Monday, August 20, 2012

High Maintenance

I had high hopes for Make Up For Ever HD foundation given glowing testimonials I've read and the fact it’s my first real foray into more expensive/high end foundation. I also very much wanted to like it considering I spent $42 on it (still a discount from the usual $59), which is about twice as much as I'd normally be willing to shell out for a foundation, an element of makeup that I'm not even all that interested in (the only thing I care about less is filling my eyebrows, lip liner and lip gloss).






Thin layer of HD applied with Real Techniques Stippling Brush

I tried very, very hard to make it work. I pretty much tried every way I could think of applying it, including:

The only method I haven’t tried is with a sponge or Beautyblender, because I can’t be bothered with sponges and I’m not completely sold on the Beautyblender given the cost and how fiddly it seems.

The first few days trying this foundation were real disappointments. It looked unnatural, cakey, clung onto dry patches of skin that I didn’t even know I had, and basically I wanted to give up on it. I also hated the fact it dried matte and not glowy or semi-matte. It’s often been compared to Revlon PhotoReady (a foundation that I loved, until it randomly started caking on me), but I find PhotoReady much, much glowier and brightening. HD could be classified as semi-matte, but is definitely more on the matte side for me, especially when first applied. But it's one of those rare breeds that actually looks better as the day goes on and it settles into your skin.

I found the trick to making this foundation work is MOISTURISE LIKE CRAZY. I don’t even think my skin is dry, but maybe it’s because it’s winter, or I haven’t been drinking enough water, or the air conditioning in the office is drying my skin out, but the foundation sat on my skin horribly. It was only after I more or less slathered my whole face in Nivea Soft the night before, concentrating on the dry areas at the tops of my cheeks and around my mouth, then washed my face with only water the next morning and moisturised with my Dove Essential Nutrients Protective Day Cream with equal zeal, that I found results. I used about 3/4ths to 1 pump of the foundation on the back of my hand, dipping my Real Techniques stippling brush lightly into the product and working it into my skin as gently as I could in circular motions.

I never use the stippling brush for my foundation, but it was literally the last resort after trying everything else. And it worked the best, though coverage was on the sheer side. Minimal clinging to dry patches, natural finish, lasted the whole day without oiliness or caking around my nose (an issue I've experienced with almost every foundation I've used), looked good under every lighting condition. However, the next two days I tried the same method, and found my skin increasingly start to flake off weirdly as I was applying the foundation. Almost like the brush was exfoliating my skin, forming little shavings that stuck to my face and were impossible to wipe off completely without making it worse. So, back to square one.

At best, this foundation is natural looking, long lasting, doesn’t cake, a good colour match for me, and gets slightly glowier as the day goes on. At worst, it’s the worst foundation I’ve used.

It takes a lot of effort to make work. It's temperamental. I haven't found any rhyme or reason to why it works one day, and fails spectacularly the next. I don’t recommend it for those with dry skin. But when it works, it really impresses, and while I haven’t worn it to an occasion where I've been photographed, I’ve heard that one of its primary selling points is that it photographs beautifully.

I’m feeling like I have the foundation bug now, because I’m really curious to try some other very popular foundations that are on the pricier side, like Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua and NARS Sheer Glow. Even with mixed results, Make Up For Ever HD has had the unexpected side effect of elevating foundation a few notches up the ladder of my makeup interests.

84 comments:

  1. Ugh, this product sounds like such a disappointment! It's really frustrating when you spend a heap of money on something you expect to be so good and then it is just awful. Thanks for the brilliant review.
    x

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    1. I'm on the fence about it ... it takes way too much effort to work and the hit rate is quite low. And I don't really think it's better than my Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum. It's probably on par, at best, and if it were better, it loses points for being so difficult to work with. But at least it wasn't a total disaster :p

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    1. This one looks nice but looks it wasn't , never heard of that brand before? I have the newest from Chanel, you should try that one, i've also made a blogpost about it:
      http://liveyourdreamsxo.blogspot.nl/2012/08/review-chanel-cream-foundation.html

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    2. Oh cool, I will definitely check your post out! I really want to try Chanel foundations :)

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  3. I'm glad I didn't waste money on this. I have only just purchased my first high end foundation too... I got Estee Lauder double wear. I am a bit like you, foundations do not excite me, and I am more than content with "drug store" brands. I am getting older and feel like I need a little more coverage when I am going out, and for long days at work. I tried two samples of double wear before I forked out the money for it, and so far I am loving it. I don't know what type of skin you have, but I am loving double wear on my combination oily skin. Estee lauder foundations have also lowered in price from $68 to $50, which makes it more appealing to me.

    http://kitschsnitch.blogspot.com.au/

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    1. I've heard fantastic things about Double Wear - especially for those who want fuller, longer lasting coverage. It's a great idea to ask for samples so you can really trial the foundation out before committing to a purchase. I get a little intimidated to ask for samples at makeup counters though! I have no idea why :p I tend to like my foundations semi-matte and more on the sheer side, so Double Wear might not be the best for my preferences, but I'm glad it's working really well for your needs :)

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  4. When i bought this foundation i had really high hopes too! - but it was nothing special and so not worth the money! ><
    Great review hun xxx

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    1. It didn't really blow me away either, but perhaps I had too high expectations! That, or the existing foundations I used were actually better than I gave them credit for :)

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  5. I always buy high end foundations because the cheaper ones don't have my shade - all are too dark for me. I don't like MUFE brand so I haven't tried their foundations but that's a pity that you are do disappointed! I spent over $60 for my Armani foundation but it lasts about 10 months and I love it so much so it was totally worth spending money

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    1. I agree, it seems like a lot to fork out for a single product, but it tastes a really long time (in your case, almost a year!), and if it works well for you, it's totally worth the money :) It is hard to find a really good foundation match, especially for cheaper brands if you're very fair. Have you tried Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum in #51?

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  6. I bought this in the states last year and liked it at first but then noticed exactly what you said above. It caked, clung to dry patches, and flaked around my dry skin area.s. I tried to persevere but ended up giving it away to a friend who likes matte foundations eventually.
    S xx

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    1. Awww, that sucks :( But it was super nice of you to give away the foundation to your friend! I'm hoping HD works better for my skin in the summer when it's a bit more "glowy" (read: oily) :p

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  7. love your review...they're so honest and detailed!

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    1. Thank you Sara :) I appreciate you reading and commenting.

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  8. I was tempted to try this for times when I need more coverage but I really hate matte foundations so its a no go. Chanel Vitalumiere on the other hand is one of my favourites - silky application and a nice glowy finish - you should give it a go x

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    1. Ahhh, I definitely want to! I'm thinking I might pick it up duty-free or overseas on holiday, because Australian retail prices are no doubt through the roof. I also need to finish up my existing foundation before buying more. HD isn't 100% matte but I was expecting it to be on the glowier side, so I was surprised and disappointed that it looked a bit flat and dull when I first applied it.

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  9. What a turbulent post. It's unfortunate that you spent so much on it, only to find that it doesn't live up to expectations. On the other hand, I'm happy foundations are a little more highly regarded in your opinion as a result! After the Laura Mercier Mineral Powder, I'm eyeing Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua- I did have a look at Jemma Kidd Light As Air, simply because they're comparable and it's cheaper, but the shades are difficult to catch in stock, and it's only available online, and from the UK at that. NARS Sheer Glow doesn't really appeal to me- despite the rave reviews, the word 'glow' is strongly associated with 'looking oily' in my mind. I was wondering what foundation you mentioned in your comment, and the moment I read the first line I felt silly for not knowing it was this one! Glad you can return to Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum (which, by the way, seems to last for ages! I wonder when it'll run out)! :)

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    1. LENA COMFORT ZONE'S INSTOCK ON BEAUTYJOINT (I'm well and truly breaking my spending ban but it's too good to pass up!) I even contacted BeautyJoint asking about it and they replied saying they were having lots of trouble with this particular palette (little wonder) so they couldn't say when it would be instock again. YAY! [It's times like these when Twitter would come in handy ;) not that I have it, but still. ^__^]

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    2. omg! Thank you so much for letting me know :) I literally rushed to place an order after I'd read your message LOL. So bad. But at least I haven't shopped online in a while - literally months. (Though I've been buying plenty offline.) Ugh, it's truly an affliction. What else did you order? Fingers crossed you and I don't have any issues with the shipping!

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    3. Haha, it was a bit of an emotional roller coaster huh? I am appreciating foundations more now though - they're such an intrinsic part of makeup. I guess when I said I wasn't that interested in it, I meant more as in it's a bit of a chore to apply and I was quite happy with what I was already using, albeit a little bored because it'd been basically the same 2 for months on end.

      I did return to Healthy Mix Serum for a couple of days this week, and I realised that it's truly an amazing product. I was already very fond of it, but after my trials and tribulations with HD, Bourjois is just so much easier and works almost just as well as HD at its best. I've had my bottle since Easter (so 6 months), and it's nowhere near running out. I have no idea how people use up foundation because I just don't see it happening for me :p Another reason why I don't want to buy too many foundations at once, because foundation is one of those things I try to be more strict about in terms of expiry dates and when I should be throwing it out.

      I am definitely looking to buy both Vitalumiere Aqua and Sheer Glow, though mixed reviews about the latter have made me a bit wary. But the pixiwoo sisters love it ... so I kind of have to at least try it for myself :p

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    4. I KNOW! Can you believe my iHerb order, my blog sale parcel and Sigma brushes haven't arrived yet?! I was poking around on eBay and almost every seller I viewed said Australian orders would take up to 8 weeks to pass through customs. D: Hehehe I legged it onto BeautyJoint too after checking my gmail account and seeing a bunch of people reply to a comment in which I was wailing that Comfort Zone may have been discontinued because Jen from Rainy Days and Lattes couldn't find it when I was buying some things from her blog sale. I held back so much- quite proud of myself- I limited myself to Comfort Zone and Revlon Pink in the Afternoon ;) after seeing your Paddy's Market post. Did you order anything else?

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    5. Wow that sucks about all those parcels in transit :( Your iHerb definitely should've arrived by now - when did you order it? Sigma shipping sucks, mine took a whole month to get here and by then I'd 70% resigned to them never arriving. You did well to limit yourself though! I also ordered Silent Treatment, Seche Vite, China Glaze Luxe and Lush and an ELF blush in Pink Passion. The shipping was $12. Please please please please please let it not take forever :p

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  10. oh this doesn't sound good.. too bad you spent so much money for a product that failed to impress you.
    I haven't tried any MUFE product but I heard a lot of good and bad things about their products. They arent available here so I think at this stage, I am still safe ;p
    I def have foundation bug since a long time ago.lol
    now I am debating myself whether to buy the new burberry velvet finish foundation. I've tried the tester and love it so much,but the pricetag is hefty :/

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    1. How much is it? I say ask for more testers just to be sure ;) And to prolong your urge to buy it! Haha. MUFE isn't readily available here unless you want to pay a small fortune for their products and order them online. But because I bought mine at an expo, it was discounted and physically there, so I thought I might as well, since I couldn't be presented with a better opportunity :p

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  11. It is such a shame when pricey things don't live up to the hype. I've heard many good things about the MUFE Matt Velvet Foundation (some say it's the only real HD foundation) but if you don't like the matte finish, it won't probably work for you either. Seems like finding the HG foundation is pretty much like finding the HG mascara: a never ending frustrating quest for many of us. xx

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    1. I'm not too fond of matte foundations, even for winter. I prefer to use semi-matte foundations (bordering on glowy) and powder if needed. I wonder if it's possible to find the perfect anything! I guess it's our eternal quest to find out :)

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  12. Wow, it's very interesting hearing your opinion as many people seem to rave about this foundation!
    It's disappointing that for $40-$50 it didn't deliver the results you were hoping for :(

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    1. I actually read some MakeUpAlley reviews after I purchased this (as opposed to before, because I'm great at research like that), and I was somewhat surprised to read quite a few negative reviews. But I think it's one of those products that you either love or hate. Or have a love-hate relationship with.

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  13. I can totally see where you are comming from with this one. I also find it incredibly hard to work with and almost never reach for it because of this reason. I find that I need to exfoliate my face directly before I apply this foundation - and I also need to apply it immediately after moiturizer and primer - if I let anything dry before I apply the foundation I experience similar dry, patchiness and it looks super dull. I also really want to try Nars Sheer Glow! It's next on my list!

    xoxo Courtney

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    1. Do let us know how it goes if you buy it :) I'm always curious to hear about people's experiences with certain foundations. It is so difficult to work with, I hate that it requires all that extra effort to prep and prime the skin so it's in the best condition. But on the plus side, my skin seems to have become less dry due to my concentrated moisturising efforts? :p

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  14. Such a splurge and still so disappointing, at least I won't be buying it now. x

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    1. It can work well on occasion, it just requires a lot of work beforehand! And it's quite unpredictable. I think you can find foundations just as good for much cheaper on the market :)

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  15. I hate it when things that are expensive are disappointing. I totally got bitten by the foundation bug when a high end one let me down. It's soo hard to find a good foundation!

    xoxo

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    1. It's funny how a disappointing experience with something you paid a lot of money for has the effect of making you want to try out more foundations (that are in the same price range). You'd think that a negative experience would put you off trying again :p

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  16. Thanks for the review! Now this has really helped me cancel one high-end off my long, long list of to-tries.

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    1. Haha, glad to be of service I guess? :) Though maybe HD will work for you!

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  17. From what I read, people either love or hate this foundation. I, personally, do not feel inclined to buying because of all the negative reviews. I buy high end foundations too personally because my sometimes oily, sometimes combo and acne-prone skin is very demanding and I find those give me better results. But I just ordered an Almay foundation I've been told is pretty good so... Let's see! :) x

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    1. I hope that you like the Almay foundation! Yes, reviews I've read about HD are quite mixed - probably because people had certain expectations due to the hype surrounding it and rave reviews that they've read, but they might've been disappointed with how it performed. HD seems to only really work if you already have smooth, supple, blemish-free skin that isn't dry.

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  18. Such a shame this one didn't work. I have the Chanel one and it's perfect for me. I would definitely recommend it.

    Sandra from The Puzzle of Sandra's Life

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    1. That's great to hear! How do you find the application and lasting power? It's been on my wishlist for a while now :)

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  19. I've been wanting to try out higher-end foundations like the MUFE, Chanel, NARS but I always find great reviews and the not so happy ones. I guess it all depends on skin type and trying sample before forking out for a full size bottle. Thanks for the review^^ X

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    1. That's true, it's a good idea to ask for a sample to see how the foundation works for you skin before buying it. Usually I just sample the foundation on the back of my hand, and if I like the consistency and think the colour's about right, I'll go for it :p

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  20. I used to not really care about foundation either (thinking in stead that color cosmetics were more important). However, I have come to greatly appreciate how foundation can even skintone beautifully and help blush stay on longer. It sucks that the MUFE foundation isn't behaving consistently. I hope it works out!

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    1. Agreed, foundation is such an important step and it really forms the base for everything (quite literally). If you don't have amazing, even, glowy skin - you can always fake it with foundation, and the right one will provide you good coverage while looking natural as well :)

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  21. I've read so many mixed reviews of this foundation, it sounds like a PAIN to apply!

    http://wewereraisedbywolves.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. It's a lot of work, and sometimes even with what I thought were the ingredients to making it work, it still doesn't work, but at least I'm motivated to continue trying for that one time on occasion when it applies beautifully.

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  22. So sad to hear that as I was very interested! Sucks when you dish out a lot of cash on a product that disappoints.

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    1. I guess it's part and parcel of being a beauty addict, there will always be products that are a bit of a letdown! But at least my curiosity about it has been satiated :)

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  23. So sorry to hear that this foundation doesn't work for you. It really sucks to have paid so much for a product to not work well. Not to mention that it's so strange that the results you get are so extreme too.

    I have very oily skin so I have been wanting to try this foundation out. Not very sure if I should now since this products has received such mixed reviews.

    Liz
    chewylove.blogspot.com

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    1. I know, it's bizarre how it flip flops from fabulous to fail. I don't really get it :( I wonder if it's really worth it in the end, since the other 2 foundations I use on a regular basis seem to do the job just fine, with much less effort. I'm not sure how HD holds up for those with very oily skin, but it's definitely terrible for those with dry skin!

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  24. I'm glad you were able to figure out a way to make the foundation work a little better for you, and it wasn't a total waste of money. But it does sound very temperamental.

    ~ Yun

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    1. It is! I don't know why it's so unpredictable and difficult to work with. I'm hoping it'll be easier in the summer when my skin won't be as dry.

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  25. Thank you for this review! I was going to use my next Sephora coupon on this product, but I've been on the fence about it for the past 2 years (because of the HIGH price). I think I'm going to try the Revlon Photo Ready foundation instead. Thanks for this!

    -Lisa
    The Lovely Memoir

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    1. PhotoReady is a really gorgeous foundation, but VERY glowy. To the point where it's slightly extreme. But it photographs like a dream. It's actually one of my favourite foundations, except that for whatever reason, it applies horribly to my skin now. I don't know whether it's because there's something wrong with the foundation (like something in the chemistry of my bottle has gone funny), or whether it's just my skin no longer works with it anymore.

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  26. This foundation look great, but I already have one that I love.

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    1. Then you definitely don't need this one! :)

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  27. Ahhh I think high end foundations are always rather hit-or-miss. And if you miss, you're like MY MONEY!!! I wish it worked better for you, but hey I guess the foundation bug will find you a better one? ;)

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    1. Haha, well (don't tell anyone), I went and bought a backup of my beloved Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum foundation in a shade lighter than the one I'm using now - only a few days after I purchased HD :p

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  28. Ahh I hate it when you spend loads on a product and it doesn't live up to your expectations :( x

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    1. Don't we all! But at least I don't buy higher end products much at all (though the cheaper products I buy all the time find a way to scarily add up!).

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  29. That sucks!! I've heard *really* mixed reviews about this, but I've heard pretty good things about the Mat Velvet +, maybe I'll try that one instead...
    colormeloverly.blogspot.com

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    1. It is puzzling how inconsistent the foundation is, both on an individual basis, and across people. I wonder if you can get a sample to try out beforehand?

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  30. I actually really would love to try this foundation - there have been so many rave reviews, plus I'm one of those unfortunate beings with ungodly, oily skin.. But I have MAC's Studio Fix to test out, so I'll wait some time to see if I have the money to splurge again on something that's clearly a hit or miss :D x

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    1. I'm glad in a way that I bought it, if only to satisfy my curiosity about it, and to be able to give my own opinion about a product that I've been interested in for a while. It might work better for those without dry skin, though I'm not sure about oily to very oily skin. I guess one day you'll find out if you ever do decide to splurge!

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  31. haha yeah I haven't really strayed into high end makeup brands much. It's unfortunate that this one didn't work that well for you. sometimes they are worth the money (my Bobbi Brown foundation cost about $90, and I love it) but it really sucks when a cheaper drugstore brand would've been a lot better. I hope you find the one that suits you best! and yes you're right- air con really does dry out the skin a lot! :(

    metallicpaws.blogspot.com

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    1. I know, the perils of an office. But at least I'm not freezing during the day :p I think higher end products are absolutely worth it if they work really well for you and they last a long time, as I imagine a foundation would. But I guess in the case of MUFE HD, it's so tricky to work with, and even at its best, it's probably only marginally better than the existing drugstore foundation I've been using (Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum), which is so much easier to apply.

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  32. HELLO! I JUST FOUND YOUR BLOG AND IT´S GREAT, PLEASE COME VISIT MY BLOG AND LET ME KNOW IF YOU WANT US TO FOLLOW EACH OTHER OK!
    KISSES
    www.petitgraphie.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks for visiting, I'll be sure to check out your blog.

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  33. Its a shame this foundation hasn't lived up to your expectations.. I've been meaning to pick it up to try out myself as I'veh heard so many good things about it!

    Have you tried out Benefit's Hello Flawless? That's the one I'm using right now and I'm loving it!

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    1. No, I haven't - but I did read your review about it! Benefit is hideously overpriced in Australia (one of their box blushes is like $60 or something), so I don't even want to think about how much a foundation would be :p But I'm glad you're loving yours!

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  34. Oh, it's such a shame that this foundation was quite as good as you'd hoped, especially for the price tag! I have to say, I'm generally quite skeptical about pricier foundations, but I was tempted to try this when it was getting so much attention xx

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    1. There are definitely cheaper options out there that perform really well. I usually don't buy higher end makeup, but something about MUFE HD and the fact it's usually restricted in availability and more expensive online, made me want to buy it when it was priced cheaper and in display right in front of me! :p

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  35. Such a total shame that this didn't work! I've heard great things about the Chanel one though.

    <3 Rubiiee

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    1. Me too, like just in this post! It's definitely on my wishlist :)

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  36. Such a shame this didnt work out :( Now I'm not sure if I should try it :P But thanks for sharing ! Now I'll now ^^

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    1. Maybe it will work better for you? I wish it didn't require so much work to not look horrible when applied. But when it works, it's actually a really nice foundation - though probably nothing you can't get for much cheaper.

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  37. thanks for the review! i heard manyyyyyy good things about this foundation. definitely a very popular choice! but i'm sorry it didn't work well for you most of the time :( i found that most foundations are not moisturizing so it's literally a requirement to have moisturized skin for the foundation to go on smoothly. i'd definitely love to see the reviews for the the other foundations if you buy them to try!
    AH omg the air condition at my work place totally dries out my face too T.T i sit right under it and my face just feels disgusting! though i can't complain because it's boiling outside...sighhh!

    want a new hair color? join our back to school giveaway!
    alex @ carouselstreet.com

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    1. I'm with you about moisturising, I always moisturise before I apply my foundation, but with HD I have to do it to an exaggerated extent. I find myself using my richer/oilier creams and really piling it on, rather than using more light lotions and only using a small amount for a thin layer.

      Haha I know about the perils of air conditioning. It really wreaks havoc on your skin! Need to keep hydrated and remember to continue drinking water, but I always forget and never drink enough :p

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  38. Other than the heaps and heaps of raving on this foundation I've also only heard that this was an average foundation. It's too bad this was so horrible for you! I think I'm just gonna steer clear of this one because it doesn't seem to be THAT special as many have said. Moisturizing before putting on foundation seems like a must though, even with my combo to oily skin - I think it just makes everything stick on and absorb better to the skin. Have you tried a foundation primer underneath? Maybe that'll fix the fine lines problem. I've also been eyeing the Chanel foundations for the longest time but haven't brought myself to getting one cause it's so expensive. I might be close to getting one now though....retail therapy at it's peak lol >_<

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    1. Agreed, I always moisturise beforehand, but I have to really pile it on when I'm going to use HD. Today I tried it with lots of moisturiser, plus a primer (Face of Australia Face Base), I'm not sure whether it had any tangible effect in terms of moisturising my skin more/making the foundation apply to my skin better/making the foundation longer lasting.

      Which Chanel foundation are you looking to buy? You've done well in holding off for so long anyway :) That's cause to treat yourself! :p

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  39. This is one of my two HG foundations, I'm so sorry it didn't work out for you! The best way I've found to apply it is with the MUFE Kabuki brush (although I'm sure any other would work just as well). I pump it onto the cap, dip the head of the brush into the foundation, stipple it all over then buff it in like a powder. It gives the most natural, even coverage I've ever found. Hope that helps!

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