Flawless Finish: Givenchy Teint Couture Foundation

Foundation Type: Liquid

Coverage: Medium to Full

Skin Type: Combination/Dry

Color Range: Limited

Givenchy is plodding along with a new foundation, that might give YSL Teint Touche Eclat a run for its money. Givenchy still has some work to do though. The formulation is superb, but the color range leaves much to be desired. With only 8 shades, that go from very light to medium, it’s fair to say that Givenchy is not interested in covering all the bases.

First, the good news. This foundation features the same ‘gel’ like texture as the Marc Jacobs formula. It goes on smooth and blends seamlessly. It layers well without noticeable buildup, and sets to a skin-like luminous finish. It’s also very comfortable on the skin. I intentionally wore it without setting powder, and it lasted about 4 hours without blotting. That’s not bad, especially on this oily skin. I think this will do very well for drier skin types, and combination types as well.

The bad news is, I’m the darkest color (Elegant Amber). This lack of inclusion seems to be par for the course for Givenchy. I found a similar problem with the MAT foundation. I’m wondering when the company will get the memo, that beauty comes in every shade. It’s this narrow focus that makes companies like YSL, Dior, Lancome, Bobbi Brown, NARS… I could keep going… stand out so significantly. Even Chanel woke up with Perfection Lumiere and gave the proverbial ‘We Are The World’ philosophy a go. What’s up with Givenchy’s 1950’s attitude toward beauty? No more living in the past… time to wake up, My Love.

This formula is on the thinner side, so a little goes a longer way. Since the bottle isn’t quite a full ounce, I’ll count this as a plus. The inclusion of sunscreen (SPF 20) does not seem to effect the finish, or the photography. I’ve gotten absolutely no flashback with this product. I photographed it with and without setting powder, and it still imitated luminous skin.

If you can swing it, it’s worth a go. This not-quite-one-ounce bottle retails for $49. Cheaper than Chanel, more expensive than NARS. Put it in that perspective and you’re likely better able to justify the price. 🙂

You can find out more about Givenchy Teint Couture Foundation HERE.

*By the way, those swatches on the Sephora site are rubbish. Elegant Amber looks way dark on the site. It’s not… so keep that in mind if you’re relying solely on online information.

Tom Ford Beauty

I really can’t wait to see this…

I’ve been waiting with bated breath for this makeup collection to hit counters in the United States. It’s already available at Harrods and Selfridges in the UK, but I refuse to by anything sight unseen. It’s nearly impossible to match a foundation online, and at 70+ bucks a pop, it’s hardly worth the money to end up with the wrong color. PLUS there are no returns for cosmetics at either store so… yeah… NO.



Really, it’s going to be impossible to choose and not go broke behind this new collection. If I had to go by process of elimination, I can likely live without the eye shadows, glosses and moisturizers… for now. I’m REALLY interested in the foundation, the brushes, and the lipsticks… in order of importance.

The rumor is the collection is hitting counters November 1st. I can’t wait!

Flawless Start: The Best Foundations

For me, a good foundation is EVERYTHING. The rest of the makeup doesn’t matter if the base isn’t properly set. Bad foundation can ruin the most creative looks because in the end… the eye is drawn to the flaws in the canvas, not whatever’s painted on top of it.

I spent much of 2010 gathering, experimenting with, and making decisions about foundations. The following, to me, are the best in their respective classes. I couldn’t choose just one, because I use different foundations for different things. Here are my favorites:

Guerlain Parure Gold is just luxurious. There is no better word to describe it. It goes on with smooth, even, medium to full coverage. It smells distinctly of violets and sets to a semi-matte finish. Often, I can wear this foundation on my oily skin without powder to set it. It wears beautifully for an average of 5-8 hours with no touch up. The packaging is divine, though a bit impractical. It comes in a heavy black glass bottle (with clear sides to indicate fluid level). It’s gorgeous to display, but I can see it being a problem if you happen to drop it. That is the only negative thing I can say about this foundation.The price may also scare you off ($78). Otherwise, it’s perfect.
Estee Lauder Double Wear Light quickly shot to the top of my list as one of the best foundations on the market. It lacks the presentation and luxurious feeling of Guerlain, but makes up for that in performance. This foundation is idiot-proof. It goes on smooth and even, sets to a soft finish, and doesn’t really move until you take it off. It also has the most natural finish I’ve seen in a foundation, in a long time. The tube holds less product than Guerlain, but it’s also about $25 cheaper (average price: $52). And if you happen to drop this container, no problem. Even with the top off, the foundation stays in the tube. 

Kevyn Aucoin’s Sensual Skin Enhancer gives the most natural full coverage of any foundation I’ve ever worked with. There isn’t really anything on the market like this. It comes in a small container (about an ounce) but you use SO LITTLE of this foundation that its size is a non-issue. You can use this foundation as that, a concealer, or sheer it out with face lotion to create a tinted moisturizer. It never loses color integrity, and adheres to your skin in such a way that it looks completely natural. Many people may take issue with this foundation because it’s so unusual, and requires a bit of practice to master. But I promise you, the effort is worth the payoff. I get so many compliments when I use this foundation. It’s a good one. And at $45, it’s cheaper than some of its less performing counterparts.
This is meant to be a bronzer for fairer skin tones. But it works PERFECTLY as a tinted moisturizer for medium to darker skin tones. This product is genius because it’s not just a bronzer, it’s also an anti-aging moisturizer. I love this stuff! I have used this more often than not… especially in the summer when it’s too hot to wear much more than a little tint on the skin. This bronzer evens out my skintone and gives me the appearance of a flawless complexion. It tops my list of every bronzer AND tinted moisturizer that I’ve ever used. The only frightening thing about this bronzer is the price ($125), so you might want to consider that before you commit to purchase. Otherwise, I say go for it. It’s definitely an investment, but for me, the results far outweigh the price.
One of the KEY FACTORS in all of these brands (with the exception of By Terry) were the undertones and the color ranges. All of them feature warmer undertones, which is a plus for anyone with yellow, orange, or even red undertones. They also feature a healthy selection for fair skinned beauties. With the exception of Bobbi Brown (who normally makes my list but was outdone this time), it’s difficult to gauge a perfect foundation based on color alone… because often no consideration is taken regarding undertones. Bobbi Brown used to lead the market with consideration for undertones. Now, it appears she has some very worthy competition.
That’s it! Those are my picks for a flawless start to 2011. Ciao for now!