I’ve been on the lookout for a new foundation for a few months now. For the last 3-4 years I’ve used liquid foundations exclusively and I’ve continued to look at new liquid formulas, assuming that that’s where I’d find my new love (check out my recent reviews of Sephora Collection 10 HR Wear Perfection and Guerlain Tenue de Perfection). However, things have taken a surprising turn: I just purchased a great loose mineral foundation that I’m totally loving. A few weeks ago I received a promotional sample pack from indie brand DreamWorld Hermetica, and I guess you could say it came into my life at just the right moment.
In the promotional offer, I was able to choose a couple of foundation shades to try and DreamWorld ended up throwing a few bonus shades in there that were similar to the ones I chose. I also was able to sample a few of their finishing powders, two blushes, and a few eye shadow shades. They let me choose whether I wanted neutral, warm or cool shades, and they picked out the bundle of colors that I received. I sampled the products for a couple of weeks, diligently trying all of the foundation and finishing powder shades and formulas, and I ended up placing an order for a couple of full sized products. Here’s why I took the leap.
Why mineral foundation?
First, let me say a few words about why I’m feeling pretty good about the whole mineral makeup thing. It’s quick and easy to apply, I feel like it makes my skin look very natural, and it’s a versatile product to have around. In addition to the normal application, it can also be used as a powder to set liquid foundation, or can be mixed with a moisturizer or other base to create a liquid foundation. Those qualities aren’t unique to DreamWorld, and I have previously tried a couple other mineral foundations back in the day: bareMinerals and Nicole Miller (which was sold through Melaleuca and is no longer made). I had so-so success with them, and I feel like the bottom line is that in order for the makeup to work it needs to be a really great shade match for my skin, which is something I wasn’t able to achieve with those particular companies. So, then, I think it’s time to talk about why I decided to go with a small company to which I only recently was introduced.
Why DreamWorld Hermetica?
1. I found my perfect foundation shade (and chances are you will, too). In fact, DreamWorld Hermetica has over 170 foundation shades available. They’re divided into color groupings (olive, neutral, peach, pink, yellow) and each of those groupings have a handful of more specific shade lines. And finally, each of those shade lines have eight numbers available, from light to dark. The system reminds me a little of L’Oreal’s True Match line, except expanded upon exponentially. I’m a Rhea II – Rhea is a straight-up peach color, and I’m the second lightest shade.
2. There are 3 different foundation formulas to choose from, each one suiting a different skin type or sensitivity. Their oldest formula, Luna, contains mica, titanium dioxde, zinc oxide and iron oxides. The Vapor formula is similar but contains kaolin clay and excludes titanium dioxide (for those that are sensitive to titanium dioxide). And finally, the Cloud formula is their mica-free option and contains rice powder, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, kaolin clay and iron oxides. Cloud is the most suitable for oily skin types, and is the one I’ve chosen for myself because I enjoy the mica-free look (mica is used to add shimmer and luminosity to cosmetics). In addition, there are also 4 different finishing powder formulas to help create the look that you want.
3. They provide generous samples of their makeup for low prices. The baggies look small, but because a little goes a long way in the world of mineral makeup, the sample amount is more than enough to see how good of a fit a product is a good fit for you. I also love that for blush and eye shadow shades, you can purchase mini jars if you’re not quite interested in a full-size commitment. It’s a great way to try more colors for less money.
4. DreamWorld offers fantastic customer service. It’s easy to get help if you’re not sure which foundation color to consider. You can email DreamWorld a photo of yourself if you’re having trouble getting started with your shade selection. When I emailed them a question about their blush shades, I received a really nice, thoughtful same-day response from the owner, Ellie.
5. There are a number of ingredients that are left out of their products, including bismuth oxychloride, parabens, talc and nano-particles. They provide a foundation formula for those who are sensitive to titanium dioxide (see point number 2), as well. They aim to make safe, healthy makeup that helps keep skin happy and leaves out all irritating or questionable ingredients. Ingredients listed are clearly listed on the website as well as on the products themselves.
6. DreamWorld’s products are all cruelty-free, and most of them are vegan. The staff are animal lovers. Products are never tested on animals, all brushes sold are synthetic, and vegan status for each product is clearly stated. The foundations are vegan, as are 3 of the 4 finishing powder formulas.
7. DreamWorld’s products are priced competitively. Full-sized foundations are $20.50 and the finishing powders are $15.99. To compare, bareMinerals’ foundation is $27 and their Mineral Veil is $20, Jane Iredale’s foundation is $44, and Alima Pure’s foundation is $25 and their finishing powder is$20. Additionally, DreamWorld offers kits and sets that let you purchase multiple products at discounted prices. I purchased the foundation and finishing powder together for $32.94, a 10% discount.
My foundation samples:
I’m a “peach”, and the foundation shade Rhea II C (‘C’ indicates that it is a Cloud formula) is a fantastic shade match for my skin. I had the opportunity to try out five different shades in total. All were level II, but they varied in formula. For swatching, I’ve mixed the mineral foundations with a moisturizer for a more pigmented application so that it’s easier to see the differences in color.
You can see that Rhea and Maeve look pretty similar in the swatches, but Maeve doesn’t melt into my skin the same way Rhea does. It’s a reminder that the perfect shade match really is a very big factor in whether the foundation will work for you.
The finishing powder:
There are 4 different finishing powder formulas to choose from: Creme, Whipped Creme, Gloworm and Illuminating. Additionally, the Creme formula has two versions available: clay and silica, or just clay. In my sample pack I was able to try the Whipped and Illuminating powders, both in the shade Cafe au Lait.
From these samples, I found that I did really like the Whipped Creme formula (a silk powder), even though Cafe au Lait wasn’t really my shade. The Illuminating powder was not my favorite, just because I’d prefer to control the luminosity of my makeup with more of a highlighting product rather than an allover face powder. Just personal preference.
When I was making my purchase I had two more formulas to consider that I hadn’t yet tried. I decided to go with the clay-silica version of the regular Creme powder in Peach. It’s a nice allover powder that looks very natural on me. I went with this one over the Whipped formula just because it’s described as being able to absorb a little excess oil, while the Whipped Creme is described as ideal for dry skin … but I might end up grabbing a Whipped powder in the future just because the finish is so beautiful.
Really, it’s hard to capture the finishing powders in photos, but they’re probably the products that the company is most known for. They’re great products that help skin look it’s best.
I also have a sample of the Gloworm powder in Moon Glo, which I think is very pretty and am testing as more of a highlight product. The Gloworm powders in general look like a lot of fun, and are probably a product I’ll experiment more with in the future.
The bottom line: I’m really happy with this purchase from DreamWorld Hermetica. I feel like I’m getting nice products that are free of unnecessary ingredients and that I’m buying from a company that I like and support. If you’re looking for a new foundation or powder, I hope this review is helpful in navigating DreamWorld’s products. I don’t see much information or many reviews of their products online, so I’d love to hear about anyone else’s experience with them.
Here’s a look at me wearing ’em.
Above, I’m wearing DreamWorld Hermetica’s foundation in Rhea II C and the clay-silica Peach Creme finishing powder. I’m also wearing DreamWorld’s blush in All Hallow’s Sunset (one of their Hocus Pocus shades for Halloween), Urban Decay’s 24/7 eye pencil in Corrupt (a dark brown), Clarins Be Long Mascara (my review here), and Revlon’s Lip Butter in Berry Smoothie.
Have you tried any of DreamWorld Hermetica’s products yet?