Foundation Collection : 15 and counting… + video


There’s no other way to say this. I am unashamedly a foundation collector and have no real reason to justify this weird addiction to this single makeup product. Regardless of what good things I may be using or claiming to have a found a favourite, the immediate attraction when a brand new drop hits the new arrivals page is like nature’s calling. On the flip side, this means I actually have a collection video to show you because the average person certainly doesn’t own 15 foundations…and counting.

…and of course just in case you’re looking for more skin tone matches, I have a few other brand colours listed under the My Stats tab at the top of the page. Over the years I’ve used a fair share of both drugstore and high end offerings but sometimes you just have to admit that drugstore shades are far and lacking. If you’re also a self proclaimed foundation collector, I’d love to know your favourites for your skin type!

Happy Sunday,

COVERGIRL | Vitalist Elixir Foundation + Swatches


It’s not often that the drugstore comes out with a foundation that reads like my dream straight on the bottle… lightweight, full coverage, hydrating, SPF20 and contain a cocktail of vitamins for my skin, this is the Covergirl Vitalist Elixir* foundation. With so many glowing reviews online, I was eager to give this a whirl and see if its really a drugstore gem but there’s a lot more to a base product than a first glance. 
Brand: Covergirl
Product: Vitalist Elixir Foundation* SPF20
Size: 30ml
Colour: 14 shades (shown: Classic Ivory)
My other colour matches: See here
Price:  $14-18 CAD
Availability: Drugstores nationwide (Walmart, London Drugs etc)
Would I (re)purchase: No.
Water / Eau, Cyclopentasiloxane, Propylene Glycol, Talc, Dimethicone, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Sodium Chloride, PEG / PPG-18 / 18 Dimethicone, PVP, Benzyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylene / Methacrylate Copolymer, Trihydroxystearin, Arachidyl Behenate, Methicone, Silica, Sodium Benzoate, Synthetic Wax, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Hexyl Laurate, Cetyl PEG / PPG-10 / 1 Dimethicone, Ethylene Brassylate, Behenic Acid, Polyethylene. May Contain: Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides.
Housed in a luxurious and well designed glass bottle, I love that this comes with a great pump and locking mechanism to prevent accidental makeup bag spillage. The added SPF will be a welcomed addition for most makeup lovers but I do personally prefer my own sunblock. There are currently 14 shades listed on the Covergirl website and on the shelves, ranging from a light to a medium dark spectrum.
Application is really easy with this formula and looks great with fingers, a sponge or a brush as the product is creamy and blends easily over moisturized skin. I didn’t feel the need for a primer over my usual trouble zones as this had great glide and didn’t accentuate skin texture too much. It left my face soft to the touch and has imparts a satin finish, which given its currently winter time, I didn’t bother with a setting powder. In fact, I must say the overall look on the skin is beautiful!
Covergirl | Classic Ivory (3rd from top vs my other foundations)

So if you’ve been wondering up until now why I’v listed this as a flash review and not a full review like I usual do, perhaps this picture will explain the situation. This was one of the very rare occasions which I applied a foundation, gawked in horror in the mirror, decided it was not salvageable and then promptly washed everything off to start over. While Covergirl is certainly not know for having the best shades, the fact that they decided this shade of dark apricot fit the idea of Classic Ivory is completely perplexing to me. Needless to say, I wasn’t able to fully test the foundation due to the lack of colours for my skin tone. Word on the street is that this also further oxidizes to an even deeper shades once it’s set in but I didn’t stick around long enough to find out. 
Chat soon,

SHISEIDO | Synchro Skin Lasting Foundation


When it comes to big name beauty brands, Shiseido is an international powerhouse that somehow manages to stay under the radar here in North America. With a whole string of well established sub-brands under its name in the overseas market, I always wishes there would be more to explore yet low and behold Shiseido releases two harmonizing base products; Synchro Skin Luminizing Foundation and Synchro Skin Lasting Foundation. I had the chance to test out the latter in the past few weeks.

Brand: Shiseido
Product: Synchro-Skin Foundation SPF20*
Colours: 11 shades
Size: 30ml
Price: 58CAD
Availability: The Bay, Nordstrom, Shiseido counters
Would I (re)purchase: No
Better Alternative: MAC Waterweight Foundation
Note: This product was provided by Influenster & Shiseido as a testing sample. I am not otherwise paid. All thoughts and review details are solely my own. 

Packaged in a sleek frosted pump bottle, the Shiseido Synchro-Skin echoes the fluid lines of familiar Japanese design. Though heavier in glass, it doesn’t take up too much space on my vanity however the cap has to be matched a certain way to click closed which has be fickle.

Due to the formulation, I recommend a vigorous shake before attempting to use the foundation for the first time. The high water content means there’s often separation in the bottle so don’t be alarmed if the first few pumps are just clear liquid.

Appropriately mixed, the texture of Synchro-Skin is smooth and creamy; easily spread with a brush or a sponge though I personally prefer the latter. The product spreads quite thin over the skin and feels very lightweight.

The shade I had been testing out is labeled Neutral on the bottle but the Shiseido’s website appears to denote an intensity number which I am not able to find. Upon initial application, the colour looks quite close to my skin tone but is perhaps a smidge dark compared to my neck. There is slight oxidization throughout the day. Unfortunately this foundation doesn’t brighten up my complexion and I tend to look dull in a hour or two. See my other foundation matches here.

With varying methods of application, I can achieve a range between light to medium coverage which is great for everyday wear. There is a tendency to cling to dry patches so a heavier moisturizer or a smoothing primer is recommended. Over applying and over buffing the foundation can also emphasize dry patches. The initial dry down is a soft matte but will soften to a satin finish in about 30 minutes.

Shiseido | Synchro Skin Lasting Foundation (shade: Natural)

I found average wear to be 4-5 hours on my combination skin before it starts to breakdown so it’s not particularly long wearing at all for it’s name. Oil control is lacking when worn alone. I prefer the finish on the drier parts of my face after a few hours of wear but by then my forehead will need to be touched up.

This foundation needs proper double cleansing to remove. I initially noticed clogged pores after frequent wear but more thorough cleansing seemed to help. This is something I recommend taking off as soon as you get home instead of waiting around until bedtime.


The Shiseido Synchro-Skin Lasting Foundation* is a light to medium coverage creamy product with a satin finish. The finish does look very pretty but it is for a very specific customer; someone who doesn’t have too many dry patches, has normal skin (or prefers to wear a primer) and isn’t concerned about longevity. In every sense I simply found this to be a very average foundation. Personally, many things fall short for me but I may potentially give the glow version a try. 

Chat soon,
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ARMANI | Power Fabric Foundation


Just like those sleek black suits they do so well, when Armani releases a new foundation, everyone’s buzzing about it. While there has a been a few base product launches in recent year, the Power Fabric Foundation* seemed to me like the brand’s way of re-energizing their image… after all they are known for the untouchable Luminous Silk. With words like matte, flawless and full coverage being the selling points these days, Armani plays its card. I’ve used it pretty consistently for the past month and I’m ready to talk.
Brand: Giorgio Armani
Product: Power Fabric Foundation* SPF25
Size: 30 ml
Shades: 12 Shades (Canada), 20 Shades (USA)
Price: $64 USD / $70 CAD
Details: Made in France
Availability: Sephora, The Bay, Armani Online / Counters
Would I repurchase: Probably not.
Presented in an iconic frosted glass bottle, what denotes Power Fabric is the red Armani insignia on the lacquered cap. Pumping out the product, I was surprised that it had a thick almost moussey consistency but it applied thin on the skin and blended out easily whether you used fingers, beauty blender or a dense fluffy brush. There is an every so slight skincare scent to the foundation but it was neither strong or bothersome. One full pump will give you a single half face application so this is certainly one of those products that you will run through fast with regular wear.
TOP – BOTTOM | Power Fabric #3.5 | Luminous Silk #02

According to the Sephora website, there’s currently a spectrum of 12 shades available in Canada and 20 shades listed in the USA ranging from but there’s likely additional offerings around different parts of the world according to the regional demographic – it’s a pretty popular set up by many luxury brands. My testing shade was #3.5 and is listed as neutral for fair skin tones which blended in like a great match despite coming off very dark and red in the bottle. You can see (below) that it’s a smidge dark compared to my neck but not terribly noticeable. My usual shade is MAC NC15-NC20, see my full range of matches on My Stats page.
I prefer wearing this over a pore smoothing primer especially for the center zone of my face but my swatches are over bare skin. It does cling slightly to flaky patches and I find a beauty blender is best for those problem areas with texture. Power Fabric photographs so beautifully! Despite being marketed as full coverage, I would call one layer a medium and I had a hard time building it up to a true completely coverage. Non the less, I love how it retains a touchable skin like quality and it’s certainly not a true matte foundation. Dry down has a slight powdery touch and there is also some transfer if left unset.

Armani Power Fabric Foundation 2//

This is where things started to go downhill and quick. Going solo, Power Fabric stayed neat for only 3-4 hours and with a primer / setting spray combo, it was only able to push through to about 6 hours before I felt like I just really needed to take this off. Now while that doesn’t sound bad at all from a regular running to the grocery store perspective, I was expecting more from something that claimed to be full coverage and long wearing. On the plus side, while I certainly noticed a good amount of wear problems, the foundation never fully melted off my face even in this summer mugginess yet this is certainly not something I’d recommend for those truly oil skinned. 
This is the burning question then and my vote still swings towards Luminous Silk as the preferred formula for my combination skin and my makeup style. I found lasting ability to be about the same but LS is easier to smooth over skin texture and offers a satin touch finish that I prefer. It’s still my go to event or date foundation
of choice.

Giorgio Armani’s Power Fabric Foundation is a medium slightly buildable coverage soft matte foundation which photographs excellently but lacks in staying power. The SPF is a nice added bonus and doesn’t appear to cause any flashback but shouldn’t be relied upon for solo sun protection. I can see Power Fabric useful for achieving a particular velvety finish for a short event or occasion but it’s not something that I feel can put up with day to day stressors unless you work in mild temperature controlled environment or have dry to normal skin. So while this is not a bad product per say, it was a disappointment measured against its claims. Additionally, for a similar effect and similar lasting ability, MAC’s Studio Fix Fluid or Estee Lauder’s Double Wear are very comparable at a much lower price point. 

Chat soon,

Review: Covergirl | Clean Matte BB Cream + video

Finding a good everyday foundation is like searching for the perfect flat shoe. It needs to be reliable, easy to wear and also make you look fabulous yet you can throw into your bag on the go. Lately, my casual foundation of choice has been a surprising hit from the drugstore; in fact it’s so good that upon receiving my PR sample I actually went out to buy another in a better shade. Now this is something worth talking about.

Covergirl BB Cream Matte - Review
Brand: Covergirl
Product: Clean Matte BB Cream
Size: 30ml
Colour: 6 shades (shown: Fair, Light*)
Price: $8.99 CAD (often on sale)
Availability: Drugstores Nationwide
Would I repurchase: Probably yes.
IngredientsWater / Eau, Cyclopentasiloxane, Propylene Glycol, Talc, Dimethicone, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Sodium Chloride, PEG / PPG-18 / 18 Dimethicone, PVP, Silica, Benzyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Acrylonitrile / Methyl Methacrylate / Vinylidene Chloride Copolymer, Trihydroxystearin, Arachidyl Behenate, Methicone, Sodium Benzoate, Synthetic Wax, Hexyl Laurate, Cetyl PEG / PPG-10 / 1 Dimethicone, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Isopropyl Titanium Triisostearate, Ethylene Brassylate, Behenic Acid, Polyethylene. May Contain: Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides.

Let’s get one thing clear first. This is not a bb cream in the Korean context. It won’t heal your skin, provide multiple benefits or clear any blemishes. What this is, is a skin friendly everyday light coverage foundation that feels natural on the skin and gives a polished look to your makeup. Oh and did I mention it dries matte?
Wait, what? I thought you hated matte finishes?
Yes I hear you but this foundation, housed in an compact and travel friendly squeeze tube, imparts a naturally matte look that is not one bit powdery. In my books, this is a big win. It has no added fragrance and the formula is that of a light lotion which blends easily with just fingers or a foundation sponge. Within about 30 seconds, it’s set and there’s no trace of stickiness!
Covergirl BB Cream Matte - Fair Light
LIGHT* (Top) | FAIR (Bottom)

MY STATS | Check my other foundation matches & skintype
Now as with every single Covergirl foundation I’ve used since my teenage years, the shade selection can get a little tricky. The shade Light looked horrendous in the tube but I made it work for a few days until I was in the drugstore and discovered Fair which is much more neutral in tone. Coverage ranges from light to medium depending on how many layers you put on but on me it’s a perfect amount for a day to day look, even if I’m not wearing much makeup anywhere else.
NOTE: Fair seems to oxidize slightly with wear but Light didn’t have that problem at all.
I’d mark wear time for this foundation at around the 5 hour mark on its own but it can absolutely go longer if you have a primer and setting routine. My favourite way to wear this so far is with a moisturizing primer underneath, apply this with fingers and top it off with some highlighter on the cheeks.

Covergirl BB Cream Matte - Review


The Covergirl Clean Matte BB Cream is an excellent light coverage everyday foundation option for those who want a simple to use product that gives a natural finish and goes especially well if you don’t like to wear a lot of makeup. Also a great choice for teenage skin, it doesn’t feel heavy even after a long day and doesn’t look cakey even as it wears off. No breakouts and no irritation for me but remember that this needs to be properly removed like any other makeup despite its “bb” name. Shade matching is a little tricky so be sure to test swatch in the store if you can. 

Happy Sunday,

Review | Laura Mercier: Mineral Pressed Foundation

As much as I love foundation, my relationship with powder bases are fleeting. It’s not a dry skin problem per say but as a lover of glowy, luminous skin I cringe at the sight of my skin looking…well… powdery. Luckily I’m always curious about untraversed territory and recently picked up the Laura Mercier pressed foundation after hearing years of raves from Lisa who adores their loose version. Whenever a new product doesn’t look right, she always tops it off with some LM and all is right again. How could I say no to that!

Laura Mecier Mineral Pressed Foundation Review

Brand: Laura Mercier
Product: Mineral Pressed Powder Foundation SPF15
Shades: 8
Size: 8.10 grams
Price: $47 CAD
Would I repurchase: Yes!
Availability: Sephora, Laura Mercier counters world wide.

INGREDIENTS: Zinc Oxide, Silica, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Lipids, Jojoba Esters, Pearl Powder, Lauroyl Lysine, Copper Gluconate, Zinc Gluconate, Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) Extract, Lycium Chinenesis (Lycii) Berry Extract, Silybum Marianum (Milk Thistle) Extract. (+/-): Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Mica (CI 77019), Bismuth Oxychloride (CI 77163), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, 77492, 77499), Ultramarines (CI 77007).

Laura Mecier Mineral Pressed Foundation Review

Now the Laura Mercier loose mineral powder has been a hot seller for years and the brand has only recently put out the pressed version. It seems that the shades do correspond to the loose version which also has 8 colour options though there’s some discrepancy as to whether or not the shades match exactly in use. Note that there is also an even newer Smooth Finish Foundation Powder that’s been released (in a round compact) which has 20 shades.

This mineral compact however is house in a sturdy but travel friendly plastic case with a mirror under the flip lid and a dual textured sponge with a velvet side in addition to the regular sponge material. According to the instructions, this is meant to give varying degrees of coverage to your liking. Unfortunately the applicator sits right on top of the powder after discarding the thin plastic card that came with the packaging (because seriously, who has time to fiddle with that thing when you’re trying to get your makeup on). 

Laura Mecier Mineral Pressed Foundation Review

Laura Mecier Mineral Pressed Foundation Review

Shade | Real Sand

Smooth to the touch but not too soft (or wet), the pressed product is fragrance free and contains a very subtle hint of shimmer which is undetectable to my eyes once applied but does help soften the look of my skin for an overall pleasant yet natural glow.

Now I’m still on the fence about colour matching since among 8 choices there, there wasn’t quite my perfect colour. The lightest of them, Soft Porcelain looks quite pale but Real Sand (which I have here) can look a little dull in certain lighting and just doesn’t brighten my skin like some of my favourite base products. I think there’s probably a little too much yellow in this shade for me and I’m likely somewhere in between the two shades.

Note: This does contain SPF15 in the form of titanium dioxide which I think causes a tiny bit of a light cast when used.

Laura Mecier Mineral Pressed Foundation Review
Since I’ve already declared the sponge inside a bit rubbish for practicality as I don’t want a dirty sponge hanging out with my powder all day, I prefer to put this on in sweeping, swirling motions using the biggest baddest kabuki brush I own. This one is from Royal and Langnickle and it has make quick work of getting the powder on evenly and I can move on in under a minute.

Laura Mecier Mineral Pressed Foundation Review

Photo above is unedited except for cropping. Natural light.

Here (above) is the before and after with one full application all over my face. The little red mark above my lip still shows through but my skin tone looks a more even and my skin smoothed out in a subtle way. I’d say its about a medium coverage but you can certainly go heavier with a sponge if you please. The best part? It doesn’t feel or look too powdery even for my fickle taste. It’s very forgiving over dry patches and doesn’t enhance any skin texture irregularities if you just use it as medium coverage.

Laura Mecier Mineral Pressed Foundation Review
On its own in the fall/winter weather I can get an easy 4 hour wear without even thinking about a check in the mirror. Give it a few more hours and it inevitably does a little separating near my smile lines (from moving my mouth…you know, talking) and thus I’d just smooth those areas with a puff but it’s not necessary to reapply more product. For those long 10-12 hour days it does help to pair this with a primer and my winter favourite has been the Paul & Joe Moisturizing Primer which go fantastically together. It lets the powder apply smoother over pores and also enhances wear time though granted 10+ hours is a marathon test for any foundation. At the end of the day, this is easy to remove and my skin
isn’t troubled even with almost daily wear.
Laura Mecier Mineral Pressed Foundation Review

Laura Mercier’s Pressed Mineral Foundation is a really forgiving and easy to use medium coverage base that’s ideal for a quick and polished look that you can do with your eyes closed. It doesn’t aggravate dehydrated skin (even in winter) and glides nicely over skin texture irregularities. Fragrance free and with minimal ingredients I also find it a good test product for sensitive skin but do note the Bismuth Oxychloride content if you are allergic. Its not the smooth as butter texture of some powders but it looks very natural on the skin and would also be great as a topper if you wear lighter liquid foundations. I would like to see an expanded colour selection in this formula but by the time you’re reading this I’ve probably already gone and picked up the Soft Porcelain to add to my collection.

Stay Lovely.

Review: DHC Q10 Moisture Care Foundation

As a well known name in the Japanese beauty market, you may know DHC (that’s the Daigaku Honyaku Center, in case you wondered) for it’s wide range of nourishing skincare but they’ve also taken that expertise over to makeup. The brand offers a small curated range of products for a natural makeup look that’s often a hit for those wanting something light for everyday. With North American headquarters located in California, they’re recently opening up to the Canadian market and so I thought we’d familiarize ourselves with a few of their best selling products!
DHC Q10 Moisture Care Foundation Review

Brand: DHC
Product: Q10 Moisture Care Foundation*
Colours: 4 shades; No. 01 Natural Ochre (shown)
Size: 30ml
Price: $28USD
Availability: DHC (US Website), Select T&T Supermarket locations across Canada, DHC Amazon Website
Would I (re)purchase: Probably not.

Housed in an easy to control plastic pump bottle, the Q10 Moisture Care foundation is targeted towards drier skin types with an extra kick of anti-aging benefits of coenzyme Q10 which is often found in skincare to help plump and firm up skin. A small clear window on the side of the packaging lets you see when you’re close to finishing the product, a minute but useful detail that I can really appreciate from many Japanese designed products. Let me say that this particular product is an overwhelmingly long time popular choice in many Japanese magazines.

 DHC Q10 Moisture Care Foundation Review

The foundation itself is impressively high coverage; starting off as medium and quickly buildable to a near full immaculate finish with a velvety satin sheen. I was delighted at how beautifully smooth it was whilst still being very high coverage and easy to blend. The formulation is slightly thicker (almost a cream) and really cocoons the skin once applied. With a slightly powdery dry down however, it does accentuate dry patches if you use it with a buffing brush so fingers or a sponge (like a Beauty Blender) is my best recommendation. As well, prepping with a moisturizing/smoothing face primer also seems to help with persistent flaky areas such as my nose which (granted) never like to blend smoothly with anything. Pores and fine lines are easily smoothed over with this Q10 foundation and it should be very forgiving on problematic or more mature skin types. How beneficial the Q10 property is from a purely skincare perspective is open to debate but I doubt many of us will wear a single foundation every single day for long enough to see drastic long term benefits.

DHC Q10 Moisture Care Foundation Review

DHC Q10 Moisture Care Foundation Review

See my colour match in other brands | Here.

As you can see in my before and after photo (below) the colour match with Nature Orchre is next to perfect and here I am only wearing on layer all over the face with an extra bit under the eyes and around the chin. Note that the foundation looks darker when first pumped out, then slightly lighter when first applied but eventually settles just a tinge darker to a more natural finish. And speaking of natural, the first couple of hours wearing this was a complete pleasure compared to most traditional full coverage base products. Be forewarned that this isn’t the lightest feeling product on the skin and if you have oily skin or are used to super invisible products, this will not be for you.

DHC Q10 Moisture Care Foundation Review
DHC Q10 Moisture Care Foundation Review

However the DHC Q10 foundation just doesn’t last on my combination skin. In a quick two hours I’d start to notice creasing around my mouth and smile lines. A little further on my pores and other skin textures will start to show through again as well. I did find this to be a very skin friendly product (with oat and olive as moisturizing ingredients) and actually seemed to preserve my skin condition when I remove it at the end of the day but it just didn’t look as great past the morning hours compared to the initial application. Wearing this with a primer did help the longevity slightly but transfer still remained an issue whenever I’d touch my face or even use my phone. For those who have very dry skin or plan on using this in the cold winter season, it may not be as much of a problem but this is certainly not humid weather friendly.

 DHC Q10 Moisture Care Foundation Review


The DHC Q10 Moisture Care foundation has so many good things going for it including a beautifully smooth feel, a hydrating base as well as great high coverage in a user friendly formulation. Yet if it’s not going to stay on my face then it just falls short of being a functional product in my arsenal. If it had been more long lasting then this would easily be a highly recommended product for everyone but for now I’d limit this to dry/very dry skin or very sensitive skin types unless you don’t mind touching up every 3 hours. Close but not quite a winner, I’ve got my fingers crossed that DHC may reformulate this in the future.

Keep in touch.

water/aqua/eau, cyclopentasiloxane, zinc oxide, glycerin, diphenylsiloxy phenyl trimethicone, pentylene glycol, isotridecyl isononanoate, butylene glycol, diisostearyl malate, sorbitan sesquiisostearate, PEG-9 polydimethylsiloxyethyl dimethicone, PEG-10 dimethicone, sodium chloride, PEG-3 dimethicone, dimethicone, aluminum hydroxide, polypropylsilsesquioxane, phenoxyethanol, sodium citrate, magnesium aluminum silicate, sorbitan sesquioleate, methyl methacrylate crosspolymer, HDI/trimethylol hexyllactone crosspolymer, stearic acid, dimethicone/vinyl dimethicone crosspolymer, aluminum dimyristate, avena sativa (oat) kernel extract, tocopherol, ubiquinone, arginine, olea europaea (olive) fruit oil, serine, silica, olea europaea (olive) leaf extract, ethylhexylglycerin, behenyl alcohol, hydrolyzed elastin, polyglyceryl-10 pentastearate, sodium stearoyl lactylate, ceramide 3, sodium hyaluronate, sodium acetylated hyaluronate, soluble collagen, titanium dioxide/ CI 77891, iron oxides/CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499, mica/CI 77019