Mineral Foundation: E.L.F Versus Lily Lolo

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Perhaps the holy grail of your makeup bag will forever be, the perfect foundation.  With more and more becoming available ranging from liquids, creams, powders, powders that turn to creams, creams that turn to powders, spray on, dust on to the rather mystical potions that allegedly automatically matches your skin tone not that i'm at all cynical, honest.

Personally I require several things from a foundation:

1) I'm pale, as in milk bottle pale and actually i'm rather partial to it too.  I care not for tans and nor do I aspire to be bronzed.  I certainly do not want to join that obscure race that appear to be a cross breed of carrots and oompa loompas.  .If I wanted to change colour, i'd buy Snazeroo.

2) Despite needing a foundation I'm actually terribly unimpressed with the idea of wearing one and prefer to feel like i'm not caked in polyfiller.  If you ever repeat this, I may have to hunt you down and dispose of you, but I also have a smattering of freckles and I quite like them visible.

3) It simply must be easy to apply and blend, there's something utterly ludicrous about VFL's (Visible Foundation Lines), there shouldn't be a visible area where your foundation stops and your neck starts.

It's not that I ask much, i'm not incredibly hard to please yet it has proved to be disastrously difficult, especially when on limited funds which do hamper ones ability to experiment.  I had initially settled in using Maybellines dream matte mousse until I decided to venture into the virgin territory of mineral makeup which I confess appealed to that slight crunchy side of my nature.

I started off using E.L.F mineral foundation and booster powder which proved relatively friendly to the pocket though their tubs aren't the largest in the world and the packaging is left wanting in design as there is nothing in place to keep the makeup in the tub when not in use, it escapes through the sieve like dispenser yet bugger me if you can get it back it.  It's not so much an issue when the product is new as you have to do a rather fetching shake and vac dance (oh god, I'm showing my age now) to actually get the dispenser to well, bloody well dispense! yet once you've used it a few times the contents then have space to move freely and escape should you fail to keep it absolutely upright, mission impossible when you have children who are rather partial to your makeup bag.  All is well whilst not in use yet you are met with an abundance of product simply desperate to escape as soon as you take the the lid off which leads to your face instinctively forming a very unattractive pose as you exclaim 'Gah!' repeatedly.  Granted in time the excess may get used but it is a rather extravagant waste and to be frank, it's frightfully messy.  On to the actual product itself, once you get the hang of buffing (what an extraordinary word, it feels like something you ought not to do in front of your Mother) it on in circular motions with your Kabuki brush (Kabuki, another fun word, sounds awfully suggestive.  Go on, say it a few times you know you want to and see if you're voice doesn't instinctively drop into some sordid sultry tone) you're good to go.  Less really is more, with mineral makeup you really do have to build it up until you get the exact level of coverage you're comfortable with.  I found the coverage was okay, the product didn't irritate my sensitive skin and the shade wasn't an obvious departure from my own fair skin.  However, without being able to pinpoint it, there was just a lingering feeling of it lacking something.  I'm not even sure what, it just didn't completely crank my tractor.  The finish wasn't satisfying my innate yearning to well, lets be honest here, look better.  I also used the booster powder, not entirely sure why, it just seemed like a good idea, some subliminal marketing message infiltrated my rationality and told me I needed it.  I first chose the shimmer booster, who doesn't love a bit of sparkle?  I admit to having quite a close relationship with glitter in my past so the sparkle appealed to me.  It's subtle, don't worry it won't Twilight you.  I later tried the sheer one just to compare and again, I can't quite point my finger on it yet it felt a little lack lustre.  It didn't wow me.  Forgive my petulance but I rather want to be wowed.

At the end of the day, if you want to have a dabble in the world of mineral makeup and you're brassic like me, E.L.F may be just what you're looking for.  Just don't expect miracles.

Being unusually graced with some funds (mainly from selling my soul and general belongings) I decided to slip from mineral virginity to mineral third base and started a triste with Lily Lolo having heard the name bandied about by online peers and hearing it is especially rather good for us vampires, I mean pale faces.

I went ahead and ordered some foundation and some finishing powder, still not quite convinced about the need for it, in my mind it seemed rather superfluous to put one powdered product on top of another, unless of course you're playing with eyeshadows.  Powder atop liquid foundation, made sense, but powder upon powder?

It's worth pointing out here that there is an incredibly wider selection of shades to choose from compared to E.L.F (I ordered the palest) and although at first you may think this is a justification of the price at nearly double that of the E,L.F foundation when you think about it, the Lily Lolo pots are also considerably bigger so it may not be as expensive as you first fear.

Remember a few paragraphs up my critique of the dispenser on E.L.F's products?  This is where Lily Lolo once again come up trumps, theirs have a rather nifty system rather like a salt dispenser where you can turn the dispenser to close off the product when not in  use, so simple and yet marvelously effective.  The product is also easier to dispense, with slightly less energy needed to initially shake it out.

The foundation is quite effortless to buff (wahey!) into your skin and incredibly easy to build up to your desired coverage and yet there is a certain feel of quality to it, i'm completely unable to describe it it just feels softer, smoother and never mind the bollocks.......nicer. It disappears to leave a natural,  silky finish to your skin.  One tip however is to make sure you moisturise about ten minutes before you apply it to ensure a better finish and to avoid any cakeyness (yes, I did just make that word up).  The shade for me is spot on, it may as well have been tailor made.

I finished up using their flawless matte fininishing powder having had it highly recommended to me by a peer. The finishing powder is noticeably harder to dispense then the foundation and has an entirely different texture even just from observing it on the lid pre-application.  It's also, white.  Very white.  So white you may recoil, petrified you're about to be gothed.  Even when you put it on, it's....you guessed it, white.  Whilst still easy to apply it is worth mentioning that it is noticeably more time consuming to buff then the foundation yet the effort is worth it.  Once applied, all whiteness is gone and you are left with an incredibly lovely finish that makes you squint as you try and remember how the bloody hell you managed to cheat your way into such a lovely look, too scared to sit down in case you accidentally impale yourself on some magic wand you didn't realise you had.

If you can afford the slightly higher initial outlay I would highly recommend Lily LoLo foundation and finishing powder.  Although not perfect, for me it comes suspiciously close to what I personally want in such products.  Sometimes a product both looks and feels good, and this is one of those products.  Lovely coverage, great shade, lovely texture and it doesn't feel like you're wearing makeup.


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