If ever there was a foundation that has been the center of much controversy, it is the Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation.
“Consider Immaculate the miracle foundation for oily skin. This breakthrough liquid to powder formula absorbs oil, camouflages imperfections, and delivers a long-lasting velvet matte finish—without the need for touch-ups.”
This is not a new product, in fact it has been in the market for a couple of years now, but it still feels incredibly innovative to me. Quite a feat considering every year 1-2 new batches of foundations with ever improving formulas are launched.
Personally, I found the overly long name to be confusing. And when I focus on the negative reviews on Makeup-alley, it gives me the shakes to think this foundation may suck the living waters out of my face. Which was why it took me so long to make the leap of faith to order this and ship it halfway across the world. And with trepidation, I opened this up, and was simply blown away.
My first clue that this is a very different product was when I opened it and found the pump dispenser separate from the main bottle. To use, first uncap the main bottle and insert the pump dispenser. I believe this keeps the product fresher as the original screw cap is more air tight than the pump dispenser. And it matters, because the product itself has a light-weight, airy mousse-like texture to it as you can see from the blob in the picture below. Not quite soufflé-like, but lighter than traditional liquid foundations. I’m really very fond of this texture as I found it incredibly easy to blend and apply using my Koyudo Fu-Pa 02 brush. I know some ladies complained the foundation dries too quickly and they had difficulty blending it. Hourglass advises against using a sponge to apply, and I think this may be one of those foundations that work best with a brush that you can work quickly with using minimal strokes.
The confusion for me was the supposed “powder” finish. To me, Hourglass Immaculate gives a beautiful velvety-matte finish that is elegant and alive. You can get a sense of the texture and finish from the swatches above – I had blended it out partially on one side to show the mousse-like quality, and blended it out fully on the other side to show how it completely melts into the skin with a matte finish.
When fully blended all over the face, it does what those infamous Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders are supposed to do – give a 3-dimensional luminous finish to the complexion. On me, it did not have any of the dry, cakey properties that I often associate with powder foundations. I know there are many users who have reported this foundation dried up their skin, which is why I think Hourglass has emphasized on the product description page that this product targets “oily, acne-prone skin”.
Immaculate foundation contains kaolin clay, which is able to absorb up to 75% of its weight in sebum. It is great for keeping shine at bay, but really bad news for those with dry patches. Kaolin clay is typically used in clarifying masks, so I’d imagine some of those properties will transcend to Immaculate foundation, i.e. drawing out pimples and acne, which may explain some complains about this foundation causing breakouts. On a side note, I must emphasize the need for a good makeup remover, preferably an oil-based remover. Water removers and all-in-one foaming cleansers just can’t cut it, and clogged pores cause breakouts.
Living in humid, tropical Singapore, Immaculate is a really great find as the formula is water-resistant, so my makeup stays intact throughout the day. I found it to give light-medium coverage, not as heavy a coverage as Guerlain Tenue de Perfection, but certainly not a sheer foundation. In terms of finish, it is very similar to Guerlain’s, but I think I may be just a tad biased in favor of Guerlain. And both are priced on par – SGD75 for Guerlain (approx. USD57), and SGD72 for Hourglass Immaculate (USD55). The only problem is that Hourglass is not currently available locally, but you can order it off of Net-a-porter. Fyi, I am using the shade Shell, which is perfect for my NC20 skin.
Overall, I am very fond of Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation, and I think it is best suited for ladies with oily-combination skin living in humid, tropical climates. It is quite a different formula, and with any innovation, there is a learning curve. Used correctly, it is one of the best foundations I have encountered (perhaps not the best as there are a few that I’m really loving at the moment, but close enough).