Sunday, December 16, 2012
Review: Vapour Organic Beauty Atmosphere Luminous Foundation
It's not easy to sucker me in to buying a new foundation. Most foundations are too matte or full-coverage, or wouldn't work on my dryer skin, or rub right off on my t-shirts, and the few that might be doable don't come in a shade light enough for my super-pale skin. If I start to lust for a foundation, all I have to do is ask the folks on MakeupAlley if it comes in a suitable shade, and BOOM--lemming destroyed!
But when I saw this review on Drivel About Frivol, I couldn't resist the Atmosphere Luminous foundation from Vapour Organic Beauty. She's a smidge fairer than I am--she wears Sx01 in the Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer, I wear Sx02--and her skin is even dryer than mine, so if she loves a foundation to bits and pieces, it's usually a sure thing that I'll love it, too.
What really sold me was the realization that this foundation would most likely match my skintone and would come in a convenient stick form. As much as I love MAC Face & Body, the lightest shade doesn't match me unless I add in the White shade, and the huge 4 oz bottles are far from travel-friendly. It also takes a lot of buffing in with a brush. It looks gorgeous on, don't get me wrong, but there are days when I just don't want to fuss with it, and I certainly can't jam it in my purse and go.
Shade 90 is, in fact, a great match for me; it applies much lighter than it appears in to the tube and smooths in to the skin easily. It would actually probably work for anyone with N5-N15 skin, because it's a very sheer foundation. (Most N15 folks would probably want to bump up to shade 100, but 90 IS doable.) You can build the coverage up to medium, but that requires a brush and a good bit of work, which isn't why I purchased it in the first place. That also takes more product, and at $34 for 0.34oz, I'd resist the urge to cake it on. I actually prefer the sheer coverage and natural finish I get when I blend a small amount of this foundation in with my fingers.
The Atmosphere Luminous Foundation also has a bit of a smell. It's nothing horrible, just kind of waxy, and I figure that's because this is a mostly-organic brand that doesn't use perfumes or chemicals to mask the natural scent of the ingredients. It's not super-strong or offensive, but it does bother me that I can't use "smell has gone waxy" as a tell-tale sign that a product has gone bad.
Here's my skin naked except for sunscreen. I look completely whacked out, which, okay, but the sunlight also washed out a bit of my natural redness, which, BOO. You can still see some of the pink that's on my chin and nose, and a bit of the texture on my chin, cheeks, and forehead. My skin is relatively normal at this moment, perhaps a bit dry on the cheekbones. I would definitely recommend moisturizing your skin and letting it soak in for a few minutes before applying this foundation, just because it's a stick formula versus a liquid and is therefore a bit "dryer."
I like to apply this foundation directly from the stick to the areas that need the most coverage. You can see that it looks kind of heavy, almost paint-like, and a bit too light for my skintone, but it blends right in when I rub it with my fingers. It feels gross when I first swipe it on and blend it in, kind of like waxy theater makeup, but once it's blended in, it dries down to a smooth, almost powdery finish. It's completely weightless once it's set on the skin. I've pulled on black t-shirts right after applying and didn't experience any transfer.
Here's what my face looked like immediately after applying the foundation straight from the stick and rubbing it in with my fingers. Not bad, huh? Yeah, it's never gonna cover up my Undereye Circles of Doom--I reserve the Big Guns for that duty--but it still gives me a nice, even finish.
I will say, however, that the Atmosphere Luminous Foundation isn't my idea of "luminous." It's natural and pretty, and it certainly evens out my skin and gives it a bit of light, but it's not particularly glowy or dewy. If you want that kind of finish and your skin is on the dryer side, like mine, you'll want to apply it with a damp sponge or over a layer of a really good moisturizer. I like to add a bit of Skindinavia Setting Spray for just a hint of glowiness, and of course, some Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer to cover up my undereye circles.
Regardless, I think this is just a beautiful foundation. I can't get over how great the shade match is, how easily and quickly I can get a nice, even application, and how long it lasts on my skin. That's the other bonus: it's not only transfer-resistant, but it also really, really sticks to my skin, even if I skip powder or setting spray.
Here's how the foundation looked after 6 hours of wear, including 2 hours of romping around outside. The only place that got blotchy and shiny was my nose, which is one of two oily spots on my face (the other is my eyelids). If I add a bit of powder through my t-zone, the Atmosphere Luminous Foundation will stick like glue. That being said, it's not very oil -resistant and it is a luminous product, so it's probably best reserved for dry to normal skin.
Just a few final notes. I'm sort of 50/50 on the packaging, which is a flimsy blue plastic tube. No, I'm not a packaging whore, but I do like a sturdy tube that doesn't feel like it's going to crack or open up in my purse. I'm also not a fan of the silver-and-blue-sparkled color theme. The idea, though, is that the tube is recyclable, and that I can get behind.
I also like the idea that this is a more natural, sensitive-skin friendly product, but I'm immediately wary of taglines like "70% Certified Organic ingredients!" "Organic," "Natural," and "Insert-Demon-Chemical's-Name-Here Free" are almost always just marketing buzzwords.
Finally, I'm impressed by the amount of pretty packaging and product literature they send with their products, although I wish they'd send sheets that focus on how to use each specific products versus a sheet that tells you how to do a full face with another $100-some Vapour products. For example, I would've liked a, "Here's how we recommend applying the Atmosphere Luminous Foundation, and only the Atmosphere Luminous Foundation, to your gorgeous face." But that's just me.
Overall, I absolutely love this foundation. My qualms--the fact that it's not super-glowy right out of the bottle and the debatable packaging/advertising--are minor. This has been my go-to foundation for the past few weeks while I'm working super-long holiday shifts because I can apply it quickly and not have to worry about it fading throughout the day.
You can purchase this product for $34 a tube at VapourBeauty.com. (UPDATE 1/22/13: Vapour Beauty has recently altered the packaging of this product and upped the price to $40 a tube.) Processing and shipping are reasonably cheap and quick, especially for a small company, and they package everything beautifully!
RATING: 5 out of 5