Whenever I order makeup (or any beauty item from a makeup company) I almost always end up picking out a foundation sample if one is available. Every time. I think part of it is that for a really long time I had a foundation that I loved and purchased repeatedly and then of course it was discontinued. It was an old Becca Foundation actually. And of course now the brand is no more so, no more staple.
While I have found several I really enjoy using I haven’t gone back to the one foundation to rule them all. i just rotate through the ones I like and collect samples to try new ones. I think i am still ultimately looking for the one foundation. I have yet to find it.
What i have found are some good foundations, some bad foundations and a lot of mediocre ones. I have found some foundations that apply well with a brush but not with a sponge and a few that are the other way around. I have found some that don’t do well on their own but paired with the right primer are fantastic. I’ve even found a few that I can only wear in the summer and a few I can only wear in the depths of winter.
And while testing out a foundation is a bit like going on a blind date, trying out foundation samples is a bit more like speed dating. You have one shot to see if this formula is something you might want to actually have dinner with. Or purchase to wear. I often find myself wishing there was an in between. Something between foil packet speed dating and full bottle relationship.
If any makeup companies are actually reading this, might I suggest the two week long trial sized bottle. It’s enough to try a few dates without committing to a relationship.
Admittedly I love trial sized skincare. I rarely ever purchase moisturizer I haven’t tried in a sample size. I would love to be able to do that with foundations.
But today we are looking at three foil packets of foundations. Each one gave me one day of wear. And to get enough to cover my face I had to blend a couple of shades together. So shades are all over the place actually. I did identify the shade that matched me when I first opened the packets but with the blending it is not what ended up on my face.
The first foundation sample is from Clinique. It is the Even Better Clinical Serum Foundation with SPF 25. The specs:
24-hour, oil-free foundation with full coverage and a matte finish. Combines the longwearing coverage of a foundation with the transforming power of a serum to help visibly improve skin instantly and over time. So it’s long wear with skincare. Built with 3 serum technology, a powerhouse blend of good-for-skin ingredients: Clinique’s dark spot-fighting molecule UP302+ vitamin C, salicylic acid, and hyaluronic acid. Clinically proven to leave bare skin looking even better—smoother and more even. SPF 25 mineral sunscreens help protect skin from the look of discoloration. In 34 shades and a non-oxidizing formula for a perfect match that lasts throughout the day. Finish: Matte, Coverage: Full, buildable-coverage, Key Ingredients: Vitamin C, salicylic acid, hyaluronic acid, mineral SPF 25, Skin Type: Combination Oily, Oily
My skin type is in the Combination/normal range. In the summer I lean towards oily and in the winter I lean towards dry but never actually reach the oily or dry skin levels. It means there are some products, especially foundations, that are very seasonal for me. As spring has spring I am in the transitional stage of my skin where it is pretty well balanced. I am a little more oily in my t-zone but over all i am in that weird range that occurs for a few weeks in the spring and again in the fall where i am neither oily nor dry.
Over the course of these three foundations I used the same face products. They ae all products that i can use at any time of the year and they work well for me. As this was my first foundation test, I didn’t realize that I left off setting powder until I reached the second foundation sample packet and it wasn’t in the collected products makeup bag. That is because for me setting powder would have turned my face dry as a bone. With no setting powder I could wear this foundation. I liked the way it looked and the way it wore. I tend to write my daily makeup posts a little after lunch so that I can see how everything wears for at least half a day. By the time I write about the products I am wearing I have had them on for at least five hours. At that time, the foundation still looked good. It blended well into the skin and it was matte without being overly matte.
Since I had to combine packets to get enough product to wear I can’t speak to the buildability of it. I can say that towards the end of my day I was reaching for my facial mist a little bit more often and at the end of the day I was dry. My skin hadn’t dried out but as much as I liked this i knew it was not a product I could wear day in and day out. And I think that is the salicylic acid. It is great for drying up excess oil in your skin and i will turn to it in the summertime more than any other time, but even then I can only use salicylic based products for two or three days in a row before my skin starts feeling dry. The foundation looked lovely and performed well in the morning. It is simply designed for someone with more oily skin than i have. It is something i could use in a pinch, but only for a day or two. If you have dry skin you will want to avoid this foundation. If you have oily skin, you might want to give this Clinique Even Better Clinical Serum Foundation a go. It looks good and works well with oily skin. It just isn’t going to be for me.
Next up, we have the Very Valentino 24 hour wear Liquid Foundation with SPF 26. I am not sure why it is SPF 26 as that seems like an odd number to choose, but I found no reasons to explain it. While the Clinique also had SPF I didn’t feel it. With the Valentino I felt the sunscreen in the foundation. It had that slightly waxy oily feel that sunscreen infused foundations can get sometimes. It is what made me realize that there was no setting powder in my makeup bag actually. This was a foundation that needed a setting powder.
But first, the stats…
Very Light, Very Lasting, Very Valentino Foundation. This semi-matte finish perfectly balances three foundation dreams: buildable coverage, breathable and lightweight texture, and long-lasting 24-hour wear. Available in 40 shades, made for all skin tones. Very Valentino foundation features exclusive Light-Lasting™ Technology to deliver buildable, medium coverage with a comfortable, breathable feel. Formulated with an extra-light powder that can absorb up to 3 times its own weight, the formula allows for a perfect, hydrated, semi-matte foundation finish that lasts all day long. Available in 40 inclusive shades, made for all skin tones. The foundation range was developed in partnership with extensive research on 5,000 women in eight countries across every continent. To ensure perfect coverage and feel, our formula is tailored to each skin tone, ensuring the most perfect finish from the lightest to deepest foundation shade.
Benefits: Semi-Matte Finish, 24 hour-wear, Buildable Coverage, Lightweight and breathable, Transfer-resistant, Comfortable feel, SPF 26
As it was a packet, I only had one day of wear with it. Since it is supposed to be 24 hr wear I tried to wear it as long as I could. I had it on for eleven hours and had absolutely no problems with it. the semi-matte finish was fantastic. I loved the way it looked. Again, I had to combine shades to cover my face, so I can’t speak to the buildability, but basic coverage looked beautiful. The issue is that it made me feel slightly greasy. I think part of that was the SPF in the product. Part of that may be that it was designed for someone with drier skin than me.
If you have oily skin then i would definitely suggest giving this a pass. I want to say that if you had skin that was drier than mine you might want to give it a try, but thee is still the sunscreen issue. The product had that ‘I have sunscreen mixed in’ feel to it. To me that read as greasy feeling when i wore it. If you have dry skin that might still be an issue but then again it might not. I would suggest sampling it before purchasing to see how you feel about it. For me, the feel made this Very Valentino 24 hr wear Liquid Foundation with spf 26 a pass. which is a shame because it looked good and performed well. I just know that because of the feel I would just find reasons not to reach for it.
And finally we come to the third foundation packet in my trio. it is the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation. And how is it described…
Achieve a radiant, natural-looking makeup look with the iconic LUMINOUS SILK foundation by Armani Beauty.
LUMINOUS SILK is a multi-award-winning liquid foundation with a silky, lightweight texture that delivers all-day buildable medium coverage with a satin glow finish for naturally flawless-looking skin and a no-makeup makeup look. This oil-free foundation is formulated with exclusive Micro–fil & trade technology, a patented process that allows the pigments to lay flat on the skin’s surface for a seamless application and a natural, second-skin effect. A tried-and-true makeup artist and celebrity favorite, this hydrating foundation helps sculpt and brighten skin, improve skin texture, and blur imperfections, all while delivering a fresh, long-lasting, lit-from-within glow. Available in up to 40 shades to match every unique skin tone. Suitable for all skin types
Again I had to combine shades to get enough product for application so while I am sure i can find my appropriate shade within their 40 shades, the one I am wearing is a mash up of about three.
Of the foundation samples I tried this is the only one that wasn’t really a matte finish. Normally I go for matte finishes, but for this I am willing to make an exception. The foundation went on like, well silk. if silk melted into the skin and made my skin look better than it was. There is a slight luminosity to the foundation. I used a matte Primer (Tatcha Silk Canvas) underneath and the two paired beautifully. I think because I am okay with a little glow but lean more into matte than I do dewy I would stick to matte primers when using this foundation.
And oh yes, I would use this again. It did not settle into my fine lines and it made my skin look great. it felt weightless and was neither too greasy or two drying. I have to say i feel a bit like Goldilocks. the first foundation was too dry, the second foundation too oily but the third foundation was just right.
Seriously, this had everything I liked about a foundation and it was easy to see why it won awards. I think of the three it was also the most expensive. And while price doesn’t always equate to value, from what I tried with this sample, this foundation might actually be worth the price. In my spring clear out, I will be going through the foundation drawer and marking the foundations with low product out for using up. I have several foundations I need to use up before I actually purchase another one. However when I do, I believe this Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation will be on my list. At the moment their Velvet Liquid lipstick is already on my products I really want list. I had a few samples of that a while back and it just performed fantastically well. Those are the only two products I have tried from the Giorgio Armani beauty and both have immediately made my list. It does make me want to take more of a look at the brand. But for now, this Luminous Silk Foundation was a clear winner and a product i will try more of in the future.
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