The foundation equivalent of the magically perfect thong: Works under everything, is entirely invisible, so comfortable you forget it's on ... and yet essential to making you look your best.
Somehow, in my recent two-year trek through foundations, I've tried about 75 different formulas. (Yes.) I've tried theatrical brands and just about everything in the department stores and Sephora and Ulta and CVS. I've ordered things that I saw mentioned once here. I've ordered things I saw on YT vids and on QVC. I've tried creams, gels, mousses, liquids, cakes, powders and MMU. I'm sure I've missed a few products, but I can say I've done my homework.
What was I looking for? Something that would make my pale, dry, nearly 50 years old, melasma-bedeviled face look good. Not perfect. Not 35 (though I would accept that!). But healthy, youthful, glowing, even-textured, GOOD. And I wanted it to look good for a whole day. I found things that looked good for a few hours, at most, before needing some serious respackling. I found things that covered every spot but accentuated my pores and flakes and looked like Makeup. I found things that could be made to look good and last ... but that took many minutes of patient sheering out and buffing. And I found several foundations (I'll list them at the end) that worked well under SOME circumstances: with the right primer, when my skin was the right combination of dryness/oiliness, when the moon was the right amount of full. But no real HG.
Finally, I broke down and tried Becca LSC. I had to order it on-line, so I made a guess that my NC10-15 skin would use the second-lightest, neutral shade, Sand. I hated spending $42 on it.
But it has kicked 75 other foundations to the curb.
I do NOT use this alone, except for the most low-maintenance, no-makeup days. I use it over sunscreen, which I've allowed to set. (This has sunscreen, but the PPD is not high enough for someone as prone to melasma as I am.) Then I use concealer under my eyes (Laura Mercier's Secret Concealer, a true HG) and a sheer stick foundation around my nose and on the worst of my melasma (Px AnyWear, RIP). I sheer that out with a damp sponge. I do the rest of my makeup and then set the stick foundation only with powder, either RCMA no-color or Stila's Illuminating Powder Foundation (10 watts). The LSC doesn't seem to need powder on my skin.
By itself, the LSC does exactly what its name implies, and not a thing more. It gives my skin a very slightly luminous hint of color. It is truly "better than bare." My skintone is evened. But the makeup is undetectable. The texture is similar to MAC's F&B, MUFE's F&B or Face Atelier's Ultra Foundation, but the finish is even more natural. That is what I love about it -- the texture of my skin looks youthful and natural, even though the pigmentation isn't perfect.
And then this is what makes it an HG: It looks the same no matter what sunscreen or primer I use it over AND ... any foundation or concealer or blush I want to layer over it looks great. Nothing gets too thick or too sticky, nothing separates or melts off. It plays nicely with everything. I can put it on without thinking, knowing that it will work.
(The also-rans: Alima Satin Matte MMU (best over greasy sunscreens in summer); Bobbi Brown tinted moisturizing balm (a little dark, even in Alabaster, and best when my skin is very, very dry); Tarte Smooth Operator (reformulated and now a bit "tacky," therefore not good with concealer), Stila IPF (best used very sheerly; too matte and drying otherwise); Graftobian Hi-Def (very good as a concealer or when I want a perfect finish for a special occasion; too much work for daily wear).)
Very good foundation, but only if you have perfect skin. I have dry skin and now that the weather is getting colder nothing seemed to work anymore (Burberry and Laura Mercier were too cakey, Chanel Vitalumiere too dark and shiny, Giorgio Armani LSF and Nars Sheer too dry). I do not like tinted moisturisers as I find them too sheer. I went to the Becca counter to try the shimmering skin perfector and the MUA tried this on me. I am NC15 and the colour range is outstanding (I use sand). It imparts a nice glow on my skin and leaves it radiant and moisturised. I conceal problems area with concealer as the LSC is too sheer. Because of the sheer texture I have to top it up with the Becca stick (which makes the whole process lenghty and the two products are veeerryyy expensive). The result is very natural, but it does not last all day.
Generally don't wear foundation unless having skin issues, currently recovering from 2009 skin from hell, so still have hyperpigmentation/post inflammation marks and uneven tone I want to cover, while they fade away over time.
I have light-medium golden-olive skin that tans really quickly to a darker shade that is hard to match with foundation because it is not beige, red, peachy or really yellow-toned either. I am a golden toned neutral girl with no red undertones, but strong yellow foundations dont work either.
I was first matched to olive and it was almost the perfect match. It was barely darker with slightest red tint than I like. Just slightly. I am considering keeping the olive anyway though since it was reallllllllllllllllllly close.
Then I went back for camel which was really yellow and I am not yellow. But it blended in really well and gave my skin a clear natural glow. My skin looks more uniform and even. I wish there was a shade between camel and olive. I have super oily acne prone skin. I take excellent care of my skin. I use the double cleanse method and I use retinoids at night. This has not broken me out yet. But I have noticed this does leave skin moisturized and slightly on the greasy side - but it doesn't look it. So blot blot blot.
I have used Revlon's Golden Beige (too beigey), MAC25 (too peach), Shu Uemura 960 (ok for non tanned skin, but tan now, so needs bronzer on top), Origins warm beige, (slightly orangey-beige), Cargo F40 (sandy neutral not golden enough), Almay Sand (ok on non-tanned skin but now too pale and beige)
This product offers extremely little coverage. It's more like a moisturizer with good sun screen. Not good for anyone with discoloration or blemishes who only want to use this product. I know Becca wants you to use this as a base along with the stick foundation and concealer and you will have to do just that if you want to see improvement in the skin! It's a little runny in texture. Wouldn't buy again!
I have mixed feelings about this product. When my skin is good, LSC makes it look great. When I have a breakout or flakies, this stuff just highlights them. It looks blotchy if I don't moisturize well enough before applying and it pills when I apply it over my vitamin E gel. The scent is also pretty annoying. I know I'm making this product sounds horrible, but on good skin days, LSC makes my skin glowy, smooth, and healthy looking--unlike any other foundation I've tried. I plan to continue buying this when I'm able to find it on sale, but I don't think I'll pay full price again.
I'm NC25 or MUFE F&B 32 and in this product Camel is a very good match. I like the pump dispenser and find that two pumps is the perfect amount to cover my whole face. Texture wise it comes out quite watery yet on the face it has a certain stickiness to it. Compared with Laura Mercier's Tinted moisturizer I would say this one is more sheer. I'm not sure if I had too high of expectations for this but I'm really not overly impressed. This is an okay product and for the price I prefer Laura Mercier.
Product - Labelled as "sheer make-up," BECCA lists it on their website under both the Foundation and Tinted Moisturizer categories. I'd call it a TM with fair to moderate coverage.
PROS - Feels nice and creamy; it's not too thick and not too thin. I apply with my fingertips and it's easy to spread and blend into the skin. Dries to a matte finish and stays that way all day - feels as fresh at the end of the day as at the beginning (yay!). It wears quite well - no complaints about it moving, sliding off my face, or rubbing off on tissues/napkins/damp hands. This also means you need soap to get it off your hands after applying.
CONS - The LSC settles into fine lines/wrinkles/dry areas and emphasizes them - my skin texture looks much older when I wear this, unfortunately, even if I apply my regular moisturizer first. The LSC is really not moisturizing at all though the label claims it is. I don't see anything "luminous" about this product, either - not sure what everyone is talking about there. (FWIW, I am not using the finishing powder that other reviewers have recommended pairing this with - finishing powder is simply not part of my daily routine - but I don't think it would help anyway.)
Shades - I am AAB/NC25 with strong yellow undertones. Camel is a reasonably good match - it looks a shade too light and perhaps even a tad too yellow at first but it does blend right into my skin and disappear. There may be a better shade match for me than Camel, but thankfully sheer products like this tend to be forgiving. I tried a sample of Nut and it was definitely too dark (and leaned a bit orange) for me.
Overall - Great texture, excellent wear, but not moisturizing... So if you have any patches of dry skin or fine lines, you really ought to try this before buying. Should be fine for gals with normal or oily skin though. continued >>
LSC is definitely not for everyone, and especially not for people expecting a higher level of coverage. I love it because it's sheer - my skin still looks like skin but better. I do use either their foundation stick or concealer on areas which need more help, like my eyes and around the sides of my nose. LSC makes me look a little dewy and glowy, not shimmery. It's also somewhat moisturising; I don't get dry patches on my cheeks nor oily t-zone from it. The shade, Bamboo, works well on my medium, asian complexion, and it doesn't turn orangey or pinkey like some foundations tend to do on my skin. It smells nice, and I like the packaging. The only drawback for me is the price - AUD 68?! Becca, what is up with that?
ok so i took away a lippie because i feel it is overpriced and there is NO sense of luxury from packaging! the product however works very very well as part of the BECCA regime, using prior foundation stick and only cover where is needed. you get a wonderfully flawless result. using it on its own,...Mmmm. if you have perfect skin... why not... will even out colour ever so slightly if you dont have much to even out!
i think to use it alone you need pretty amazing skin!
BECCA is a great brand and i love their foundation stick.
They have a LOAD of colours also.... something for everyone
I have been using 2 colours (Camel & Olive) of the LSC off and on for a year. The other TM I own is a Laura Mercier one. I use this with Becca's loose finishing powder and concealer.
My skin colour - MAC NC20/25 in the winter, about NC30 in the summer wtout serious tanning, but when I do my colour can swing on far ends on the spectrum. I am of Sinic descent but I'm less yellow and more neutral compared to most ethnic Chinese skintone.
Colour: I'm currently about NC30 this summer without serious tanning done and I'm matched with Camel.
The colour is a good match, it brightens up my own neutral skintone but does lean towards yellow undertones. I love that oxidisation is at a minimum, and barely noticeable. Update 09/2011 - I've paled out a lot and no longer tan. Now I'm matched to Cashmere.
Texture: This is literally a tinted moisturiser. It is moisturising and it has a tint. It can on a little tackier than other TMs which come out of the tube more like liquid foundation vs moisturiser. However, the texture does not interfere with blending.
Coverage: It has a low to medium coverage with a focus on improving skin colour. I use the matching concealer over the LSC to mask any problem spots. It is semi-matte after layering with loose powder but shows up dewy but yet velvety to the touch after a few hours.
I find that this works well because I prefer a natural look. Most medium to high coverage foundations leave me with a very flat look.
Usage: Keeping in mind the tacky texture, I have tried applying with MAC's foundation brush, a wedge sponge and my fingers - all resulted in flawless application. My fave is applying a wedge sponge with a rolling movement.
I normally do not trust the moisturising properties in TMs despite having oily/combi skin. In my early tries with this, I layered on a light oil absorbing moisturiser under this TM. It resulted in a mess.
Later on while reading the product info that came in the box, Becca strongly suggested skipping a moisturiser unless you have very dry skin. I looked at the ingredients list again and realised I should give it a try. Jojoba oil amongst other emollients are high in the list, so if you are breaking out with this, make sure you are not using extra moisturiser underneath, or if you layer extra sunscreen. that it doesn't contain extra emollients.
So now I use the Laura Mercier primer (only to finish it up) underneath the LSC and finishing it off with Becca's loose powder. The effects have been amazing. No breakouts, no sliding, minimal to no oxidising.
Also, please remove the LSC with an oil based cleanser like Fancl's/ Shu's due to its clingy texture. You may be leaving residue on your skin which may otherwise contribute to breakouts often reported by some users.
I have to say that the three Becca products I own have lived up to it's claims.
The LSC's suncreen - I went to visit a friend in Discovery Bay, Hong Kong for a whole day during the height of summer. I forgot to bring sunscreen for my holiday and only had this. I pretty much used it as the first line of UV defence for my skin throughout my holiday. After walking up hills and beaches for hours with only this one, I went back with no sunburn, and no increased aggravation of hyper pigmentation spots along my cheekbones.
Waterproof when layered with Becca loose powder -
Summers in Hong Kong and Mainland China make tropical weather look like a nice day in spring. With average humidity levels from 70%-80% and temperatures of about 40 Celcius during the day and 32 Celcius at night, it is impossible to wear any kind of makeup and not expect a pool of mess.
Once again, the same trip to Discovery Bay was a serious test drive for Becca's products and claims. After 8 hours outdoors, with at least 2-3 hours being in the sun, climbing hills and sweating, I was truly shocked and amazed at how the LSC and loose powder lived up to it's claims.
Of course I was a sweaty mess, and my makeup wasn't exactly fresh out of the pot matte, but neither was it obvious I was wearing any makeup nor had it melted off my face (everything was clearly there when I took it off at night). Instead, I just looked like I was glowing after climbing up a hill, sweat included of course. The tint had remained intact despite the sweat, heat and humidity!
Price: This stuff is not cheap. But I have not found anything close to it. So I will willingly pay/squirrel my way for cheaper sources/discounts.
If you fly out of Changi Terminal 3, you can pick this up at duty free for SGD89 (~USD 61.70), $10 cheaper than at Sephora. Update 09/2011 - Becca is no longer stocked in Singapore.
I also got a very good deal in HK's Lane Crawford during the summer sale period. Any foundation product + powder product = free full size concealer of your choice.
So I paid approx. HKD 810 (~USD 104.50) for three full sized products.
Verdict - I love this and the other Becca products I have purchased. It has truly lived up to its claims. The choice of colours are awesome and I wish I had bought more during my trip to HK so I will have a light enough colour when winter comes along. I will continue buying this because it fits my needs for now. But the bottle is likely to last a while so we'll see.
Update 09/2011 - I have since purchased the stick fdtn in Latte to spot layer over the LSC for special occasions and photos. The effects are amazing. This is my fall back combo everytime I need that seriously good skin look, not seriously good foundation look.