March 12, 2012

Is Long-Lasting Foundation a Long-Shot?

Testing. Testing 1, 2. 

Over the past number of weeks I've been on a wee testing mission. This mission was self-imposed and all in the name of the blog. This mission was designed to verify or refute the claims made by a recent influx of foundations; foundations which proclaimed themselves to be long-lasting and well-wearing for lengthy periods of time. 

Taking four foundations from four different price points, I have been wearing them in all manner of situations; work, exercise (naughty!), shopping, socialising, and trialling the veracity of their many, many claims. I thought it would make for interesting reading to see whether a foundation that promises 12-hours of wear does, in fact wear for 12 hours or whether, at the end of the day, it was long-since departed from my face. 

The foundations I tested were Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra 24 Hour, Rimmel Wake Me Up, Avon Ideal Flawless Foundation and NYC All Day Long. Each claim to provide long-lasting coverage for a varying number of hours as well as a whole host of other attributes; comfortable wear, radiant glow, flawless finish and smooth skin, to name but a few.

Over the course of 3-ish weeks, I put these four foundations to the test and took note of how they wore as well as any other obvious benefits or negatives I could see. I've broken each down for you below so, read on to see how I fared!

In an attempt to keep this testing as consistent as possible, I applied all foundations with just my fingers and used concealer only on any obvious blemishes and around my nose. Similarly, I used no primer and only powdered my T-Zone using a fluffy brush and my MAC Mineralized Skinfinish Natural.

To begin with, all of these foundations are brilliantly packaged. In an age where people are extremely hygiene-conscious and are still reeling from the swine flu scare, the pump dispensers are an excellent addition. 

One pump of each dispenses enough product for a full face of light-to-medium coverage. Granted the glass bottles of the Lancôme, Avon and Rimmel offerings are more aesthetically pleasing than the hard plastic of the NYC foundation, it's not a massive issue and, realistically, the NYC bottle is probably better for transportation (and dropping on tiled bathroom floors!)

Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra 24 Hour

Price: €35.00 RRP

Promises: Skin looks perfectly natural and feels fabulously comfortable for up to 24 hours.

Verdict: While I have never managed to wear it for a full 24 hours (Has anyone?!), I've come close and my skin always looks particularly amazing at the end of the longest of days.

Conclusion: I've spoken at length about this foundation before so, I won't repeat myself here. Teint Idole Ultra 24H is one of my all-time favourite foundations and it's long-lasting, well-wearing formula is one of the main reasons for this.

It really seems to bind to the skin and doesn't budge until you attack it with some warm water and cleanser. A little goes a very long way to creating a good medium-coverage base which, in my mind, justifies the higher price point as you'll get longer out of a bottle.

Rimmel Wake Me Up

Price: €10.99 RRP

Coverage: Light-Medium with one pump but, infinitely buildable. My skin looked noticeably flawless and had a dewy, radiant finish which I really like and tend to look for in a foundation.

Promises: Up to 10 hours of wear.

Verdict: I wore this through a full workday. The 10 hour wear-point came at 5.30 pm when leaving work. It looked flawless at this time and still ever-so-slightly dewy which I was amazed at.

Conclusion: Having not used a Rimmel foundation since my early teens, I wasn't sure what to expect. However, I was suitably amazed with the initial results and the little-to-no obvious wear after 10 hours.

I did leave this on until bedtime so, about 15 hours post-application and, while I myself looked tired, the foundation remained perfectly presentable. 

My only gripe has nothing to do with the claims Rimmel makes but, the shade selection. I trialled the lightest of the six shades, Ivory, and it required a lot of blending and extending down my neck to tie-in with my pale skin. More than six shades are definitely needed, especially when catering to a market such as Ireland where skin colour can be so pale it looks translucent. 

Avon Ideal Flawless

Price: €15.50 RRP

Promises: Long-wearing with a completely natural, flawless coverage.

Verdict: My skin always looks impeccable directly after application however, it doesn't wear quite as well as the previous offerings from Lancôme and Rimmel with some oxidation occurring after about 5 hours around the T-zone area.

Conclusion: I do genuinely love the finish Ideal Flawless gives and I use it quite regularly because of this. However, I do feel that its shorter wear-time somewhat lets it down.

I have read a few reviews that warn against drier skins using this but, I have to disagree. When I was recently suffering with a case of "reptile skin", Ideal Flawless sat and lasted the best on the flaky patches. 

NYC All Day Long

Note: The shades of NYC All Day Long which I received as PR samples were too dark for my skintone but, I did want to include a low-cost option in this post. While, ordinarily, I would mix this with moisturiser to lighten it and get the right shade, I didn't want to compromise the "long-lasting" effects of the foundation and, so, had my mam try it and give me her thoughts! However, as you will read below, my mam didn't have a great experience with this foundation so, I did concede to testing it around the house to see if I had a different result. 

Price: €3.99 RRP

Promises: A smooth skin appearance which lasts up to 14 hours.

Verdict: While this foundation got the most rigorous trial, in that both myself and my mother tested it, the results were not at all as promised by NYC as neither of us were able to withstand wearing the foundation for more than 6 hours.

Conclusion: Let me just preface this conclusion by stating that neither my mam nor I have the same skin-type. She would fall more into the normal-dry bracket while I would vary between normal skin to the occasional normal-oily (T-zone) spell.

However, despite this variation in type of as well as our ages (No offence, Mam!), All Day Long did not work at all for either of us. As a direct quote from my mam, "My skin got so tight that I contemplated leaving work at lunch to come home and wash my face."

It was this, rather startling, admission that made me decide to try it around the house for a few hours to see how I reacted. Unfortunately, I had a similar result. The product didn't apply evenly or smoothly as promised and, when dry, felt like a heavy layer on my skin. Within an hour I experienced the start of the tightening my mam had complained of until my skin felt quite constricted and I couldn't wait to hot-foot it to the bathroom to scrub my face.

Now, don't get me wrong, NYC is one of the better budget brands out there and both Dee and I love them for their nail polishes, powders, mascaras and eyelashes. So, with that in mind, it's not easy to write about such a negative experience with one of their products. However, my duty is to you, our readers, and I can't honestly vouch for this foundation as a long-lasting option when two testers couldn't bear to have it on their faces for anything close to the suggested length of time. Perhaps someone with an extremely oily skin could wear this more comfortably and, for €3.99, it's probably worth giving it a shot but, for us dry and normal skinned people, I can't advise that it will definitely work.

Swatches (L-R): Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra 24 Hour, Rimmel Wake Me Up, Avon Ideal Flawless, NYC All Day Long

After some, err, extensive trials, I think I can conclusively say that long-lasting foundation is not a total long-shot. Brands often describe products as providing "up to" a certain number of hours of wear as a means to cover their asses if a consumer comes back saying their face melted off after one hour. However, I took the promised wear-time on these foundations as the basic minimum and, with the exception of the NYC offering, they all performed quite well on my skin.

As evidenced above, there are long-lasting foundations available at every conceivable price-point and, while the budget-option didn't work out in this case, the middle-of-the-road foundation from Rimmel at €10.99 was the star performer. This is probably a good time to note that Rimmel Wake Me Up is very much like Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra 24 Hour for less than a third of the price. So, if you don't fancy shelling out for the high-end version, you can get similar results from the drugstore. However, do bear in mind that, what you save in price, you compromise in shade selection as Rimmel as only six options to Lancôme's core collection of 18.

Ultimately, I think the most important point to make when choosing a long-wearing foundation is to choose the right one for your skintype so that you get the optimal wear-time out of it. After that, I would urge you to put aside any scepticism and go forth and try a long-lasting foundation. Once you find the right one, you'll be very happy together, I promise you!


  1. This is a great post Sinead! It's amazing to see that the Rimmel foundation is nearly as good as the Lancome one. Shame about the shade range though. I'll be avoiding the NYC foundation like the plague after you and your mum's experiences. Thanks for being a guinea pig for us :D

    1. Thanks Kat! Really really love the Rimmel foundation but I just wish they'd go one shade paler! Yeah unfortunately the NYC one didn't work out for us! :)

  2. Fantastic post! Thanks for all the honest Info. And deffo going to try the Rimmel one. My budget is not going to stretch for Lancome at the moment...

    1. Thanks a million! The Rimmel one is amazing, just a shame about the shade selection!

  3. I loved this! It's really sad to hear about the limited shade range from Rimmel since I've heard so many good things about it. C'est la vie!


    1. Thanking you! It is very annoying but, I really can overlook it purely because it is amazing! Go forth and buy! x

  4. I really like the new Rimmel foundation bought it last week for €6.95 on offer.I agree though with the shades I got 'Ivory' is well and I find some days it can look a bit dark if not blended properly especially for school when I don't have time but everything else I love :)


    1. I'm in the same boat. Have started working with little dots at a time to avoid too much build up!

  5. Great review Sinead!! Cant believe the rimmel is so good!!!

    1. Thanks! I really recommend it! x

  6. Great review...shame about the Rimmel shades isn't it? Otherwise it's fantastic.

    1. Thanks Ellie, it is a real shame because the foundation is genuinely brilliant. I just have to work with a little at a time to avoid it being too dark!


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