I love this product and it will always be in my professional kit. But it's not for everyone. There are unique qualities about this foundation as to why it's more for pros and not enthusiasts and I will list them down below. I think this foundation is a litmus test of sorts for a makeup artist - if you can find a way to use it, you're probably a great one, and if you can't, then maybe you should learn how to manipulate products because that is what separates a pro from an enthusiast.
CONS (and solutions to these cons)
- The reason why this foundation transfers is because it's not a self setting one, which makes it way easier to touch up on set or on a photoshoot. To prevent transfer, I suggest a setting spray or setting the foundation with a good translucent powder and a powder puff.
- The reason why it's difficult to blend out this foundation is because it's a full coverage wax formulation. 78% of the Dermacolor is pure pigment, while most foundations for the consumer market are made with 9% to 12% pigment. There aren't any special ingredients like hyaluronic acid or SPF to dilute the formula or to make it more "slippy". Consequently, it's a different beast than the foundations we're mostly used to, myself included! But what I do is I use a palette knife to scrape out a bit, and mix it for at least half a minute to make the texture softer. Then, I add a few drops of Kryolan Makeup Blend, which is a fluid (made of evaporating silicones) that makes the foundation more slippery like a liquid foundation. DON'T use an oil - I've tried this before and it doesn't work as well as you think. You can also mix it with MAC's Face and Body, Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentre, or even a mixing medium to make it easier to work with as well.
- Skin prep is absolutely essential if you want the best results from this foundation (although to be fair this applies to all foundation). The bare minimum should be a good moisturizer on clean skin. I've always liked Embryolisse underneath Dermacolor but anything that's rich and nourishing (Magic Cream, Skin Food, ect.) will work really well. If you're oily skinned like me, opt for a hydrating serum. I've also seen demos that use squalane oil and letting the face fully absorbing it before application as well. IF YOU SKIP PREPPING THE SKIN, DON'T EVEN BOTHER APPLYING. it's not for lazy people. (As for primers... Well I just don't believe in primers so that will have to be a matter of what you prefer.)
Now with all these conditions in mind, Dermacolor is going to make you look absolutely amazing in front of a camera. Because it's made with pharmaceutical grade ingredients, it's also safe for all different skin types (Rosacea! Acne prone! Melasma! Sensitive! Pick your poison!). Because it's made of wax, it won't oxidize, it'll stay on under water, and remain stable despite the temperature outside. You can manipulate the finish to whatever coverage you want - tinted moisturizer for that no makeup makeup look? Mix in some moisturizer! You have a serious case of cystic acne? Dot the foundation on moisturized skin and blend with a clean synthetic foundation brush! Do you have dark circles? Mix 1 dot of Face and Body with the foundation for coverage that just won't quit.
- Application: I recommend using a clean synthetic brush. Sometimes I use the triangle sponges to sheer out the coverage. Focus on the places that need the most coverage. Use thin layers and really blend. You will be surprised how much Dermacolor can cover!
- And talking about color choices, WOW. I can't think of another line that offers as much choice and selection as Kryolan. You can match anyone from the palest of the Irish to the blue black complexions of the Bantu tribes. On top of that, there's a straight up magenta. Olive yellow. A taupe brown. Obviously these colors aren't for foundation but for color correction and contouring. If you're hard to match, try asking for samples. I myself own a concealer circle with all the primary shades and a black and white just so that I'll be prepared for any situation.
The last pro I have to add is that it's quite cheap for a professional quality foundation. It's about 3-5 pounds per pan which makes it a great choice for artists building up their kit. The versatility should be something to be admired if you're interested in saving space in your kit. I've seen artists with so many bottles and tubes in their kit that I'm surprised that they can carry it all without breaking their back. But with a simple pallette I'm pretty much set for the base.