Thursday, September 19, 2013

Graftobian HD Creme Foundation Review and Swatches

I tried these foundations and wrote this up a few months ago but never got around to posting it. Better late than never, though!

The past few months I've been on the hunt for my HG foundation. I have quite pale, very oily, sensitive and acne-prone skin, and I have really weird undertones. It is basically impossible to find a foundation that withstands my oily skin without breaking me out or giving me eczema, and even when I do succeed in that regard (this happens, um, maybe 10% of the time), I fail at finding a shade that's not too dark or pink or light or yellow, because my undertones are impossible to match. In my ongoing search for perfection, I decided to order some samples of Graftobian HD Creme Foundation after hearing good things from Drivel about Frivol, who is similarly light-complected and found a match in Lady Fair. So off to Camera Ready Cosmetics I traipsed, shelling over $3.99 each for little pots of four shades I suspected would work for me and eagerly awaiting their arrival.

left to right: Ivory, Porcelain, Lady Fair, Bombshell

I got samples of Ivory, Porcelain, Lady Fair, and Bombshell; the first 3 were the warm and neutral options from Graftobian's recently introduced super-light shade range, and Bombshell is the formerly-lightest neutral. I considered purchasing the formerly-lightest warm shade Graceful Swan, but thought it would probably be too yellow, since such things usually are. Unfortunately, none of the shades quite worked out for me, though Bombshell came closest––so if you're very pale, you should absolutely check out Graftobian! The fairest of fair shades should work for those who cannot find a match anywhere (which is me, yes, but even I am not that pale). Ivory is the lightest and is a balance of pink and yellow; Porcelain is a smidge darker and more yellow, Lady Fair is a bit darker still and pink, and Bombshell is a good shade darker and primarily pink. Bombshell is the right depth for me, but it is a bit too pink, and being so full coverage, the imperfect shade match is evident when worn.

And the coverage. Oh, the coverage. Sure, the formula is creme, but you need so little product that it feels absolutely weightless on. It's insane. I don't know if it can be worn sheerer, since that is the opposite of my goal in wearing foundation, but a damp sponge would probably help. I used my Real Techniques Buffing Brush to great success; tiny little dabs around my face could be spread out quickly and easily and dried down quickly.

I would try ordering Graceful Swan and Ingenue (both warm), but the formula of this didn't quite work out for me: it didn't play well with either of my then-current primers (MUFE HD Microperfecting, Clarins Instant Smooth), and wearing without primer lead to oily breakthrough, but worse, it broke me out. Not terribly––no cysts or anything––but a noticeable increase in whiteheads when I wore it. So, sigh. The shade range is awesome, though I'm not sure I agree that I really belong in the "warm" category (warm reds and oranges are atrocious on me! golden browns and greens clash with my skin!), and I love how pigmented it is, but it is yet another foundation that goes into my "tried and failed" mental pile.

If you have trouble finding a shade match in other foundations, due to extreme pigmentation (particularly pale, though it looks like they have some very deeply pigmented shades as well), have normal or dry non-sensitive skin, and want something full coverage, check out Graftobian's HD Creme foundation. Camera Ready Cosmetics has sample pots of all the shades for $3.99 each; though they say they include enough for 1 or 2 full faces, that's a lie––there's at least 2 weeks in every pot, and I suspect even more than that, which makes the price less painful. The full pots are currently $15.50 there (though a couple months ago they were $11.99, so I recommend waiting for them to go back down!) and $15.79 at Makeup Mania (where shipping is only $2.99, though apparently can be very slow), if you're able to find a shade that works and find the formula to your liking.

As for me, well, my search for the perfect foundation continues. All I need is something pale with pink-beige-yellow undertones and medium-full coverage that withstands oil and doesn't bother my skin. Until then, Face Atelier Zero Minus (review to come) and MAC Matchmaster 1 are a workable solution!
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