I've been on a professional foundation craze since IMATS 2011, I am also reviewing RCMA, Kett, Mehron. ( haven't tried Cinema Secrets or MUD yet but intend to).
Therefore if you're interested, you can read my reviews on them.
I do believe that professional foundation brands are superior to commercial brands. With that said:
Graftobian is an amazing foundation. Full coverage, very HD friendly, undetectable to the camera. Looks like skin, not too matte, not too dewey, just very skin-like. Covers everything, makes freckles invisible.
Application: It blends like a dream, very emollient. I can use my beauty blender, any synthetic foundation brush (Sigma HD brushes are my fav in that department), or my fingers and it will look great regardless. Has a butter-like texture which makes it super easy to apply and blend in literally seconds.
To compare: Graftobian is my *almost* first favorite foundation. I say almost because it's not quite second, as it's tiniest decimal points away from being my first ( which is Kett cream foundation). However, I tend to reach for Graftobian more frequently than for Kett. My reasons: It's easier and faster to apply than Kett. With Graftobian I can literally smear, blend and go, while Kett does require slightly more skill and effort to apply and blend, as it has a stiffer consistency ( I posted a review for Kett as well). It's easier and work into the skin which makes it very morning rush friendly.
I feel that Kett surpasses Graftobian in the teensiest, slightest bit in longevity and because it is a little bit more forgiving to dry skin and flakes.
Longevity: It's long lasting. I apply and set it with translucent powder ( Kett Sett powder or Graftobian loose translucent, both amazing products). I would say it lasts about 10 to 12 hours on me if powdered. My skin is combination, Oily t zone and normal cheeks and it withstands oil, humidity, rain or other NYC forecast.
Shades: My perfect shade is Vixen and in Mac terms I am about NW25 to 30. Their shade selection is enormous. I've seen the widest variety of shades from the palest, whitest to pitch, jet black, any undertone possible.
I really love the finish look of this foundation and the way it is on the camera. But for my oily skin in very hot country, it cannot stay put all day. In summer time, it will last on my skin only few hours. However, it is the foundation I always use for evening events and indoors place.
I just wanted to share some information. After a lot of trial and error, I found the equivalents to Max Factor Panstick in the color Nude Ivory
-Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin enhancer in SX03 (pricey, but full coverage and a dreamy finish)
-Revlon Colorstay in Buff (not as full coverage as above, but stays on as promised)
-Graftobian HD Cream Foundadion in Ingenue (for me, better than Kevyn Aucoin)
All of the above foundations are full coverage.
I went through so much trying to find the right shades, I just had to share.
This is my go to for special events. It's a medium coverage cream that can be sheered out or built to full coverage. It is comfortable on, but doesn't feel like you're wearing nothing. Hasn't cause any breakouts or eczema flares. I like that there are so many shades, and the price isn't exorbitant that it isn't a problem to find your shade - especially if you buy the palettes. All in all, it's a keeper and one of my favorite foundations.
Shades: Deep Xanthe & Midnight Marigold
Hands down the best foundationt that I've used. It feels light yet provides full coverage. I wish i had discovered this foundation before my wedding...oh well. I wore this to my sister's wedding a few months ago, and was astonished at how flawless my skin came out in the pix (the photoghaphers for mine & her wedding are the same so it's got to be the foundation). This is not something that I'd wear everyday, only for special occasion/going out, as i am afraid of my pores getting clogged up. I got the Warm#2 palette which provided me with enough shades to get me through all the changes in my facial color, thoughout the year + highligher/contour shades & more. For $20 (from makeupmania.com) i think this is a steal
My skin is a bit bananas. I recently quit smoking too, so now my skin is totally hating me. Way dryer in the winter and uber oily in the summer. I'm sure that's normal for a lot of people, but it literally messed up my routines. I had no idea how to do my makeup anymore lol. In comes this beauty of a foundation. I've had the hardest time finding foundations that work with my skin and colouring. Saw the great reviews for Graftobian and decided on the complete warm palette. This baby is going to last me forever! And I don't have to go anywhere for a new shade when the summer changes my skin tone because this palette covers every shade I could possibly be. If one of the colours doesn't suit me, mix them! The way I use it is with a damp beauty blender. Any other way and it's cakey for me. Right now my skin is super dry, so I swirl the BB in the foundation, then dab it in some moisturizer and blend it into my skin. If I do the bounce, it's still too heavy, so I sweep it on. Sounds like it defeats the purpose of the BB, but it works like a charm. You seriously don't need much, I sheer it down to next to nothing and I still get great coverage. I couldn't possible use this any heavier, it definitely would clog pores. Then in the summer, I skip the moisturizer part and use some finishing powder to set. No powder in the winter, it doesn't need it. This stuff looks just like skin! And pictures? Never looked better (or younger lol). Seriously worth it ladies..
This covers well, but those who have a sensitivty to mineral oil, petroleum and other oils should be cautious. Yes, the finish is beautiful, the color range amazing, however I would expect this as these cosmetics are formulated for stage and screen. I talked to a few actress friends about this who told me that they RUN to remove this from their skin when they are done for the day. This product did not work for me as I have sensitive skin. I could not understand why their skin didn't react the same way until they reminded me that regular facials, peels, extractions, etc. prevent their skin from reacting to this. As for me, a woman who is NOT a professional actress, it completely ruined my skin and it took me a good 6 months to get it back to normal. I keep it in my kit for special occasions only when I have a one night event to attend and then RUN to take it off before it does any major damage. Cleaning with a Clarisonic is a must for me with this product. Buyer/user beware.
Even though I'm old, I'm still a makeup-junkie. Being older, my skin is very much on the dry side. I have very few wrinkles due to my Italian heritage and thick skin.
I heard about this makeup on a YouTube video where the woman was showing how to define your eyes but her skin looked perfect. One of the people in the comment area, asked what she was wearing. This was the first I had heard of this makeup. As I normally do, I checked out the reviews here on MUA and it was also highly recommended.
I first ordered a couple of the makeup pallettes to find my true color. What a great concept!
I finally found my color and use a couple of the colors in the pallettes as a concealer under my eyes, where I like the color to be a little bit lighter than the foundation.
I first applied it with a damp sponge and was very pleased. But I still felt my skin looked a little dry. I then started applying it with a few drops of Dr. Hauschka moisturizer on the sponge. I had purchased this lotion awhile ago but didn't feel it was "rich" enough for my needs but found it perfect for this way of using it. The makeup just glides on this way, and where I have some broken cappillaries on my cheeks, I apply it a little heavier, using a patting type application. Even then, it doesn't look too heavy.
After applying it to my entire face, I look like I have perfect skin. Never does it look like makeup even. My face looks like an ad in a magazine that has been air-brushed to achieve a perfect complexion.
I find this product to be just amazing. It'll last a long time because you need very little when applying it. I would encourage everyone to try it because it's that good. I've used practically every foundation every made and have never been this satisfied, either the color is always wrong (even with salesperson picking the color). I look too "made-up" or my skin still seems to dry.
I love the glowy, dewy look I get with this method. Others who's skin is not dry, don't need to use a moiturizer to add to the foundation, like I do.
Long ago, I had read that a lot of Hollywood types mix their foundation with a few drops of moisturizer, a drop of liquid blusher and a glow-y type liquid (I sometimes do this using Smashbox's illuminating primer. I haven't found a liquid blusher yet to complete this formula.
I urge everyone who can't find a satisfactory foundation to give this a try. Order a couple pallettes first to find your right color, using the warm, light or neutral shades that fit your coloring as they are not expensive. Neither is the foundation pot.
I doubt I will ever try and waste my money on any other foundation every again.
This might have a nice finish, but this foundation clogs pores, and it does it really badly. It gave me cystic acne on my chin/cheek/forehead/under eyebrows in about a week of me using it. I wouldn't even say that I have sensitive skin - Garnier Fresh Toner usually balances my skin out, even if I've been wearing silica or oily foundation - but it couldn't reverse this mess. Sore, hard, under the skin zits caused by this foundation.
The foundation doesnt even last that long either - 3-4 hours.
Yes I will definitely buy this again. In fact I just ordered a whole slew of palettes from our local Graftobian distributor and planning on using this extensively on my clients.
The range of shades is wide and varied. Anybody can find a foundation match w/ the shades available. They have it in Cool, Neutral and Warm, and from the lightest to darkest skin tones. So I mean anybody, literally, can find a shade that can match w/ their skin color and undertone.
The product is heavy and thick, and has a matte finish, so it's important to use a little amount & apply w/ a light hand. I find that this is best applied w/ a damp sponge, I use a foundation brush to apply the product in sections across my face then I use a damp sponge to work the foundation on my face - a tapping motion if I want more coverage and swiping motion to thin it out. I find that this work best if set w/ Graftobian HD Dual Finish powder foundation and it looks absolutely beautiful in photographs. In every day use, it's best to apply this lightly and thinly for a beautiful finish. Since you only need a little amount, it takes a while to finish the whole pot.
The price is more than half cheaper than leading HD foundations and performs much better in my opinion. But of course Graftobian just used a cheap plastic pot as packaging that opens up when you twist it. No bells and whistles w/ the packaging of this product - so I understand the lower price range. The good thing about this is you can scoop the product out and place it in an empty palette. Very handy for makeup artists.
This doesn't have an SPF too, that's the reason why it's cheaper. And that's why it's also one of the best foundations to use in photographs because this doesn't give that white cast on faces that foundations w/ SPF gives. Graftobian is geared toward professional MUA's, for TV, theater and movies, and it's only recently that they have made a presence w/ the regular consumers.
I cannot stress enough how I love Graftobian foundations, they're even better than Shu Uemura's Nobara and that has been my staple cream foundation for the longest time. Less expensive too!