Latest offering from Bobbi Brown is this serum induced foundation that is meant to hydrate normal-dry skin as well as protect with SPF 40. Sounds like a perfect Spring/Summer foundation to me. They have 16 shades in this range with Porcelain being the lightest to Warm Almond being the darkest. I was shade matched to “Honey”. Like most Bobbi Brown’s products, this one has a light fragrance too, which to me smells like a mix of milder balm rinse with sauteed mushrooms. The highlight of this particular foundation is the ingredients in it -Lychee, Bamboo Grass and Cordyceps Mushroom extracts. Out of Dior Nude Air, Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Gel, Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua and Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser, BB’s Skin Serum in undoubtedly the most hydrating one. If you have seen any promotional videos or just Bobbi talking about this product, you will know there is much science and Chinese skincare involved in making this.
Let us put the technology aside for a moment. The foundation itself is smooth and easy to blend. Infact, the more you buff it in, the nicer it seems to look. I have tried using it with my fingers -works, stippling brush -works, buffing brush -works, beauty blender sponge -works albeit dilutes SPF and is quicker with aforementioned methods. The texture seems deceitfully thick. The serum will seep into skin within seconds and a very thin layer of pigment is left behind.
Over my usual moisturiser and sunscreen, the finish is radiant and visibly shiny in some areas, but began to look matte-er, not tight just less shiny after about an hour. The foundation on bare skin acts very differently of course. It’s too dry to wear on it’s own. I assume this won’t be a problem on less drier skin. Wearing time is about four to five hours for me. I feel the need to re-apply or touch up after that. A cream compact would be perfect (any suggestions?). The coverage is at most medium. Inspite of the counter lady saying it is buildable to high coverage. I doubt that is possible without help of a pressed powder. It essentially works as a tinted moisturiser with added benefits. It conceals blue green veins under the eyes, mild redness and scarring. The result is a natural looking finish where some imperfections show through. Personally, I’m fine with that. Perfect for work, casual settings and selfies if you will. While It didn’t emphasize any dry patches, I noticed how it settled into fine lines specially when worn a bit heavy handedly. Something a primer can fix!
The applicator is unlike any other I have seen. The dropper and pippet design can get messy but I see the reason behind choosing this style. Since the foundation is a two-part formula that needs to be shaken so the pigment and serum mix. If it were a pump, it would result it some unmixed product clogged in the pipe. I wonder how well it would work if it were housed in a squeezy bottle like some Chanel and Laura Mercier foundations. The glass bottle is heavy and as luxe as it looks, it is very smudge-prone. You can see in the pictures above how some of the product collects outside and around the screw top. It’s almost impossible to keep it clean.
When it comes to the science of it, it is one of a kind. I am not convinced it works though. Correct me if I’m wrong but a serum has to go first on skin to work. But without a heavy moisturiser, it doesn’t seem to work as well and definitely not as hydrating as I had hoped. Inclusion of SPF 40 is great but also makes it a short-time wearing foundation, atleast in the day time since sunscreens need to be re-applied. I wouldn’t lug around this glass bottle in my bag though. There is no flashback or whitecast problem with this one.
In conclusion, I like this foundation. Incredibly quick to wear, looks very natural and for me, is a relief to find something that doesn’t cling to dry patches. It is priced at £39 for 30ml. So today, that makes it the most expensive serum foundation amongst others in this category. None of them are exactly alike. Three reasons to choose this one over another is -you want high SPF, have very dry and flaky skin, you don’t like using makeup brushes. Taking into account what it does to what it costs is a matter of preference. To me, this was a splurge worth taken.
Update: The shade Honey oxidises on my skin. Within an hour It’s a completely different tone. I found that changing moisturiser didn’t stop it oxidising. It may not be the case with all shades.