I totally get the whole “sheer coverage” thing when it comes to foundation, and frequently, that’s exactly what I want. However, there are many times when what I want is full coverage – I’m talking balls out, totally smooth, completely uniform, no red marks, no red cheeks, pedal to the metal, maximum coverage. The problem is, it’s always been hard for me to find a full coverage foundation that doesn’t dry out my skin or make me look like I’ve just smeared spackle all over my face. Well, those days are over. Someone has finally made the perfect full coverage foundation, and that someone is Kat Von D. Yes, Kat Von D Lock-it Tattoo Foundation is the answer to all of my blotchy-faced problems.
This foundation, like the rest of the Kat Von D makeup line, is something that I regrettably put off trying because I’m not really Von D’s target audience. But I kept reading raves about it in the makeup forums I frequent, and I had such tremendous luck with her eyeshadows that I decided it was time to give the Lock-it Tattoo Foundation a try. I also happened to be in need of a full coverage foundation when I purchased it, since the whole Rodial Bee Venom Moisturiser fiasco has left my face a red, splotchy mess, even after the cystic acne subsided. You’ll see what I mean in my before picture toward the end of this post.
This foundation promises exceptional coverage, 24-hour transfer resistant wear, and a smooth finish. It boasts 21% percent pigment – I’m just going to have to take Kat Von D’s word for it that this is a lot of pigment. I mean, it sounds like a lot, but I have absolutely no clue what percentage of pigment my other foundations contain, and I never thought to ask.
In terms of ingredients, the composition of this foundation is pretty tame, making it safe for sensitive skin. The ingredients are:
Water, Dimethicone, Phenyl Trimethicone, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Polysilicone-11, Butylene Glycol, Isononyl Isononanoate, Silica Dimethicone Silylate, Dimer Dilinoleyl Dimer Dilinoleate, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Glycerin, Isododecane, Sodium Chloride, Methicone, Glyceryl Caprylate, Calcium Carbonate, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Trihydroxystearin, Potassium Sorbate, Methylpropanediol, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Disodium Edta, Peg/Ppg-18/18 Dimethicone. May Contain (+/-):CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), CI 77492 (Iron Oxide), CI 77491 (Iron Oxide), CI 77499 (Iron Oxide).
A quick peek at COSDNA tells me that the risk of this makeup causing acne or irritation is extremely low. It also doesn’t contain fragrance, a rarity when it comes to foundation. Those of you with fragrance sensitivities, rejoice! Lock-it Tattoo Foundation is for you!
It does contain a lot of silicones, so if that’s something you avoid, Lock-it Tattoo foundation is probably not for you. But I will mention – silicones are pretty gentle, and it’s actually a very small percentage of folks who actually have a sensitivity to them. I used to think I was one of those people, until Tiffany at Cake-Pie pointed out to me that it could be something else that was appearing alongside the silicones in the products that were breaking me out. Thankfully, she was right (I strongly suspect fatty alcohols). Silicone molecules are too big to clog pores, and they form a nice barrier over the skin to prevent moisture from escaping. That barrier is also good at protecting your skin from outside dirt and elements.
Lock-it Tattoo foundation comes in a huge range of shades. I mean, huge. This is good news for my very dark and my very pale friends, since they are often left in the cold when it comes to foundation choices. Because of the wide range of shades, it’s really best to go to Sephora (the exclusive carrier of Kat Von D cosmetics) and get matched. The lighting in the stores is usually pretty weird, so it’s best to get matched and then take 2 or 3 samples home to try in various light.
I, being the internet shopping enthusiast that I am, attempted to guess my match. I’m NC25 in MAC, for reference. It took me three tries to find the right shade. Initially, I tried Medium 54 (for medium complexions, with yellow beige undertones). That shade was way too yellow and dark, so I ordered the next shade down – Medium 52, which is said to be for medium/light skin with a warm beige undertone. That one was actually pretty close, but still a titch too dark and yellow. Finally, I picked up Light 48, which confusingly, is actually for medium complexions with beige undertones. Ding ding ding! This one was a perfect match.
EDIT 09/01/2013: I got rematched at MAC, and I am actually a perfect NC15 or a very passable NW13 (Studio Fix Fluid Foundation), and not NC25 or NC20. My undertone is neutral edging on cool, which is why the Kat Von D Light 48 matches me so perfectly. My fellow Asian beauties – if you keep getting matched for foundations that look too yellow when you get home, you’re probably getting matched with the wrong undertone. This article explains cool vs. warm tones for Asian skin very well. Worth a read if you’re Asian and living in the US (where I imagine this mismatch is much more common), or if you’re just curious how someone can be yellow and cool toned and the same time.
The first thing I noticed when I pumped this foundation out is that it’s extremely thick. Much thicker than any foundation or BB Cream I’ve ever owned. It was almost intimidating, but not so intimidating that I didn’t immediately smear it all over my face. This stuff dries quickly, so I had to work fast. Luckily, Lock-it Tattoo foundation is very easy to work with, so working quickly wasn’t a problem.
The technique I found works best for me is to smear it over my face with my fingers, then blend it in with a big, fluffy foundation brush. This technique leaves me with a nice, smooth, streak-free airbrushed look, and allows me to use less product than I would if I used just my fingers to rub it in.
The coverage for this stuff is simply amazing. It has a semi-matte finish that truly hides every single mark and blemish on my face. It even hid marks I didn’t know were there. Lock-it Tattoo Foundation made my face look flawless, and because I really didn’t need very much product to get full coverage, my face didn’t look like a lifeless mask. It also felt surprisingly light on my face – lighter even, than some of my BB Creams.
Additionally, this foundation lasts all day. ALL DAY, you guys. As in, I put it on at 7AM, and every time I checked my makeup, it looked great until it was time for me to wash my face at 7PM. Admittedly, by the 10 hour mark, it didn’t look as bright and fresh as it did when I first put it on. But it also didn’t need touching up. Lock-it Tattoo Foundation promises 24-hour wear, but I don’t think this foundation would truly hold up over a 24-hour period. I’m not holding that against it though. Frankly, 12-hour wear is damn impressive. Also, when will I ever need to wear foundation for 24 consecutive hours? I hope the answer to that question is “never.”
The final win for Kat Von D Lock-it Tattoo Foundation is the fact that it did not dry me out. Or maybe it did, but it’s just so good at hiding my typical mid-day flakes that I didn’t notice. Either way, my skin never looked or felt dry. It was also never oily.
It’s worth noting that I tried this foundation both with and without a primer. The final wear time didn’t seem to be hugely affected by wearing a primer, but I did find it easier to apply the foundation when I was wearing one. (By the way, I finally found a primer I like. It’s Makeup Forever HD Microperfecting Primer – review forthcoming!)
Anyway, it’s pretty safe to say that I love this foundation. It might even be my new HG (Holy Grail).
If you’d like to purchase Kat Von D Lock-it Tattoo Foundation ($34), it’s available at all Sephora stores and on Sephora’s website, but only when it’s not sold out. Seriously, this foundation sells out all the time. I understand why, now that I’ve used it, but I would really prefer it if Kat Von D’s production could keep up with demand.
Skin & Tonics Rating:
Performance: 5/5 – Full, non-cakey coverage that lasts all day. Non-oily, non-drying, and provides a smooth, flawless finish.
Quality: 5/5 – Contains extremely gentle ingredients, safe for sensitive skin. The packaging is very sturdy, and the pump dispenses exactly the right amount of product.
Value: 5/5 – $36 for a solid, mid-range foundation that performs as promised is an outstanding value. Plus, a little goes a long way, so a bottle should last you a while!
Note: This is the first time I’ve ever given any product a perfect 5-point rating. It’s just that damn impressive.
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