foundation for oily skin

Beauty Review: Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation & Veil Powder*

Beauty Review: Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation & Veil Powder | Writing Between Pauses

I love a new foundation. Having problem skin (I hate that phrase, but why is it the best way to describe everything?), my base makeup is one I almost always wear, even when I’m running late. Foundation & powder are crucial items for me, so getting the opportunity to review the Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation stick (it’s that triangle shaped foundation stick that every beauty guru uses in their videos—seriously) and the Veil Powder is really a dream come true.

Like with all my foundation reviews, I gave myself a few days to experiment with this foundation and how I applied it. Here’s a rundown of each of my wear test methods:

  1. Clean face, moisturizer, foundation blended with kabuki brush, veil powder on top

  2. Clean face, moisturizer, It Cosmetics powder, foundation with brush, veil powder on top

  3. Clean face, moisturizer, foundation with sponge, It Cosmetics powder & veil powder on top

I felt like that gave me the most variety of how I applied it. I’ll share what I think worked and what I think didn’t later.

First, let’s talk about this foundation.

Hourglass Stick Foundation

The Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick (phew!) retails for $46 from Sephora. That is a pretty steep price point, especially as you only receive 0.25 ounces! For reference, the average foundation comes with 1 ounce as a standard measurement. However, this foundation has been everywhere. So I expected to be impressed: with a price point like that and so much hype from the beauty world, I found myself very easily swayed.

Here’s what this foundation promises:

A weightless, waterproof foundation with long-wearing, concentrated coverage in a custom, triangular component for fast and easy full coverage on-the-go. This long-wearing, waterproof formula provides up to 12 hours of coverage, contains double the amount of pigment versus traditional foundations, and adjusts to your body temperature to effortlessly blend into the skin. Multiple shades can also be used to contour and highlight.

I knew from the get-go that this promised to be a full-coverage foundation. From the videos I’ve watched, it definitely seemed to cover everything. But as we know, a lot of YouTube beauty gurus use blurring filters, which can make their skin look a lot better.

I received the shade Alabaster, which promises to be fair, with a cool undertone. As with most foundations, I found this to be a lie; it swatched very yellow/orange on my forearm, which made me pretty nervous from the start.

My first application, however, I felt like it matched my skin tone pretty well. My first wear test, I used a brush to apply it, as I’ve found in the past that stick foundations work best with a brush. However, I did feel like the brush left my foundation looking pretty streaky.

How Good is Hourglass Stick Foundation

Let’s discuss the powder for a minute as well. The Veil Translucent Setting Powder also retails for $46 for 0.36 ounce (so about 1/3 of an ounce). Comparatively, the It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores powder (my favorite powder, review here) is $30 for 0.23 ounce (about 1/4 an ounce). So that’s a pretty standard size, but still pretty steep in price. Here’s what the powder promises:

The magic of Veil transformed into an ultra-refined loose powder designed to give skin a naturally flawless finish. This finely-milled, weightless powder is formulated with soft-focus light-reflecting particles to instantly blur imperfections and minimize the appearance of pores, fine lines and wrinkles for effortlessly smooth skin. The translucent formula can be used on all skin tones for an invisible, natural skin finish.

You know I love a powder and I immediately loved the texture of this powder. It felt so heavenly when I swatched it; it’s so finely milled and soft. I don’t know how else to describe it. I was so excited to use it.

Hourglass Foundation Wear Test

The first day I wore this foundation, as I said, I applied it with a brush, then applied the powder. I didn’t use my usual It Cosmetics Bye Bye pores powder. (I already linked the review, but this powder really is my holy grail. I always go back to it. It’s that good.) Within a few hours, my nose was almost entirely bare of foundation, which is pretty standard if I don’t use my It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores. So, strike 1 for the Veil powder. However, on other areas of my face, the foundation had held up well. Despite the streakiness, I did really like the finish and even though I had been hesitant about the color, it didn’t oxidize or anything. It is not a matte finish, as it is a cream formula, and it is very full coverage without feeling heavy. I didn’t notice it getting cakey or gross, but it did slide around—again, probably because I didn’t use my holy grail powder.

On second wear test, I decided to try my tried-and-true method of using It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores as a base underneath my foundation. (This is the Wayne Goss method; if you’re oily-skinned, I highly recommend it!) However, this made it slightly harder to blend the foundation; I found it dried before I could get to brush it. It became a bit of a mess. However, once I applied the Veil powder over top, I had salvaged it a little bit. And honestly, I love the finish of this foundation combined with the Veil powder. The Veil powder really is beautiful on the skin. However, even with this method, I found it broke down, especially around my nose, within 3-4 hours.

For my third wear test, I think I found the best method: clean face, moisturized, then apply foundation with a sponge. Even though I usually apply cream foundations with brushes, something about this stick foundation definitely did not play nice with my brush! It looked great with a sponge and just as full coverage. I found I did not have to use any concealer with this application, as my undereyes and blemishes were covered. Then, I mixed the Veil powder with a little bit of my It Cosmetics Bye Bye pores; this gave me the gorgeous finish that the Veil powder has, while also setting my oily skin. This made my foundation last about 6 hours, which is pretty much as good as it gets for me, with only a little breakdown around my nose and no cakiness.

I know this picture to the left is a Snapchat photo (I love that filter, #noshame), but it’s the only photo I remembered to snap all day during the third wear test. I felt so pretty with this foundation on—and honestly, it doesn’t get much better than that. I’m going to keep playing around with applications for this foundation, but I’m pretty pleased that this method works best for me and my skin type. I’ll address other skin types in my final thoughts!

Beauty Guru Hourglass Foundation
Hourglass Vanish Foundation Stick

So what’s my final verdict?

If you are oily skinned, this foundation, like most foundations, will need a little work. As a cream foundation, it is best for normal skin types and maybe even dry-skinned cuties, as it is quite “moist” as far as stick foundations go. The powder is beautiful, but I don’t think it does much for oily skin. If you were going to a short event, the powder would actually probably be perfect: not too drying and absolutely gorgeous on the skin.

If you have dry skin, this foundation might require some testing. Without having dry skin myself, I don’t want to make any absolute calls. However, the powder would be perfect if you have dry skin; the finish is so beautiful and it doesn’t really mattify at all. It’s just really pretty.

If you have normal skin, how lucky are you, honestly? Just kidding; this foundation is really perfect if you don’t have any skin issues, but are looking for full coverage.

Would I repurchase these items? This is where I start to second guess myself. $46 is a lot for a foundation, especially one that, while nice, isn’t the best foundation I’ve ever used for my skin. As well, $46 for a powder that is pretty, but not super effective for my skin? I probably would say I wouldn’t repurchase either one of them. I like them, but I don’t absolutely positively love them—and that’s a big difference.

Want more foundation reviews?

Here are a few more foundation reviews like this one that I think you’ll love.

Disclaimer: As indicated by the asterisk (*) in the title of this post, I received this items from Influenster in exchange for an honest review. However, all opinions remain my own! To learn more about my disclosure policy, click here.

Beauty Review: Too Faced Dew You Full-Coverage Foundation

Beauty Review: Too Faced Dew You Full-Coverage Foundation | Writing Between Pauses

I write about foundation a lot. Like, more than I ever thought I would, really. Which makes sense, as foundation is the makeup I bought use the most and struggle the most with. The truth is there is never going to be a perfect foundation that suits every skin type and every need. When it comes to my reviews, I’m often speaking just of myself and making generalizations for people with skin types similar to my own.

When it comes to foundation, I’ve reviewed Sephora’s and Ulta’s quizzes (as well as 6 different foundations). I’ve reviewed the Wet’n’Wild Photo Focus foundation and the Makeup Revolution stick foundation. I’ve even developed a process that I use for making sure my foundation lasts longer than four hours.

In the process, I’ve tried a lot of good and bad foundations. In writing my blog post on the Sephora & Ulta foundation quizzes, I discovered that the Too Faced foundations were, surprisingly, some of the best I tried. I didn’t love the Born This Way foundation, because the colors closest to my skin tone were all a bit off and I found it broke down a little too quickly. The Peach Perfect foundation was one of my absolute favorites, but the strong peach scent was a bit of a turn off and I found it oxidized a lot.

As a birthday present to myself, I decided to try the Too Faced Dew You foundation. It’s a full-coverage, but “glowy” foundation that was part of the fruit-themed collection that came out at the beginning of Fall. (I won’t get started on my tangent about that collection; it was extremely cute, but was definitely a summer collection, so I don’t know why it came out in September! From a marketing perspective, I had a lot of questions.) My hopes weren’t exactly high, but I was excited to try this foundation; I hoped it would combine the things I loved about the Peach Perfect foundation in a slightly less oxidizing formula.

Too Faced Dew You Full Coverage Fresh Glow Foundation

This foundation is marketed as a “hydrating” foundation; it’s “dewy” as opposed to matte, but still full coverage. Here’s what it promises:

Hydrate and brighten your Tutti Frutti complexion with this dewy, gel-cream foundation infused with soothing watermelons and cucumbers.

And here are some more promises:

  • 20 hydrating, brightening shades

  • Formula leaves skin with a glowing satin finish

  • Infused with soothing watermelons & cucumbers

  • Helps even skin tone

  • Gel-cream formula leaves skin ultra-hydrated and brightened

  • Non-comedogenic

  • Longwearing

20 shades isn’t exactly very many. However, there do seem to be a fair number of medium shades; the parts that are missing out are the darker shades which is a systemic issue in the beauty industry. It doesn’t make me happy to see this foundation with so few shades for people who are darker skin toned, but I know they just recently expanded the Born This Way shades. Here is to hoping they expand all their shade ranges for all their foundations and concealers.

The idea of a hydrating formula that is also long-wearing was very exciting to me, shade issues aside. I am oily (very oily) often because my skin gets dehydrated; so I need a combination of both hydration and powder to keep my skin looking decent throughout the day.

So what did I think of this foundation?

Is the Too Faced Dew You Foundation Good for Oily Skin?

My first impression was, just like the Peach Perfect foundation, it has a very strong smell. It smells strongly of watermelon. It’s not bad, but again, it is sickly sweet. It’s not as bad as the fake peach scent, but if you’re sensitive to smells, it can be a huge issue. I found that the watermelon smell didn’t bother me nearly as much as the peach scent, so it works for me. But if that’s an issue for you, this foundation may not be the one.

Just like the Peach Perfect foundation, I love how it looks on my skin as I’m applying it and immediately after. Most Too Faced foundations are very, very yellow to me; I feel like they struggle with pink or neutral undertones. However, I’ve found that Swan is a close enough match that I can tone down the yellow with concealer afterwards. The finish is absolutely amazing, though, and looked great after applying.

I’ve worn this multiple times for 12+ hours. I find that with my standard method of applying (The Body Shop mattifying spray and powder underneath my foundation, then powder on top as well), it lasts about 6-7 hours looking really good and without touch ups. After 6 hours or so, I start to notice it getting quite patchy; by 8-10 hours of wear, I usually have patches where it has rubbed off or simply disappeared completely. This isn’t out-of-the-ordinary for foundations and my skin; 6 hours is actually longer than I’ve ever gotten most foundations to last! I’m impressed for that reason; very rarely do I even wear foundation for 8+ hours. However, if you’re very oily, struggle to make foundation last, and work long days, again, this might be a more difficult foundation.

My favorite thing about this foundation is that it manages to be both dewy and matte on my skin. It doesn’t look matte-matte; you know that look of a very dry foundation. It almost makes me look old. This foundation doesn’t do that, but it does dry down—and that can make it oxidize a tiny bit. However, it’s not nearly as bad as Peach Perfect, so I’ll take it. I feel like it’s a very natural finish on the skin; not too matte, not too dewy.

How long does the Too Faced Dew You foundation last?

Is this the perfect foundation for oily skin? Well, I think it depends on what you’re looking for. For me personal, I place how it looks over any super long-wearing abilities. I tend to wash my foundation off the moment I leave work and I don’t wear foundation on the weekends, unless I’m going to an event. If you need long-wearing, I don’t think this is the best foundation out there for that. If you do want something that looks incredibly natural, this is a great option—and despite being “dewy,” it does work very well for my oily skin.

Have you tried the Dew You foundation? What did you think?

Beauty Review: It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Airbrush Powder

Beauty Review: It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Airbrush Powder | Writing Between Pauses

I know I write about this a lot, but I have oily skin. Very oily skin. Skin so oily that I have a special routine I follow to keep my foundation from breaking down after just 3 hours. (You can read about my oily skin foundation routine here.) 

Way back in October, I received a sample of It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores pressed powder in my Ipsy bag. (You can read that review here.) I really loved that pressed powder and was really devastated when I ran out. At $29 per pan, I couldn't really afford to buy a full size at the time--so I kept using my elf HD powder. 

However, after some thought, I realized: I go through a lot of that elf HD powder. At $6 a pop, it's not that expensive--but I use a lot of it. If a full size pan or pot of pressed or loose high end powder costs $29-32, but lasts 3+ months, is it worth it? 

Without having tried the It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Airbrush Powder, I didn't want to jump in to a $32 purchase without some reassurance. My chance came during the Ulta sale, when I received a 20% off everything coupon (including prestige). I bought a full size of the Bye Bye Pores Airbrush Powder (the loose version) and excitedly got home to use it. 

Here's what it promises: 

Instantly erase the appearance of imperfections with Bye Bye Pores™, your airbrushed perfection in a jar! Developed with plastic surgeons and infused with Bye Bye Pores Optical Blurring Technology™, this anti-aging, skin-perfecting powder utilizes real silk to make your pores disappear from view, and hydrolyzed collagen to smooth away the look of wrinkles. Loads of antioxidants, peptides and skin-loving ingredients give you a shine-free, airbrushed finish. Plus, the universal translucent shade goes on completely clear and works on all skin tones!

This powder feels so differently from the elf HD powder. It is extremely finely milled and very soft. It also doesn't come out of the little sifter as well, is slightly clumpier, and harder to pick up with a brush. Those aren't necessarily bad things, just a few details about the powder! 

I've incorporated it into my routine in place of elf HD powder. Basically, I use it on top of my moisturizer, underneath my foundation, to keep my natural oils from breaking down my makeup throughout the day. Instead of using a brush (as I do with my elf HD powder), I have found it's much easier to apply the It Cosmetics powder with a slightly damp beauty blender. 

The first day I wore this powder, I was blown away by how long my foundation lasted. However, I occasionally have a few fluke days where my skin doesn't get as oily. I knew I needed to wait before I sang its praises! However, after several days in a row of perfect make up after 6, 7, or even 8 hours... I was pretty convinced. 

It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores

I'm notorious for always wanting to choose a more affordable product over a more expensive one. However, here are a few factors that have swayed me towards continuing to purchase this powder at $32 a pop: 

  • I am using less product. I don't need as much of this powder as I did of previous powders I used. Therefore, I am ultimately saving money in the long run. 
  • My makeup is lasting longer. All parts of my makeup--foundation, blush, highlight--are lasting longer, as my makeup isn't breaking down or transferring onto my clothes or hands throughout the day. This is such a relief! Less laundry is always a good thing. 
  • It really does minimize pores and my makeup goes on smoother. Since I use a somewhat unique method to put on my foundation, I do notice that this powder works the way primer does on those with different skin types. (As a note: Primer has never worked on my skin!) My pores are much less noticeable and I don't have to spend as long blending my foundation around my difficult areas, like my nose. 

Am I convert to more "expensive" (or even luxury) powders? I suppose I am! I've always argued for how good drugstore brand powders are--and truly, there is nothing wrong with my elf or Maybelline loose powder. I'm just really impressed with this powder from It Cosmetics and can't see myself going back ever again. 

If you're extremely oily like me, and want a powder that will keep your makeup set all day, this is definitely one to look for! 

Do you have a product that you've always bought affordably--but would love to try high end? 

Everything You Need for Perfect Foundation With Oily Skin

Everything You Need for Perfect Foundation With Oily Skin | Writing Between Pauses

My biggest foundation woe has always been not being able to keep it on my skin. I've always (and I mean, always) had my foundation break down in the corners of my nose, the tip of my nose, my chin, and my forehead. It's pretty awkward to have everything else stay in play... and those points rub off! 

A few years ago, I set out to really solve the problem. I tried every primer under the sun. I tried every method of application. I tried expensive foundations, cheap foundations, concealer only.

Finally, I feel like I've settled on a routine that at least lasts my work day (anything beyond that is a guessing game!) and I thought I'd share my method with you. You definitely don't have to use these exact products, but I'll break down why they work. 

1. Start with a clean & moisturized face. 

Even if you washed your face the night before, you should wash your face before applying foundation. It washes off the oil and bacteria that emerged overnight. I usually wash with my charcoal bar, then apply Pacifica's Dreamy Youth moisturizer, a squeeze of Aveeno's Daily Moisturizer with SPF 15, and two drops of jojoba oil. Let your moisturizer sink into your skin for at least 5-10 minutes. 

2. Wash your beauty sponge every day. 

If you're one of those people who lets their beauty sponge get super dark brown... you're not doing your skin any favors. You need to wash it to its ORIGINAL COLOR every single day. I'm serious. And it needs to be stored in a proper drying rack (you can buy them for really cheap at TJ Maxx or Marshalls), not in a closed container or drawer. 

3. Apply setting powder first. 

I use elf's Skin Refining HD Powder in sheer. When it comes to setting powder, you should look for: a finely milled powder that applies cleanly and makes your skin feel immediately matte. I apply this before foundation because it helps foundation both stick to my skin and absorbs any oil that pops up throughout the day. 

I know this is a "controversial" step: many makeup artists contend that you just can't apply cream or liquid products (like foundation) over powder. But I've never had an issue with foundation applying over my powder. In fact, it makes my skin look better!

Another good base powder to try, if you struggle with large pores, is the IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Airbrush powder. They also have a Pressed version of this powder that I quite like as a topping powder. 

4. Use a matte foundation. 

If a foundation is advertised as "dewy" or "glowy," it goes without saying that it probably won't work with very oily skin. (And the reverse is also true: if you have very dry skin, don't use matte foundations; they'll just dry down.) Right now, I'm using the Maybelline SuperStay Foundation, which I love, but because it's not cruelty-free, I'm looking for an affordable replacement. Some alternatives I'll be trying once my bottle of SuperStay is used up will be the FENTY foundation (notorious for drying down and being super matte) and the Tarte Face Tape Matte foundation

You also shouldn't use a ton of foundation. If it's matte and full-coverage, I usually apply a tiny dollop of highlighting cream, as that thins it out and keeps it from being too heavy on the skin (and going cakey). If you watch MUA videos on YouTube or Instagram, it's easy to think that piling on foundation is better--but I assure you, it's not. 

5. Use a matte concealer

It also goes without saying that if you use a matte foundation, you should use a matte concealer too (if you use concealer). Tarte's Shape Tape is one of the most matte concealers out there (and a little goes a long way); I use Shape Tape on my undereyes, as well as on the tip of my nose and the corners of my nose, then let it dry down for a minute or two before blending. I find this extra little step goes a long way towards preventing break down. 

6. Use more setting powder

You use setting powder as a primer. Now, it's time for more setting powder. I usually use a large, fluffy brush to brush some more of elf's HD Powder over my t-zone; then I set the rest of my face with a smaller face brush with Maybelline's Fit Me loose powder. I know this seems like a lot of powder, but it will help absorb oil and keep your foundation set throughout the day. 

7. Invest in a good setting spray

Setting spray is really everyone's best friend. I love the Wet'n'Wild Photofocus Matte Finish setting spray (because it's only $5!); you only need a spray or two to set your face. I've also heard great things about Urban Decay's All Nighter setting spray for oily skin. Mostly, you want to look for matte finish, again, just like with your foundation and concealer. 

8. Clean all your brushes every single day. 

Sorry, but remember that bit about washing your beauty sponge every day? Well, you'll be washing everything else too. If you have oily skin, the oils from your skin naturally get on your brushes, sponges, everything. To keep your makeup sanitary, and your brushes working well, give your brushes a rinse every single day, especially ones that you use for your whole face (like blush and contour brushes, face brushes, fan brushes, and more). It doesn't have to be a full scrub; just a rinse. I then lay mine flat on a towel while I'm at work. I fully wash everything with Dr. Bronner's soap on Sundays. If you aren't washing your brushes at least once a week, you need to change up your routine and start doing it. You'll be surprised at the difference it makes in your skin!