I needed an spf-free, full coverage foundation for an event, so off I went to Sephora. When I explained to the SA that I didn't want any spf, that I wanted a flawless, full coverage foundation, he suggested an HD foundation. I thought this was a great idea, and sampled each and every HD foundation that matched my skin.
Unfortunately, none of them worked, and some were outright disasters. (I am quite dry skinned.) I gave up on HD foundations and decided to try MAC's full coverage foundation instead. This, too, failed, as there are no Pro stores accessible to me.
Fast forward several weeks later, and I come across my favorite You Tube makeup artist's positive review of Graftobian HD Glamour Creme foundation.
I researched which colors would suit me, but was hesitant to even order samples, as the Graftobian foundation matrix seems to be lacking suggestions between NC35 and 50. It wasn't until Temptalia (bless her painted heart) put up her foundation matrix that I felt comfortable and ordered samples.
The samples run $3.99 and the full size is $12.50 for a 1/2 ounce jar. The beats, HANDS DOWN, any other foundation I have ever purchased.
I'm somewhere between NC35-40 and quite warm (yellow). I ordered Desert Sand and Winter Wheat from The Paint & Powder store. The samples they sent were meant to be "for one time use" according to the website, but they were in fact each enough to use 7-8 times for me.
This brings me to my first review point for this foundation- it's SUPER pigmented. You simply don't need a lot to do a heavy coverage face.
The product comes in a 1/2 oz jar. It's very creamy and very blend-able.
The finish is semi-matte, which is new for me, as I normally prefer a dewy finish. However, I have mixed this with lotions to create a tinted moisturizer (word of caution here: some of the lotions darkened the foundation).
I also did a side by side comparison with my favorite foundation (BB Moisture Rich in Warm Natural) and compared coverage, wear (over several hours) and skin tone matching. Graftobian's Desert Sand matched perfectly (although it is the barest hint yellower- fine by me as I have always felt that the BB fdt was not quite warm enough by a hair) and covered MUCH better than BB. They wore equally (both with primer and without). I do not normally set with powder, and I certainly would not with this foundation given its semi matte finish. Also, I don't normally prime my entire face and this left me feeling a bit dry with a traditional primer (LM), so I went back to Sephora got samples of silicon-free moisturizing primers. (I will edit this review with those results). The BB fdt did have a dewy-er finish.
The best way I found to apply this foundation is with a damp sponge. I have noticed that it's easier to sheer this foundation out when the sponge is damper than usual. It's also quite easy to build coverage where you need it. (Less is more for me- I wear the sheerest coverage I can get away with and build only where needed- this keeps my face from looking like a mask and follows for all my foundations.)
I ALSO tried this fdt out as a concealer. I followed my usual steps, applied eye cream, primed, applied my BB Corrector, then Graftobian HD creme, then set it with LM Brightening powder. It wasn't an utter failure, but my preference is still my BB Creamy Concealer. A side by side comparison demonstrated that the eye with the BB lasted longer.
Another tip (for personal use) is to warm the product up on the back of your (clean & sanitized) hand and pick it up with the sponge from there, or dot your face (I dot my chin, nose, forehead & cheeks) and blend outward from there. I DO NOT stick my fingers or brushes in this foundation- I use plastic makeup spatulas. I also transferred some to a clean, sanitized sample jar to take on the go with me in case I need a touch-up.
All in all, my best advice is to play with this to learn how it works best for *you*. Don't expect to plop it out of the jar and have it be a miracle product. Given the amount of product that you get for the price, and given the versatility of this product, it's well worth the time and effort to learn how to use it.
Others have noted that the product contains ingredients that could potentially clog pores. This is true, but because it's a full coverage foundation, it's NOT an everyday product for me (my BB Extra Balm, BB Moisture Rich & BB Skin all have spf and are out-of-the-bottle ready for every day) it works just fine.
I would not hesitate to purchase this again, although it's unlikely I will have to for a very long time. (As a side note- the Winter Wheat was too dark for me now, but now functions nicely as a contouring shade and will be perfect for me in the summer should I need it.)
EDIT: I promised I would edit this after I had paired this foundation with a moisturizing primer. I used Korre's Quercetin & Oak Antiageing Face Primer on one cheek (my cheeks are the driest areas) and Tarte's Recreate Primer. (Both these primers are silicon free.)
Boy, was I pleased with the results! The lower half of my cheeks have the largest pores on my face, and even there, my skin looked like a porcelain doll's and felt like butter. My skin still looked great 5 hours later (but did not feel quite as moisturized). I will definitely be getting Tarte's primer, as that had Jojoba oil in it.
This is my go to foundation when I need my skin to look like glass in photos. My skin always looks great with this foundation. I use the HD pressed powder to set the creme and just flawless until I take it off.
This really delivers and covers redness, acne whatever.
This is not easily found in brick and mortar stores so getting a color match takes a bit of guess work but fortunately, these can be purchased in color family palettes. I got Warm #2 and have had complete luck - Buttermilk, the lightest shade, matches my winter skin perfectly. The other shades will no doubt help during the warmer months when my skin tans but for they work very well for contouring. The coverage is fantastic but still looks quite natural and feels lightweight. It has a very smooth consistency and is easy to blend. It is not as long lasting as other foundations I've tried but I get a good 8-hour wear time if I use a primer (currently I am using Tarte Clean Slate). The packaging is plastic but feels sturdy - the compact size makes it great for travel.
UPDATE: After using this for several months, I noticed my skin has been less than stellar. It's not as smooth and youthful and my pores look enormous. I tried to fix this with skincare but I finally decided to give this product a rest and switch to Tarte Smooth Operator tinted moisturizer. And now my skin is back - smoother, healthier and more younger looking than ever. Now I can't be certain it was because of this but it was the only thing I changed. Maybe my skin just doesn't like this stuff afterall. Either way, I'm only going to use this sparingly.
I really really like this foundation. I can't wear it daily or it clogs my pores, though I have very clog-prone skin which is sensitive as well. I can't really wear a foundation daily without getting clogged pores.
The coverage of this foundation is amazing. I took the advice of some reviewers here (and on youtube) and dotted the product onto my face with a concealer brush and used a damp sponge to pat/stipple/ dab the product into my skin. The result is flawless looking skin. I had a very red and angry looking zit and nothing was working to cover it. So I dotted this on and stippled it into my skin and VOILA-perfection. Other than a little bit of dry skin around the zit it looked completely perfect. I set the foundation with my ELF correction powder palette (which is also awesome, btw). I will continue to purchase this to have on hand for these occasions, or if I need to have a perfect looking face for a special occasion. I have the neutral #1 palette, and have found that the Primma Donna shade works seamlessly with my skin, which is usually a MAC NC20. I'm thankful to have stumbled on to this foundation (THANKS MUA!!!).
This product is amazing, especially for special occasions and professional photo shoots. Having experimented with this foundation over the past year with my make up work, I have found it is best used on all skin types. However, on drier skins, it is important to apply at least 3 coats of I.e. Shu Uemura's Depsea water spray to ultra hydrate the skin. It is also important to set this foundation with loose powder and a big fluffy satin like powder puff in a press and roll motion underneath the eyes to elimate it from sitting into any lines. I have found the Shu Uemura translucent powder (colorless for pale skin, 7YR medium light for olive skin, 7YR medium light + 7YR medium) for tanned skin colours) as their texture finish is simply like silk due to their triple milling process. Once you have completed the rest of your make up, set with powder foundation for full coverage. Then spray 3 coats of Skindinavia finishing spray. WOW. Your make up with last you the whole day with no touch up required (for really oily skins you'll only need to blot once or twice). I've used this for models on shoots, and mostly - brides for their special day - the finish, coverage and lasting effect is just superb when used in conjunction with skindinavia finishing spray. For me personally, it is my only go-to foundation when I go out for a special occasion or clubbing all night, it just maintains coverage and color, and does not look cakey. Simply beautiful to use, and at such a great price!! I recommend for all olive skin tones to purchase 'Caramel' to mix it into your chosen colour of foundation. It adds more 'yellow' tone and you can adjust it as much as you like. 'Caramel' is my staple in my make up kit even for mixing with all of my other foundations, because it allows me to adjust any other foundation I want into an olive tone.
I would like to compare this to the Cinema Secrets Foundation.
The Graftobian is more buttery and softer in texture. It melts and blends amazingly. If you live in a colder climate and don't have acne scars I would recommend the Graftobian. However, the CS provides better coverage especially for acne scars since it is tackier.
I was hoping to be able to use this as a spot concealer as well like my CS, but I find that it slides and is not tacky enough.
I would say that the Graftobian is better as a foundation/under-eye concealer and the CS is better for spot concealing.
I like the Grabtobian because it is fragrance free while the CS has a fragrance.
- great coverage, you only need a *tiny* amount
- easy to use and easy to blend
- fantastic colour range suiting all types of skintones!
- sooooo affordable and will last you forever!
- on me, the finish of this was slightly dewy (this just ends up looking oily on me)
Ok, so it seems that the pros far outweigh the cons, but bottom line is, I cant wear this foundation. It really just does look oily on me after a few hours. There is so much to love about the foundation itself, I just wish that it suited my skin type. For me, it is the closest thing I have found to my HG foundation, I just wish that it had a matte finish (something like the MAC pro longwear foundation). So if you can get away with the slightly dewy look, this is an amazing foundation, and highly recommended. If you are slightly oily, I would probably stay away. But for the price, it is worth trying it anyway, you dont loose much even if it doesnt end up suiting you.
Disappointed after so much hype. Got this several months ago...Got the Neutral #1 palette and the colors are fab. But alas, there was not enough coverage for me (liked La Femme better), and it only got worse as the day wore on. It also started looking a bit greasy and I live in a dry climate and do not have oily skin. It now resides in my makeup graveyard (It takes me awhile to actually get rid of things just because I spent so much money on them and I might revisit them at some point). So sorry; such high hopes!
I purchased this in the Neutral #1 palette so as to find my correct shade which turned out to be Leading Lady. This HD creme foundation is amazing and you truly only need a very small amount of this product to get a full coverage. I purchased this from Paint & Powder online and I wish to congratulate thier customer service who have been very helpful and prompt in answering any questions I had. The cost is extreamly low...$11.99 for the pallette and 9.99 for the 1/2 oz. One piece of advice I have for anyone out there who is thinking of trying this or is having trouble with the product staying put throughout the day is DO NOT use a silicone base primer with this product. I contacted PP customer service telling them that I had a problem with this looking oily on my face and they immediately asked me if I was using a primer and which one. I responded by telling them that I was using my MUFE HD primer (of which I love under my MUFE HD foundation) and they told me that was the problem as I needed to use a 'non' silicone primer. I immediately tried this and the problem was solved....no more oily residue or shine and picture perfect skin :-)
Personally I prefer to use this foundation for evening and special occassions as I prefer to use MUFE HD Foundation for my everyday use. Give this a try.....you will not regret it.
2nd edit, oct 1st, 2012, I gave this another go because I have two barely used compacts of the stuff and apparently hope springs eternal. Plus summer is over and my dry skin does well with creams as Autumn and Winter approach. However, this stuff looks, the effect is ephemeral. It doesn't last even on my very dry skin. It does transfer like mad. I wish credits from my first university transfered as easily when I chose to attend a 2nd. For me makeup is to hide some flaws, I'd go barefaced if I could as confidently as I do once I've hidden those things. So if I take the time to apply mu and am pleased I've hidden all such flaws, only to check a mirror to apply lipstick an hour later and realize the time I absentmindedly touched my cheek I also negated any coverage I had on my face-whats the point? That is after powder and even applying powder various time throughout the day. Here is my 1st edit which was basically an edited version of my original review. i wrote i loved the stuff but it made me splotchy. turns out it was not the mu but something else, likely skin care, that did me in briefly as it no longer occurs. I wanted to add another edit, I tried this foundation using a brush but have to agree with most here, the sponge is the way to go. The finish looks better, greater coverage yet still not mask like. When I use a sponge I see almost no need to go back with a concealer to cover tiny imperfections, as the sponge + makeup covers all.
what everyone has said is true for coverage, and finish. i have not yet tried this mixed to make it a tm, or anything else. i simply apply w/damp mu sponge and stipple on. i get complete coverage pretty much, yet it looks good, not cake face, not make like. i never wanted full coverage though i get redness and sure could have, and at times, still, use it. i wanted and still desire a natural look. but i was spending so much time going back after applying my mu to cover little areas with a teeny brush and concealer, this almost does away with a need for that. i have a palette and am still unsure which color suits me best, but thankfully the ones i got are all yellow based. this looks good, makes getting ready faster, easier. i am going to order a full sized once i get the shade right.