At around the same time that there was a buzz surrounding the Huda Beauty #Faux Filter Foundation, the beauty world near-exploded with the news that Rihanna was not only releasing her own cosmetics line but that it would start with the release of a foundation that came in forty shades, putting many long-running brands to shame with its inclusivity. I am not sure chronologically how the Huda and Fenty releases line up but in my mind the two foundations are interlinked. When I put the Huda foundation on my Christmas wish list, I put the Fenty one on as well but Santa had to inform me that there was a waiting list of almost one hundred people for my shade alone so it wouldn’t be making an appearance on Christmas morning.
I have been trying to use up the vast amount of products I am hoarding as well as curb my spending so I never got around to picking it up myself. That is until a few months back when I was feeling particularly pregnant and miserable so decided to treat myself with an order from Harvey Nichols. At that stage, I was barely leaving the house so I shopped online instead and chose my colour rather blindly (as I had for my Christmas wishlist as well).
The bottle is a sleek frosted glass which I have yet to drop (thankfully) but feels sturdy and which I have no qualms about travelling with. It is a rather unusual oval shape too which I appreciate because Rihanna (or whoever the mastermind at Fenty really is) didn’t just opt for a bog-standard foundation bottle.
It has a plastic pump on top which doesn’t dispense much product. I like a fuller coverage so I tend to use two pumps for each cheek and then two to three pumps for my chin, nose and forehead. I might use even more to build it up if I feel the need. It sounds like a lot of product but honestly I think it’s because the pump dispenses such a small amount.
The brand claim that this is a “soft matte, longwear foundation with buildable, medium to full coverage”. It is said to give skin an “instantly smooth, pore-diffused, shine-free finish” with its “oil-free formula…that’s resistant to sweat and humidity, and won’t clog pores”. They also claim that it is “undetectable on the skin”.
I heard ‘matte’ and ‘medium to full coverage’ and I was sold. That is basically all I look for in a foundation. I also linked it to the Huda Beauty foundation because those claims are similar however in reality, the two foundations are very different.
The biggest selling point and probably the most talked about is the shade range. There are forty shades available with a range of different undertones. There are ten light, ten medium, ten tan and ten deep shades which are then split into cool, warm, neutral, warm peach and neutral olive undertones. The shade range is almost overwhelming and obviously the best thing to do is to go in store and get colour matched, however if that isn’t an option, I Google swatch comparisons and have quite a good eye for choosing my shade that way. I was quite torn between 120 (neutral) and 140 (warm). It was surprising to me that the lightest shades looked completely ghostly, even for me, who often finds the fairest shade in a foundation range too dark. I have quite a neutral undertone to my skin but hate pink tones on me so it was really a toss up between which shade I thought would be light enough. I was actually worried that 120 would be a little too light but opted for it in the end because I knew I could always darken it up with bronzer.
So here is my nude face. Since I have given birth, the oiliness of my skin has completely dried up. My skin is 100% normal with no oily or dry patches. It is actually better than it ever was before I got pregnant. My main skin concern is obviously the port-wine stain birthmark on the right side of my face hence my penchant for a fuller coverage. I also have some hormonal breakouts on my chin (including that lovely one on my lip) and those dark, dark eye bags courtesy of the baby and the many sleepless nights.
And here is my face with just the Fenty Foundation on. The consistency is quite lightweight especially considering the coverage it imparts. While my eye bags are still fairly obvious, it covered my birthmark really well (which is no mean feat!) and my blemishes are invisible. It definitely has that soft matte finish that it promised too as my skin still has a subtle healthy sheen to it.
In my last few weeks of pregnancy when the only place I ventured was to my hospital appointments, I often wore this foundation by itself with no powder or bronzer etc. While forgoing a contour left me with a big round moon head, the foundation looked natural enough that I didn’t look entirely crazy with just my lash extensions, some brows and a lip. Also, for me not to wear powder is an insanely big deal. It NEVER happens but I loved the look of this foundation by itself and even though my skin was incredibly oily in my final few weeks of pregnancy, this still looked great and never slid off.
Here is a close up of some of my problem areas and how it worked on them. It didn’t cling around my nose or on the blemishes on my chin. It also covered my birthmark amazingly.
Here it is once I have applied my L.A. Girl Pro Conceal (I plan to review that soon!), MAC Groundwork Paint Pot as a contour and a little MAC Select Sheer Powder over the centre of my face. I was always a fiend for absolutely caking myself in powder but with this foundation, I find less is more and literally only pop a little where it would usually crease: around my eyes, on my upper lip, chin, nose and forehead. Saying that, even when I neglected to put powder on at all, the creasing was very minimal so if you’re younger than me or are blessed with fewer lines, this will probably not be an issue for you at all. With just a touch of powder, the soft matte finish is really apparent and my skin looks glowy and healthy. I am not wearing highlighter in these pictures!
And here I am with a full face of makeup on. Look mom, I have eyes! What a difference a little liner makes, huh? Even though I have applied highlighter in these photos, I still think my skin looks healthy, natural and glowy while still maintaining that full coverage finish that I need.
In case you haven’t gathered, I am a huge fan of this foundation. I love how it can be worn more naturally with little other makeup (something that can’t be said for those thick, full coverage bases that completely blank out your face) or built up for a flawless finish that still has a healthy, natural look to it. I honestly cannot think of another foundation I have that can do both. It has completely changed the way I do my makeup! Because of its glowy finish, I have completely lightened up on the powder, sometimes forgoing it altogether, and it makes me want to reach for more cream products to keep that dewy look.
I stated that my skin is normal at the minute but I had just as much success with it when I was excessively oily too. It never looked too shiny, even without powder. On the day I took the photos, my skin felt slightly dehydrated but it didn’t cling to any areas around my nose or blemishes so I do honestly think it could work for most skin types, particularly because it offers a soft matte finish over a true matte one. Obviously everybody is different though and that is just my opinion based on my own experience.
My one bugbear with the foundation and something that I have seen mentioned a lot is the fact that it oxidises. I don’t find it a major problem. I do think that despite its neutral undertone, it has a tendency to turn slightly more yellow on me, however the powder I am currently using is actually too dark for me so that may be a contributing factor. I have read many reviews online that say it oxidised horribly and there is even a sneaky blurb on the Fenty Beauty website claiming that if you are tossing up between two colours, to opt for the lighter one as the “rich pigments need a moment to dry down to their truest colour”.
I would like to point out that I have a lot of experience with MAC foundations and the Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation does exactly that. You apply it to the skin and after several minutes, it has dried down and looks a little darker. It does not darken after that and will not be darker again by the end of the day so that is not oxidisation. It is hard to tell with my shade of the Fenty foundation but perhaps that is the case here and that people are just ill-informed and not getting colour matched but it is something to keep in mind when picking a shade.
This foundation is available from Harvey Nichols for €33 or the Harvey Nichols website for £26/€29.60 with £6/€6.83 delivery, bringing it to £32/€36.43.
In the US it is available from the Fenty Beauty website or the Sephora website (as well as in store at Sephora) for $34 with $5.95 delivery, bringing it to $39.95, or free delivery if you spend over $50.
Have you tried the Fenty Foundation? Or anything else from the brand?
Does this sound like your kind of base?
Nothing to declare. I bought the foundation myself. No affiliate links were used.
Fenty Beauty is cruelty free.