What with make- up being so expensive nowadays, I was quite chuffed when I picked up this apparently "all-singing, all-dancing product" for just £3.99. This sounded like the ideal product for me, as I often try to stay away from liquid foundations, as they don't last long on my skin and make my greasy spots bad. However, I also suffer from patches of dry skin, and this product didn't help this at all. It left my skin feeling tight and itchy, and I had to apply my night-cream moisturiser twice as often as usual after a day of wearing this product.
All in all, the product itself lasted pretty well throughout the day, and it did accurately conceal areas. However, because of the nature of the product, it could sometimes come across a little "face-painty" and didn't look as natural as I would have liked. I'm glad I didn't break the piggy bank for this Ultimate Fix, as I don't think I want to be fixed again.
When I did an order or a few Collection cosmetics on Amazon, I noticed that one of the products suggestions that popped up for me to look at was the Collection Ultimate Fix foundation, concealer and powder 3 in 1. It was on offer for £3.99, a pound off the regular retail price. I decided to take the chance to try it even though I already had 2 other foundations on the go, because I remember using a similar 3 in 1 product from Collection 2000 as it then was, which was excellent. That was sadly discontinued some time ago, but I hoped the Ultimate fix would be similar. Boy was I wrong.
THREE IN ONE - JACK OF ALL TRADES?
I chose the Ivory shade because my skin is pale and the only other two options were called honey and biscuit which sounded rather dark. Buying it online didn't mean I didn't get to use a tester first though, as I went to Superdrug before adding the foundation to my basket, and tried it out in person. I don't think it would suit me when I am paler in the winter, but at the moment I have a bit more colour, no doubt due to working outside some of the time. So be careful if you are very pale, as the ivory isn't as light as some.
The 3 in 1 foundation is described as being of the "lightweight solid to liquid formulation" which "provides the coverage of a liquid foundation with a powder finish". It has a SPF of 15 too, which could have been higher, but as I never rely on the sun protection my make up gives me, this doesn't matter to me personally.
Ultimate Fix comes in a chunky compact that feels very solid and unbreakable. When you open it, the part with the foundation in tips up to reveal a mirror and a sponge is also included. Whilst I am probably being too fussy, I would rather have had the mirror on the lid than under the product because you have to keep flipping back and forth as you apply it, or you can do as I do and just use a seperate mirror of your own. On the plus side, there is a enough room under the mirror to slot in some shine control tissues that I always carry with me, which saves them getting lost in my make up bag. The sponge applicator is soft and thick and feels gentle on the skin without being anything special. I usually use my fingers or a brush but the sponge is fine if you want to use it as it bends well to the contours of your face.
There are no specific instructions on the pack to suggest you use it in a different way to other foundations/powders. I mention this because the last 3 in 1 product I used was supposed to be used with a damp sponge when used as foundation or concealer and with a dry one as a powder. The Ultimate Fix is supposed to magically transform itself from the solid to a liquid and then to set with a powder finish. In the compact it is solid but still very soft. It feels like a set mousse type foundation and so it's quite creamy. This means it is easy to smooth on and blend in but you have to be careful to just lightly sweep the sponge across the surface otherwise it is easy to pick up too much due to the very soft texture. As for transforming into a liquid foundation on the skin, I have to say it doesn't really. It remains soft and but it is too think to be called something similar to a liquid foundation. I don't mind that if it works anyway, but more of that in a moment.
DOES IT WORK?
I have not been overly impressed with the results of this one. It does set to look like a powder has been used and this effect is more or less instant. This may sound time saving but when I say set to a powdery finish, I find it too powdery looking in fact. It looks too obvious to me, even if it also feels lovely and smooth. I noticed this mostly powdery unsubtle look before I was using almond oil as my facial moisturiser and I do think making sure you have moisturised sufficiently makes even more of a difference with this than with other similar products. As a foundation, I thought the coverage was medium. It was ok at disguising dark circles but I still needed a separate concealer to give a really flawless look. I wouldn't really rate this for disguising uneven skin tone either. I had some small red patches to cover and the Ultimate Fix only did a so so job. I compared this to the results of another Collection simple foundation that I have on the go - the Perfect Finish Liquid one - and the results are nowhere as good from Ultimate Fix. The coverage that is there doesn't even last me all day sadly. I have a oily t zone and the make up seems to melt away within a few hours. Normally I would use powder over a straight foundation but ultimate Fix is supposed to be a three in one that includes powdering in it's one step application. While my skin does look matte at first, this really doesn't last so I have resorted to using a separate powder straight away and then at intervals later. If you don't have oily skin, no doubt it would last at least a little longer for you.
On the positive side, I haven't found that this has given me any blocked pores and neither has it proved at all difficult to remove. It is usually half gone long before make up removal time!
WOULD I RECOMMEND THIS 3 IN 1?
I think that this product doesn't work for me as concealer or powder and as a foundation it doesn't last long or have as natural finish as I am used to. So as you can imagine I wouldn't buy it again. If your skin is less oily, and you only need light foundation/concealer coverage and you aren't bothered about the powdering stage, I would consider giving it a go at the low price in the hope it would give better and longer lasting coverage for your skin type. I would look at other products first though. If you wish to try it yourself, you will find it in Boots, Superdrug and from Amazon. I have noticed that this particular product is labelled as not available online direct from Collection themselves for some reason, although Boots and Superdrug will both send it to you.