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.