Ok so I caved and bought this foundation. I reasoned that it’s different enough from the Kevyn Aucoin SSE to justify a purchase.
So I unexpectedly found this in shade 021 (Linen) at Le Bon Marché. I halfheartedly asked if they had it and the guy who helped me said that he heard the shade is international only, so no they don’t. Proceeded to check anyway (rare thing in Paris), pulled out one of the drawers and lo and behold there it was the tester (which they can’t display apparently) hidden alongside the only bottle in 021. We didn’t try the foundation together but he commented that 020 is probably better for me, brighter and less yellow. I swatched anyway and decided to go with 021 – 020 had just a little too much pink for my liking when I compared the two side by side. I had a feeling that 021 would look more natural on me. Honestly though I think I could pull off both shades if I had to.
The only sad thing about this is I paid full price (53 euros) for it instead of 36.37 at Sephora (48.50 euros + 25% off Valentine’s Day promo). Damn you Sephora for not having my shade in stock *shakes fist* And yes, I contemplated getting 020 for the attractive price but resisted. I made it up by getting the powder though (future post alert).
I haven’t had this foundation long enough to truly comment on the wear so this is more a first impression. I’ll come back and update this when I have better information on that. I intend to test it out at work (yes, in the kitchen)!
So I tested this on clean, moisturized skin. No primer. On both occasions I stayed at home most of the day, went out/did some groceries but otherwise didn’t do much. Weather was quite chilly.
SPF 25 PA ++
30ml, Made in France.
Frosted glass bottle with silver coloured dropper. Shake well before use.
It is perfumed with a light floral, powdery scent.
Thin, light texture that’s very easy to spread over the skin and blend. You can feel the oils when you apply it. Dries quickly to a velvety powder finish that looks very natural and skin-like. Like you have nothing on, and you can’t feel you have anything on either. Doesn’t overly highlight dry patches but I would think it’s more suitable for normal/combo skin. I will get back to you guys about oily skin, a day at work ought to be enough to tell.
The coverage is a lot less than I initially thought, apologies if I mislead anyone with my post dated 3rd Feb. I probably had too much product when I played with it at Sephora and didn’t have enough room on the back of my hands to really blend it out. Still, it offers a sheer, buildable to light/medium coverage without looking cakey or unnatural. Official Dior blurb on the back of the box says ‘sheer finish’, but it is buildable to a certain extent.
It definitely evens out skin tone, but you’ll need a concealer if you have really dark pigmentation or old acne scars like I do.
Once the foundation settled (like maybe 10-15 minutes after application?) I can’t see it on my face. I only see skin. I can’t tell if I have foundation on. I haven’t decided if this is a good or a bad thing just yet.
Some keywords from the little pamphlet regarding ingredients:
talc free, plant-based oil (‘filled with air bubbles’), vitamins, minerals.
Here’s the ingredient list:
Without primer and powder:
I got a bit of shine on the tip of my nose by the 2nd hour. Blotted with a napkin and the issue was resolved for the rest of the day, which is nice but odd (will re-test). I started seeing signs of fading by the 4th hour. Bear in mind though I did rest my head on my palms (bad) a few times during the day for extended periods so that may or may not affect this.
Without primer, finished with translucent powder:
Nose and forehead started to get a teeny bit shiny by the 2nd hour, but less shiny than without powder. Remained that way pretty much the rest of the day.
I didn’t notice any oxidation.
Here are some swatches on the back of my hand. I compared it with a ‘normal’ foundation that I love, Lunasol Skin Modeling Water Cream Foundation (I have started a post on this June 2014… it shouldn’t be long now). I should have grabbed a regular liquid one but oh well.
Lunasol is in shade OC02, it makes the Dior looks so yellow. I suppose Dior 020 would be closer to OC02?
Once blended, the shade is closer to actual colour of my skin than the Lunasol. You can also see the right hand side of the swatch has this blurry effect. This translates on the face too but only in the beginning of application.
Obviously the big question is how does this compare to Armani’s Maestro? Well I don’t have the Maestro (65 euros for 30ml) but I do have its so-called dupe the L’Oreal Eau de Teint, a foundation I never embraced (reviewed here). Here are the differences:
1. First thing I smell is alcohol. It’s an ingredient that’s pretty high up on the light (2nd IIRC?)
2. L’Oreal highlights dry patches, even the tiniest ones. At the same time the pigment settles into the bigger pores on the side of my nose.
3. The finish is matte and frankly a bit dull & flat. It looks less flat as it settles but in exchange it emphasizes pores and looks cakey.
With both on the face I can see that Dior has a velvety matte finish that really mimics skin. It gives more dimension to the skin so that for example when the light hits the higher planes of the skin those areas bounces light off as skin usually does.
4. Texture just out of the bottle is similar to the Dior. It looks less runny but that’s probably because I dabbed it on the tip of my finger before transferring it to my hand – no dropper with the L’Oreal and I didn’t want to pour it out and make a mess. The Dior was straight out of the dropper.
The shade is Pale Ivory (I think). It’s a lot more pink in real life.
Unfortunately I don’t have pictures of swatches blended out, I was in a hurry to clean it off 😛
The bottom line (so far)
Hmmm I like it. I admit I did expect more (we all do) but I’m not disappointed with the product. I think it’s very well done, and I love the finish and how real it looks. It seems to be an improved version of the serum type foundation, and one that will really sing in the warmer months I think.
It’s a light coverage, at most light-medium coverage foundation. [I hesitate to say medium because medium for me is something like the Lunasol, a foundation that covers most pigmentation. Full is the SSE when used straight up.] Those in the market for this type of coverage will very likely love this. Again, I will report back when I have worn this more and have better info.
Something to think about
The new NARS foundation sounds like a similar foundation but with FULL COVERAGE. The shade range is much larger and there were a flurry of enthusiastic reviews on it. I’ve never tried NARS foundation before, perhaps I should have before purchasing this but a couple of reviews I read swayed me back to Dior. And well, I always keep the SSE at the back of my mind and I doubt the NARS will be as versatile as that (I need excuses to keep my spending in check).
07 May Edit: To the ladies who are looking for a more affordable version of these serum-type of foundation I noticed KIKO has their own version, as well as Sephora. I haven’t had a chance to play with them but just a heads up before you decide to splurge.