Too Faced Born This Way Foundation Review, FOTD, and Ingredients Analysis

Friday, September 11, 2015

Too Faced's Born This Way Foundation is one of the newer base products from Too Faced, and judging by the reception on my Instagram feed and Twitter, it seems to be getting a lot of love. So naturally, I was super curious about it!

Too Faced Born This Way Foundation: The new foundation has been getting lots of love online

Too Faced claims on their website that the foundation is a "medium-to-full undetectable coverage", making you look like you were, of course, Born This Way. Now undetectable foundation is quite a tall order, because in my years of beauty blogging, I've found that nothing looks exactly like skin except skin, although of course a good foundation should be a good colour match and walk the fine tightrope between having great coverage and yet as realistic a finish as possible, and also hold up to whatever activities or weather you face. Still, achieving the perfect base is always worth a shot right?

Too Faced Born This Way Foundation Claims
Too Faced Born This Way Foundation: Touted as a high-coverage foundation with a natural finish, like you were "born this way"

I had high expectations for the Born This Way Foundation - I mean, in addition to all the raves I had been hearing, the foundation's box also has the results of some consumer study survey conducted by the company, that basically said that the foundation was awesome at blurring imperfections, making skin look perfect, and giving natural coverage. So we're going to put these claims to the test. And, we're also going to look at the formula of the Born This Way Foundation, to see how the magic works!

First, let's start off with a word about the shade range. The shade I have here is Ivory, which is in the current range (not including the new shades for Fall 2015 that are upcoming), the second lightest shade. The Too Faced Born This Way Foundation shade range actually runs pretty dark - I am about NC20 in MAC, and it was definitely a toss up between Porcelain and Ivory for me, as the other shades were obviously way too dark. As in, "one swatch and it's not my shade" kind of obvious.

Too Faced Born This Way Foundation Bottle
Too Faced Born This Way Foundation: The shade I have is Ivory

Between Porcelain and Ivory, I struggled to get my match too, as I felt neither really matched my exact skin shade. Porcelain was too dark and pink, and Ivory was too dark and yellow. In the end, I decided to go with Ivory, because I felt that with my fair olive undertones (explained a long time ago in my undertones post), it was probably best to err on the side of being a bit more yellow than a bit more pink, since in my experience a pink shade can end up looking mask-like. The great thing I suspect that the newer shade, Pearl, might look better on me - but it's not even out in the US yet, so we'll have to hang on tight and see!

Lest you get the wrong idea, I'd like to make it clear that I'm not complaining about the shade range at all. I know that it can be difficult for darker-skinned girls to find their shade matches, and it's great that Too Faced has provided such a good number of options for those of us who are more tanned. I just felt the need to explain this because, as a blogger, I often review makeup even if the colours provided may or may not look good on me, so that my readers can get a sense of how the product works. And when the colour isn't a great match for my skintone, sometimes the results look funny, not because the makeup sucks or because I suck at applying it, but just because the colours given for review may not be a great match for me.

Too Faced Born This Way Foundation Box
Too Faced Born This Way Foundation: The shade range is geared towards the medium-dark spectrum

I'm bringing this up now because the last time I reviewed some makeup products in too-warm shades that didn't look great on me, I got a bunch of comments both on my blog and elsewhere on how ugly I was/how I didn't know how to apply makeup/how the product looks like it sucks and so on, just because people were thrown off by the fact that I was reviewing unsuitable colours. There wasn't actually anything wrong with the product (which I thought was good, colours aside), or my application skills (which don't usually get comments from readers saying I suck, thankfully), but I think the colour clash was just jarring to the post's readers, and I ended up having to put a disclaimer of sorts just above my FOTD. So this time round, I thought I would just bring this up first before I even start this review, so that people reading this aren't thrown off. So if you see me looking a bit weird in this post, now you know why!

Too Faced Born This Way Foundation Swatch
Too Faced Born This Way Foundation Ivory Swatch

Anyway, let's start with the swatching! You can see that the colour is a bit dark and yellow for me. But colour aside, the foundation is nice. It does have a lot of pigmentation, and you can see that the little dot of foundation does swatch out into an entire well-pigmented strip of colour. The finish is also matte, but not "dead matte" as I like to refer to it - it's more of a softer matte that looks a bit more natural. There is no shimmer or glitter in this, which is also great in my book, because I prefer to apply my shimmer and highlighter separately and in specific areas, rather than have it dumped all over my face by the foundation I'm using. You can also see that despite the lack of shade match it does blend out quite well.

Perhaps the only "con" that I can tell from this swatch is that being a traditional foundation, it's a bit more on the dry side - you can see that it does make the lines in my skin a bit more obvious. If you have oily skin, this probably won't be an issue for you but if you do have dry skin, it might be a good idea to layer some moisturizer, primer, or other emollient product underneath it.

Too Faced Born This Way Foundation Mole Test Before
Too Faced Born This Way Foundation: Cover the mole test!

Also, since the Born This Way Foundation advertises itself as being medium-to-full coverage, I decided to test out the coverage of the foundation, with the cover-a-mole test! I happen to have a mole on the back of my hand, which would make a great test subject for the Born This Way Foundation. You can see it above - a small but dark brown and totally obvious spot on my skin. If the foundation can cover the mole, I'm pretty sure it's going to cover a bunch of blemishes too.

Too Faced Born This Way Foundation Mole Test During 1
Too Faced Born This Way Foundation: Using a small dot of foundation to cover the mole

And above, the little bit of foundation we're going to be using in our cover-a-mole test. Just a little drop. And then we're going to blend this out.

Too Faced Born This Way Foundation Mole Test During 2
Too Faced Born This Way Foundation: Blending out the foundation to approximate medium to heavy application

Above, the Born This Way Foundation has been partially blended out. Depending on how you apply your foundation, this would be akin to a medium-to-heavier application. You can't see the mole, because it's all covered up by the foundation. So yes, this does give excellent coverage! But, we're going to blend it out even more to see what happens.

Too Faced Born This Way Foundation Mole Test After
Too Faced Born This Way Foundation: Blended out the foundation to approximate sheer application

And above, blended out even more to see how it would fare with a much sheerer application. You can see the mole in this photo, but it's not as obvious as the mole in the first photo. So this does give coverage even with a lighter application, too.

And, below, the Born This Way Foundation on my face! I'm not sure if you can tell from the above photo, but my neck/chest and face don't quite match because of the shade, but nevertheless, the foundation looks good.

Too Faced Born This Way Foundation FOTD
Too Faced Born This Way Foundation: Great coverage of acne and pimple scars, as well as undereye bags

Products used:
Hada Labo ES Sensitive Skin Lotion (reviewed previously)
Too Faced Born This Way Foundation
MUFE HD Blush (swatched previously, also reviewed previously)

Stila Moonlight Eyeshadow, browbone and inner corner of eye
Benefit Creaseless Cream in Skinny Jeans
Urban Decay Rockstar 24/7 Eyeliner
Shu Uemura Brow Pencil in Stone Grey

Etude House Dear My Wish Lips Talk Lipstick in PK003 (reviewed previously)

It does look natural (shade match notwithstanding), and it does have a nice matte finish that doesn't look too flat. It looks very realistic, as far as full coverage foundation goes, although if you do apply too much, it might end up looking a bit makeup-y. I applied the foundation with my fingers, although you can certainly use a brush or a sponge as well. I found it easy to blend before it set, which is great. I also liked that it didn't feel heavy on my skin - it is heavier than some of the lighter-textured mousse or BB creams or cushions we have nowadays, but for "traditional" foundation product, this has a great texture.

Also, the coverage on this is really, really excellent. I do have quite a number of acne scars (don't ask me why I'm almost 30 and still have acne problems, I wish I knew, le sigh), and the foundation basically covered all of them! I don't edit my photos except to add the watermark and correct the lighting/colour, but I'd like to stress that the awesome coverage you see above is just the foundation alone! I didn't have to add any concealer or corrector or anything at all! It also did a great job of covering up my undereye circles - the eyebags are still bulging out, but the brown undereye discolouration is basically gone. The coverage on this really impressed me!

I wore this for about half a day in fairly sedentary conditions and it fared well, even without primer or setting powder. It lasted well and didn't oxidize or break up on my skin, although it was a hot day and I was sweating moderately. It also didn't shift despite the heat and sweat! I also found it does stay on my skin - you know how sometimes when you dab a tissue on your skin, and half the foundation comes off? For the Born This Way Foundation, the amount that came off was quite minimal, and I imagined that for those who use setting powder, you would see even better results.

Too Faced Born This Way Foundation Ingredients
Too Faced Born This Way Foundation Ingredients: Emollients, silicones, and some skincare ingredients

With such great coverage and staying power, I got curious about the ingredients in the Too Faced Born This Way Foundation. I mean, what is the secret behind the great coverage and staying power? The main ingredients of the foundation are water, silicones which serve a variety of functions, from film-forming polymers to dispersanting agents, to emollients (Cyclopentasiloxane, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Dimethicone, Diphenyl Dimethicone, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Polysilicone-11, Silica Dimethyl Silylate), humectants (Glycerin, Butylene Glycol), absorbents (Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate), emollients (Isododecane, Hexyl Laurate, Tribehenin, Ethylhexyl Palmitate) emulsifiers (Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate), thickening and suspending agents and other functional ingredients (Magnesium Sulfate, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Propylene Carbonate). The main preservatives in this foundation are Potassium Sorbate, EDTA, Caprylyl Glycol (which also has some humectant functions), and Phenoxyethanol.

Interestingly, there is also Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, which is normally used as a UV filter in sunscreens. It could be there for some sun protection, although the Born This Way foundation doesn't advertise itself as containing SPF. I was also pleased to see that it has a few great ingredients with some skincare benefits - there's Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, a form of Vitaamin C, and which has humectant and emollient benefits. While it's not expected, any skincare ingredients in my makeup is always a bonus!

There are also the plant-based ingredients, such as the Cocos Nucifera Water and Rhododendron Ferrugineum Extract. An interesting ingredient is the Pistacia Lentiscus (Mastic) Gum, since this isn't plant extracts that you see too commonly. Interestingly, both are sold by a company called Mibelle Biochemistry as part of ingredient complexes for use in cosmetic and skincare products. Mibelle Biochemistry sells a combination of Pistacia Lentiscus Gum/Pistacia Lentiscus (Mastic) Gum, Lecithin, Glycerin and Alcohol (ingredients which are all in this product) in a product calledPoreAway, and they claim that a cream with 2% of PoreAway helped to smooth the surface of the skin and decreased the number of open and closed comedones. PoreAway is also specifically targeted towards blemished skin, so I guess if this is indeed what is in the foundation, it's a bonus as well!

Lastly, there is also Alcohol in the product, but it is way towards the end of the ingredients list, so I seriously doubt that it will affect anyone's skin since it is so low down the ingredients list. Personally, it isn't a concern for me.

Too Faced Born This Way Foundation 1
Too Faced Born This Way Foundation: Overall, a great high-coverage, matte-foundation with good staying power

So, would I recommend the Too Faced Born This Way Foundation? If you are looking for a high-coverage, matte-finish foundation with good staying power, then this would definitely be a good choice. And if you are darker than me (NC20), then you can probably find a pretty good match in this range. In particular, the wide range of deeper shades means that girls who usually have trouble finding some deeper foundation shades might be able to find a match in this range. Perhaps the only types of people who might not like this foundation are those with dry or wrinkly skin, who might want to combine the foundation with a moisturizer or primer underneath, and those who are very fair, who may not be able to find a match. Personally, I certainly appreciated the coverage and lasting power on this, as it really hid all my acne scars and lasted for a good half a day.
Recommended? Pigmentation Texture Application ColourLasting Power
Yes, if you can find a shade 9/10 8/10 9/10 8/109/10
The Bottom Line: The Too Faced Born This Way Foundation is a high-coverage, matte-finish foundation with a lasting finish, with a good wear time.

(Product was sent for review. Review is my complete and honest opinion. I am not affiliated with/compensated by the company.)


  1. Oh my you got me really interested even though I have enough foundation to last me a long while, the promise of flawless skin definitely appeals to me. Thanks for the in depth review.

  2. Great review! People can be very unkind with their comments (especially on the Play101 post!), they should think before they speak/type. -.- I'm interested to see how pale the Pearl shade is because the formula for this seems lovely! Just a little dark for me ><

  3. Great review! I have always been wanting to trying this out but still kinda hesitant. But now, I know I am ready to try it out but in a lighter shade maybe. Thanks for laying out the best details about it.

  4. Great post! Your comments on the ingredients intrigued me :)

  5. Great review! The foundation looks so flawless on your skin :)

  6. Love this and you! Keep up the awesome work love!

  7. Wow! Great review and also great post on your skin undertone! I just read it and it was so helpful! I think I have your same undertone!!! Could you help me with foundations? Which shade are you in other foundation? Have you ever find a foundation that was perfect for your skin tone? Thank you so much :)

    1. @Benedetta: Sure, would be happy to help however I can! I do review quite a few base products over the years have actually found a number of pretty good matches, but my memory fails me and I can't always list them all! Actually, since I put up everything on my blog, you can probably check out my Foundations reviews (link) as well as my BB cushion reviews (link), and last of all my BB cream reviews (link) for a more complete list of what I found matched!


Thank you for commenting! I read each and every single comment! If you ask a question in your comment, please check back to this post, as I will reply in a comment to this post as well :) Please note that comments with soliciting links to shops or websites will be removed. Thanks!


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