"I've tried over 100 foundations as a beauty writer, and this is my favourite of all time"
Hi, my name is Charlotte and I have a foundation problem. It’s so bad, my complexion stash could take up a whole episode of Hoarders, with 22 bottles (and counting) currently open. I know, it’s a sin but I just can’t stop collecting foundations. Thank God it’s my job, ey?
Despite the ghosts of foundations past and present, there is one I will never break up with. Considering I have a candy shop of tints, creams, lotions and powders to choose from, you know it’s got to be good if I’m still going through bottles of the stuff.
Launched back in 2017, this foundation not only shook up the beauty world forever (not being dramatic), but it also changed my makeup game for the better. That’s right, I’m fangirling over Fenty Beauty’s Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation (£30).
Back in 2017, I was a wannabe Beauty Journalist getting up at 6am so I could catch a train to stand in line at Harvey Nichols to get my mitts on Fenty Beauty the day it launched. The line was so long, I then had to leg it to the Cosmo offices where I was interning with the beauty team at the time – true story.
I’ll admit, as an avid Riri fanatic, I was already invested in the launch of her namesake brand, but even I wasn’t expecting the products to be that good.
As someone that can camouflage against whiteboards, it was the first foundation I had ever used where I wasn’t having to mix the shade with lightening drops to make sure I didn’t resemble an orange cheese puff.
Its thorough shade range set the standard for beauty brands everywhere that diversity and inclusion wasn’t optional, it was necessary. No matter what you think of the founder herself, you have to give credit where credit is due, and Rihanna did that.
When I first read “soft matte”, I was dreading it. Did I still spend my money on it anyway? Hell yes. For someone with dry, sensitive rosacea-prone skin and an oily T-zone (I know, I really am a full bingo card for problematic skin), it’s a constant juggle trying to find a formula that makes all areas of my face happy. Somehow, this foundation did just that.
I’ve worn it to sweltering summer weddings, enduring music festivals, under a paintball mask (don’t ask) and in tropical 40-degree weather – and it hasn’t budged. Riri really wasn't messing around when she said 'Longwear Foundation'.
Full disclosure: I have dry skin, but I’m a very sweaty person, so it all mixes together to resemble a flustered appearance. If you have super dry skin, I’d definitely go in with a hydrating primer first (I do this in winter during colder months) to help create the perfect base. Otherwise, I was impressed with how well it didn’t cling to dry patches and just how full coverage, yet comfortable, it was to wear.
During my many years of being in an entanglement with this foundation, I’ve gone through oily breakout phases and found it covered my mini volcanos like a champ. One thing it is not though, is glowy (not that it even claims to be).
As I’ve grown older, dryer and questionably wiser, I’ve found the perfect combination to up the wattage. I use a blob of my trusted Fenty and mix it in with a few stripes of Charlotte Tilbury’s Hollywood Flawless Filter (£39) (AKA, my glowy genie in a bottle). And voila, the two make for a foundation power couple, one that I’ve been stanning as long as Rihanna’s music hiatus. But let's not go there…
What’s made it so impressive to me is how customisable it’s been through my many, many skin journeys. If you’ve got it collecting dust in your stash somewhere, I urge you to get it out again and play around with different combinations.
I’m certainly not the only one to go through bottles of the stuff, as it’s racked up an impressive 9,000 5* reviews on Sephora US alone. It’s safe to say, you should believe in the hype.
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