Sunday, April 6, 2014

Chronicles in the hunt for the perfect foundation - episode 1

Warning - rant ahead.

I'm not usually a foundation kind of person. I'm far too lazy for that! I do, however, have them in my arsenal for special events, or on the rare occasion I want to get all dressed up. 

Part of the reason why I despise foundation is that I don't like how it feels on my face - I end up feeling all suffocated and icky. The other reason is because I haven't found one that I find comfortable enough to tolerate.

Now, all I ask of my foundation is that (a) it stays on my super oily face for a decent period of time, (b) it doesn't make me look like an oil slick (or too unnatural) and (c) is reasonably comfortable to wear (fuss free for the win!)

I haven't found any of them, but in my quest to find my holy grail, I've learnt a few things, like how to match (along the jawline), what my undertone is (yellow) and how to best test a foundation (get a sample, wear it on your face, check how it looks in daylight, and whether or not it oxidizes).

So while I don't claim to be a know-it-all, I know enough to have expectations from when I go on the hunt.

After hearing everyone and their mother talk about MAC, I decided to take a chance today and get myself matched, if nothing else than to have a base reference (since everyone I know talks about their skin tones in terms of MAC shades, and I don't know mine!). Given that there's no free-standing MAC store here, I went to Nordstorm's where they have a MAC counter. This is where things started going very downhill.

I went in with the thought that I'd be recommended a foundation. I was looking for a light-medium coverage and a full coverage one. When I went in to ask, the sales associate (SA) asked me what foundation I wanted - ummm, I just asked for your recommendation, lady. When I repeated what I wanted, she looked bored, walked off, and called me over, and started matching me to foundations. She took out several that were clearly too dark for me, and ignored me when I pointed that out - she went about swatching them on my skin and then muttered about it being too dark (I told you that!). Finally she says she found a match, and tells me I'm number 6 in the MAC Matchmaster and C6 in MAC Face and Body. 

Now, that sounded a little too dark for me, so I asked for samples in one shade below as well. She ignored me, and gave me the samples for the number 6 and C6. Uhh. What the what.

I shrugged it off, and asked her for a good concealer that won't crease and will last a while. She looked at me, smirked (yes, smirked) and told me that as long as I had lines under my eyes, my concealer would crease. By this time I was pissed, and asked her for a long lasting concealer. She looks at me, rolls her eyes, and gives me a sample of NW35 (which is wrong - NW is meant for cool undertones and I'm definitely warm!) and walks off.

I didn't want to waste my time with her or any of the other SA's there and came home, where I took off the foundation I had tried on (I had gone to Sephora before and tried out the Tarte foundation - I even told this to her and she ignored it) and surprise, surprise, it was too dark. Granted, it was about a shade off, but it was still too dark, something she would have known had she bothered to check under natural light! I then went on to try the concealer, and wouldn't you know it - it made my dark circles look very ashy and unnatural.

Look lady, I get that you don't want to "waste" your time on someone who isn't going to buy anything (even though it's your job to cater to potential customers), but being that disrespectful and ignoring someone who's there to try something that you're selling means that you're losing a sale in the future. Being rude and snarky does not endear me to you, or to what you're selling. And given the plethora of options out there, don't think that I'm going to be forced to come back to you to spend my money. It ain't happening.

On the plus side, I do like the consistency of the Face and Body. It's what I've been looking for. I might end up getting it in C5, and hope for the best.

Do y'all have a crazy foundation story? How did your foundation hunt go? Comment below and let me know!


  1. Don't even get me started, oh well, you have. First time around I was matched to an NC43.5/44 which was SO orange I looked like an Oompa lumpa. Ugh. And they suggested that I get Studio Fix Fluid which is so heavy and yuck, ugh. ANYWAY - I used that for a while/both that and a few concealers all in the wrong colour - but I used it only when I went out on weekends or for special occasions so it was fine. Once I finished college and started going out with this during the day, I realized the error, so I went back and by some miracle the SA matched me with C5 in Face and Body (now that my tan has worn off completely I could even get a C4 but C5 is still pretty decent) which was as perfect as could be for me.
    I also realized my hand and my jaw are the exact same colour, so I just match myself nowdays. I know what to look for.

    Now, onto you, you look like you would be a C5 too! And she suggested NW35 because it sort of works as a concealer/corrector for yellow toned skin - so it would brighten your under eye area while correcting the darkness.
    I'd suggest getting the Pro Longwear Concealer in NC42 so you can use it on your face if you want and over the Bobbi Brown Dark Peach Corrector. Pro longwear doesn't really crease - its a good concealer. Face and Body is super light and feels like water (in a goodway) you'll love it. Try a different MAC Store?

    Hope this helps you a little? :)

    1. You're so awesome. I'm definitely getting the Face and Body - I'm so impressed with how light it feels! I made the mistake of getting the Tarte Amazonian Clay foundation - that thing is full coverage and I'm not so happy with how it feels. I'm still going to give it a try though, if it still sucks I'll return it.

      The NW35 made my dark circles look ashy - which was definitely a first for me! I'm thinking of getting the Pro longwear in NC35 (for undereye) and NC42 (for the rest of my scar-ridden face :P )

      Unfortunately there's no other MAC store around me, which mean I'll have to work with trial and error. I suspect I'm NC44. Ugh, I'm trying not to tan, but getting a decent sunscreen that doesn't make me oily is so hard.

      What are you favorite foundations? I have my eye on the Chanel one, since I've heard you rave about it! :)

    2. MAC foundations seem to oxidize on most people over time (just be aware of that) Instead of NC 35, try maybe a Touche eclat/ Maybelline Dream Lumi touch/ L'oreal Lumi Magique concealer maybe? If highlighting is what you're looking for? But NC 35 sounds like a good idea too.
      The Neutrogena sunscreen no good? I also hear very good things about the Khiel's one!

      Vitalumier Aqua is the bomb. Has to be my favorite foundation, hands down! If only it didn't have SPF... :P

    3. The Chanel one isn't as light as Face and Body but its still pretty amazing.
      Recently, I tried the Bourjois Happy Light Foundation. SO good, doesn't feel like foundation, but bloody excellent in terms of longevity and all that jazz. Add it to your "to try" list. :P

    4. Man, I have my eye on everything Bourjois, they're so bloody good. I wish there was a way of getting them here - especially the darker shades! :/

    5. Hmmm, I might dabble with the Maybelline one. I just want my dark circles to be covered, is that too much to ask!! /end rant

      Neutrogena turns me oily, can you believe it? I'm trying out a Cerave one, and so far, so good. It's only SPF 30 though, and ideally I want something with a higher SPF.

    6. Order Bourjois via ASOS - Happy Light shade 54 might work for you, it looks light at first, but it oxidizes ever so slightly.