Sonia Kashuk Perfecting Luminous Foundation

November 4, 2014
Sonia Kashuk Perfecting Luminous Foundation ($10.99 for 0.6 oz.)
Sonia Kashuk Perfecting Luminous Foundation ($10.99 for 0.6 oz.)

I feel like this review of Sonia Kashuk’s Perfecting Luminous Foundation is overdue, as it’s one I’ve had for close to a year, so I’ve had plenty of time to develop opinions on its quality. This is a brightening foundation with a hydrating formula that’s available in 6 shades. Sonia Kashuk calls this a buildable cream-consistency foundation and doesn’t indicate any particular skin type that this foundation is most suitable for.

Sonia Kashuk Perfecting Luminous Foundation
Sonia Kashuk Perfecting Luminous Foundation

The foundation is packaged in a plastic canister with a pump. You get 0.6 oz. inside, which is less than the standard 0.8-1.0 oz. normally provided in a foundation, and honestly I think the packaging is really misleading – it’s unnecessarily large and it doesn’t let you see how much product is really in there. The size seems big enough to hold as much as 2 ounces of foundation. $10.99 does’t seem out of line for a drugstore foundation, but the fact that you get just under 2/3 of an ounce makes it seem like a somewhat worse deal. The pump is a nice feature for sure, though, and I think it dispenses an appropriate amount of foundation and keeps the canister clean.

I use the shade 01 Bisque, which is the lightest shade in the range. A range of 6 colors isn’t terribly accommodating, but the fact that there are fewer choices does make it a little easier to pick out the best shade, I think. If you’ve looked at maybe purchasing this in Target, you may have noticed a challenge in choosing a shade: you can’t see the foundation itself! I just took a gamble thinking that if there are only 6 shades, I’m probably the lightest one. I was right, though at the time when I bought this (December of last year) I was considerably paler than the foundation. In the warmer months the shade works better for me, and at the moment I still have some fake tan going on so it’s a decent match.

Naked skin / wearing Sonia Kashuk Perfecting Luminous Foundation in 01 Bisque
Naked skin / wearing Sonia Kashuk Perfecting Luminous Foundation in 01 Bisque

It’s less noticeable at this time when I have some fake tan present in my skin, but this is a pretty yellow-toned shade. I think it works fairly well to counteract redness and under-eye circles, but if you’re pretty pale and either more neutral or cool-toned, you may find this foundation shade difficult to work with (I had a similar issue with Sonia K’s All Covered Up concealer in Porcelain, which I’ll write about next).

The consistency is such that a pump of it won’t slide around on my hand, but it has the slip of a thin lotion when applied to the skin. “Perfecting Luminous” suggests that it adds, well, luminosity to skin. It does, but it isn’t overwhelming. I think the luminosity is fairly similar to natural, moisturized skin.

Wearing Sonia Kashuk Perfecting Luminous Foundation in 01 Bisque
Wearing Sonia Kashuk Perfecting Luminous Foundation in 01 Bisque

I feel like I have to work a little bit to get it to look even and “buffed in” on my skin. It sort of looks like it’s just sitting on top of my skin otherwise, so it just takes a little bit of extra patience when it comes to application. It starts out as light coverage but can be built to medium. It takes me about one full pump to get to the coverage you see in the photos, and I’ve particularly built up the coverage right in the center areas of my face.

My biggest complaint about how it wears is that I really don’t find that it can handle oil well. I get oily in the center of my face, mostly focused on my nose, and I feel like even with a mattifying primer underneath my nose will look oily within an hour. What I do now is start with the primer, set my whole face with a loose powder and then press a little bit of blot powder right on my nose where oil will pop up. This keeps things looking good throughout the day.

Wearing Sonia Kashuk Perfecting Luminous Foundation in 01 Bisque
Wearing Sonia Kashuk Perfecting Luminous Foundation in 01 Bisque

Here’s a finished face of makeup. I topped the foundation with the Sonia Kashuk All Covered Up concealer in Porcelain, used a mixture of DreamWorld Hermetica’s loose setting powders in Peach Creme and Whipped Peach (review of both here) all over my face, some Too Faced Chocolate Soleil bronzer and Etude House Lovely Cookie Blusher in Peach Choux Wafers, Maybelline Volum’Express The Falsies Big Eyes mascara, L’Oreal’s Brow Stylist pencil in Blonde (review), and some plain lip balm (Jack Black’s, if you’re curious). I hadn’t added any blot powder because I didn’t want to hide the finish of the foundation.

I have a lot of conflicting thoughts about this foundation, so I think a pros & cons list is in order.

First, a summery of the cons:
– The packaging is deceptive and overly large
– There are only 6 shades, and you can’t see the shade in the bottle
– The lightest shade is yellow and not terribly light
– It takes a little time for me to work it into my skin
– It gets oily fast on the oiliest parts of my face, requiring primer and blot powder
– And, I haven’t mentioned this one yet, but I think the foundation smells weird. My boyfriend thinks it’s fine and that it even smells like flowers. I actually thought it was fragranced, but I’m not seeing any fragrance in the ingredients. The scent dissipates, but not immediately. I think it takes around a half hour. Blech.

I haven’t said as much about its pros yet, so let’s talk about those:
– It looks pretty awesome. Honestly, looking at how these photos came out surprised me because I think it looks really, really nice (and not too shiny in the center)
– The coverage is fairly flexible, from light to medium, and I don’t think it ever looks heavy
– On the more normal and dry areas of my face, it wears wonderfully
– It doesn’t feel too obvious on skin and I don’t experience any transferring
– I don’t experience any creasing
– The wear time seems perfectly adequate, and I don’t notice obvious fading or patchiness throughout the day

A last note that could go either way is that it has no SPF. So, you can’t rely on it for your sun protection, but you can also don’t have to worry about it reflecting back in photos. I like having some SPF in my makeup, personally, but don’t rely on foundation alone for protection.

I have the same number of pros as I do cons, and I think that accurately demonstrates my ambivalence. I think part of the problem for me is that when my skin is a bit darker and warmer, it’s also a little oilier. When my skin is drier, I’m paler. Thus, it’s never really a perfect fit for me. I think right now I’m in a sweet spot if there ever was one, as I have a little fake tan but the weather’s cooling down, and I’ve been trying to reach for it regularly.

Ingredients: Water, Isohexadecane, Isododecane, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Alumina, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10-1 Dimethicone, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Polyglyceryl-3 Beeswax, Silica, Sorbitan Isostearate, Hydrogenated Styrene/Isoprene Copolymer, Zinc Stearate, Sodium Chloride, Polyglyceryl-6 Dioleate Sodium Dehydroacetate, Potassium Sorbate, Lauroyl Lysine, Stearalkonium Bentonite, Chlorphenesin, Mannitol, Disodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Sorbitol, PCA Dimethicone, Propylene Carbonate, Fragrance, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Tocopherol, Hexylene Glycol, Fructose, Glucose, Sucrose, Urea, Dextrin, Alanine, Glutamic Acid, Aspartic Acid Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Hexyl Cinnamal, Hydroxycitronellal. May Contain:Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Ultramarines.

The Sonia Kashuk Perfecting Luminous Foundation costs $10.99 and is available at Target or SK’s website. Have you tried this foundation, or do you have a favorite drugstore foundation for luminous skin? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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  1. I actually just started using this foundation this week, and so far I love it! I actually bought it because my skin has been extra dry outside of the t-zone, and even my nose has been a little flaky (though oily), and this has given me really good results. As it wears, it combines with the oils on my face and actually looks more natural. I definitely agree that it looks great, both in person and in your photos!

    By the way, fragrance is right there in the ingredients list, about halfway down. I wish it weren’t perfumed either… If the bottle were a smaller size that showed the foundation color and the fragrance were removed, this would probably be my HG foundation!

    1. Hey Belle, that’s fabulous, I’m so glad you’re enjoying it! I’m a little jealous it’s working so well for you. 🙂

      I must have read the ingredients too quickly! That’s too bad they stuck the fragrance in there, and I wouldn’t even say it smells GOOD.

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