* Prices may differ from that shown
I bought this product after browsing at the Urban Decay counter in debenhams. I had asked the shop assistant for advice and this was the product she recommended.
Price - Reasonable for a high end foundation.
Packaging - As with all of Urban Decays products, the packaging for this item is gorgeous. The container is really pretty and eye catching. The detail on the lid over the applicator is really nice.
Application - This product was really difficult to use, the applicator on the packaging did not release the product effectively and it was difficult trying to get the powder to filter through the 'sponge' top.
Finish - This product is not suitable for anyone who has fine hairs on their face or dry skin issues. Suffering from PCOS means I have very fine fair hairs on my face and I felt that product settled on the hairs, making them more noticeable. To get a decent finish with this powder i really had to buff it into the skin, which seemed like a lot of effort for a mediocre result.
I was disappointed in this product overall, which is a shame as urban Decay is one of my favourite brands.
During my time in London, I was lucky enough to spend some time experiencing work at Star magazine's offices. Upon my departure, I was given a gift - a large bag full to the top of makeup that had been sent to the magazine, and it was all unopened! Of course, I had loads of fun trying it all out! there were brands I knew of well, some brands I loved, some I'd never tried, and some brands I'd never even heard of! When I pulled out my Urban Decay Mineral Makeup and gave it a good testing out... well... lets just say that I've never opened the thing since.
The first mistake made by Urban Decay that I noticed with this product was that the applicator is a fuzzy fabric sponge thing was attached to the container. The powder comes through the sponge thing and on to your face, meaning you have no control over how much product you are using. I found this incredibly difficult to use. I was ending up with far too much powder on my nose, and barely any on my cheeks. Coverage was really quite uneven, and I found it generally uncomfortable to use, as opposed to a pressed or loose powder in a container that I could then apply with a separate foam sponge or a brush. When rubbing the product over my skin, I found that not much product would apply. I tried to sort of dab it on my face, but then found far too much product applied, and I'd then have to rub it over my skin to spread the product.
What I disliked the most about this product was the sponge itself. I'm not quite sure what it is, or what it is made out of, but I can only really describe it as white fuzzy fabric. When trying to apply the makeup by rubbing the sponge on your face, I found it to feel really quite horrible and made me cringe a little. When I tried to sort of dab it on my face, I found I would then have to rub to spread the product anyway.
It was an interesting attempt by a great brand that like to try new things, but all in all, I dislike this product a lot, and I would much rather recommend a mineral make up by Rimmel.
As someone with dark (South) Asian skin, I have never found, or in fact considered a powder foundation to suit me. I decided to try and find one to go over my liquid foundation, to seal it in and for the occasions when I want buildable coverage for a more made up look.
It was in Debenhams one day when I spotted this - Urban Decay Surreal Skin Mineral Foundation. I decided to ask the sales assistant to apply it, as I have never used powder, then left it on till I got home and had a look in the mirror. I was pleasantly surprised at the range of shades available (though none for very dark skin). The shade I chose was mirage and it cost £17. Since then I have found that Watt Brothers, a shop in Glasgow, sells it for £10; the packaging is slightly different though - I hope it's the real thing!
When I went back to buy it, the sales assistant gave me some freebies - including a mini lipstick and a sachet of serum for mattifying the skin, which was a nice surprise. As the Urban Decay is a brand I trust and can only usually window shop at, I went away happy!
Boots only had the lightest 4 shades available and no testers :(.
I did try on the cream to powder compact of the same name, but they did not have the same shades available as the powders, so couldn't find one to match my skin tone.
There are actually 12 shades available, and it is a bit annoying that they are not all available to try on in stores, as it's not easy or recommendable to choose a shade based on a picture, as it never gives a true representation of how the foundation will look, and there are not that many places for people with darker skin to get appropriate make up. Sorry, rant over.
Hallucination: slightly tanned
Mirage: dark olive
Trippy: deep golden
Destiny: Deep Bronzy Brown
Fortune: deep reddish-golden
Fantasy: dark copper brown
The foundation comes in a lovely lilac box with swirly embossed patterns all over it in the same colour but a shiny finish. The top has the name of the colour and shows the shade it is supposed to be. Mine therefore says 'mirage' on a brown background.
The side of the box tells you to 'Experience the transcendental effects of this amazing mineral makeup. The innovative application system puffs and buffs on with zero mess and leaves skin looking so flawless, it's surreal. With a silky, weightless feel, micronized minerals finish skin beautifully, and wear all day. Get a sheer effect or complete coverage with this innovative, luminous foundation alternative - it contains a range of protective elements AND allows the skin to breathe.' The opposite side has the same text in French. Other information on the box includes the weight (8.5g), the ingredients, the fact that Urban decay 'don't do animal testing - how could anyone?', the Urban decay website (www.urbandecay.com) and address.
This appealed to me as the box was taped shut, so I was reassured that it hadn't been opened and used before. The pot inside is surprisingly big (55mm high and 47mm diameter) and in 3 parts. The lid is purple plastic and has raised designs on it, along with the Urban Decay logo. Once you lift this, you'll see there is a sponge attached to a plastic base, which can be unscrewed from the pot of powder, which is transparent with pretty purple swirly designs on it. Underneath the base is a sticker with the name of the shade on a background that is supposed to represent the colour, the weight and the Urban Decay addresses. This is useful in case you lose the box and forget which shade you have been using. I kept the box as it's pretty, and I can use it to put the pot in while travelling. I like the way the packaging looks - I'd be happy to take it out and use it in public, but it's not that practical and mess free for me (see below).
As I bought the foundation after doing some research (I've never bought a foundation as expensive!), one of the things I'd heard about the puff applicator was that it didn't give great results. Also, I'd imagine you'd need quite a lot of product dispensed into the puff before it could appear on the skin. For this reason, I pulled off the puff! Where it used to be, there is an indentation and 3 holes. To use the foundation, I use a large powder brush (I use the body shop mineral foundation brush, which I love), dab it lightly into the container of powder and swirl it into the upside down part of the lid. This is great as the excess falls into the lid through the 3 holes and every so often, I empty the contents of the lid back into the pot. I then sweep the brush over my skin a few times, and repeat the process as many times as I need to to achieve the coverage I want. This for me, means that my real skin can still be seen and the finish is slightly matte, but with a glow. For everyday wear, this would be twice, bearing in mind that I have already put concealer over the dark circles under my eyes and liquid foundation underneath the powder. The powder gives a sheer, even coverage this way. It is neither chalky looking on my skin nor red looking. On its own, it gives the same effect but does not stay on so long, but it does still give a nice glow, which I wouldn't expect from a powder. I have found that it is best to put a very thin layer on at a time as otherwise, the powder tends to settle into creases e.g under the eyes and at the sides of the mouth. I have also successfully built up coverage in thin layers to achieve an almost flawless look for heavier coverage for an Asian wedding (everyone wears lots of glamorous makeup and clothes and it is a long day for everyone!). Once in a while, I swirl the excess onto the amputated puff and use it to buff my face after applying the foundation to get rid of the extra powder on my face and give a smoother effect. I ALWAYS put a hanky or hand towel on the surface I'll be using the foundation on as if you spill a little powder and try to rub it off, it spreads like mad. It's the same on clothes, but does come off with soap and water. Beware of dropping it on a light coloured carpet as it stains - saying this from experience.
Because my foundation now lasts longer, removing it at the end of the day is a bit tougher - this is the biggest drawback of wearing makeup for me. I like to remove all my makeup properly as I hate having any make up marks on my towels and pillowcases, and it's a lot better for my skin. I have found that using a cotton pad with soap (a gentle one for the face such as Australian organics - it usually costs under £3) and rubbing it gently in small circular motions over my face removes a lot, then using a cotton bud with make up remover, and rinsing, toning and moisturising the skin afterwards gives the best results. It really is a drag though - I'd prefer a tap of a magic wand to remove my make up!
I'm really pleased with this powder. The tub lasted me over a year, I think, and I liked it enough to repurchase. The powder itself feels lightweight and not cakey. I usually put it on in the morning and it lasts till early evening. If I go out in the evening, I usually apply a little more. The disadvantage of a powder foundation is that you can't quickly just put it on in a hurry with your fingers without a mirror as it would be messy and look terrible!
As some of you may know, I'm Irish. This entails a few responsibilities. Firstly, I have to like potatoes and whisky. At least once in my life I've had to try and combine potatoes and whisky (the interesting-sounding but horrid-tasting 'potatoes in whisky and cheese sauce'). Secondly, I have to have a demented mother. Thirdly, I have to say 'feck' all the time. Fourthly, I have to be pale. And when I say pale, I don't mean pale in that attractive way that the Corrs have going on. I mean pale in the way that people who used to die of consumption in the olden days looked. I make the average vampire look like they're only back from a week in Benidorm.
With that level of deathly pallor going on, I need quite a quality foundation if I'm not to sport a ridiculous tide-mark round my chin. I used to wear a really good MAC one, but they seem to have discontinued it, meaning I'm permanently on the lookout for a good 'un. You wouldn't think it'd be *that* tricky, as I don't have problematic skin, but the search has been going on for a few years now.
At the start, I assumed my best bet would be to go to the Lancôme counter and ask one of the ladies there to test a few different types on me. I should have been put off by the day-glo orange of her skin, but I foolishly carried on regardless. She spent 10 minutes trying different kinds of foundation on me and then picked the best one, telling me it was a 'perfect match' for my skin. Being the canny shopper that I am, I sauntered off to the toilets to get a proper look. The best description I can think of is that I looked the same colour as Judith Chalmers after she'd just returned from a six month sabbatical on the surface of the fecking sun. Suitably irate, I returned to Lancôme lady and told her I looked ridiculous. She, clearly exasperated, told me I was too pale and that I'd be better off contacting a company that made theatrical make-up.
After I recounted this story to a friend, she recommended Bare Escentuals mineral make-up, saying that it was all natural, blended brilliantly and looked great on everyone. To cut a long story short, even the palest one made me the colour of Tony Hart's mate Morph (remember him?) It also made my pores itch and took bloody ages to put on.
Cue another search. I quite liked the idea of a mineral 'all-in-one' make up. I also liked the idea of a bargain. So, when shopping on the Debenhams' website I spotted they were selling Urban Decay's mineral base for a reduced price and bought one. As Urban Decay are a brand I trust, I didn't think I had much to lose by buying online and I was proved right.
Labelled as 'Surreal Skin Mineral Makeup' it seems not unreasonable to expect that, once you put it on, your face will suddenly be changed into a melting clock or a pipe that isn't a pipe. Sadly, it's not *that* kind of surreal. It's not any kind of surreal, in fact, but it does do a much better job than any other foundation I found, and here's why:
Mine is 'illusion', which is the palest one. Although it looks quite yellow, it suits my pink and white complexion very well, and I never end up with that horrible tide-mark. There are twelve shades in all, ranging from very fair to dark brown, so most people should be able to find one that suits.
~*~Ease of use~*~
Unlike the Bare Escentuals one, where you had to tap a little into the lid and then swirl around with a blush and layer the colour and then add a 'mineral veil' on top, this is relatively hassle free. The pot of foundation powder has an attached puff on top, through which the product is dispensed. The first time you use it you will need to tap the puff against your skin to get the powder to come through, but after that it applies easily. If, however, you'd rather apply the powder with a brush, the puff can be unscrewed. It's small enough to fit in all but the most weeny handbags and the top of the pot can be turned to 'on' or 'off' so there is no danger of it spilling all over your bag if you're using it in transit.
On my skin (normal, slightly oily T-zone) I find it takes about 2 minutes of patting and sweeping this over my face to get it to look how I want. The puff is soft and doesn't irritate the sensitive skin around my eyes. It covers imperfections, but my skin can still be seen underneath, meaning that it gives the same coverage as a good tinted moisturiser. It looks natural and non-shiny but without being completely matte. If a more 'made-up' look is required, it can be built up in layers to achieve this.
It lasts roughly 6-8 hours on my skin, after which time my nose sometimes looks a bit shiny. On other parts of my face, though, it stays on 'til I take it off again.
~*~Value for Money~*~
Mine was on offer for £15 and it usually retails at £17. I've been using it on a daily basis since the start of June and there's still two thirds of the pot left. There's no need to use translucent powder with it which is another saving.
I don't do ingredients lists, but it contains no talc or other nasties and is vegan certified, so should be fine for even the most sensitive of souls.
* It's not a good idea to apply it straight after moisturiser or on damp skin, as this seems to make it streaky.
* There is no SPF, so you'll need to apply this and let in dry in before applying your make up.
*Obviously, the more you apply, the darker it gets so it's best to apply this in front of a mirror with good lighting and keep checking the colour as you add more layers.
*Depending on how vigorously you puff it on, powder can sometimes gather in the inner corners of the eyes and the sides of the nose.
*There's no mirror included in the packaging, which is a bit of a pain in the arse if you're trying to touch up your makeup in the back of a taxi.
This is a great product which is much more user friendly than many mineral make-ups. Highly recommended, unlike mixing potatoes with whisky and cheese, which I suggest you don't do.
Urban Decay Surreal Skin Mineral Makeup / Get a sheer effect or complete coverage with this innovative foundation alternative / the range of protective elements allows skin to breathe / Mineral Makeup contains no talc / oils / artificial dyes / or fragrance / making it the perfect for even the most sensitive skin / oily or dry / Comes with an attached puff for a mess-free application / The handy on/off switch means you can toss it in your purse / no spills / Another unique thing about Surreal Skin: you'll get a semi-matte finish instead of the shiny finish other mineral foundations provide / The result is natural / not made-up / and totally weightless / Medium Coverage / Matte Finish / Puff included.