I need a foundation with endurance - I don't have the time or the patience for touch-ups. Previously I was using Chanel, and it would easily smudge off before the end of my day. While Merle Norman isn't a jazzy glamorous brand, they know their skin products and Lasting Foundation is named that way for a reason. Let's just put it this way: I run 5 miles in this foundation and it still doesn't come off. On a side note, be sure to purchase a good makeup remover.
I was compelled to write a review of this product. I have tried several foundations in the past few months from MAC, Shu, Estee, Color Science and many more. Although some delivered great coverage, they did oxidize and turned oily very quick. My cousin told me to try M. Norman. It was by far the best purchase I have made. This foundation provided super coverage yet does not feel thick and mask like. As for the oil.. it stayed at bay for 10 hours... and it probably could have lasted longer if I didn't have to wash my face and go to bed. Run don't walk to M. Norman. It may seem old lady like and not as trendy as other lines but it delivers the goods better than them all !
I went into my local Merle Norman store and the SA was soooo nice and helpful. I told her I was looking for a foundation that stays on my face and doesn't come off on my clothes or cellphone(it's gross seeing my makeup on my phone) and she gave me this foundation. It's a little on the exspensive side so I won't use this on a daily basis. It feels very light, goes on nice and I don't need powder. I actually stayed oil free for most of the day, and I get very oily. I thought I was going to have to give up on liquid foundations because of how oily I get. I'm glad I gave this a try.
I live in Alabama - which averages about 65% percent humidity in the summer - nothing stays on. Makeup always felt like it melted down my fact but this doesn't. I playfully call it my mortar makeup. It lasts all day; stays on until you take it off; doesn't smudge on clothing or leave smudges on anything that you've touched after you touch your face. The only thing is that it sets in about 60 seconds so you've got to get it where you want it and do it quick. The coverage is awesome, too. And, like with all MN products it lasts forever...
I used this foundation for a couple of years, but I never loved it. I had been using Merle Norman's Aqua Base for a about 15 years and I loved it but as my skin changed and aged I found that it just wasn't working for me anymore. It left my face to greasy and pasty looking. So I went to Merle Normans and asked them to recommend another product for me. Because I specified that I needed a foundation that lasts for the whole work day, they recommended the Luxiva Lasting foundation so I bought it in the same shade that I always bought the aqua base foundation in. The sales rep said it was exactly the same color, but it wasn't. it was at least one shade darker.
Okay, so there were some positives with this foundation. For one thing it really does last all day. As a matter of fact it seems to stay on until you take it off. It was also great for my oily skin. It dried matte and I didn't have to put any powder over top of it. However I hated the way it felt on my face. I'm suprised by the reveiwers that say it dries to a powder finish, because it sure didn't feel like that to me. I thought it dried like paint. Once you dot it all over your face you have to blend it very quickly because it dries fast and I swear I always felt like my face had been painted. Also I didn't see it doing anything remarkable for my overall appearance. I thought it gave okay coverage but made my skin look older overall. My whole face had a dry painted feel to it and the fine lines seemed more obvious.
Now my love affair with Merle Norman foundations seems to be over. Aqua base was my staple for years and I have since tried all of their other foundations only to be left disappointed. I am now using mineral foundation and I have heard that Merle Norman has recently developed their own mineral foundation. If anyone here has tried, the pretty please write a review. Although I have recently become disenchanted with Merle Normans foundations, I do believe that they use superior ingredients and I have always been impressed with their products so I have high hopes for their mineral make-up.
Oh and just wanted to say that Merle Norman SA's can be very snotty. I drive across town to go to a Merle Norman store that I know is friendly and welcoming. There is a Merle Norman store just a few block from me and I never go there anymore because of the crappy attitude I always get there.
Update: Have been using this for several months now, and I went back for a repurchase. It is really unique and works so well. HG.
I never buy the same foundation twice. I never find one that is perfect. I have aging, acne prone skin, tiny red veins around my nose, large pores, oily in the T zone, dry in other spots, dark patches from old scars and sun damage. To make matters worse, my neutral super pale skin is tough to match. Everything is too pink or yellow and nothing has the right amount of coverage. Once I get it on, it melts off after a couple of hours in the tropical climate I live in.
I had given up on a perfect foundation.
However, I ran into a new Merle Norman just to see. Perfect match, wonderful finish, stays all day. Waterproof even. No breakouts.Looks like skin, not like makeup.
I finally found the perfect foundation.
I love this product! I have normal-oily skin during the summer, but during the winter it is like my skin has no oil. So when I went in to get a makeover for prom and she told me about this I was a bit ecstatic to try it. When she applied it to my face it covered up amazingly! There was only one other product I have liked this much and that was this powder foundation I only use during the winter. I did have to use concealer for my dark circles because they are pretty bad, but that was about it; oh and a translucent powder to set the stuff. It is like a second skin that last a really long time if you don't sweat a whole lot, but since I live in Louisiana it doesn't last long, but when I move to Seattle I will wear this makeup every day. Sure it was a little out of my pocket, but it is worth the cost. I think I paid about $25-32 for it, but if it works why not just buy it?
I had to go to 2 Merle Norman stores to find a good environment/ helpful sales associates. I swear, they have the worst customer service in a few of their stores, but I was lucky enough to find a good store in Toronto. It was $39 for 29ml which is almost the same amount of product from my Mac Select SPF 15 Foundation. It is more expensive but the SA ensured me that it would last 4-5 months because you only need a little product. If its anything like my MAC Select in terms of the longevity of use, this will last a very long time. I got matched with Creamy Beige and I wear NC30 in the Select foundation. Perhaps NC35 in the summer. I bought the concealer also in Bamboo which has a very nice yellow tone. The foundation or concealer are not pinky like the ones at Clinique, Lancome, MUFE, Smashbox, etc... I was afraid that Merle Norman wouldn't have yellow tones but they actually do! I just got it so I will update on the use of it. So far I like the color when I was matched up. I just wish the package for the foundation was see-through, just so I know how much is left, but it's okay! I got a nice gift with my purchase too!
Update 05/23/09: So I used it today and the SA told me it was medium to full coverage but honestly its so sheer! I feel like I have to use more product which is a waste. Its more expensive then my mac! This has no pink tone in it which I love. Color is a tad off because its a bit light and lacks enough yellow in it to match my neck, I'm wondering if I should try Soft Bisque.. MmMm... When I use this foundation, I have to top this off with the Merle Norman powder (Ultra Cream) I got as a sample which I think was a bit light. The concealer color was too dark n the finish was totally undersirable. I'm not completely sold on this product. It does last long and blends nicely but you have to work fast or those streaks are gonna dry on your face. I'm going to try it out when its really hot outside. I'll update soon.
Update 05/28/09: Lowering rate from 4 to a 2. The creamy beige was too light... and the soft bisque I tried as a sample on my face and went outside and its too dark... BOO HOO... It'd be nice if I could have found my right color but then again the coverage is quite sheer to me unless I pack it on... Back on my search for my HG
This stuff is fantastic - it's everything I could want in a makeup, superior coverage, yet it feels like a "second skin" It lasts and lasts and looks super natural as long as I take time blending.
Its non-transferrable too! Doesnt get on your clothes, cell phone. I have combo skin and I dont even need powder for the oily areas! The color I bought is a near perfect match, though its perfect for winter and the next shade up is too dark for a light tan. I would mix them but oh, lordy is this stuff freakin expensive! Yet its one of those must-have things you just need to save up for *shrug*
I usually wear powder foundation, but it just hasn't seemed like enough coverage for me lately. After reading the glowing reviews on this, I was excited to try it. I went to my local Merle Norman and waited patiently as another customer was being helped. That's how it is in my local shop. They normally have one SA and you basically have to wait in line to be helped. The atmosphere is terrible. There's never any music playing (not even elevator music) and there are no testers of ANYTHING. All the products are kept in little drawers that only the SAs can open. You tell them what you're looking for, they reach into their little drawers and pull out whatever they think would be best. So, I ask about this foundation and she just looks at me like I'm crazy. "You wouldn't like that. It's like stage makeup. It's very heavy and it was made for oily skin". Ummm, my skin is very oily. Even though I tell her this, she looks at me as though I'm lying. She insists that I try several other foundations first, one of them an extremely heavy cream foundation that is heavily fragranced (called powder base foundation. Yuck. See my seperate review for this). So, after trying three different things and hating all of them, the SA acts as though she's stumped and there's nothing left to do. I basically had to demand to try this. I was so tired of being there and humoring this woman and I knew what I wanted to try even before I walked in. The formula was actually quite beautiful. It's pretty much a liquid-to-powder foundation in a tube. It feels light going on the skin and is very buildable to a heavy coverage. The shade "Cream" was an absolute perfect match for my MAC NC20 skin. I've actually never had a foundation match me so perfectly. I had to use a little concealer on problem areas and tried this both with and without setting powder. I found that it performs better without. Powder on top just seemed to make it clump up a little. I also tried it with Merle Norman's Luxiva Powder Foundation as someone else mentioned, but it looked a bit cakey. Wearing it for 10+ hours, my face actually did stay mosty matte. I only had to blot once during the day. There are a few negatives for this that, unfortunately, outweigh the pros. First, when a good layer is built up on the face, it feels very heavy on my skin. I'm so accustomed to powder foundations and this feeling is just unacceptable to me. The worst part, though, is that I break out in tiny whiteheads every time I wear it. I've decided that the hassle at Merle Norman is enough to prevent me from ever going there again...except to return this foundation. For reference, this product retails for $27.00.