As beauty editors, we get bombarded with a ton of new products every day (we know—tough life). Reviewed is a series where we report on some of the best products we’ve tried. Whether it’s a drugstore lipstick that lasted all day or a hand cream that saved us this winter, you’ll find all of our favorites in this column. Enjoy!
I’m going to let you in on a little secret: I’m addicted to foundation. My addiction has lead me to collecting dozens (maybe hundreds) of different brands, formulas, and finishes. Once, I tried to limit myself to one new foundation per week, but then I realized it's unrealistic to live life within such strict parameters. Now here’s the weirdest part: despite all of my copious amounts of foundation, I never want to look like I’m wearing any.
When I get a PR email about a new foundation release, it feels like Christmas. I screech with excitement—usually audibly and sometimes in public—and I mark my calendar. When I heard that Anastasia Beverly Hills was launching a new liquid foundation called the Luminous Foundation for the first time, I practically fell off of my bed while simultaneously texting Faith (Byrdie’s editorial director and fellow new product lover).
A new thing I’ve been doing to test foundations recently is a 12-hour wear test. I rarely wear makeup for more than a quarter of that time without my skin feeling claustrophobic, but I travel a lot, and often times I’m dragged to events that go into the wee hours of the night, so a long-wear test is what I deemed to be fair and effective. Also, I like to play a weird mind game with myself—if I see makeup creasing (my biggest pet-peeve), I won’t allow myself to take it off until the full 12 hours are up. Check out my full Anastasia Beverly Hills Luminous Foundation review below, from start to finish.
10:00 AM: The packaging is in-line with other ABH products: perfectly luxurious. I read what Norvina, the president of ABH, said online about the reason for printing “FOUNDATION” so bombastically on the glass component: it was so that makeup artists, professionals, and regular people in a rush had an easier time identifying it among the sea of their other products. I’m not a makeup artist, but I can definitely be blind to products in my own bathroom—even when they’re right in front of me—so I appreciate ABH spelling it out for people. Kudos.
The product is recommended for all skin types (including sensitive), it’s clinically and dermatologically tested, and it is cruelty free and vegan.
I never prime my face; sorry, but I don’t really believe in it. Either that or I haven’t found a good primer so if you have any suggestions, holler at me! Before makeup application, I always manually exfoliate my face with a muslin cloth and a balm cleanser like Emma Hardie’s Moringa Cleansing Balm. Then, I use Timeless Squalane Oil or Dr. Barbara Sturm’s Face Cream Rich.
I applied the foundation to half of my face with the A30 Pro Brush from ABH, and a damp sponge to the second half. After the brush application, I can already see a dramatic difference in skin luminosity. The color match was perfect for me (240N). I prefer how seamlessly the damp sponge blends out the product over the brush, and how much quicker the sponge application is, so I’ll stick to just that in the future.
The foundation is definitely lightweight and medium coverage as promised, and it can quickly be amped up to full-coverage with a second pass. I prefer having a natural look with skin peeking through the product, so I sheered it out with my damp sponge. The texture feels great, and dare I say it’s the perfect amount of “luminous”.
I applied a bit of Anastasia Beverly Hills’ new Loose Setting Powder in the color Vanilla (it comes in 5 shades) under my eyes, and HOLY COW! it looks so good. If I ever dreamed of looking like porcelain, it’s officially manifested into reality. The setting powder is brightening without creasing or looking cakey, and that’s what I love.
10:00 PM: I’m so impressed with this makeup. I definitely look like I’m wearing some product—and I’m not mad. My skin isn’t overly oil-slick-like, despite the 100-degree L.A. day. It does settle into some fine lines around my eyes and mouth, but that could easily be combatted with a touch-up of setting powder. Note: This is not a foundation for “my skin but better”; it’s “turn up and turn out” makeup. It photographs really well, and sheering it out with a damp sponge makes it much more wearable during the daytime. In the summer, it’s hard to get into full-beat without makeup completely melting off, so I’m thoroughly impressed by this.
The setting powder gives the perfect amount of brightness under the eyes without looking super white or cake-y. I also love how big the jars are; not ideal for traveling, but they feel super luxe and make it easy to dip a damp sponge or dry brush into.
I recommend wearing this before going out at night, especially if you intend on taking killer photos. Overall, this is a perfect buildable foundation for these dog days of summer, and beyond.