I’ve been wanting to review the Urban Decay All Nighter Liquid Foundation for quite a while now, but I just couldn’t wrap my head around how I feel about it. I’m still waffling a bit, but I think I can do a decent job of at least explaining the pros and cons sprinkled with a bit of why I’m torn. At this point, I feel like everyone in the world has already reviewed this, but I wanted to give it a fair shot before penning my thoughts. So, the Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation. Worth a go?
Ok, so what is it? The All Nighter is an oil-free, full coverage, “modern matte,” long-wearing liquid foundation. It comes in a pretty kick ass container with a see-thru bottle covered with an almost spider web-like gunmetal plastic and a controllable “airless” pump dispenser. I love that you can see how much foundation is left in the bottle, yet it still looks cool. It’s very Urban Decay. The bottle contains your standard 1oz of product, though this may last you longer than other foundations because it is so pigmented (three times the amount of the Naked Skin Foundation apparently)! It claims to be waterproof, but I can’t speak to that because I haven’t done anything more than sweat with it on. However I’ve done plenty of sweating! ? On Sephora’s site, they claim that it comes in a “wide range of carefully calibrated shades that match Urban Decay’s existing Naked Skin Liquid Makeup shades.” Alright. Basics out of the way, let’s get into the review! ?
We have to start with the shade range. There are a whopping 24 shades to choose from in quite a range from light to deep, cool to warm with a few neutral shades thrown in for good measure. At first glance, it looks like a fantastic shade range, but…. These shades 100% change as they dry. I don’t tend to have an issue with foundations oxidizing on my skin, but these definitely do…and pretty significantly. I actually ended up buying two shades because I couldn’t decide which one actually matched better…and I tested both to death never convinced that either shade really was quite right. I’ve tried mixing them too and it doesn’t seem to make a huge difference, besides I really don’t want to buy two bottles of foundation to maybe match my skin tone. So right off the bat, we have a huge issue with this foundation. It is very difficult to determine which shade you are. Definitely check these out in store, blend them a bit on your hand or arm and walk around for a good 10-15 minutes before checking the shade match again. Even then, I think it dries much darker on my arm than it does on my face. I think the shade 3.25 is best for me as 2.5 (my other bottle) seems too light, 3.0 is too yellow and even 3.25 looks rather deep and pretty orange when swatched on my arm. So thumbs up for the wide shade range, but thumbs down for the color-shifting shades.
Alright so shade selected, moving on to application. This stuff claims to be full coverage and bloody hell does it deliver! I started out using my fingers to apply one pump as that’s how I initially test any foundation. It looked like I was wearing a ghost mask (using shade 2.5) ?! The coverage is intense and I imagine most people won’t need any concealer when wearing this foundation. Most recently I have had the biggest, reddest pimple on my forehead (affectionately nicknamed “Mount Vesuvius” by my father) and that was barely noticeable with this foundation! Because of the aforementioned face volcano, I have attempted adding a very thin second layer of foundation over my initial application and it does seem to layer just fine without getting overly cakey! However, we get back to the shade matching issue here because there’s not much room for error with such high coverage. Still, if you’re looking for an intense high coverage foundation, the All Nighter is just what you need!
Since I’m not the biggest fan of intensely high coverage, I found that my favorite way to apply the All Nighter is with a Beauty Blender. A brush still gives pretty intense coverage, but blends better than with my fingers. A damp Beauty Blender (or other sponge) sheers out the coverage a bit – maybe to a high-medium coverage or a softer full coverage. Much less mask-like for me! The coverage is still impressive and better than anything else I wear, but it looks a bit more like skin. So my preference, unusually, is to apply this with a Beauty Blender…or pick your favorite beauty sponge.
Moving on to how it feels on the skin. I should have mentioned that my skin is mainly combo with a tendency to get really shiny only when wearing foundation. The All Nighter, despite its heavy coverage, doesn’t feel terribly heavy. You do feel it on the skin a bit, and of course the more you apply, the more you can feel it. When using a single pump or slightly less “sheered” out with a sponge (Beauty Blender), I don’t really notice it and I’m one to notice something on my face! So for a full coverage foundation, it is certainly on the lightweight side! ?
The All Nighter claims to have a matte, waterproof, long-lasting finish. Whew! That’s a lot to live up to! ? I would say the finish is more of a natural matte if that makes sense. It’s not completely flat, but it’s by no means dewy either. I do find that when I apply it with my fingers or a brush, it looks more matte than with the Beauty Blender. That makes a certain amount of sense to me as you’re allowing a tiny bit more natural skin to fight through with the sponge. I also want to add that this stuff, like the Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer, seems to set pretty well on the skin to a relatively budge-proof finish! I feel like powder is a good idea, but I don’t really think it’s a necessity to keep this on my face! So to sum up, I would have to mostly agree that this is a self-setting mostly matte finish, but one that still looks natural if that makes sense.
As for long-lasting, it does seem to stay put pretty well. However, the appearance does change a bit over time on my skin. That’s a good and a bad thing. I feel like this stuff has a magic hour where it looks it’s best and then can start looking not so fresh. Add heat, humidity and sweat to the equation and the deterioration is accelerated, however using a primer underneath helps a lot. Right after application, it accentuates texture just a tiny bit, but I would actually say this one is one of the better formulas to avoid emphasizing texture! It doesn’t give you porcelain doll skin, but it also doesn’t create giant crater pores either. As time passes and oil starts mixing with the foundation, I find that if I blot away excess oil (there’s usually excess oil within 2-3 hours and that’s normal if not less oily for me) with a blotting sheet, it looks even better! It also manages to stay at that balance of matte / dewy finish that I prefer for most of the rest of the day! However, as the day gets longer, I sweat more in the heat, and the foundation keeps hanging on for dear life, I feel like it starts to almost fight with my skin if I don’t use a primer. It breaks down in a weird way almost looking like tiny balls of pigment are sitting on top of the skin. It’s not terrible at a reasonable distance from which most people would see you, but up close it’s just doesn’t look as good as it once did. The coverage is still there and it has minimal settling into fine lines (though to be fair, I don’t have many and I tend to not notice any that do exist), it just starts breaking apart in the weirdest of ways without a primer. This is partly why I’m so torn about this foundation. It has great wear time, but up close it starts looking kind of weird when worn alone.
What else? I feel like that pretty much covers the basics. It has lasted through just hanging around the house as well as sweating through the heat while running a day’s worth of errands. I just can’t decide if the end of day appearance is nice enough that I would highly recommend it. It’s definitely a great high-coverage cruelty free foundation that’s comfortable on the skin pretty much all day. The finish is very nice, though I’m guessing those with drier skin may prefer something with a bit more of a dewy finish. I haven’t tried using a dewy primer under it because I feel like the coverage is so intense that I can’t imagine it making a difference, but perhaps I should test that. It can settle a bit into flakiness, but it’s really not bad. Probably better than most foundations really. The oil-controlling abilities are good, but not enough for my skin (I haven’t met one that is so no points knocked off there). There’s a wide shade range, but it’s so difficult to figure out what will work for you. That really bothers me. I feel like it applies well with a brush (heavier) and with a sponge which allows you to adapt the coverage a tiny bit too so that’s nice. There’s just something that keeps me on the fence with the All Nighter.
I guess my conclusion about the Urban Decay All Nighter Liquid Foundation is that it’s a pretty damn good full-coverage foundation. Is it perfect? Of course not! Can I live with its flaws? I think so. My main problems are: 1) the oxidation, but once you know what works that ceases to be an issue and 2) the end of day appearance, which is really only noticeable up close and without a primer. I feel like it is best for combo to oily skin types, but I think drier skins can probably get away with it as well. It feels pretty light weight and has fantastic coverage. It really is a great full coverage foundation. It’s just not everything I had hoped for and more…but what ever is! ?