Smashbox’s new foundation, Liquid Halo HD SPF 15, was one that I received a sample of when I was checked for my Sephora +Pantone Color IQ (you can read about my experience here). This foundation was recommended to me after I answered a few questions about my foundation preferences: I have combination skin, I need a foundation that I don’t have to touch up during the day, I’m generally looking for medium coverage, and I like having SPF included. I had previously tried out Smashbox’s HD Healthy FX SPF 15 foundation and had really enjoyed the look it gave me, but it unfortunately faded away way too early in the day to be of much use to me. So, I was definitely interested to see if this one might perform better.
I tried out shade #2, warm vanilla, which has a really nice not-too-yellow peachy tone that fit me pretty well (though I’m not sure it’s a shade I could wear as well during the colder, darker months). My sample lasted me a full week and I was able to test out how it lasted through long walks in the sun when my skin would get a little sweaty and oily. In general, I’d describe the coverage as light-to-medium, and the finish as natural with a gentle luminosity.
Application: I usually prefer to use a flat foundation brush to apply liquid makeup, and I noticed that it took me a little more time to evenly blend this foundation around my face than I’m used to. It looked great once I was able to get it blended in, it just required more brushstrokes than other foundations do, so I wouldn’t suggest this foundation to someone who needs a rapid fire makeup routine. The other issue at play here could also be the fact that the shade I’m using is a touch warmer than my natural skin tone, so if I haven’t properly blended it throughout (into my hairline, down past my chin), the difference is visible.
Wear: I tend to get oily in the center of my face, and I wore this foundation the same way I’d wear any others. I start out with a primer (I’m currently loving this one), and then follow with translucent powder. If a foundation isn’t very good at withstanding oil, than this combination will not save it. I really enjoy foundations that provide a little bit of luminosity, so I often find myself trying to find the happy medium between looking healthy and natural but also not getting shiny by lunchtime. I really think this foundation does a nice job being that happy medium. It looks really nice and healthy at the beginning of the day and 4 or 5 hours in I can see that it looks a little more luminous, but it continues in that state for the rest of the day. I can truly wear this all day and not touch up once but still feel confident and comfortable until I take it off in the evening. Nice.
Value: I think that the coverage and finish help skin look healthy and even, both in texture and tone, but for $42, it certainly should. The price point is tough for me, because the $39-$48 range is a competitive spot to sit in. It’s a good chunk of money to spend on a foundation, and I want a product of that price to work really well. The one area I’m a little unsatisfied in is its ability to even out my skin texture. I’ve been feeling like I rely a little too much on my translucent powder to help out in that area because the foundation leaves a little to be desired. And I don’t feel like the texture of my skin is a generally problem area for me.
The Bottom Line: I’d say if you have the money to put down on a high end foundation and you’re able to find a good color match with this one, Liquid Halo could be a really good choice. Personally, I’m going to pass. For the price, I’d want it to be just a little easier to work with and a little better with smoothing over skin texture.