Trying out the Cover Girl Aqua Smooth Foundation

For the last few years my in person shopping has dwindled considerably. Truth be told I wasn’t doing a lot of in person shopping, but when the would went a little crazy, I limited myself to groceries and the occasional Target run. Everything else was more or less done on line. And there it more or less stayed.

While there is nothing wrong with that I do miss strolling through the drug store and getting inspired or simply interested in what is there. Recently I found myself in a drug store and spent a little while strolling and reveling in just seeing the products available. While I could have easily filled a basket with things I wanted to try, I did attempt to limit myself (my budget appreciates my lack of routine drug store visits even if I miss them.).

one of the things I decided to try was the Covergirl Aqua Smooth makeup + titanium Dioxide Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 20. On the package it clams to be “a solid makeup that transforms into liquid for smooth coverage.”

bare face

It is in essence, a cream foundation with sunscreen mixed in. For me SPF 20 isn’t enough and I do have my regular sunscreen layered with my skincare prior to applying makeup so I wouldn’t wear this on it’s own and expect it to provide me with the sun protection my skin needs. However I don’t mind a little bit of makeup back up to my skincare or my sunscreen.

As you can see in the package the product comes with a little foam applicator. I’ll be honest, I tried to use it but I have never had any luck with those little foam rectangle applicators so I rolled in a makeup sponge. While I typically prefer a makeup sponge with an angle, this foundation worked best with just your typical rounded makeup sponge. The one I used was actually the Luxie Makeuep sponge (the set is actually on sale at the moment if you are looking to stock up on some good quality makeup sponges). It had a good solid density to the sponge. There were a couple that were just too light and squishy to work well. While I really liked the Luxie sponge for this, look for a firmer makeup sponge as it makes application a lot easier.

half foundation, half not, this was a no primer try on and you can see why it needs a primer

Normally I also use a makeup brush and then touch up with the makeup sponge but this is not a brush friendly formula. I’ll go into that a little bit more in a moment, but essentially you are going to want a firm makeup sponge with this foundation.

The Aqua Smooth applied really well actually. I wouldn’t say it turned from a solid into a liquid like an alchemical trick, but the cream formula did melt into the skin for really good coverage. If used without a primer, it did tend to sink into the fine lines and pores. I definitely needed a primer underneath.

Interestingly, which primer I used mattered a lot with this foundation. I don’t know if it was the sunscreen or the potential solid to liquid formula, but if I didn’t use a gripping primer, the foundation never really settled. It continued to be movable. I don’t mean that it went off to lunch on it’s own leaving me bare faced, but when I went in with powdered products using brushes to apply them, the brushes for powder products would always streak the foundation and lave brush marks. Going back in with a sponge fixed them,. but it was still there. It also meant I needed brighter powder products because the sponge always took off a little bit of the powder.

just the full face of foundation

I had better luck with cream face products, but even with a finger application, the foundation could move a bit and leave some spots of less coverage.

All of this was easily remedied by a gripping primer. I went with the Milk Makeup Hydro Grip Primer, because let’s face it if the Milk Makeup Hydro grip can’t grip it, it isn’t staying in place. With the gripping primer underneath it stayed beautifully. I still preferred to use cream products over it as the cream products sort of melted into the foundation to give a better natural sort of look.

this isn’t a foundation I would wear for a formal and really dramatic look. This is the sort of foundation i would go for when heading out to a barbeque or picnic. It is an more natural everyday foundation. The added sunscreen makes it good for the out of doors as well. there is a slight sunscreen scent to it, but it is very light. I did find that it also wasn’t the sort of foundation to sweat off easily. which for me was a bonus.

complete look

the one concern I have is that it is not a long wear foundation. You can get about four to six hours of wear before it starts to sink into fine lines. I especially had trouble around my mouth. I also needed to pat it down with pressed powder after a few hours (2-3) because I was getting a bit of shine. If you go for the dewy look it shouldn’t bother you. I’m just not a dewy look sort of person. Over all I would say this is a decent foundation to wear to a casual out door event or to put on when you need to look good for a meeting in a hurry. It is very quick to apply. Just remember to use a gripping primer and pair it with cream products and it will look beautiful for four to six hours. As my in person meetings rarely last more than two, I most certainly have a place for the Covergirl Aqua Smooth Foundation in my collection even if it will never make my favorites list.

Elf Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20

This week I wasn’t entirely certain what I wanted to wear on my face for the week. Usually I have some notion of the items I am going to pick but the newest eyeshadow palette I had wasn’t really speaking to me. Usually I tend to align my products chosen for the makeup bag based in part on the colors in the eyeshadow palette. Without that I decided to start in the drawer where I keep my foundation products.

It is an odd time for my skin. Some of my summer shades are beginning to look slightly too dark, but my winter shades look slightly too light. It is the issue I have every October. I have the same issue in reverse in late April/early May. The seasons are changing and my tan isn’t sure it really wants to go, but isn’t committed to staying.

applying dots before using the foundation brush

As I was contemplating this in between time, I saw a tube of product I actually forgot I had. At the beginning of the year I was testing foundations only occasionally. I hadn’t yet taken the deep plunge into the pool. One of the products I tried was the Elf poreless foundation (its in a glass bottle, this is not it). I found it a great foundation that was vastly underrated. It was one of those products you try and then wonder why everyone isn’t talking about it and then start second guessing yourself about because you think it is really good but no one else is saying anything.

At least that is how it felt at the time.

Unfortunately as it was winter and my skin was as white as it ever gets, I picked up the lightest shade appropriate for my skin. Very shortly after my testing, the sun decided to emerge and call me out into it, so I had to set the product aside. At the time I picked up this Elf tinted moisturizer SPF 20 with Aloe, cucumber, and vitamins A, C and E. I was hoping that it would perform as well as the now too pale product and I really liked the thought of the extra vitamins inside.

So I used it.

And used it.

But I forgot to review it. And then I moved on to summery shades and it was shoved to the back of the drawer. So this week, I pulled it out thinking, ‘I remember really liking this.’ And so into the makeup bag it went. I chose the products around it, as you will see in the upcoming Makeup bag post tomorrow (don’t worry I won’t spoil the surprise).

Bafe skin on the left and just the tinted moisturizer (no primer) on the right

I also noticed that the tube felt very light in the hand. After using it this week, I realized it has maybe another week’s worth of product in the tube so I will be keeping it around a second week to use it up completely.

And then it will go on my ELF wish list. And yes I am compiling an Elf wishlist. There will be products for me and many others as stocking stuffers and filling out small gift bags for family members just starting to get into wearing makeup. But again that is a tale for another time.

As you may have guessed from the fact that this is actually the first full sized foundation product I have managed to empty this year, I really liked this product. As it’s name implies, it goes onto the skin like a moisturizer. Without a primer it sits on the skin like a moisturizer. Which means it is great for evening out tone but not so great at hiding texture. So I used the elf poreless putty primer under it and all was good.

full face (no primer day) and clearly before I did anything with my hair

With the primer, you could tell that I did something to my skin (as in you knew I was wearing something because my skin looked better than usual but it didn’t look like foundation). It is a light on the skin product. Both to wear and to see. It felt like a moisturizer. Because of this it stayed on all day and I had no issues with it wearing off. If I didn’t use the primer, it would settle into lines right away and stay there. This product was designed to even skin tone. If you are worried about lines, then use a primer underneath and there are no issues. This tinted moisturizer is just not going to hide those lines.

As I love primers and have many I live to use, I had no problem with this. well clearly as the tube is almost empty. If you have dark spots or red spots, this is a product you might want to look into. It didn’t obscure all my freckles, but it did cover the sun damage spots I am still working to repair. I would say it falls into the light to medium coverage category. I’m not certain if it is the aloe or the cucumber, but it smells slightly more like skin care than it does foundation. There is no paint like smell to it and it smells kind of fresh and light. The scent isn’t strong and dissipates quickly so don’t anticipate a blast of cucumber, but when sniffed, the scent leans more towards skincare than it does makeup. At least to my nose.

I do have one caveat. When I was in my local drug store a few days ago (on the way back from the Asian Grocery we did a quick stop) I checked in and this was available for $6. However, when I went to link it to the website, the product is listed as no longer available. I’m not sure if that is a temporary or permanent thing. As I did use this product all week, I’m going to let the review stand as is which is based on the notes I took throughout the week, however on the website there are two products that look like they might be compatible. I’m going to run out this afternoon and see if they can be picked up at my drug store. If they can, I will purchase them and report back. If not I will order them, wait for them to arrive and then use them and report back in. It will just take a little longer. I will also try to find out if this product was permanently discontinued or not and let you know.

This makes me a little sad. I have about a week’s worth of the elf tinted moisturizer left and I would repurchase this in a heartbeat (and because of the low cost i would pick it up in multiple shades without a flicker of remorse) but it may not be available. I’m not going to hoard it and save that last little bit for a rainy day though, even though a small part of me kind of wants to. I will use it up and send it to the empties bin. I’m trying to get better about that. Products don’t last forever so avoiding using my favorites for the day I know I really want to look good isn’t really helpful. As my long term favorite foundation being discontinued was what sent me on theis grand foundation quest to begin with, this is somewhat disheartening.

But in the end, I did enjoy using the elf tinted moisturizer this week. Hopefully I will have something to compare it to soon. And even though I really liked this product (even better than some of the pricier foundations I’ve tried this year) there are plenty of other products I have tried and liked. So I know it isn’t the only one out there for me. Knowing that actually helps me let go.

It also gives me license to pick up two new foundations to try, so it isn’t all bad.

e.l.f. cosmetics