Friday, March 22, 2013

Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation Mattifying Oil Free

Damn, that's a mouthful. I will be referring to this foundation simply as "Hourglass Immaculate Foundation" from now on. According to the Sephora website:

What it is:
A mattifying, antiaging foundation that absorbs oil, camouflages imperfections, and ensures a long-lasting flawless finish—without the need for touch-ups.

What it does:

Consider Immaculate your miracle for oily skin. This innovative liquid-powder formula delivers an unparalleled matte finish with real longevity that lasts all day. The oil-free and water-resistant foundation goes on smoothly and dries down instantly to a soft, velvet finish that is ideal for oily or blemish-prone complexions.  



Long time readers should know the following about me:
  • I love Hourglass. If I could spend the rest of my life with only one makeup brand, it would be Hourglass. The quality of every single product I tried is superb and flawless. It is the one brand that I consider 100% worth the price.
  • I have oily skin. It has "normalized" somewhat over the course of this past year and is less prone to breakouts, but I devoted half of my life to the pursuit of effective mattifying products.
  • If I could wear only one makeup, it's foundation. I have a list of insecurities about my appearance like everyone else in the world, but high on that list is my scarred complexion. I like pretending that it's flawless.
Given all of the above, if this foundation doesn't sound like it was custom-made for my skin, then... I don't know. Life won't make sense anymore!

I finally decided it was time to dabble with liquid foundations again. Or liquid powder hybrids or whatever. The Eaton Centre Sephora has a limited range of the shades, and the closest as far as I could tell in that dim lighting was Shell and Beige. (I'm anywhere from NC25-NC40, depending on the season.)

As you can see, there's a world of a difference between Shell and Beige. Since I'm at my absolute palest at the tail end of winter, Shell turned out to be a fairly decent match.


A small, chick pea-sized dot is required to provide substantial coverage on each side of my face. It dries fairly quickly, miraculously transforming to a powdery velvet texture that makes layering difficult. You need to work quickly to blend it out, and the coverage is on the medium-heavy side without being mask-like. I still need concealer to spot correct the worst of my acne scars, but I often skip that step in order to look more natural and less "done."

While I love the overall effect of this foundation on my face, it is horrible on any areas that are the slightest bit dry. Do not apply on flaky skin and dehydrated surfaces. Winter skin is a bitch. Even after exfoliating and moisturizing, the areas around my nostrils and hairline/scalp are flaky and dry. I avoided those spots and focused application on forehead and cheeks. Then we got along splendidly.

Due to its powdery finish, there was no need to "set" with additional powder. In conjunction with the Becca Resurfacing Primer, it wore flawlessly for 12 hours during the course of one full work + school day. My nose did get shiny after the 4-5 hour mark, but considering that most foundations go shiny on the nose after one hour, this was no small feat.

In short, I think that the Immaculate Foundation is a mixed bag. Its longevity and coverage is almost without equal, and colour match is nearly spot-on. However, its absolutely unforgiving treatment of dry spots is a problem, as I seem to be transitioning from totally oily skin to something closer to combination skin. I would have adored this product 3-4 years ago when I was truly obsessed with mattifying foundations. For now, I'm sitting on the fence and doing some more hemming and hawing.

(Sorry for the lack of face shots! But you can see it in action on the lovely Toya of Beauty Obsessed here.) 

Available at Sephora (CAD$64).

Edited March 25, 2013: Was just informed that new shades have been added to the Immaculate range, for a total of 16 different choices. Make sure that your local counter carries all 16 before testing!

38 comments:

  1. Hi Liz, I love reading about Hourglass here, especially since you're such a fan of the brand! As for the shades, what a huge difference between Shell and Beige --- the former definitely looks better!

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    1. It's hard to believe that the store was missing all the other shades in between Shell and Beige!

      I have to look at the other foundation by Hourglass now. Guess I'll make it a continuing sampling series. :)

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  2. I have such mixed feelings on this product. I too have oily skin so I love the mattifying aspect. However, the shade selection is what I find to be the drawback. The closest shade to my skin is Porcelain, which is the lightest, but it is quite orange toned and I always have to mix it with another foundation to arrive at a result that is closer to my skintone, but of course this changes the texture slightly. It is so close to being my HG foundation though.. Anyways, thanks for the review!

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    1. Ugh, I hate when that happens. Shell was pretty darn close on me so I have no complaints for now. It's another story when I'm more tanned though. This product is too complicated. @__@

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  3. You know, my initial thoughts on this product was that it was nice, but it's a bit too finicky. Over primers, it was hideous - I felt like it really needed to stick to my skin in order to morph into something normal looking. Otherwise it just looked patchy and weird. It's not forgiving at all! The powder finish is really nice, though, so I'm still torn.

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    1. Which primer did you try with? It was fine over the Becca and also fine over Hourglass No. 28 Primer Serum. I think the issue might be with the foundation itself, which will go on patchy over anything that isn't smooth and slick. It's awful around my nose area, regardless of how much I moisturize or prime.

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    2. Over Hourglass's primer and smashbox's. It went on fine over simply moisturized skin.

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    3. Oh, I'm going to try that tomorrow then. I think you're on to something!

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  4. Hey Liz, I've been kind of curious about this foundation, though I know it is not really for me! I used to have really really oily T-zone, but it's either age or the climate I'm living in, but it's calming down. If I put this on right now my skin will probably freak! It does sound like an interesting foundation though, with the liquid-to-powder finish. I will nudge friends/readers with really oily skin in the direction!

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    1. Glad to hear your skin is calmer, Sunny! I hope mine's on its way to being calmer, too. I think this foundation is way too high maintenance for the general population. It's one of those things that are targeted for super specific skin types. I don't think that I can deal with it, lol.

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  5. Like you I ADORE everything Hourglass. This sounds like a great foundation if you have oily skin, which I don't have. There be no oils on my parch-ed face these days. But their TM? LOVE it to pieces!

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    1. I think that I have to test their Veil Fluid foundation next. It's oil-free and should work well. I get the feeling it'll be better than this one! This is just TOO matte, if that's possible.

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  6. Beige looks like the perfect summer colour for me! Noooo I promised myself I wouldn't let my foundation collection get out of control again....help!

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    1. If I really REALLY tan, I can use Beige, I think. But I rarely get that dark anymore. :(

      Try a sample like me and be good. ;)

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  7. I have dry skin and winter is making it look terrible. But I do love matte finish and not having to top with powder where possible. Hourglass products sound great.

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    1. This one is a little too high maintenance, I think. I'm going to try their Veil Fluid foundation next! Can you get Hourglass where you are?

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    2. Yes we can! In Space NK :)

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  8. Ah, sitting on the fence and hemming and hawing, one of my favorite pastimes too :P Nice thorough review, and it's a definite pass for me because my skin can get reaaally dry sometimes. So which foundation are you currently using/loving?

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    1. Hahaha, you crack me up.

      I'm not loving anything these days, which is why I went sample-hunting. I don't have the budget for a high-end foundation right now but there are a few things rattling around that I could finish off.

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  9. I haven't tried anything Hourglass but I decided the first Hourglass product I want to try is the Mineral Veil Primer...or the No 28. I dunno... I've read so many great things about both of them. I hate it when foundations emphasize dry spots too! That's what Armani Maestro Fusion Makeup did. UGH!

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    1. A lot of people didn't end up liking Veil Mineral even though it worked awesomely on me. No. 28 seems to be a unanimous favourite! It's kind of a miracle product.

      That sucks about Armani. I totally wouldn't have known that. All I know is that their Silk Luminous oxidizes horribly on me and I haven't gone near them since.

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    2. I was so excited to swatch the Maestro at Nordie's last year, and was sad to see that it did indeed have that texture that picks up on the flakes. Boo.

      It's too bad the Hourglass is like that as well. It's unfortunate that the foundations that do the best on oily skin are also those that are most unfriendly to the flakes that are often a by-product of treatments of oily and acne-prone skin (BHAs, acne treatments, etc).

      That said, I already tend to mix my foundations for colour matching. There's no reason not to apply different foundation to different areas of your face, right?

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    3. I guess we can't have it all yet. :)

      I like my routine to be simple and am not crazy about mixing, but I've been using a creamy concealer for the dry spots and applying the Immaculate on forehead and cheeks. It's working fairly well that way, and I do love the coverage and finish it gives to those areas. Going to give the Veil Fluid foundation a try and see if that works as well before deciding which I go with!

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  10. Thank you for the review! I haven't heard much about this foundation. It sounds too drying for me, though.

    (and whyyyyyy does Sephora lighting suck so much? Isn't it worth it to them to invest in better, more natural lighting??)

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    1. I think it's too drying for most people out there. :(

      It's odd that about Sephora. Considering what their business is, you'd think they would set that up better.

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  11. I know you don't give out praise lightly so I take your rave about Hourglass very seriously. I've often whizzed past the counter but... I think I'll have to stop and try next time!

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    1. It's dangerous for your wallet - you have been warned! ;)

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  12. thanks for the review! you made me curious about Hourglass and I went ahead and bought their primer duo sample kit :) am very interested in their TM now, since you mentioned their foundie does not work well on dry skin patches (my skin also leaning dry).

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    1. Oh wow, I hope you'll like them!

      I know that people love their TM and I think that I'm going to really like the Veil Fluid foundation. This Immaculate one happens to be a bit tricky.

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  13. Snagged myself a couple of samples of this at the Tacoma Sephora, so we'll have to see how it works out for me––I generally need the most mattifying of mattes, but I do have some dry skin flakiness, so could go either way!

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    1. I think it's about the same level as the MUFE Mat Velvet or possibly even more matte. I'm actually going to go with even more matte. It remains really powdery on the skin all day long while even the MUFE gets shiny after the 4-hour mark. Curious to know how this will work on you, Amy!

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  14. Oooh wifey--how did I miss this review?!! I am actually currently testing this right now. I'm still trying to figure it out--some days I love it and others I absolutely hate it. I think I did fairly well with the color match though. And wow you weren't kidding about limited shades--there are about 8 shades between Shell and Beige so that's a HUGE jump! I hate when stores don't carry all the shades. I am testing Nude and I am about an NC25ish I believe. Nude is pretty spot-on, though I wish it were a hair more yellow toned. If you can, try Nude--it's nice!

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    1. Yeah, Nude sounds like it's the next step up from Shell for me! I hover near the NC25 zone as well, though I can tan up to NC40 in the summer.

      I think the stores here are stocked on all the shades now. Another location I went to recently had a fully stocked shelf. But I'm thinking that super mattifying foundations aren't for me anymore -- or are, only in patches here and there -- and I've strayed to other products for time being. I can't wait for your review! You'll figure it out soon. :)

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  15. I just picked up a sample of this foundation today in the shade Shell, but I'm only about an NC20 right now. I hope it matches me! I'm kind of worried about the clinging to dry patch issue though, so we'll see. I have so many dewier foundations now that I really just wanted a matte one to try, especially for the summer. Thanks for the review, Liz.

    By the way, I'm almost positive I've already read this post when you first wrote it and could've sworn I already commented, but I guess not. Oops!

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    1. I think the shade might be a good match but the finish too powdery for your liking. From what I can tell, your skin is gorgeous and doesn't require the heavy coverage, but I'm curious to know how it works on you. Good luck. :)

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  16. I am NC35 , what will be my colour match for this foundation?
    Thanx

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    1. I'm not sure because I haven't tested the shades between Shell and Beige yet myself. Sorry!

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