No. 2 Elegant Shell (looks darker here than in person - sorry)
Over the weekend, I managed to get my hands on a brand-new powder foundation from Givenchy - the Teint Couture Long-Wearing Compact Foundation & Illuminator (SPF 10). I realize that's quite a mouthful, there - but then, the cosmetic world is seldom known for its' brevity...
It is so new, as a matter of fact, that they didn't even have the testers out on the display at Sephora yet. But i was drawn to the lovely photo on the display of the model with hair identical to mine, which certainly grabbed my attention - but also to the cute little strip of pink at the bottom of the pan and the positively HUGE mirror.
So, i grabbed a sales-woman and asked - no doubt with a sincere, puppy-doggish desperation gleaming in my eyes - if she could please see if there were at least one or two testers somewhere in the back for me to paw at, please?
She took one look at me and said - "You'll be the palest one, of course - let me go check!".
She came back with a tester for the first and second-lightest shade - Elegant Porcelain #01 and Elegant Shell #02. They were both quite satisfyingly pale - the #01 most certainly being a perfect match for my Winter/Fall pallor - however, a quick glance at the second-lightest shade told me i could, with my current "tan", almost certainly get away with it! Joy!
One thing that Givenchy is certainly good for are the super-pale foundation choices - but darker women will have absolutely no luck with this line, frustratingly. It seems foundation lines lean either one way or the other when it comes to the more extreme ends of the spectrum. Rarely both.
A quick swipe of the #02 over on the jawline/cheek confirmed my guess - it was a perfect match!
Not only was it a perfect match, but oh, my little Kumquats - the powder itself...!
This powder foundation is so finely milled, so buttery-soft! It smooths on like a dream.
The fact that it contains dimethicone probably has a lot to do with that - and for those of you who are avoiding silicones and/or talc, this foundation is not for you. For me, with my oily skin in the warmer months, talc absorbs the oil like no other "mineral makeup" ever will (and those often break me out like crazy, to boot). It's also the main ingredient in the ever-popular MAC Studio Fix - only this doesn't give me the circa-1986 powdered mask that the MAC foundation does. Instead, it imparts a soft, semi-airbrushed look that still lets the natural skin show through.
Many high-end companies use either mica or talc in their powders, so if either are a trigger for your skin, always be sure to check. I find that talc won't clog me anywhere near as badly as so-called "natural mineral powders" will.
Talc, by the way, is also a mineral...
And no, you're not putting asbestos on your face if you use talc. Seriously, people? This isn't the 1970's. With the FDA regulating the living Hell out of everything these days, rest assured you are not getting asbestos in your foundation. And as for the so-called "cancer risk", just as with 70-billion other ingredients found in cosmetics, risks are inconclusive and test results are inconsistent, at best.
Try googling anything-under-the-sun and cancer and you'll find some study, somewhere, saying there is anything from "absolute" to "absolutely none" to "inconclusive" evidence.
I'm 40 years old and i'm certainly not going to start freaking out about my bloody face powder now.
Those with sensitivities to breakouts may or may not have problems with talc clogging pores - but this is one of those things that varies from person to person, even though talc is supposed to be a huge offender in the pore-clogging department.
Other types of mineral powders tend to clog/break me out - but personally i can use talc without that issue. Your mileage may vary, as always.
Now, where were we...
I wasn't so sure about the illuminator, attracted though i was by its soft ballet-pinkness. Oftentimes, they can make me look too shiny, defeating the purpose of the powder foundation. However, this one is completely matte, as well as very sheer and subtle. I applied it at the tops of my cheekbones, above my brows and under my eyes to brighten things up - the result was beautiful and subtle - but definitely there.
Even with the August Chicago heat as well as my currently over-the-top HORMONES making my face especially oily, large-pored and generally super-unattractive, this powder foundation made me look fresh and pretty without being a chalky, 80's-matte nightmare.
Now, because of the above-mentioned conditions, i fully expected my skin to just devour this powder and render me a disgusting oil-slick within the hour. However, even without my trusty summer-primer - Givenchy's Mister Mat Mattifying Primer - the breakthrough shine after an hour in my stuffy, 88 degree room was not nearly as bad as i would have expected. While there was definitely breakthrough-shine on my T-Zone, it looked much less disgusting and was much more subdued than usual.
Aside from my impossible T-Zone, i didn't have to touch up anywhere else for the entire day. With the primer, i'm sure it will be even better - i can't wait to try it again when my hormones have chilled out and the weather has cooled a bit (and i'll do another mini-review with the primer once i manage that).
About two hours into the wear (miraculous for me, trust me):
And after a quick T-Zone touch-up:
Another thing i really love about this foundation is how it doesn't look cakey or over-done after a couple touch-ups. You can still see the natural pinkish-tinge to my skin, yet it seems to blur over imperfections without looking too opaque or heavy. It's touted as having "medium, buildable coverage"; although you'll definitely need concealer for any scars or red blemishes. I have a couple blemish-scars that are fading but still quite red - this didn't totally cover them but definitely blurred them out. It made my tiny brown beauty-mark on my cheek almost completely disappear, however.
I find this applies beautifully with a thick, dense stippling-brush, but for touch-ups, the sponge provided is soft and servicable enough.
As you can see, the illuminator truly is subtle - but did a brilliant job under my eyes and highlighting my cheekbones.
Over all, i am adoring this foundation. Finally, a matte powder-foundation that doesn't look or feel heavy, break me out or totally fail my T-Zone completely. Yes, there was break-through as i mentioned; but it was a much more gentle breakthrough of oil compared to, say, my (now discontinued) Fresh Cosmetics powder foundation which made me look positively basted in oil on my T-Zone after only 1/2 hour in hot weather.
The illuminator is pretty and subtle, and simply cannot be over-done, so it's pretty idiot-proof (which i need when it comes to highlighters/illuminators, since i adore them but i'm so shiny this time of year anyway). It doesn't take a lot of product to cover the entire face, assuming you have pretty good skin to start with. I don't think this is a good foundation for truly troubled skin - in that case i'd recommend the Studio Fix for a good, heavy-coverage powder foundation.
Nor is it good for dark-skinned ladies - the darkest shade being a medium-gold tone - which baffles me in this day and age.
For me and my needs, however, this is perfection.