LA Girl Pro Coverage HD Illuminating Foundation Review
I've spent some time recently searching for a lightener for my foundation. While I usually don't have too much of an issue finding a good foundation shade I do dress up for Halloween and do cosplay for Fan Expo and find myself occasionally needing to lighten my face without going grease makeup white. I learned about foundation lighteners and thought this would be a good solution to help me get that perfect pale face without looking like a clown.
In my search I came across a few but I saw many good reviews for LA Girl Pro Coverage HD Illuminating Foundation (wow, that's a mouthful)! Unfortunately being in Canada it was a little harder to find and the drug stores, grocery stores and even Walmart near me didn't carry the brand. I did find it available to Canadians at Walmart.ca but just before I purchased it, discovered it at a local beauty outlet for the same price of $12.99.
LA Girl is available in 16 shades and I was debating on testing out one of the regular foundations, but thankfully they had out a tester and I was able to see that their lightest shade just wasn't a good match to my skin tone. The next shade up was much, much too dark so I decided to settle with testing out the lightener along with my tried and true foundation since I wasn't sure 'lightening' would fix the LA Girl shades available. The undertones just seemed very 'off' for me.
The foundation comes in a clear plastic pump bottle, which I like. It helps dispense the foundation without a mess. The packaging does make it look like a dupe for the Makeup For Ever Ultra HD Foundation, so I was very curious to see how it performed. LA Girl claims that this foundation is long wearing, full coverage, illuminating and also helps hydrate and improve skin's appearance. The formula is paraben free, cruelty free and contains antioxidants.
The formula was rather liquidy. Not thick at all which seemed unusual for a full coverage foundation. I did a patch test of just the lightener on my arm and it spread easily and also blended in okay. It did have good coverage and because of the way it spread I knew I would only need to add a small amount to my actual foundation. It stayed wet for a bit - longer than any other foundation I've ever worked with so I was curious to see if it would do the same when I mixed it with my normal foundation or if maybe I just swatched too much onto my arm. I did notice that the foundation has an odd smell to it. Plastic is the only way I could think to describe it.
My normal foundations are Maybelline Fit Me and Loreal Infallible Pro Matte, which is what I used to test this out. I have combination/oily skin and I've found this foundation works best for my skin and gives me a great finish all day long with no touch ups. The lightener mixed in well and I could immediately tell the difference in shade. I used my damp Real Techniques blender sponge to apply and noticed just adding in a small amount to my foundation made it act just like the swatch on my arm. It spread quickly across my entire face and took a little more blending than usual, but it did blend out well. The issue was it stayed wet for so long which made it feel as if it was just sitting on top of my skin. I waited for it to dry, which honestly is a bit of a pain, but it did seem to finally set and look more blended so I was relieved.
The finish was supposed to be illuminating but I found it extremely wet/dewy looking, which wasn't really complimentary to my skin or look. It does also set into fine lines which I'm obviously not a fan of being in my 40's. I baked and added powder to see if I could help the finish and it did appear to help mattify it some, but still appeared dewy. To test out my costume for Fan Exp I did my entire Wednesday Addams makeup to complete the look.
To be honest, the wear on this foundation wasn't great. Initially it looked like it did in the picture above but shortly after it began to oxidize. From a distance it still looked great, but up close you could also completely see that it was broken and just sitting on top of my skin. I looked like an oil slick despite using my favourite matte foundation which typically lasts me from morning to night. Curious if it was the foundation I used, I tried the darker shade I had on hand that was a completely different brand (Revlon). While it did successfully lighten the shade to match my skin better, it performed exactly the same way, which left me looking oily and with an oxidized finish, not to mention it emphasizing creases and fine lines. I looked like a hot mess despite being in an air conditioned environment.
I've seen a lot of positive reviews from people that have dry skin. Maybe this works better for that particular skin type, but this foundation just does not work on my skin at all. It does have good coverage and blend-ability (although it doesn't build that well) and if you use a fair amount of powder (and maybe bake) it does help with the finish if you want it less dewy. If you have oily skin or even combination skin like me, I would recommend avoiding this foundation. This is really touted as an awesome 'value' foundation in the US where it retails for $8-$10. In Canada it's $12.99 which makes it the same price or even more expensive than better foundations such as Maybelline Fit Me. Personally, I'd rather spend $2 more and stick with my Loreal Infallible Pro Matte Foundation and get a nice matte finish that lasts all day and doesn't really require touch ups. I think even if LA Girl doesn't oxidize on your skin that it would require constant touch ups which for me just isn't worth it, even for a 'value' foundation, but I've heard this performs miracles for people with very dry skin. Have you tried out this foundation? How does it work for your skin type?
Price at time of review: $12.99 Canadian
Star Rating: 2/5 Cups of Coffee