When it comes to foundation, I rarely stray from my two favourites – Rimmel London Match Perfection Foundation for most of the year and It Cosmetics CC Cream on those days I’m feeling particularly summery.
I’ve tried most of the high-end foundations and haven’t been impressed enough to make the switch from my pharmacy go-to.
But last week I got a tan which meant for the first time in my life, my porcelain ivory shade was too light for me. With a weekend of functions coming up, I scrambled around the Mamamia beauty cupboard to find a darker foundation that would see me through.
Above: Me normally with my porcelain ivory skin.
A swatch of the Too Faced Born This Way Foundation, $57, in Sand proved to be a perfect colour match.
I’ll be honest, I wasn’t expecting much. A seriously hyped-up product, I’d read mixed reviews when it was first released last year which had put me off initially purchasing.
I shouldn’t have been so quick to judge.
Offering a fair-to-medium and very buildable coverage, it felt light on the skin while still giving night-out levels of flawlessness. Most importantly, my skin didn't feel cakey and still looked like, well, skin.
My biggest problem with foundations is they tend to oxidise and go patchy on the dry areas of my skin. Thanks to the coconut water in this formula, my skin felt and remained hydrated, while the alpine rose brightened it. I also didn't get any garish flash-black in photos (priorities, people!)
Two pumps (yes! a foundation with a pump!) was more than enough to cover my face and despite applying it at 4pm, by midnight it required little touch up. And when I got home looking more than a little worse for wear, it didn't.
I have dehydrated skin, but in many reviews those with oily skin have also had similar results. I liked the finish better using a beauty blender (or your chosen sponge) rather than a brush, as it leaves it looking much smoother and dewy.
As a disclaimer, I did use primer (Mac Prep + Prime Essential Oils, $44) and finished with a setting spray (Australis Makeup Finishing Spritz, $15.95), which I would do (and recommend) for any occasion when you want serious staying power for your makeup. However even with these, Born This Way lasted longer than other foundations I have given the same treatment.
Online, the one major issue seems to be with the colour range with many beauty lovers claiming to struggle to find a shade that flatters very pale skin. As I've only used when tanned and sitting in the middle of the range, I'll have to do some further investigation on my normal colour to see whether it works as well then.
At $57 a bottle, this is not cheap but it performs far better than other face products I've tried that cost twice as much. The formula delivers what it promises and the finish is the kind of glow I really do wish I was 'born' with.
As with all face products - and particularly those that are exxy - it's always best to try it for yourself. Before you buy, go into Mecca and ask to be colour matched, try it on and even get a sample to take home (yes, this is allowed) and use yourself another time to see how it feels and wears.
But if you're looking for a foundation that will outlast you on a night out, this is definitely a good place to start.