If you’ve been following my blog for pretty much any amount of time, it’s no secret that I have oily skin. I start looking like the Wicked Witch of the West just an hour or two into my day on a regular basis, only no one has to dump a bucket of water on me. When you start feeling like the country you live in could be energy independent just based off of the amount oil sliding off your face on the daily no matter how many preventative measures you’ve taken, it’s time to do something more serious about it. The Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation has been on my wish list for ages now. It’s a mattifying, oil-free, liquid-to-powder foundation, and it has been causing quite a stir. Since the JCPenney Sephora in the city I live in doesn’t carry Hourglass, I had to wait until I could go to a real Sephora to get matched to the right shade.
This foundation retails for a whopping $55 an ounce. It comes in a heavy metal bottle with a screw cap and a pump. This makes it nice for travel if you’re afraid of the pump leaking for whatever reason, but I don’t normally jostle my luggage around like a crazy person, so it’s probably not really necessary. While I do like the pump because it allows me to control the flow a lot better than just a completely open bottle, I have noticed that it clogs up occasionally and the foundation goes shooting off into random directions. When you’re trying to conserve this precious, liquid gold as much as you possibly can, it can get pretty frustrating at times.
I know what you’re thinking. How did I end up purchasing two of these in drastically different shades? The shade on the right is Nude, and that was the one the Sephora employee matched me to. It’s described as a medium light with neutral to yellow undertones, which is so far off from my actual skin tone (fair with neutral to pink undertones), I don’t even know how I ended up walking out of the store with it. Like a complete moron, I tossed the box and the receipt before trying it out at home. The color is so dark on me, I can’t even wear it during the summer after getting some sun, so I’m going to have to purchase a color corrector to see if I can get it the right shade. The left swatch is the Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation in Vanilla, and it’s perfect. It’s described as very fair with pink undertones. In case you’re wondering, this is the reason I was so reluctant to replace my MUFE foundation a few weeks ago. Because despite looking like a total carrot face wearing Nude, I really, REALLY loved this foundation and was determined to make it work. I spent what felt like an eternity combing the internet trying to decide which shade would work best for me since I don’t have access to a full Sephora. After making my husband stare at hundreds photos of fair-skinned ladies sporting various shades of this stuff on their face, I decided that Vanilla was the one.
Are you tired of seeing this photo yet? Mostly clear skin, some redness, a few blood vessels around the nose, yadda yadda. Me without makeup. Just so we know what we’re dealing with when I begin talking about coverage.
The Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation formula is truly unique in that it absorbs oil and gives a long-lasting velvet-matte finish, eliminating the need for touch-ups throughout the day. It’s incredibly lightweight and while most foundations I’ve tried are clearly just sitting on top of my face once the oil starts creeping out of my pores, this acts as if it has become one with my skin. It softens and minimizes the look of my pores and other slight imperfections and it never creases near my eyes or around my mouth, not even a little bit. That perfect my-skin-but-better look I’ve been fantasizing about all these years–this is that.
Since it transforms to powder almost instantly, it can be a bit tricky to apply. I found that I had best results using a Beautyblender for application because it smoothes it out quickly and evenly without leaving any streaks. I find it difficult to build in some areas where it’s necessary because it dries so quickly and can result in looking very cakey. If I do manage to build to full-coverage before it dries, my face looks very powdery and a little too pink against my neck for this particular shade. Fortunately, I would say it’s in the middle of medium to full-coverage, so a thin layer is suitable for my current skin conditions and matches my neck just fine. With a little trial and error, this foundation works beautifully, and I don’t experience the slightest bit of oiliness even with sweating until after about 8 hours of wear when it begins to break down–a miracle for me!
The Sephora employee suggested that I use this foundation without a primer and to only apply powder after I start getting oily, but I found the opposite worked best for me. Without primer and powder from the very start, the foundation broke down after only a few hours. With them, I don’t have to do a single touchup or blot my face all day long.
No foundation is without its flaws, so here they are:
This is not a foundation for those with dry skin. My skin was dryer than normal in the photo above, and as you can see, the foundation has highlighted some of the dry patches. If this is only an occasional thing for you, you might be able to get away with moisturizing in those areas more. I also have to be careful with how much I apply below my eyes because, since I’m 30, I’m developing some fine lines and the powdery finish makes them stand out more than usual. The good news in all of this is that since my skin is so oily, most of those dry areas highlighted by the powder vanish by the time I’ve finished doing the rest of my makeup.
If you want this foundation to go the distance, forget about wearing concealer. It cannot be worn on top of the powder finish, and the foundation begins sliding off after just a few hours of wear when worn underneath. Again, it has pretty decent coverage so as long as you’re not dealing with any severe, hard to cover up skin conditions, you will probably be fine.
It’s $55. For one ounce. Unless you have money to burn, this is hardly practical for daily use. I will likely only use it for events when I need my makeup to really last or for the summer when I go to the coast and have an extremely difficult time getting my foundation to stand up to the humidity. Other than that, I’m not sure (yet) that I can justify wearing it every day even if it is, by far, the best foundation I’ve ever used.
Here’s how it looks finished after adding a highlighter and blush:
Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation has been a lifesaver for me. No other foundation I’ve tried remotely comes close to battling oil the way this one does. A little part of me dies inside every time I think about the price, but if you are as desperate as I was to find something that just works, it’s definitely worth a try.