I’m not doing too good with my stop-buying-foundation resolution, am I? Unfortunately, 2018 (so far) has been packed with enticing new launches of the complexion variety. Stick foundations seem to be the current trend – Hourglass, ABH and Lancome are the existing ones that spring to mind, but it’s easy to forget the vintage favourite from Max Factor – the Pan Stik. Keeping in the drugstore vein, and following suit behind luxury brands, is L’Oreal – adding to their Infallible range with a set of Fenty-esque sticks for colour, coverage and glow (and some new liquid primers). While it’s not available anymore, I recently picked up a set from Superdrug online that offered a primer and foundation stick of my choice, bundled with a highlighter – the Shaping Kit – for a discounted total cost. I (predictably) chose the mattifying primer, and shade 100 Ivory of the foundation – the highlighter included was shade 503 Slay in Rose. There was also this little blender/sponge on a stick within the set, but we’re not going to talk about that (ugh).
Infallible Mattifying Primer
Included in the “Mattifier” edition of this set is this – the Infallible Mattifying Primer Shot. I was really surprised by the size of this product, as the tube is super slender and only holds 20ml – 10ml less than a standard tube, and not any cheaper than primers from Rimmel or Maybelline. It is a nifty little tube though, with a pump (yay) and a little cap to help with any mess.
The texture of this was really different to almost every matte primer I’ve tried, as it was thin and watery and not the silicone-rich gel I’d expected. It’s also a white colour, not clear, but doesn’t leave any sort of cast on the skin. The thin texture made it easy to apply, smoothed on and patted in with the fingers – it felt a little tacky after application, but definitely not dewy or greasy. I don’t feel that it improved the application of my foundation, as it didn’t seem to act to fill or smooth the skin, and didn’t act as a glue (like some tackier primers do).
While I didn’t hate this primer, it really didn’t do anything to keep my skin from getting oily – I used it both with the stick foundation and with others, and still ended up as greasy as ever. Any suggestions for a matte primer that actually works, please send them my way. This one is available here for £8.99.
Infallible Foundation Stick in Ivory 100
I don’t know how different stick foundations can really be – this one looks fairly standard, with sturdy plastic packaging and a cylindrical “bullet” (I know that Hourglass’s stick is triangular, which I imagine is better for getting those awkward bits of the face). The shade range isn’t great – I picked up the palest shade, and it does run a bit more orange than I’d like. There’s 12 shades in total – with perhaps only three that would be suitable for darker skin tones (just a lot of beige-tan shades…) – which is disappointing from a brand like L’Oréal, home to the True Match foundation.
Application is fun, I have to admit – I ended up swiping foundation-cat-whiskers on my cheeks and taking a load of selfies. The speed at which you can lay the product down is great, but I found blending this super tricky – using a brush caused the foundation to pill and collect in random places on my face, but using a sponge to bounce the product ate all the foundation up and left me with no coverage. If I swiped with the sponge at all, the pilling thing would happen, and I ended up with barely any coverage on my skin, but strange patches of caked-up product (not a great look). It made my forehead look weird and dry (flaky – like microexfoliation). That sucked.
It doesn’t set fully (to a sort of satin finish), and feels comfortable on the skin – I think it played well with my concealer and other cream products, being so emollient, but I had to be careful at the corners of my eyes and around my nose because the foundation didn’t want to stay put. I was a total greasy mess by lunchtime, glowing in a very un-cute way (not like that soft-skin look Glossier’s Skin Tint gives me) with oily, cakey and oxidised patches on my cheeks and chin.
Drier skins might like this, but I’m not sure if the formula would emphasise texture at all – if you are interested in picking this up, it’s available here for £8.99.
Infallible Highlighter Stick in 503 Slay in Rose
Out of the three products, this is my favourite. Slay in Rose is an icy pearlescent, cool-toned rose shade that compliments my skin perfectly. I’ve been obsessed with cream blushes and highlighters recently, and this is a really pretty one to add to the collection. I find a lot of highlighters too warm and gold for me (and my ghost skin/ginger hair) but this one brought an intense level of glow without unnatural.
I don’t like to apply these stick products directly over foundation – I’m yet to try one that doesn’t take off the makeup underneath it when you swipe it on. Instead, I put some on my sponge and worked it into the cheekbones for a seamless glow. The texture is almost cream-to-powder, but like if the powder was incredibly fine and undetectable – it’s smooth and satin. It doesn’t last forever – as most cream highlighters won’t – but looks so good layered with a powder product on the top for increased intensity.
This product comes in four different shades including this one, a deeper pink, a gold and super-cool blue (I’d love to try the blue!), for £8.99 each – the same price as the primer and the foundation.
So, this wasn’t a wild success, was it? I really don’t hate the primer, but for me it just didn’t work – a “mattifying” primer that doesn’t mattify seems kinda pointless. I wish I could’ve made the foundation work for me, but the shade was off and the texture just didn’t want to play nice with my skin, making me look dry when I’m definitely not. I might see if I can use it for spot concealing. The highlighter, at least, worked out great – I can’t wait to wear it in the summer for those super glowy and low-coverage days, and the stick format is so great for travelling and reapplication.