Friday, April 29, 2016

Two-Faced: An Arbonne VP Test Drives Designer Foundations

You guys know I always give it to you straight.  So I have a confession.....

*whispers*......despite being an Arbonne Vice President,  I am also a Sephora VIB* (pauses for gasps).  I believe in my heart that Arbonne has the best products in the world, but sometimes a girl needs to pick up a few other things elsewhere.  This is newsworthy, I know.  Not.  But that does mean that Sephora is always offering me tons of free products, even full-size, to try.  Lately they must have caught on that I never buy foundation from them anymore, because they have been pushing foundation options on me like crazy.  Since it is free, I took them up on it so I could run a quick makeup trial for you guys.  I am all about market research.

You guys....the fact that I am even posting these is how you know I am all in for you.  Selfies, even for a purpose, are not my favorite :)  Let's just say I don't suggest taking pictures of your face after a long day at home with kiddos!

Here are three reviews of recent foundation samples.  I applied two of the foundations the same way, for fairness-no primer (although to be honest, two of the three of these suggested a primer in the instructions), and with my foundation brush, and the last (Clinique) with fingers because of the nature of the product.

First up, I tried Marc Jacobs Re(marc)able Full Coverage Foundation.  As the name suggests, it is full in, very, very full coverage.  Like a mask almost.  The instructions suggest starting with one dot to cover your whole face, with up to three dots for more coverage.  Now I love good coverage in a foundation, but frankly, I couldn't have taken any more coverage than one dot gave me.  It was very difficult to get that one dot blended in properly and spread far enough to be even on my entire face.  The product literature tells us that they took the water out of the formulation, which is what may be contributing to its fast drying time.  It also sank into my pores so badly after a few hours that I had foundation dots on every pore-up close.  I looked like pop art.  Not cute.  That being said, it wore very well.

At application:                After a few hours:

Coverage: very full.  You can see how masklike it is from the pictures
Tests on animals: No
Uses animal products: Yes
Paraben-free: Yes
Gluten-free: No
Follows EU standards: I couldn't find a clear answer to this, but Marc Jacobs Beauty does have ingredient lists on the website, which I appreciate
Price: $55 for .75oz

The second foundation I tested was Urban Decay's Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup.  I had high hopes for this one, because I find UD's products to be very high quality, in general.  In the past, I have enjoyed their Naked Palettes, and their eye shadow primer.  Just like above, the name suggests the coverage level you will get this foundation.  The literature claims this coverage is buildable, but I found it to be very light.  I loved how it applied very smoothly, and it felt great on.  However, three hours later, it looked like I had never applied makeup at all.  I did indeed look like I had naked skin, so this one would be a no-go for me.  Those of you who like just a little bit of coverage would probably appreciate this one more.

At application:                    After a few hours:

Coverage: very light to buildable
Tests on animals: No
Uses animal products: No
Paraben-free: Yes
Gluten-free: No
Follows EU standards: No, or at least not listed under the brand's commitment page
Price: $40 for 1 oz

In this same shipment, Sephora also sent me a full-size Clinique Chubby Foundation Stick.  Here's what I loved about it: super easy to apply directly from the stick, and blends nicely.  The stick formula of the foundation makes it super portable.  I think this would be great to keep in your bag as a touch-up for your foundation.  Here's what I didn't love: although the stick has buildable coverage, when you do build more coverage, it starts to look a little heavy and sink into your pores a bit.  I also don't love the way it feels waxy on my skin.  In pictures, I can see that it didn't blend as well as I thought.  It seems a little splotchy in places. The wear was also a little bit disappointing-it looked worn off and shiny after a few hours.  Still, not a bad option to keep in your purse or gym bag, if you aren't concerned over the ingredients (see below):

At application:                     After a few hours: 

Coverage: buildable
Tests on animals: Clinique claims only where required by law.  PETA says yes they do.
Uses animal products: yes
Paraben-free: Clinique does not share ingredient lists, but my research made it look like yes, at least most of the brand is paraben-free
Gluten-free: No
Follows EU standards: I could find very little information on ingredients because Clinique does not publicly share them, but EWG rates the brand as a whole from 2-6, which is low-moderate for toxins.
Price: $24 for .21oz (always check the amount of product you are getting!  Unless it is specifically marketed as being concentrated, sometimes a product looks inexpensive because you are just plain getting less.  For example, if you got the same size of this as the UD Foundation above, it would actually cost about $100)

*So what do I still buy from Sephora?  Living Proof hair care that Arbonne doesn't offer (dry shampoo, texture spray, hair primer), fragrance, professional grade beauty tools (curling irons, hair dryers, Beauty Blenders, etc), and occasional makeup options to test drive.  Because I can't help myself.

There you have it!  My not-so-secret Sephora addiction revealed.  Phew.  I feel better.

Hope these pictures help you in your quest for the perfect foundation!

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