I absolutely loved this when I first got it and went from loving it to hating it with a passion. Its looks totally amazing , dewy and flawless for about 3 hours and even looks better and better for a while and then all of a sudden it clumps and cakes. Its difficult to apply, tends to be heavy and wears off in the worst possible way in clumps. It is hideously drying wet or dry. I stuck with it because of the rave reveiws for a while and even tried a different colour and different applications. I even bought some fixer which was also dreadful. Hate the stuff and will never buy it again, sorry I wasted as much money on it as I did.
I really do love this product. It took a few purchases but I finally found the right color. The color always dries a few shades lighter than in the pan. I ended up buying 4, but at $8 a pop, it wasn't too bad, considering I did the same thing with studio fix a few years back when I had more disposable income. I have a wierd skin tone that so far has never been matched perfectly, most make up artists just go for good enough. I didn't find a perfect match with color cake but i found good enough on my own.
The finish is matte. If i put to much on, it almost mask like in coverage. But I usualy shade my face dry with the darker and lighter tones that didn't work out. And it stays on fairly well.
I probably waste a ton of product by the way I apply it, but it works for my impatient self. I start with a medium weight moisturizer and let that set for a min or two. Then I soak down a foundation brush and pan, pick up a heavy load of foundation and go to town on my face and neck. It looks fairly ridiculous at this stage. I let that set up for about 20 seconds then I buff my face with the damp/wet towel that was drying my hair :P Some stays on, some comes off, but I like the finish it leaves. The nose coners have to be done with finger tips though :(. I have it down to about 3-5 min depending how early in the morning it is.
As a warnig, the first ingredient is talc, the second is mineral oil. Not the greatest thing for sensitive skin. But more often than not i end up sleeping in this stuff with no ill effects.
This is a fantastic foundation with excellent coverage and finish, available in a wide range of colors and at a price that's easy on the wallet to boot.
As an extremely fair-skinned blonde (NW10, paler than Dita and one step above Casper) I find it almost impossible to find any foundations that come even remotely close to matching my skin tone. Those that appear as though they might be suitable often cake and oxidize orange within a short time of application. Certainly, the search for the perfect foundation has been a real thorn in my side for many, many years; a veritable obsession of mine, if you will.
For those who have trouble finding a color match, particularly those of us who are so pale that most cosmetic companies doubt our very existence, I highly recommend venturing into the realm of stage/pro makeup, as the available color range is considerably larger than that generally found in drugstore or high-end lines. For me, Ben Nye's Color Cake Foundation in Bisque melds perfectly with my skin, smoothing away imperfections and blending away the natural pink tones in my skin. Though my first instinct was to reach for the lightest shade available, it is important to note that this foundation looks much darker in the pan than it actually is; the colors all dry much lighter than you would initially suspect.
Application does take a bit of practice, but pancake makeup appears quite natural and not at all heavy as you might suspect. I prefer to use a flat foundation sponge, which I saturate with water and then wring out slightly. Swipe the sponge over the foundation several times, and then stipple over your face. Layer foundation over the areas that need extra coverage and then dust with loose powder, using a brush to buff the product into the skin. This is not a product that can be applied in a hurry, but the extra time spent on its application will leave you with a flawless, Old Hollywood style canvas. I highly recommend it and will definitely repurchase!
Edited 3/31/08 - I'm forever trying new products, as I have a serious makeup addiction. Even when something works very well, I still feel the urge to try the latest and greatest products on the market. And so, like everything else, I strayed away from this foundation. Not for any particular reason, though I was applying it a bit too heavily and so I wasn’t always thrilled with the finish. I just picked up another cake, this time in the color Geisha, a pink-based pale porcelain shade (for reference, I’d say that Bisque translates to an NC10, Geisha to NW10, and Ecru to NC10-15.) And I can’t figure out why I stopped using this stuff—it is fantastic. The shade range is superior, it lasts forever (even through a night of dancing) and it gives my skin a lovely, yet still natural, ‘done’ look. I've altered my application method as well; for day wear, a barely damped sponge picks up the perfect amount of product. A little dusting with translucent loose powder to blot down the shine it leaves, and that's it! continued >>
Wow why did I wait so long to try this? I think I may have finally found my holy grail foundation! This is excellent stuff--gives me great coverage but does not look cakey or masky. I completely agree with what other reviewers have pointed out---you must get an exact color match, and the color you see in the pan is definitely not the color you will get on your face, particularly if you use this wet. I have yet to try this dry, although I think it would work that way too. If you have any way to test these out before buying, I highly recommend that. I didn't have a way to test first, so I bought 3 different colors. Since I am Asian, it was easy to pick those 3--Shinsei Ivory, Shinsei Fair, and Japanese. The last shade, Japanese, ended up being a perfect match. These seem to go on much lighter than they look in the pan. The wear is excellent. I shine a little bit, but I have very oily skin. It's nothing that a blotter sheet can't handle. And no breakouts either! I have just gotten so tired of paying $40 for foundation that I figured for $24 I can try 3 of these and I stlll make out better. I had to play with this a little bit, to figure out how damp to get the sponge, and how much product I needed to get the coverage I wanted. Now that I've figured that out, I'll never go back to paying department store prices for foundation. This is drugstore-priced makeup that performs like department-store stuff! I enthusiastically recommend it.
Well, I'll rebuy, provided I find a suitable shade...
I am fair, blond/blue, and I was matched with Navajo Sands. It seemed OK applied in the store, but see, the store was very poorly lighted, and the SA knew nothing about color matching and products and such.
Since it's a relatively inexpensive product, I bought it anyway, and later on tried it at home.
I applied it with the wet Sea Sponge, and I was really happy with the way it spread and covered. I mean, with just a very thin layer it covered everything, my skin looked airbrushed, no pores, nothing. Then once it dried, a couple of seconds later, I noticed I looked snow white, not even close to the way normal skin should look, but more like a newly painted white house! In my attempts to make it look human, I put on some of my BE Faux Tan bronzer, and after lots of swirling, tapping and buffing, I was able to look decent and leave the house.
As for the foundation itself, I was very happy with the way it held out throughtout the night, although the airbrushed effect vanished in a couple of hours. I'm oily, so I did get a little shiny on my T-Zone and the whole combination started to feel heavier, but overall I liked it. I think it would perform much better in a proper shade, with nothing else on top but some loose powder. The real challenge is finding the right shade, because the lighter ones apply too light, and the darker ones apply too dark. I wouldn't recommend buying them off the web,without sampling first.
EDIT 10/18/2008: actually, now it's not as white on me as it used to be, lol. I don't know what changed, but I can wear it without bronzer or anything. Anyway, coverage-wise, it is my absolute HG. This is what I use when I go out and want to look my best, or when my skin is acting up and I need serious coverage. I don't like that after a while it can look cakey, when the oil starts coming through, so I usually use EL DW, but like I said, this is a life saver for those "emergency" situations. Covers EVERYTHING!
Another great product from Ben Nye! My sister bought this, and I have always used it. Makes my skin appear smooth and lovely. Just the type I need!
There is no doubt this makeup is fantastic. It's what every other foundation out there should be, but will never be. Applied wet with a hydra sponge, Color Cake does not budge. It applies remarkably flawlessly, and once it's on, it's hard to remove. It does indeed create a flawless, matte canvas.
I ordered this from a seller on ebay, 3 different colors because I was unsure of my color match. Unfortunately, although 2 of the colors seemed like a possible match in the pan (one of them was the exact color as my liquid foundation), when applied wet I looked white as a corpse. So, I don't have a color match yet; I'll have to venture into the nearest costume shop that carries Ben Nye. I realize the matte coverage is not for me, at least not for everyday. I will go out and find my match, and will try their creme foundation as well, mostly for "going out" when I want an ironclad coverage that will stay where I put it and photograph well. continued >>
i've worn mineral foundations exclusively for about 6 years and have only sampled other types of foundations, throwing them out in the process for various reasons (wrong color, color mutation, irritation, breakouts, etc.,). this non-mineral foundation is the first i've tried that i actually like, simply because it's an excellent wet-dry foundation... meaning it covers when applied wet, and it actually covers when applied dry as well (take that, studio fix!). i bought it in Japanese, which is actually a tad light for me, but still workable and has a nice amount of yellow to it.DRY: i was worried when i applied it (dry with a kabuki) the first time that it would dry my skin out like other powder foundations in the past, but surprisingly, it didn't. also, it lasts and lasts and lasts without the use of a mattefying finishing powder--i DO use a finishing powder over it, but i didn't when i was testing it, and i only use it to correct the problem of Japanese being a tad light on my skin. apart from my getting the wrong color (my fault), my only beef is that it accentuates every dry patch you've got if you don't exfoliate well beforehand.WET: this actually doesn't look very heavy on me when applied wet--it looks about the same as when applied dry, but you get full coverage immediately. this technique, however, dries my skin out for some reason, so i prefer applying it dry. also, when you apply it wet, you have to wait until it dries completely before you can apply it dry again... and even then, i had to scrape the top of the cake... so minus one lippie. would i buy it again? heck yeah! it's cheaper than MAC Studio fix and most other professional powder foundations, but it doesn't make me break out and it actually covers wet and dry. oooh, also, it photographs EXTREMELY well!Update 2-23-07): i've decided to give this another lippie. i find that i'm reaching for this more than my mineral foundation. i think i've just had my fill of swirling, tapping, and buffing. i just swipe this on with a damp makeup-seasponge, let it dry, pat my face with my hands, and i'm ready to put on the rest of my face. i don't even need to go over this with finishing powder (not even BN Topaz, because this shade is a pretty good match for my winter coloring). this stuff lasts and lasts and just looks better and more natural with time, as it melts into my skin. it's never gets shiny on me, and the only thing i ever have to touch up is my lipstick.Update 3-14-07: i've been applying it wet for the past few months, and it's been drying the hell out of my skin. my skin is so dry, it's become painfully sensitive to touch it at night after i've removed my makeup and cleansed+moisturized (in the morning, my face is completely healed and is fine). i have since taken a butter knife (this stuff is so hard that a paper clip wouldn't work), took this out of its container, and mashed down the chunks with a brush handle. this stuff is so fine that even though there are a few small chunks here and there, it still flows in my jar like water. i don't have to apply it with a brush in its loose powder form--a regular makeup sponge works great (just tap off the excess) and feels alot better to my skin than my sea sponge. i get wonderful coverage that doesn't dry out my skin! i've also found that i can mix it with oil or moisturizer and make a cream or liquid (coverage depends on how much liquid you use, of course), which is great for summer, because now i don't have to layer or look all over the place for a tinted spf! and using it in its dry loose form, i still don't have to set it and it lasts all day. i think this has become my HG foundation!Update 4-1-07: i just wanted to say that i've been using this on and off for over a year, non-stop for the past 3 or 4 months, and i've barely used a quarter of it. yeah, they give you an entire ounce, but the coverage is so good that you don't need to use alot. also, i've been mixing it with equal parts of Olay Complete SPF 15 Sensitive Skin to use as a tinted spf moisturizer with great success. it's sheer enough to look natural, but at the same time, it covers all of my flaws--i don't even need undereye concealer!!! i've noticed that using this method causes this product to cake ever so slightly on the sides of my nose (where the nose and cheek meet), but not as bad as some of the other foundations i've tried. it's a small price to pay for my Holy Grail of foundations. =) continued >>
This makeup is fantastic. I've tried a lot of expensive foundations and they all wear off fast and don't really help cover flaws. This makes my face look flawless. I bought the Hydra Sponge and I just wet it and then kind of blot and blend the makeup on and my face looks great all day. It is really inexpensive and you can order it off the web. I was afraid it would be heavy or cakey but it is the complete opposite. I love this!
i got this in navajo sands, which is paler than my C3 face...maybe better for C2...anyways...the coverage is light, but light enuff to cover ur flaws....its also buildable so u can make it medium to heavy..my skintone is uneven and i have broken capillaries and this covers it pretty well...this doesnt cake up to an ugly mask and its pretty nice...doesnt make me oily either.