Could I have finally found a drugstore liquid foundation that not only suits my sensitive, aging skin, but also looks awesome on it?
Let’s take a step back for a moment. My Tale of Foundation Woe, as I am now calling it, began months ago.
I’ve been having a hell of a time with my skin and makeup routine since last fall. While I’ve always had super sensitive skin that reacts to a vast array of ingredients, things really seemed to start sliding down hill last September. I’m now entering my mid-thirties, so I’m also starting to see some fine lines cropping up on my face and have noticed an overall change in my skin texture. While I wouldn’t dare call it mature just yet, I have been battling some dullness, dryness, and–perhaps–the very first signs of loss of elasticity.
I’ve complained about it before and I’ll do so again now: the god-awful, terribly cold NJ winter we’re just finally escaping from hasn’t done my skin any favors. The cold weather only accentuated my dry patches even more as the winter wore on, which means my tried and true Bare Escentuals foundation, which I had used day in and day out for ages, started looking like hell on me. No amount of moisturizing or priming seemed to help: my skin has just become too dry and finicky to pull off powdered minerals anymore. That is a real real shame, considering how well I’ve worn it for the past decade and that up until now, it was the only formula I had found that didn’t provoke my rosacea one bit, no matter how many days in a row I wore it.
Having to give up my BE was what first sent me on the hunt for something I had always dreaded: liquid foundation. (Da-da-duuuuuuum!) Liquid formulas have been especially tricky (i.e. a huge pain in the ass) for me. Sheer formulas don’t cut it when it comes to covering my pink cheeks, and anything that gives a medium-to-full coverage always seems to break me out (either in pimples or hives; take your pick). While I’ve been having some success with various BB Creams lately, I still consider those “light day” products, for times when my rosacea wasn’t out n’ about in full force. I still craved that full, almost airbrushed look of a decent liquid foundation; something I could wear to work or out for a special occasion. I had previously using Urban Decay’s Naked Skin from time to time as my “special occasion” foundation with pretty decent results, but I found even that wasn’t giving me the look I was going for. My dry spots were showing through by mid-day, with or without primer, and while I liked the feel of the Naked Skin on my skin, I had trouble wearing it frequently without it kicking off a reaction.
What was a girl to do?
Enter my unlikely savior in this tale of woe: Revlon Age Defying Firming + Lifting Foundation.
I found this foundation while I was poking around Ulta. Seeing as finances were a bit tight with my upcoming (well, now past) surgery on the horizon, I didn’t want to start weeding through high end foundations just yet. Instead, I decided to see what revelations the drugstore would hold. I plugged something like “aging liquid foundation” or something equally silly into the search bar and was immediately drawn to the Revlon Age Defying name. I was intrigued by what they had to say about it on Ulta, though their description was admittedly brief:
“Revlon Age Defying Firming + Lifting Makeup to face your future now. Visibly tightens and resculpts. Contains Triple Lift Complex and hydrates for a refreshed, lifted look. Targets advanced signs of aging. SPF 15.”
Well, shit; I wanted a hydrated, refreshed look! I was feeling saucy, and for a price-tag of $13.99, I thought, why not give it a shot? The color that seemed best suited to my skin was “Fresh Ivory,” which I believe is the lightest shade in the 12-color range. I tossed it in my cart, finished shopping for some other goodies, and placed my order.
While I waited for it to find its way to my doorstep, I did some more poking around online. (Perhaps a logical person would have done this before purchasing the item but, well; I was feeling saucy, remember?) I went directly to Revlon to learn more about this formula:
“Our advanced anti-aging multi-benefit makeup. Firm. Lift. Hydrate. Cover.
93% of women saw noticeably improved skin.
This all-in-one formula combines hyaluronic acid, a potent dose of moisturizing ingredients and our exclusive Triple Lift Complex™. Relax the look of expression lines, give skin a smooth, tightened feel and boost hydration 3X. For a radiant, rejuvenated look.”
All good things there. This formula seemed to be everything I was looking for: firming of those annoying fine lines, hydrating for my dry flaky bits, and enough coverage to cancel out the perma-red of my cheeks. Still; I tried not to get my hopes up–my history with drugstore liquids has been terrible, so I fully expected this one to leave me just as red, itchy, and inflamed as all those in the past had. Especially since it contains SPF. It doesn’t escape my notice how ironic it is that something so necessary for someone as fair as I is one of the biggest irritants for my skin.
(Cheerful optimist, aren’t I?)
When my order arrived, I immediately swatched it on the back of my hand.
The color match was not bad. I like my foundation a touch on the yellow side, to help cover my redness. It was creamy and soft feeling; not so runny that it dripped off my hand, but it smoothed out nicely with a swipe of my finger (like in the photo above). It sheered out nicely when I blended it out with my fingers (and, later, with my BeautyBlender).
The coverage was decent and it felt nice on the skin. Lightweight, with a clean scent and no stickiness as it dried down. (Please, don’t let my scary pale hands fool you; it looks a lot more natural blended out on my face!)
I applied a full face the very next morning and was pleased with the effect. It covered both my redness and dark under eye area admirably, needing only a light swipe of my Bare Escentuals Bisque concealer (which is still the best powder concealer I’ve ever found) to set. It blended seamlessly and I was not able to find any noticeable demarcation around my jawline. I buffed on my setting powder, blush, and so forth. I headed off to work with a mind on monitoring my face.
This foundation wore great. It felt good on my skin–light and natural, rather than heavy, even though it gave me what I would consider to be medium-leaning-towards-full coverage. Throughout the day it kept my skin looking hydrated (but not moist–it had more of a matte finish than a dewy one) and it did not settle into my fine lines. I was impressed right off the bat, but the moment that really made me fall in love with this foundation was the morning after the first day of wearing it. My co-worker and I, who had gone out for dinner the night before, were discussing makeup and she asked me what foundation I had been wearing the day previous. I told her and she was surprised; she said she had assumed I had air-brushed myself that day, since my skin had looked so flawless.
People, when someone tells you your skin looked flawlessly airbrushed without having had it airbrushed, you run out and buy a case of the product responsible!!
Or that could just be my crazy showing. Anyhow; I held off on ordering a crate of foundation for just a bit. (Though it was tempting.) Instead, I did the reasonable thing (for once) and continued testing the product out before stockpiling it. And, you know what? I’ve been wearing this foundation pretty much constantly for the past two and a half months (with the occasional BB cream break), with nary a break-out or reaction in between.
This foundation is a great drugstore find for sensitive, aging skin. It has good coverage, a velvety soft feel on the skin, and is gentle enough to wear daily, all at a great price point. The range of colors looks decent for fair to medium skin tones, though it appears that this line is seriously lacking when it comes to darker shades.
I am truly shocked at how much I like this foundation. (Is that mean? I feel mean saying it.) Foundation is one of those things that is so difficult to get right, and up until this point I didn’t have a very high opinion of drugstore varieties. There are just so many brands, so many formulas, so many finishes–both high end and low–its almost mind-boggling. While I do believe there is something for everyone out there, finding the right something can take a lot of legwork and, if you’re not careful, a lot of $$$.
I’m really glad I stumbled upon a winner so quickly. I would definitely recommend this one out to anyone with skin similar to mine; I think its worth a try!