I promised a full review on this foundation and then promptly forgot about it. Not because I haven’t used it again – in fact, quite the opposite. It has become one of those bases that I feel I can rely on for a good, believable finish that has a nice glow and a comfortable feel. The Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Serum Foundation is one for the makeup traditionalists, really; there’s none of this “lighter than air” thing going on, there’s no demi-velvet-glow-from-within-diffuse-from-without sales-speak malarkey happening, it’s just a really lovely, slightly-dewy face base.
Bobbi Brown would disagree with this, I’m sure, because actually there’s a fair whack of sales-speak that goes with this foundation; there are skincare benefits (added antioxidants and certain algaes that are said to help reduce skin inflammation, to name just a couple) and there’s a whacking great SPF40 built in to the formula. Actually very impressive, but I’m the type of person who likes to keep my skincare and makeup benefits more or less separated and so added skincare perks in foundations tend to pass me by!
If, however, you like to know that your foundation has it all going on, then this is an excellent place to start – I’m not quite sure how it would work as a serum when you’re applying it last in your skin/makeup routine, but the hulking SPF40 is definitely a bonus, so long as you’re applying enough product. Either way, this is a smooth, silky, moisturising foundation that has a light, fresh feel.
Here I am sans Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Serum Foundation. Bits of redness here and there, very slight dark circles – nothing too hideous, but enough to test a light/medium coverage foundation on. Which is where I’d place the Skin Serum Foundation – it’s certainly not a heavy coverage, but it’s easily buildable and so you can take it from sheer (especially if you apply with a dampened blending sponge, which I did first of all) to a good medium.
Ta-dah! Here I am after one quick application. I use shade 3.25 “cool beige” which (ironically) warms my skin up a little and gives it the faintest touch of that wonderful, healthy-looking apricot tone. If you’re a fan of illuminating primers then I can safely say that you do not need one beneath this foundation, it has its own very comprehensive glow. If anything, I might be tempted to use a pore-filling primer beneath it, because a bit of glow does tend to accentuate open pores, and if you’re not keen on dewiness in the t-zone then you would possibly want to whisk over it with some very fine face powder. (I’m thinking that Hourglass Ambient Light could be a good one.)
I have one gripe with this foundation, and that’s the packaging. It’s borderline ridiculous, which is such a shame: a glass bottle (lovely, very chic) but then this weird dropper inside that simply doesn’t work. It deposits product all over the neck of the bottle and it’s difficult to get it to drop the right amount onto the back of your hand. (And you have to use the back of your hand – I don’t know how else you’d practically apply it.) This would be so, so much better in a little squeezy thing or a pump-action bottle – I hope that they change it, because with the packaging issue sorted this foundation would be perfection.
And, you know, I’ve still been using it loads, so the product inside is definitely brilliant enough to overcome my gripes! If you have normal-to-dryish skin and you want a buildable, blendable foundation with a gorgeous sheen, that comes in loads of different shades, give this one a try. You can find the Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Serum Foundation at John Lewis here – it’s £39.