Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Serum Foundation
15 Saturday Oct 2016
Skincare + foundation in one… sounds like a winner, right?
I bought this foundation about six months ago and have only worn it handful of times (reasons below). I have got the measure of it now and feel ready to give it a thorough review. So here it goes…
Price: £40 for 30ml
Ingredients: Octinoxate 3.9%, Titanium Dioxide 6.1%, Zinc Oxide 3.8%. Inactive Ingredients: Water\Aqua\Eau, Dimethicone, Octyldodecyl Neopentanoate, Butyloctyl Salicylate, Isononyl Isononanoate, Methyl Trimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Diethylhexyl Succinate, Lauryl PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Laureth-4, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Magnesium Sulfate, Dipentaerythrityl Tri-Polyhydroxystearate, Citrullus Vulgaris (Watermelon) Fruit Extract, Laminaria Saccharina Extract, Litchi Chinensis Seed Extract, Lens Esculenta (Lentil) Fruit Extract, Artemia Extract, Cordyceps Sinensis Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Sasa Veitchii Extract, Thermus Thermophillus Ferment, Dimethicone Silylate, Sodium Lactate, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Tocopheryl Acetate, Glycerin, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein/PVP Crosspolymer, Caprylyl Glycol, Sodium PCA, Methicone, Dimethicone/Peg-10/15 Crosspolymer, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Dimethicone Crosspolymer-3, Sodium Hyaluronate, Potassium Sorbate, Dipropylene Glycol, Dextrin, Silica, Disodium EDTA, Linalool, Phenoxyethanol, [+/- Mica, Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891), Iron Oxides (Ci 77492), Iron Oxides (Ci 77491), Iron Oxides (Ci 77499)] <41438>
Purchased/ gratis: Purchased
Marketing blurb: Goes beyond the surface, beautifying skin with a powerful combination of serum ingredients. Helps support skin’s cellular energy and also offers key anti-aging benefits for a smoother, firmer, more lifted look. Ultrafine pigments cover imperfections without settling into fine lines. Plus, SPF 35-40 helps prevent future damage. [Source: www.bobbibrown.co.uk]
Packaging-wise I love that the bottle is a solid, opaque heavy glass bottle. The opacity of the bottle keeps the product inside fresh and out of sunlight. I prefer dropper applicators but this one is a problem for me. The dropper is quite wide as the serum foundation is so thick. This makes it hard for the dropper to pick up product, and when it does it is really had to regulate how much comes out. A tiny squeeze will sometimes be a tiny amount as desired, but other times a big splodge comes out. Even when I had this demonstrated on me in store, the artist couldn’t control how much came out and the first thing she said was, ah that’s a lot more than I’ll need for you. She was using a palette, as do I, so could easily regulate how much she actually used but there was a lot of wastage.
The foundation is very thick in texture and so you need to use a tiny amount and blend out well, adding in small amounts as needed. Application this way will give you a flawless finish but takes more than the 2-minutes a day allotted to my morning foundation.
The shade range boasts a respectable 21 shades, and so South-Asian peeps and those blessed with deeper skin tones will find a good match. That’s the quality I’ve come to expect from Bobbi Brown and I am glad that they continue with global skin tone ranges. Also to note is that the SPF varies between shades. Up to Warm Almond they are SPF40, and the deepest 5 shades are SPF35. I’m not sure why this is, it may be that they noted that deeper skin tones are less at risk than fairer tones, or it may be that the titanium dioxide and other SPF ingredients affected the tone of the deeper foundation shades.
The foundation can be applied very sparingly for light coverage, and can be built up in light layers to medium coverage. If you try to achieve full coverage with this foundation you run the risk of it looking too thick and then caking. Below is my most recent usage, of just one medium drop which gave good coverage all over my face without caking. Literally one drop is the most I will use, any more starts to cake on my skin. It may be different for others as everyone’s skin is unique but for me one drop is enough.
Without powdering, the finish is very dewy, and even with powdering there will be some oil control needed throughout the day. I wear a tiny amount well blended and lightly powdered and can get away wit minimal blotting during the day. If you wear a more medium to full cover, then blotting sheets will be useful to keep shine at bay.
For me the scent is very strong and quite off-putting. The serum foundation contains lychee, bamboo grass and cordyceps (which is a fungus/ mushroom with various purported dietary benefits and unproven anti-ageing benefits), but smells like it has a strong streak of lavender. It’s very strong and for someone like me that hates lavender and in any case prefers low-fragrance or no-fragrance make-up/ skincare, it is really off-putting.
A serum penetrates deeper into the skin and allows deeper absorption of the moisturiser. So… do I need a strong serum IN my foundation? Probably not. Foundation, even well buffed, sits on the top layers of the skin. The serum may work it’s way to the lower levels of the skin, but to be honest, for the skincare to be most effective, it should be applied directly onto the skin. The silicone content (dimethicone) is greater in this foundation than the active serum ingredients. A strong silicone base creates a barrier on the skin, and gives the foundation longevity and makes it sweat and tear-resistant. So how then would the serum in the foundation penetrate the lower levels of teh skin? I’m not sure about who effective this really is as a serum.
I prefer to keep my skincare and foundation separate, especially my serums. That way I can regulate the exact amount of serum to mix with my foundation for the perfect finish on any given day. How much is needed, whether a drop or two or three or none at all, will differ from day to day. I’ll keep using the foundation just to finish it (I hate wastage) but only a teeny amount. If I apply this heavier coverage, I end up with too much serum and it will look and feel too thick but also over-dewy.
Yay or nay
The first few times I was getting used to the formula, but now I have, it is a good foundation on very specific days when my skin is behaving a specific way. Confused? What I’m trying to say is that it may work well on very dry skin but on normal skin it needs to be used very sparingly and blotted well.
It’s not an everyday foundation by any means, as your skin may not need that level of oil or dewy skin every day. This is best used very sparingly, on normal to dry skin days. Bobbi Brown themselves state on their website that is it not one for oilier skin types. I would add to that and say that even on normal skin it needs blotting during the day.
Would I buy it again? I’m sad to say it, as I do love Bobbi Brown for skin products and skincare, but £40 is too expensive for a foundation you might use a couple of times a month. I need a foundation that is reliable for everyday.