Among the many new releases from Milani (see the line up here) is the Conceal + Perfect 2-in-1 Foundation and Concealer. Always hunting for the perfect foundation, I was really excited to test out this new cruelty free drugstore foundation! It was a long hard search to find this stuff and wow was it hard to determine a shade once I did! J In stores they seem to be carrying 7 of the 14 shades available (all are available on Milani’s website). Though the bottle seems to be perfectly clear glass, the shade of the product inside seems quite deceiving. I found the best way to see the most accurate version of the foundation was to look at the bottom of the bottle. So, deciding on two shades, 01 Creamy Vanilla and 03 Light Beige, I set about the testing process and now feel I can share my results with you!
As I mentioned, this comes in a clear glass bottle. It actually has a pump too!!! The formula itself is rather thick, probably what I would call a cream texture, but it dispenses without much difficulty. The coverage is definitely buildable and provides what I consider to be medium-full to full coverage. It has a natural finish and though you can feel it a bit on the skin, it doesn’t look heavy. This is a foundation that is going to slightly oxidize, or get deeper, after applying to the skin making even the lightest shade, 01 Creamy Vanilla, relatively deep. The two shades I have also have a strong yellow to orange cast about them. Though I feel like I can make this foundation “work” with my light neutral skin tone, it is by no means a match. It is too deep and too yellow-orange. I have issues with both shades and mixing the two together cannot solve the problem for me. Regardless, I don’t feel like it’s glaringly obvious that it’s not quite the same shade as my neck.
Basics out of the way; on to application. I often prefer applying foundation with my fingers. No real reason why, but I find it works well for me. With the Milani Conceal + Perfect, I feel like I need to use a brush. This may be mainly because of the shade difference, but I also feel that it blurs out my pores a bit better when used with a brush. I use probably about 1 to 1½ pumps total (I usually mix mainly 01 with a bit of the 03) and spread the foundation over my skin with my fingers, blending as much as I can. Then I get out a brush (I’ve been favoring the IT Cosmetics Velvet Luxe LBD Foundation Brush #302) and blend it further using circular motions. I find this gives the nicest finish. Though this foundation accents my pores a tiny bit, it’s definitely no more so than others. In fact, I feel like this foundation actually blends out of deeper pores, scars and lines quite nicely – better than most foundations! Since the formula is buildable, I find that it does work as a light concealer as well. As with most base products, the more I use the more noticeable my pores become, but coverage-wise it works.
As far as the wear goes, this is pretty damn good! Milani claims this is a water-resistant foundation and I think I would agree with that. I’m not going swimming, but water beads up when splashed on it. I don’t find a huge difference between the coverage from morning to night. That said, I can end up quite shiny. This is not a terribly uncommon occurrence for me with foundations, but it is something I greatly dislike. Perhaps more frustrating, I can feel the oil on my skin. Strangely, this sensation is worst about 3-4 hours in and seems to improve after that. I have tried using mattifying primers and they don’t seem to make much difference. Obviously different skin types will react differently to this foundation and, as I said, this is not uncommon for me. My skin type is actually normal to combination, but it can get quite oily in certain areas…only when wearing foundation. I’m guessing this foundation might be good for most skin types. Truly oily skin types might find they need more powder or need to blot more often throughout the day, but I don’t feel like there’s any reason this wouldn’t work even for oily skin.
I really want to like this foundation. It has a lot of things going for it. The coverage, the finish, the blendability, the lasting power, the price tag ($9.99) – all wins in my book. But there is one drawback I just can’t quite get passed. My biggest problem is with the shades close…or not close…to my skin tone. The undertones are just very odd. Even on someone not as fair as I am, the undertones are still weird. I’m not sure they would really match anyone. I hope I’m wrong, but I can’t say I know of another foundation that has quite as much orange to it. And the oxidizing is never a positive, but at least it is subtle. Sadly, I just don’t see myself reaching for this foundation often, if at all. If you can find a shade that works for you, the Milani Conceal + Perfect 2-in-1 Foundation + Concealer may be just what you’re looking for, but I just can’t get fully on board. I really want to love this, but I’m having trouble staying enthusiastic when I look a bit orange. L