The search for the elusive Holy Grail foundation for mature skin continues with a look at a cushion compact.
The foundation in the hot seat today is Philosophy Take A Deep Breath Cushion Foundation it retails for $40 for .44 oz. and comes in 8 shades.
The foundation is housed in a plastic compact that includes a sponge. It’s less of a cushion and more of a fabric mesh that you press the sponge into to dispense the product.
I got it in shade 5 which goes on looking lighter than it does in the compact but was a pretty good match that I could improve with a little bronzer.
From the Philosophy website: “It’s light-as-air liquid makeup that helps skin recover from the signs of a busy life that can age skin, as it evens tone and smoothes texture with a breathable, weightless finish”
This foundation is mainly water and silicones with an interesting mix of plant based antioxidants, ferment extracts, coffee extract, vitamin e and green tea. It contains an spf of 20 from a mix of chemical and physical sunscreens, some sd alcohol but it’s pretty far down the list and a few fragrant extracts.
The first day I tried the Philosophy cushion I was filming a “Makeup Haul” video and using lots of new products. I applied this using the included sponge applicator over a new primer (Algenist Anti-Aging Primer) and finished the look with my new Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Powder. If you watched that video you already know that I had a really good makeup day!
Using the sponge, the foundation went on kind of spotty but could be blended with a little extra work. It offered medium coverage that was good at color correction and covering blemishes. The finish is slightly shinier than I like so I was happy to try the Laura Mercier powder to tone it down in some areas.
The foundation looked really good from a distance and even seemed slightly smoothing. I had to go out for dog food and snapped a pic of it in direct sun and was happy to see it still looking good!
Throughout the day it wore well and didn’t settle into wrinkles or pores, but I couldn’t be sure it was this foundation that was performing well or the primer and powder. . .
For my second wearing I used it on it’s without primer or setting powder to see how it does without any help. Sadly, without primer it was pretty difficult to blend so I didn’t get a smooth application including some patchy spots. Again it was shinier than I like but I didn’t use setting powder. Those new breakouts are from a sunscreen I tested the day before… NOT from the Philosophy foundation!
After 5 hours it was clear that this foundation needs primer and setting powder to wear well and look it’s best. The good news is it doesn’t settle into pores or wrinkles, but the bad news is it doesn’t go on as well or wear as well without primer and without setting powder it gets shinier as the day goes on.
By 10 hours it wasn’t looking very good.
I was done using the sponge that came with it so I used Smashbox Photofinish Light Primer, and applied with a damp Beauty Blender blending sponge and used IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores HD Powder to set it. The sponge and primer made application easier and gave medium coverage with a nice looking finish.
At 5 hours it was wearing well (thanks to the Smashbox primer) and the IT powder really helped it stay matte.
At 10 hours the wear was good it was still hanging in there and looking good!
Coverage: This is a pretty thick formula that offers medium to full coverage. It covers blemishes and evens out skin tone well. It’s not the easiest to blend (especially with it’s little sponge) but it can be built up to full coverage.
Finish: It has a dewey finish that’s a bit shinier than I like, but overall it’s a flattering soft shine that doesn’t make texture issues look worse.
Pores: It does NOT settle into pores!
Wrinkles: It doesn’t settle into wrinkles either!
Wear: On it’s own it lasted less around 5 hours and became shinier as the day went on. With primer it lasted all day and setting powder helped to keep my forehead shine in check.
Feel: It stays tacky for a little while but does dry down to a lightweight feel but I wouldn’t call it “light as air”. It feels moisturizing to wear all day and didn’t cling to dry skin or create flakes.
Flash Photography Test:
Fail! It definitely looks extra pale in flash photos.
I liked this so much on day 1 that I thought I’d found a Holy Grail foundation. . . but subsequent wearings revealed a few short-comings that keep it out of holy grail territory. What I learned about Philosophy Take A Deep Breath is that it’s a really good looking foundation that’s okay on it’s own because of the relatively short wear time and application problems. BUT, it can be elevated with the addition of primer and setting powder to a VERY GOOD foundation for mature skin because it doesn’t settle into pores & wrinkles and it makes skin look better than it is. I would highly recommend it for people with dry to combination skin who like medium to full coverage!
and so the search continues. . .
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