. I’m not big on full coverage foundations anyway, and this certainly isn’t the one to change my mind. While it’s packaged beautifully and does boast impressive coverage, it simply does not want to play with my skin type, and the oxidization is another strike against it.
Today I’m inventorying my smaller palettes for you. As a general rule, I tend to reach for large palettes more often because I remember I have them and because they usually give me everything I need all in one place. I tend to neglect my singles and even my smaller palettes. I could probably pare down this collection, but that would be a post for another day. Also, I think I could have included some of the palettes from this post in the last one, but I divided them up based on gut feeling and we’re all just going to have to deal with the consequences.
Wet N Wild The Silent Treatment Trio
Pretty much since the moment I bought this trio back in the summer of 2013, I’ve been telling myself that one day I will get an empty palette and depot the eyelid shade of this trio so I can toss the other two. I have not touched either the crease or browbone colour in at least three years, but the taupe-y purple shimmer of the eyelid shade is one of my favourite eyeshadows ever. It’s divine. I keep this crappily-packaged trio around solely for that colour. It’s one of my most-used eyeshadows of all time.
Sleek I-Divine Mattes V2
You know those palettes that you keep around because they have a lot of really interesting colours that you might want to use one day even though you never actually do want to use them? Yeah. I actually did love a few of the shades in this palette many eons ago, but I haven’t touched it in years. Yet I cannot yet part with it! I wouldn’t say these eyeshadows are amazing, but they’re totally workable and the price is right. I’m going to see if I can get some use out of it now that I’ve remembered that I have it.
Unnamed Lancôme Quad, Lancôme Blush Sweetness, Lancôme Lavender Grace
These are all GWP sizes that I’ve picked up from work over the years; if you want to shell out $55 you’ll get larger pans and slightly more substantial packaging. The first quad, which has no name, contains the colours (clockwise from top left) Kitten Heel, Honeymoon, Platform, and Madison Ave. I love the shade Kitten Heel, which is the most beautiful shimmery peach. The other colours are all generic but pair well with Kitten Heel, so this works perfectly as a self-contained, slim, easy-to-carry quad.
I love the soft, romantic hues of the Blush Sweetness palette. Not everybody likes soft pinks on the eyes, but I think this palette gives a really gorgeous effect, and the shadows are very soft and smooth.
I love having Lavender Grace on hand for days when I really just want to wear purple eyeshadow. I don’t have pure purples anywhere else in my collection, but I do like wearing them occasionally, so I hang onto this. It’s not one of my most-used palettes, but it fills a gap in my collection to be sure.
The Body Shop Smoky Plum Quad
I’m pretty sure this was a limited edition holiday product several years back. I’m a sucker for neutral, taupe-based purples and plums, so I really dig this palette. The shadows are a bit on the sheer side, but they’re fine to work with and all the colours go together well. You know how sometimes you get a quad where you just can’t work one of the shades into the look easily? This palette is the opposite of that.
Urban Decay Naked Basics
Clearly, I use this palette all the time. I have a go-to look that I could do in my sleep, or more accurately, when I’m half-awake and running late. It’s perfect for travel because it’s so tiny and the rubberized packaging makes it resistant to shattering, plus it closes very securely. The shade Naked 2 is the best crease colour I’ve found for my skintone and I really wish UD sold it separately. I didn’t think I’d use this palette much until I got it, and now I can’t imagine life without it. I use it several times a week. It’s very boring but very functional.
Guerlain Ecrin 4 Couleurs in Les Violines
Okay, so, we all know that $71 CAD for 4 eyeshadows is absolutely ridiculous, regardless of how soft they are. This is a fact which I feel that I must establish right off the bat. If you know me at all you’ll know that I purchased this palette with Optimum points, which is always what I do when I feel like indulging in something I would never in a million years use real money on. Though the price tag is absurd, I really do love this palette. These taupe-y purple shades are some of my favourite to wear (see above), and I really appreciate that all these shades are completely matte. Obviously, there’s not a lot of versatility in the looks you can get from this palette, but it’s really great if you like these types of colours.
Wet N Wild Comfort Zone
Again, I should probably depot the colours I actually use from this palette and toss the rest. Wet N Wild shadows are by and large actually great quality, but most of the shades in this palette are similar to things I already own elsewhere in my collection. However, the blue-brown duochrome and the olive green shade alone justify the five bucks I paid for it. I’ve swatched a few of the other shades, but I don’t know that I’ve actually put them on my eyes. I don’t think this palette works on its own either as all the shades are shimmery (as is par for the course with WnW palettes). One day I promise I will buy a small palette and depot those two shades and the taupe from the Silent Treatment palette and toss the rest!
Marc Jacobs Style Eye Con No 7 Plush Eyeshadow Palette in The Lolita
My friend Kristin got me this palette for Christmas because she wanted to get me something that I’d never get myself. And she is very right that I would never spend $71 actual dollars on an eyeshadow palette with seven shades, because that is absurd. (But I’d spend $71 fake Optimum point dollars on an eyeshadow palette with four shades, obviously…) This is sort of like the Naked Basics palette elevated: you get all your very basic shades and a few fun shimmery ones, though they’re all still neutral. I really like the looks I’ve managed to make with this palette, but that one ultra-shimmer shade in the middle SUCKS, guys. It’s fallout city with no actual colour payoff to make the fallout worth it. And, I don’t know, I just feel like if you’re going to charge $71 for seven eyeshadows you should make them all useable, at least. It’s too bad, because the texture of the other shadows is lovely, and there’s a super pretty iridescent pink colour that looks beautiful in the center of the eyelid. It’s just, you know, how can I be wholeheartedly enthusiastic about this palette when that one shade is so goddamn bad?
Between these guys and my large palettes, you guys are probably like, “THAT IS ENOUGH EYESHADOW CLEM.” But no! I still have some singles, which will come at you someday. I don’t know when yet, because I have a backlog of posts I need to finish up and publish before I get to another inventory post.
I’ve decided to jump on the bandwagon and start an inventory series on my blog to showcase everything I have and give products I don’t mention much a chance in the spotlight. I’m kicking things off with a category which interests me but is manageable. (I’m afraid to do lipstick, guys.) I have a fair amount of eyeshadow, so I’m focusing on my big palettes today. I’ll do smaller palettes, quints, quads, and trios in another post, and singles in yet another. I’m not sure if my next inventory post will be eyeshadow or if I’ll bounce over to another category of makeup. We’ll have to see where my whims take me.
I currently have five larger shadow palettes, which I think is a pretty good number. There’s a lot of variety within those five palettes, but it’s a manageable number and I can use each one of them regularly. I’d say that eyeshadow is my second biggest makeup love, next to lipstick. Lipstick got me into makeup, but once I figured out how to apply eyeshadow to my eye shape I never looked back.
I’ll likely arrange the products differently in future posts depending on what makes most sense (for example, I’ll do lipstick by colour family), but today I’m just going to speak about these in chronological order of when they came into my collection.
Urban Decay Naked 3
Like a number of items in my makeup collection, this was a very generous gift from Aisling, who didn’t like the rose-gold shades in this palette on herself. I went to visit her in Brighton and came out of it with a snazzy palette! Out of all three full-sized Naked palettes, this one seems to be the most contentious. Some people love it, but most people don’t use it as much as the Naked 1 and 2. I can see why: it has a much clearer colour story, and you can’t get that many different looks out of it. It’s a rosy, soft palette. I actually really enjoy these colours and have quite a few go-to looks I can create with them. These shadows are definitely not the best quality I’ve used (my Anastasia, Kat Von D, and LORAC palettes all easily best this one in terms of pigmentation and blendability), but most of them are perfectly fine. (The shade Buzz is a notable exception; it’s a bit of a mess.) I have to be in a specific mood to use this palette and it’s not the type of thing I’d throw into a suitcase with the knowledge that it’ll cover all my bases, but I do like it.
This palette got a tonne of hype back in the day and now we barely hear anything about it in the land of beauty blogging, which I suppose is the natural cycle. I wasn’t really that interested in it (probably because we can’t get LORAC in Canada) until I saw it on r/makeupexchange for $35 and had to do it. In contrast with the UD Naked 3, this is a palette I travel with, because I feel like I can get a million different looks out of it. There are a few shades that I feel are redundant, but there are so many that are absolutely glorious that I can overlook that. Gold is my favourite gold shadow ever and a staple of my go-to look for any special event I have.
Stila Eyes are the Window – Spirit
I lusted after this palette for at least a year and a half until spending my Optimum points on it in early 2016, and I use it less than I thought I would. There are a few standout shades in here; my favourite is the burgundy, Pigalle. Between the time I first saw it and when I actually bit the bullet and bought it, I accumulated enough neutral eyeshadow that this palette is actually kind of redundant in my collection. I still like it and use it, but not as often as I’d imagined. These shadows are quite sheer – though not unpigmented – so they’d be better suited for someone who prefers to build up colour slowly.
Kat Von D Shade and Light
I feel too icky about Kat Von D to buy any more of her products, but this palette really is phenomenally good. These are some of the creamiest, most blendable mattes I’ve come across. This palette is great for self-contained looks and it’s the perfect complement to those palettes that just aren’t complete on their own. I can get such a variety of looks out of this palette: warm, cool, soft, smokey… If you don’t like shadows that kick up a lot of powder I’d avoid this, but if you don’t mind that too much then this palette really is great.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance
You guys, this is my favourite palette. It just is. I know I’m so two-thousand-and-late here, but I just can’t think of a more perfect palette for my tastes. Setting aside the fact that the shadows are beautiful quality (which they are), every single colour makes sense to me. There’s not one shade in this palette that I don’t use happily. I love that I can do a variety of neutral looks but that there are also interesting, bold colours. This palette is just so well thought-out and interesting yet complete. I’ll have a full review with several looks up at some point.
This is likely more eyeshadow than any human could ever go through in a lifetime, and that’s not even taking into consideration my smaller palettes and singles. I did just get rid of two palettes, though, and even if I never actually use up all of this eyeshadow each palette fits a slightly different niche in my collection, so I’m happy to hold onto them all for now.