For the past few months, I'd been hearing nothing but positive, glowing reviews about the Wet'n'Wild Photo Focus foundation. Like the Liquid Catsuit liquid lips, it's highly affordable and reviewers said it had great coverage and wore great. Of course, this got my interested.
I'm a high end foundation user. Personally, drug store foundations have just never worked for me; the color selection is usually very orange or warm-toned and gets neither very light nor very dark. For that reason, I just never look at drugstore foundation options. So the fact that I was seeing some top YouTube beauty gurus using Wet'n'Wild... color me intrigued, in the words of Natch Beaut.
While on a trip to Idaho, I'd forgotten my foundation (ugh) so I ran to Walgreens fully intending to buy this foundation. They didn't have it at the store I went to though and since it was nearly 11pm at night, I instead bought the L'Oreal Pro-Matte foundation (which I liked but it's not cruelty free and it oxidized about 2 shades darker).
Once I finally finished my tube of L'Oreal Pro-Matte, I vowed to buy Wet'n'Wild Photo Focus. My chance came about a week and a half ago. I picked out the lightest shade, Porcelain, feeling sure that the Shell Ivory shade would be too dark. I bought it after I'd gone to the gym, so I didn't get a chance to try it right away.
The next day, I cracked it open and... the first thing that hit me was the smell. The smell of this foundation is what I can only describe as extremely chemical, somewhere between the smell of a hospital and paint thinner. It's horribly unpleasant. A little repulsed, I moved forward.
Another note: I don't like the little paddle that you use to get the foundation out. It's so wonky and inflexible and mostly just drips everywhere. Another notch against this foundation.
I put a few pools of it on my palette (I use a candle lid) and started dabbing it on. Beyond the smell, the color was a good match, if a little light; the undertone is neutral in the Porcelain shade, so if you're a pale, neutral-undertoned girl, this is pretty perfect. (It's hard to find!)
I got my trust Beauty Blender and started blending. And... it disappeared. All the little dabs of foundation on my face? Baby, they were GONE. My blender sponge had sucked them up.
As it turns out, this foundation is water-based... which means if you use a beauty blender or similar make up sponge, this thing can happen where it just absorbs all the foundation. All of it.
I started over with dabs then used my e.l.f. kabuki brush to start blending. Immediately, The thing I noticed was the foundation was incredibly streaky and just... sitting on top of my skin. It was like I had been sprayed with white out liquid and brushed it with a paint brush. My kabuki brush NEVER leaves streaks that bad. I kept going, but no matter how much I blended, how much I worked, it just sat on top of my skin and didn't blend.
Next, I try the beauty blender again and, thankfully, they blended out the streaks and seemed to help the foundation settle down. Every now, after using it daily for about 10 days, it applies super weird and requires so much work to get it to actually blend into my skin. For a drugstore foundation, it has decent color match for pale tones (FYI, the darkest shade is Mahogany and it's definitely still pretty light)--but the process I have to go through to blend!
How does it wear through the day? I follow a process where I use setting powder after my moisturizer, then do my foundation, then a very light layer of setting powder. This foundation wears just about as well as any other foundation I've tried; after about 4-6 hours, it starts to break down around the corners of my nose and between my eyes (which are my two biggest trouble spots). My chin occasionally gets very oily with this foundation, but I can't figure out the correlation between days when it does and doesn't. It might just be a matter of application and powder on those days.
My final thoughts: Is this foundation good? For drugstore, it's ok. It's only $5.99 at Ulta, so if you're in the market for trying a new foundation, it's not like dropping $34 on the new Fenty foundation only to dislike it!
The pros for me are that it has a great neutral undertone and it doesn't oxidize.
The cons are the smell (It is VERY strong and very chemical-y, for lack of a better word), the difficulty of blending, and the areas of breakdown. The coverage is definitely medium, but not a miracle worker like many YouTube beauty gurus seem to suggest.
I wouldn't rate it as better or worse than any other foundations. It wears about as well as any of them; if you get significantly oily like I do, you'll need a blotting powder or blotting paper throughout the day.