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I didn't buy this foundation, it was part of a prize pack which contained a small selection of celebrity endorsed products - it's not something I'd have thought to buy myself, simply because Nicola Roberts has developed her range of cosmetics with pale women in mind. I'm not pale, I'm strictly in the middle of the scale when it comes to foundation with my default shade being 'Natural' or words to that effect. I also do not particularly want to trust my look to the least remembered member of Girls Aloud.
The shade I received was 'Medium', which is a pretty light medium in my opinion but in keeping with the pale and interesting theme of Dainty Doll. It's lighter than I'd usually wear and I suspect the 'Dark' would have suited my natural skin tone better; this range would not be suitable for anyone with even slightly darker than average skin, I can see where Nicola is coming from though and have passed the foundation on to thirteen year old Alice who is much lighter skinned than me - she's had more success shade-wise than I did, with Dainty Doll being a perfect match for her. With an SPF of 15 this aspect is also more of a bonus for the outdoors loving Alice, it felt a little wasted on me as I barely leave the house at all in the winter!
The foundation itself is actually gorgeous to use. It's a liquid with a silky smooth consistency; the formulation is so light that it feels pretty much instantly dry as soon as I blend it against my skin, leaving me with a powdery soft texture which makes my skin feel young and look healthy. It's matte immediately upon application but I find shine develops relatively quickly and had to dig out my pressed powder to combat this, it's not high-shine but enough to be irritating and take away from otherwise perfectly applied make-up. It sits beautifully on my skin however and does not transfer easily to clothes or bedding (as I take a daytime nap sometimes!), I could tell this would be the case as I applied the foundation actually as I was left with barely any residue on my fingers and it just has a generally 'clean' feel.
Dainty Doll Liquid foundation doesn't feel heavy in the slightest, it doesn't clog my pores in the slightest and neither does it settle into the creases - it just feels light and natural, giving me the sort of skin confidence that usually only comes with foundation twice the price plus a much more time consuming make-up application regime. I apply this foundation with my fingers as it's incredibly easy to blend, this is thanks to the lightness of the liquid as it glides across my skin more like a moisturising lotion than a foundation and the shade itself seems remarkably easy to blend into both itself and my own skin tone.
Coverage is, in my opinion, adequate. It's not brilliant and if it were a favoured foundation of mine then it would be only for good skin days, I'm lucky in that I don't suffer from many skin blemishes but poor Alice was distraught yesterday when she realised Dainty Doll wasn't going to hide the vicious spot which had unluckily erupted on the morning of her Christmas school photo! I give it credit that it will disguise any slight reddening of the skin and this is fine for me, it also brightens the skin to a degree so helps hide the dark circles I'm developing under my eyes due to having a toddler who doesn't yet understand the concept of sleep. The foundation lasts nicely through the day, which was somewhat of a surprise as the light consistency made me think it would lack the longevity I require in my make-up - it's totally the wrong shade for a night out as I don't tend to rock the English Rose look and prefer a little more colour on my skin.
I really rate this foundation and if the shades were more suitable would definitely buy it again. At £18 for 30ml it's much more expensive than most celebrity endorsed cosmetics, I do feel the price hike is warranted however as I believe Nicola had a huge level of input into the development of not just this liquid foundation but all of the cosmetics she puts her name to. It's much, much better than I thought it would be - so the shade is wrong, but it's been wearable in terms of colour (and now has a more suitable home with Alice) as well as being an all round fabulous foundation. The bottle lasts well so that takes the sting out of the price tag a little bit; you need to use only the tiniest amount compared to other liquid foundations and the pump top dispenses just the right amount to prevent wastage, this doesn't negate the fact that this falls into the 'pricey' foundation category but at least helps it feel like you're getting a modicum of value for money!
Nicola Roberts / Foundations