Saturday, September 15, 2012

Face It

Purchasing a new foundation has been on my "to-buy" list for the longest time but I never had the courage to splurge on one because I know it's not something I use everyday since my skin isn't very problematic (and also because I'm plain lazy and don't have time lol). I just wanted a new one for the special occasions and a good one that matches my skin tone well. So when I walked into Sephora and asked a MUA to recommend me a long lasting matte foundation with medium coverage she took me to the NARS section. Although Sheer Glow is the spotlight for many bloggers and youtube gurus I personally prefer a matte finish so I decided to go with Sheer Matte. As for MUF's Duo Mat powder, a few of my girl friends use this and recommended it to me so I decided to try it out.

Sheer Matte - The Claims:

What it is:
A soft, matte finish foundation with sheer and buildable coverage.

What it does:
This Sheer Matte Foundation enhances, without masking, your overall natural complexion. The weightless formula absorbs oil and keeps skin shine free all day long. The complexion brightening properties improve skin brightness, radiance, and texture, leaving the complexion with a luminous, fresh finish.

What else you need to know:
Suitable for normal, normal-to-oily, oily, and very oily skins types. 

NARS Sheer Matte in Stromboli (Medium 3)

Having read the descriptions and a plethora of raves on the product I had high hopes for this foundation. Even if it isn't receiving as much love compared to the Sheer Glow, I thought this couldn't have been anywhere too far off from being good. I like how there is a really wide range of colours for pink, neutral and warm undertones and I am really happy that it matches my skin tone. It has medium coverage (the word "sheer" is a bit misleading as it is really just meant to describe the finish, not the coverage - so don't be fooled!) and makes my skin flawlessly natural without looking cakey or fake. Sheer Matte (and Sheer Glow) doesn't have SPF which makes it great for flash photography. In my opinion, this foundation isn't matte at all but instead it has a subtly dewy matte finish (in a good way) if that makes any sense (and from the reviews I have read/watched, the finish between Sheer Glow and Sheer Matte is relatively similar). But unfortunately, aside from the initial finish after fresh application I am disappointed and it sucks that this didn't work for me. My face was oily and greasy looking after 3 hours with a setting powder and I was at home not doing anything heavy duty at all. I have combination skin but I know for a fact that my skin does not misbehave so quickly like this and I didn't have a longevity problem with my previous drugstore foundation. I will be returning this foundation.

A Break Down:

The Pros
  • wide range of colors for different types of undertones ranging from light to dark
  • looks natural on the skin with medium coverage
  • buildable coverage to an extent - it will not cover all your pimples/acne flaws but it's no big deal as there is something called a concealer lol
  • blendable (some people have said that this foundation is thick and hard to blend but I personally don't have a problem with it so it may just be the method you used to apply the foundation)
The Cons
  • very expensive ($55 for 30 mL)
  • can be hard to pour out of the bottle because the foundation is a bit thick 
  • does not last long on the face, oily within a few hrs (if this wasn't the problem, I'd keep this product)
  • I honestly don't care or mind that it doesn't come with a pump because I dot the foundation with my fingers around my face....but for the insane amount of money I have paid for this foundation, I would expect nothing less than perfect packaging (if you want a pump, you have to buy it for $6 (shipping not included) off of the Nars website...what the hell NARS...what the hell)

Duo Mat - The Claims:

What it is:
A long-lasting, oil-free mattifying powder foundation for normal to combination skin types.

What it is formulated to do:
Provides a shine-free finish that covers blemishes and other imperfections and perfectly evens out the skintone.

Make Up For Ever Duo Mat in 203 Light Beige

I know that this is meant to be a powder foundation but I use this more as a setting powder for my concealer and foundation for an extra boost in coverage, mattifying properties and longevity. This is my first face powder that provides coverage, so I can't really give any comparisons or further insights but I do think this is a really good powder. It keeps my combination skin matte for most of the day and gives a good amount of coverage. As mentioned before, I currently have two pimples/zits on my face and this hides them fairly well with a few pats on the icky spot. I also like to use this to even out the redness around my nose. This is such an easy and fast product to use that I really do prefer this over concealer! It doesn't cover everything but for minor flaws this is great. The only thing to watch out for when using this product is that even though the coverage is buildable, a heavy hand will make your face look cakey and unattractive so you definitely need to apply sparingly.

A Break Down:

The Pros

  • good range of colours to match different skin tones
  • decent and buildable coverage
  • easy to use/apply
  • mattifying and lasts quite long on the face
  • good packaging - I like the magnetic closure and how it made the powder flipable to have the sponge underneath the product 
The Cons
  • although the powder is nice and finely milled, it can get the rims a bit powdery at times depending on how you dip your brush in it
  • can be cakey or powdery if you over apply (it is recommended to only use a maximum of 2 layers)
  • expensive ($38 - but because it is a good product, I guess the price can be justifiable-ish...maybe) 
  • wish it came with a bigger mirror

Btw, I want to apologize for the lack of posts but I've been having some major issues with class enrollment this semester so I've been stressfully and hectically running around school between advisors and profs for the last 2 weeks to get my butt into the classes I want and need. Although it has been solved, the new problem now is to catch up on all the stuff I have missed! UGH. Anyways, I hope you guys are having a good weekend and I'll get back to you guys asap cause I did some major retail therapy to treat myself LOL :3


  1. i really want to try the make up forever powder, but we don't have it here in australia :(

    1. awww that sucks. If you can, maybe buy it online? :)

  2. Awww I'm sorry the NARS fondation isn't working out for you! Funny how that works. I still get shiny but it doesn't....separate like other foundations do when the oil comes at full know what I mean? LOL. Isn't it hard finding the right foundation for us oily gals?? It's so frustrating. I just keep reminding myself that it mens my skins will be youthful and less wrinkly when I'm old! ;D

    1. The main problem for me is that it starts separating on my t-zone and gets all shiny and oily really quickly. If it lasted at least 6-8hrs I would certainly forgive it's fault. It seems to be holding up slightly better with a primer underneath but I'm still not impressed. I totally agree it's so frustrating to find the right foundation! HAHAHA I like your way of thinking, that just makes me smile XD

  3. Buuu so bad that the fundation doesn't work for you :/
    Have you tried to mix it with another foundation?? maybe like so works better :/

    1. I only have one other foundation and I guess maybe mixing the 2 might work and I'd get better longevity but then it defeats the whole purpose of buying a high end product. This is so expensive so I expected better. I ended up buying Chanel's Perfection Lumiere after I returned this. Gonna try it out and do a post on it soon :)

  4. I can feel your pain with enrolment issues - so annoying and time-consuming to have to sort them out! Glad it's all settled now though.

    $55 is really expensive. Sheer Glow was $US42 but in NYC there's 8.875% sales tax, so it's more like $46. It was the foundation that I opted for when I was in Sephora deciding on a high end foundation to buy. I wanted to also get Chanel Vita Aqualumiere but I never managed to get around to it ... and then when I spotted it at the airport, they didn't have my colour. Sorry to hear that Sheer Matte was such a disappointment! But at least you can return it. Makes me wonder if I purchased a returned product - cos the bottle of Sheer Glow I bought was definitely used (since there were foundation marks on the black rubberised cap!!!).

    I've not tried many powders before but the MUFE one seems like a good pick, especially for greater pigmentation and coverage than normal powders. I did pick up the Laura Mercier mineral powder while in NYC and I'm a little on the fence about it. It can definitely be used as a kind of light coverage foundation though, when buffed into the skin with a kabuki or stippling brush.

    1. I know right?! All the prices in Canada are jacked up plus, we have a 12% HST Tax!!! We are definitely paying a lot more than we should. While I was at the Chanel counter, I wanted to get the Vitalumiere Aqua as well but I don't think it'll be that great for my combination skin type as well as for my personal reasons to buy a foundation. Vitalumiere Aqua seems like a better option if I were to get one for every day use, so I opted for the Perfection Lumiere instead. It's too bad you couldn't get your hands on VA! I would've loved to know your opinions on it. Maybe try buying it online? I know it's a bit tricky for getting the right shade for foundations though. Hmmm, maybe you can try emailing Sephora? I'm not sure how international exchange policies work for them. Hopefully you can get a new one!

      Oohh what's keeping you from loving the Laura Mercier mineral powder? I heard good things about it but I knew I much preferred the MUFE one cause I wanted a sleek compact pressed powder - loose powders are just too much a hassle for my personal preference haha.