Before trying this I had been using Laura Mercier's loose mineral powder foundation for about two years and had come to the conclusion that powder formulas worked best for my skin, which tends to get quite shiny throughout the day. Since this is a creamy formula that comes in a twist-up stick format, I'm not entirely sure what prompted me to try this after finishing up my last jar of the Laura Mercier. It probably had something to do with the appeal that an all-over, multi-purpose concealer-foundation hybrid tends to hold for me. Similar to my beloved RMS Un Cover Up, this can be used under eyes, to conceal certain areas of the face, or applied all over, in a foundation-like fashion. On my skin, this works flawlessly. After moisturizing, I warm the top of the stick up by swirling my finger over it and then pat it anywhere that needs some concealing and enhancing. The formula is just as creamy as the RMS, yet it isn't as oily and applies with a satin-y finish as opposed to a dewy one (so it works a lot better on my oily-ish skin). I find it remarkable that I can apply this to just the areas of my face that need a little help and I cannot tell where my skin ends and the product begins, which allows me to only use it where I need it. While it isn't as moisturizing as the RMS it still works very, very well on the under eye area (sometimes I like to use this first and then top it off with the RMS, which is slightly more brightening for the eye area). I'm still on my first stick, but I will 100%, without-a-doubt, be repurchasing this when I run out.
This is my favorite foundation. It is so easy to apply, I just swipe some on the parts of my face that need it, then I blend with my fingers, the end of a cosmetic sponge that has been massaged with moisturizer, or a foundation brush. It makes my face look flawlessly natural. I have used Bare Minerals for years, but it does no favors for my face anymore, which is combo/dry and in it's 30's, but I still dab a bit of bare minerals on the extra red parts around my nose that the Narcissist doesn't completely cover. The greatest thing about this is its versatility. It can be used as an all-over light to medium coverage foundation, as a base for a heavier foundation, and as a concealer. It even works well under the eyes. I like that it's much less messy than BE foundation and the old Tarte foundations that I used to mix together to match my skin. This is so easy to use, and I love the smell. I'll never be without it!
This is the only non-mineral/powder foundation I have ever used that does not break me out. It smells clean and natural, the ingredients are very close to perfect and the coverage is just right - light to medium.
After a day of wearing this, my skin actually looks better. The tube packaging, while not really fancy or fun, is practical and makes application fast and easy. My favorite way to apply this is with my fingertips, tapping it into my skin in layers where needed - it blends seamlessly. When I am short on time, I just dot or stipple my under eyes, on and around my nose, and wherever else I need it, then quickly blending with imy fingertips.
This is what I wanted Vapour Organics, RMS, Jane Iredale, NVEY, Dr. Hauschka, Christopher Drummond, etc. to be. It's been a long trip, but I am happy to have finally found a line that works for my skin. It could be cheaper, no doubt, but at least it's a good company with great colors and I don't have to worry about the ingredients, plus a little goes a long way. I imagine I will save money in the long run since I no longer have to experiment.
I took advantage of a 20% sale on an online retailer to try out Narcissist in #1. Initially, this was an absolutely epic fail for me. Hard, not user friendly, tugs at the skin, just overall unpleasant & frankly majorly disappointing. It got relegated into the cupboard.
Now that the summer is over & I'm using more moisturisers, I've come to realise that this can only be used over freshly moisturised skin. As in before it all sinks in - this product needs slip from external products in order to be usable. It is pigmented and covers my hyperpigmentation fairly well, its also surprisingly long lasting when combined with a dusting of loose powder. I have no idea why they sell this with a brush because in my experience it really needs the warmth of fingers to be spread or tapped into the skin. In fact, I find the nicest finish when I tap on with my fingers, then tap again with my beauty blender, so it doesn't get stuck in any fine lines (it says it will not crease - it will if you apply too much, as I have a habit of doing). Like most natural foundation type products I've tried, its never going to give you the same level of consistency as conventional brands do, but I guess its why they recommend using a mineral powder of it. I don't bother because I don't need the extra coverage on most days, but it is an option if that's what you need/prefer. The good thing about this product is that while I thought #1 would be too fair to use all over (I brought it for under eyes) it actually does shift colours on your skin & so is quite forgiving, doesn't look blotchy while it covers imperfections.
I've been using it over the Everyday SPF 15 by Snowberry (great product! 16% ZO, clear... lovely!) and my skin seems happy. Both products are somewhat sticky, so I would recommend a powder even if you have dry skin.
What stops me from repurchasing is the packaging - its awful. Cheap, plastic, the label looks like it was stuck on by a pre schooler. Yes, I am a packaging designer, so I understand the mechanics & operational and cost constraints that go into mass production... but honestly at this price point, W3LL could do A LOT better. (They should have put the same amount of attention into the physical packaging as they did to the brand & proprietary typeface which is annoying & unnecessary.) It annoys me to no end as its the packaging for a $15 product, not a $38 product. If the product was spectacular, it wouldn't bother me so much. But while I am using it & can appreciate the pluses, I don't plan on repurchasing. Yes, because the packaging bothers me so much. Although I am sure I will be using this for a LONG time as you really don't need a lot of the product.
If rms beauty un-cover is too oily for you, then I would suggest getting some samples of this because it may work out really well as its the polar opposite in terms of consistency. I reallised I prefer un cover, but again, that's a personal preference.
From the W3LL people website:: (why do they specify natural ingredients? Does this mean the product contains "un natural" ingredients as well?)
Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Oil* infused with Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea Complex) Leaf**, Ganoderma Lucidum (Reishi Mushroom)***, Morella Cerifera (Bayberry- wildharvested); Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Cera Alba (Beeswax)****, Silica, Essential Oils, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil (and) Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Extract, Tocopherol (Natural Vitamin E), [+/-: Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, 77492, 77499), Mica (CI 77019)] *Certified Organic by Stellar, **Certified Organic by QAI, *** Certified Organic by Oregon TILTH, **** Certified Organic by Koster Keunen
This has been my under eye concealer and as-needed sheer foundation for the past few weeks and so far I love it. Although I have oily skin and this stuff is packed with various oils, this has not broken me out and melts into my skin effortlessly and is not at all shiny. I just ordered a tube of this, so I can't really comment on the packaging, but I can say that the two samples I ordered (one was labeled cool toned and one warm, but very similar) are each about the size and width of a nickel and I have been using them for 3 weeks and have used less than 25% of them. One sample could easily last a month, maybe two, depending on what areas you need to cover. So far, I'm loving it.