After some experimentation, Merle Norman Lasting Foundation (formerly, Luxiva) really is a great LONGWEARING FOUNDATION that looks like skin and doesn't feel like you're wearing makeup.
WHAT I WAS SEARCHNG FOR (lamenting Revlon CS oily/combo 24 Hr and ELDW horrible reformulations--I've been on a replacement trek for well over a yr, trying EVERYTHING): Longwearing, no transfer, neutral beige tones that didn't make my pale 60 yr old skin look like a ghost, pink or orange, that "doesn't feel like I'm wearing makeup" feel, medium to full coverage (that can be lightened up by using a damp sponge), matte to soft matte finish (sorry, all "dewy" finishes I've tried either have minimal coverage that "slide" or disappear after a while or look and feel like a grease ball mess settling into lines/wrinkles/pores) and-although a tall order--look like skin, hopefully at an affordable price.
MY 1st, 2nd & 3rd APPLICATIONS ON BARE SKIN: A horrible wrinkled mess that made me look 10 yrs older (as one reviewer noted) w/ a dry separation tight mask-like look and feel (in the most bad way); 1st using fingers, 2nd using fndn brush, 3rd using damp sponge wedge. Rationale: Too much product used, needing prep.
4th APPLICATION YIELDING FANTASTIC RESULTS: I was skeptical w/ low expectations, before returning, so I wasn't going to go to great lengths to MAKE this work. I primed using cheap Monistate chafing gel (I had other high-end primers in the drawer, but why waste them right?). I waited about 10 minutes before applying the foundation SPARINGLY to small sections as I went about covering the face w/ a fndn brush, as most longwearing fndns require working quickly before setting. Using too much product yields a "too tight" feel that ended up previously looking like "shink wrap" face. WALL-AH! Absolutely LOVELY fullfilling all of my wish-list requests! USING PRIMER WAS THE KEY. I, for one, detest powder. This stuff doesn't need it. But, as long as I was experimenting, I applied a light dusting w/ a kabuki brush of corn starch (yup, you heard me--its the same concept/ingredient as using mineral veil type products). It was an even MORE BEAUTIFUL a finish, blurring my deeper nasal labial wrinkles as much as is possible at my age. My SKIN looked so pretty and like skin... not just my makeup looking pretty. The lightweight feel was even better--longwearing fndns tend to have a bit of a "tighter" feel on the skin in general and just an ever so tiny bit of that is actually a plus in appearance for older skin in camaflaging fine lines and wrinkles, without having to resort to an additional prep product that does the same thing in spreading them and setting them spaced out to appear smoother. There was NO TRANSFER AT ALL--none touching my face w/ my hands, to phone or clothes. I wore the makeup for 10 hours and it looked as lovely as it did when I first applied it. I did need a makeup remover and I followed w/ my face wash and moisturizer.
FOLLOW-UP FACTS: Subsequent applications yielded similarly great results using fingers, as well as a damp sponge wedge. I prefer damp sponge wedges primarily, however, I found with MN Lasting Fndn too much product is wasted in the absorption, as one must work quickly w/ this product before it sets. The coverage is not as opague as CS or ELDW--I'd say medium--so for blemishes/cuts/scratches, concealer is needed--DO NOT add/build more of the fndn or you will achieve the horrible results of my applications 1-3 above. Applying my moisturizer before primer and weekly exfoliation achieved even better results.
I am a pale caucasian and found SEVERAL neutral colors that worked quite well and did not oxidize. My final choice was Alabaster Beige, the deepest neutral pale beige in the line--I detest looking like a white porcelain ghost-faced doll and prefer a bit more color depth, as long as it is up to the point of being nondetectable. Merle Norman, I realize had a stigma of being a granny line, so it was the last longwearing fndn that I opted to try in my replacement quest. I am so glad I tried them as a last resort and secured a great find. Although I am 60 yrs old I have always had beautiful skin all of my life with little effort and with far less fine lines or wrinkles than many gals in theIr late 30's and 40's. The MN sales rep/owner of the studio was most cordial, accommodating and tried 7 colors on me. She did not balk at my choice for the longwearing formula of Lasting Fndn which is targeted for oily skin, even though I have normal/combo skin w/ a few dry patches around my nose--she knew it was a preferred choice for its long wear components and did not try to push/persuade me otherwise... a pleasant surprise. The cost was $28.95 plus CA tax--which I consider affordable for a high end brand and would have paid nuch more to acquire my HG. I don't mind the 1 oz. tube; it's sanitary and convenient for storage and travel. MN chemists and ingredients are top notch, I'm discovering, and are made in the USA.
I wore no makeup at all for about thirteen years, and the past year or so I've gotten back into it. The foundation I'd worn since high school was Merle Norman's Aqua Base, which, to my chagrin, has been discontinued. I got the Lasting Foundation instead in the color Ivory. As compared to Estee Lauder's Double Wear Light and the new formulation of Double Wear, it doesn't sink into my wrinkles and gives a lovely, non-cakey finish. I love that it lasts all day. This is my go-to foundation.
One caveat: this stuff dries *fast*. So, I apply it to small sections of my face and blend well before moving on.
I was a long time wearer of Estee Lauder and then Mac foundations, but when I found this one I was in love. It has great coverage and stays put all day. Great if you have an uneven skin tone. Great colors to choose from that never turn brassy on fair skin.
I am in love with this foundation. My holy grail has been the original formula of Estee Lauder Double Wear for quite some time now, and I honestly never expected to find a replacement after it was reformulated. Needless to say, I am so relieved that I have found one in the Lasting Foundation. I have combination skin that is very acne-prone, and I have a lot to cover (in my opinion, at least). I can't stand the dewy look because that only translates to "greasy" on my skin, so I need to have a matte finish. In addition, the foundation that I use must be longwearing and last all day. The Lasting Foundation is full coverage without appearing mask-like, has a beautiful matte finish, and wears like iron. I think Merle Norman really hit it out of the ballpark with this one.
For reference, I have N12 skin and the best shade match for me is Cream, which is the lightest neutral they offer (I can also get away with wearing Ivory, but Cream is better).
This is the one foundation that I keep coming back to. This foundation feels moisturizing but is non greasy. It wears like ELDW but is not as drying on me. It is lighter feeling. I am super pale and use vanilla. I wear ecru in ELDW. It is a very good match. I use the ultra powder (light) over this if I need more coverage. Merle Norman really deserves more attention than it gets. Merle Norman carries some of the best cosmetics. Their skincare is amazing! They have changed their packaging to reflect a more modern image.
After wearing foundations for over 15 years, trying different ones every time I buy, I have finally found one that I have gone back to 3 times so far!
After trying all the drug store foundations under $10, I decided about 2 years ago it was time to spend some money to get the results I wanted: something that will STAY on my face until I wash it off, that won't look cakey, and that covers acne scars and reddish tones.
I loved the look of Covergirl's Dream Matte Mousse but it wipes off/sweats off easily. I also loved Bare Essentials but found I had to reapply to keep the coverage I wanted. I have also tried Smashbox's HD foundation and felt it didn't cover well.
Merle Norman's Lasting Foundation is the best!! I'm willing to spend $39 two times a year for this product that stays put all day long.
I wear it every day, setting it with Covergirl's clean compact powder. If I need something stronger for a special event or photo shoot, I have used it layered with Bare Essential's foundation on top. It is very versatile and not at all cakey (but however COULD be if you use a heavy hand and heavy powder).
The makeup is great and it has great coverage. I had a time getting it off my face at the end of the day. I had to use about two of the make up remover clothes and wash my face to make sure that I got it of good. It has a very perfumey smell that last all day. The only reason that I wouldn't buy again is because it irritated my face so bad that my face would itch all day.
I've been trying to find a great foundation for years, but it's been impossible because I'm so fair and I'm allergic to many foundations. This is by far the best I've found. I have combination skin and it isn't drying or oily. The coverage is great and buildable without looking cakey so long as you blend it a little, and once it's on it doesn't feel heavy (even after covering a blemish). You do have to work a little quickly with this foundation, though, because it dries quickly. I think that's great, especially when you're in a hurry, but if you're used to foundation that takes a few minutes to dry, you should keep that in mind.
I really have no complaints about the looks of packaging. I like that, since they have repackaged, you can see the color of the product inside the tube. However, I really just don't dig the squeeze tube, in general. If you squeeze too much out, it is very difficult to get it back in the container. It can be done, but it takes time, and patience.
I would call this a medium - full coverage foundation. It blends easily, and you don't have to use very much, which is nice considering the price. Cream is the lightest color available, and it matches my coloring perfectly.
This foundation has a very matte finish. I have always considered myself to have Normal/Oily skin-- nothing too oily, but, boy, can I shine if I don't watch out. With this foundation, there is ABSOLUTELY NO shine on my face. I would strongly recommend this for anyone that has trouble with shine control. That being said, it may be a little drying on dry skin.
Geeze, Louise! This stuff is called Lasting, and it sure does. I can safely say this foundation has lasted 12+ hours on me. I usually set my liquid foundation with powder, but I don't even have to with this. This would be great for weddings or events where you plan on getting pictures taken throughout the day and you may not have a lot of time for touch ups.
However, I gave this a 4/5 instead of a full 5/5 because of two reasons. Number one: This is an expensive foundation-- I believe it retails for $31.00. That can be a little scary if you are on a tight budget. I might recommend buying this foundation and only using it on special occasions where you need your foundation to last a while. Number two: This foundation lasts...and lasts... and lasts. It takes a little more patience to wash this off than other foundations. This is a nuisance, at most, and not a huge deal for me.
ALL IN ALL:
This is a fantastic foundation. It has great coverage, eliminates shine, and doesn't disappear! Sure, it has its thorns, but what foundation doesn't? I will be repurchasing.
A good drugstore alternative would be Revlon Colorstay for Combination/Oily skin. It costs 1/3 of the price and has a very similar formula.
So my bestie loves this foundation and I wore it for my senior pics and my wedding. And I LOVED it! So when I could afford it, I but it. After about a week, when I took my makeup off, my skin would sting and looked even more red. And one morning I woke up to a swollen face, clogged pores, and red welts! I broke down crying because I had to go to class with my face looking like I got into a fight with a bee. :/ apparently I'm allergic to something in it, which sucks. I'd recommend getting a sample before you purchase it. Loved the coverage, loved the packaging, loved the color-- I really loved this foundation. My face, however, did not. So I will not be repurchasing sadly.