I know that with so many new foundations on the market this year, you might already be thinking: what can be so different about this one? Well, stick with me especially if your skin doesn’t fancy silicone or alcohol denat, as Guerlain Parure de Lumière doesn’t have half of its ingredient list’s worth of them!
The biggest paradox about makeup is perhaps that sometimes we want to look like we’re not wearing any. Type in the words “no-makeup makeup” on Youtube, and the search engine will retrieve pages of results. I am a big fan of putting some colors and sparkle on my lids, but there is one thing I don’t want to seem like I’m wearing… foundation. Foundation is supposed to fake flawless skin, not to declare its presence to the world. If you’re with me, then ladies we’re in luck! Giorgio Armani is putting a new offering on the table that will take no-makeup makeup to another level!
I am not going to dwell on the “science” part here, because chances are you have all read the sales pitch somewhere on the Internet already. In short, after 8 years of research, Giorgio Armani is proposing a whole new category of face makeup (it is not termed as a foundation, but it does what a foundation does in your wildest imagination). Instead of water or powder, it contains 5 oils which evaporate at different speed throughout the day. The “smart pigment” technology also allows the 9 shades (12 for the US) in the line-up to have everyone covered. I’ve been using this for almost 4 weeks now, and I am going to tell you what you can expect from it!
I have shied away from foundations till I purchased Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation in #53 Light Beige for a lot of reasons. I have received samples of different foundations from time to time in the past, but I always had the impression that they felt like a mask on my face, made my T-zone super oily, or just didn’t feel/look natural. My skin is generally speaking pretty OK aside from some blackheads and enlarged pores on my nose, pigmentation spots on my cheeks, and occasional acne caused by hormones. Therefore, I never made up my mind to take up the task of finding a foundation.
I was watching the Youtube channel of the talented makeup artist Lisa Eldridge one day, and saw her use Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation in some of her tutorials. That sort of sparked my interest. Since it would be my first foundation ever, and I didn’t know if I would make a habit out of using it, I did not want to splurge out on a high-end one. After reading a lot of positive reviews about the Healthy Mix Foundation, I set out to test it out in a drugstore. Coming from someone who had been detesting foundation in general till that point, it was surprising how much I liked it! It is light-weight, natural, and has a slightly dewy finish. After selecting my shade in #53 Light Beige (I am about NC30 in MAC at the moment, but in summer I could go a shade darker), this baby came home with me.
The packaging of this foundation is great. Being a drugstore product, I find it normal that the bottle is not made of glass or doesn’t look luxurious. It is, however, very practical. I am a big fan of the pump, because it gives you very precise control of how much product you need. I like to pump out a tiny amount each time for several times, and I haven’t had too much product coming out even once! It blends easily into my skin with my fingers (no need to invest in a brush right from the start, hooray), which is pretty convenient!
I have been testing it out for quite a while now, and I can tell you this is definitely one of the drugstore gems! It only offers a light coverage, but if I use two thin layers under my eyes, it does enough to counter the darkness (do note I do not have very big dark circles/bags under my eyes though). It evens out my skin tone, makes it look healthy and radiant, and for my combination skin it isn’t too oily at all. I set it with a tiny amount of Tarte Smooth Operator finishing powder, and it stays put all day. It has never slipped off my face or made it look obvious that I am wearing foundation. It is just a second layer of more perfect-looking skin, and it does not oxidize (change color) on me. I have yet to witness it settling into my pores or fine lines (which I don’t really have, but certain products can make them show by creasing). What I wish to add is also the fact that I have allergies, and it is quite impossible for me to go through one day without blowing my nose. In the past, all the other foundations I have tried left a yellow mess on the tissue (gross, I know), but this one is just fine! I’m not going to tell you nothing will ever come off with all the nose-blowing, but it is definitely no way as bad as what I have experienced before.
Something else I love about this foundation is the fact that it doesn’t lean too pink. A lot of foundations, especially those produced by European or American companies, have a strong pink undertone which will never look right on my skin. This one, however, has a yellowish undertone that blends right into my skin. I would say that 53 is a tiny bit lighter than my skin tone and 54 a tiny bit darker, but 53 is already a pretty good match and I will probably grab 54 when summer comes.
The foundation has a sweet, fruity smell that doesn’t bother me because it doesn’t linger for too long. I think Bourjois chose to add it so that it would reinforce the impression that the foundation contains all the fruit extract it is supposed to have. A little goes a long way. If you see the picture below, that tiny amount of foundation was more than enough for the back of my hand. To take the comparison picture of half of my hand with and the other half without foundation, I had to wash it off and start over again.
Now, just to give you a general idea about how much coverage it has and how it looks on skin, here is the back of my hand. The left side has no foundation while the right side does.
Even when you get so uncomfortably up close and personal, you don’t really see “makeup.” You see less pores and more evened-out skin, that’s it!
The only problem I can see with this foundation is its limited selection of shades. In Belgium, only 6 shades are available. Since there are only 3 shades that are darker than 53, it really doesn’t go that far. However, this does seem like a common problem when it comes to drugstore foundations, so it is not exclusive to Bourjois or the Healthy Mix line in particular. Also, it doesn’t have an spf. The trade-off is that it photographs very naturally without the white cast that foundations with an spf could give, but if you want some sun protection while using this foundation you might need a day cream with one.
Bottom line: if you have normal-to-combination skin and you want a foundation with light coverage and slightly dewy finish, I would highly recommend Healthy Mix. I would encourage you to set your goals while looking for a foundation, including the amount of coverage (light, medium, heavy. This also plays a role in how “heavy” the foundation feels on skin) you want, the type of finish (dewy or matte. If you have oilier skin you might want something more matte et cetera), and how hydrating/mattifying you want it to be depending on your skin type and the climate you live in.
Also, a word from Bourjois on different undertones: “Bourjois has developed a range of natural shades, with an ideal balance of pink and yellow, to match all skin tones and boost your skin a radiance boost! All you have to do is choose your colour gradation depending on your skin tone. No need to deliberate (from their UK website)!” Just to give you an example though, the French website says the same thing about the new Flower Perfection line. However, according to the adorable BunBun, it is a tad pink on her. So again, foundations are highly possibly even more personal than other makeup items. I strongly encourage you to try it out (or at least read as much as you can about it) before making the purchase!
How about you? What is your holy grail/current go-to foundation and what do you love about it? What are your criteria when it comes to selecting a foundation? Please let me know in the comments below!