Not To Be Hyperbolic, But This Is The Only Foundation I'll Use For An Even Complexion
I'm someone who doesn't love the look of a foundation—especially when it gives the appearance of car paint—but I'm also someone who often needs an even coat of pigment. I have rosacea, the occasional breakout, and the faint smatterings of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. When all three collide, my skin looks flushed, uneven, and speckled with ever-so-fading dark spots.
Certainly, I'm not afraid to go makeup-free during flare-ups, I just don't prefer it. I have more confidence with a touch of color to ease the redness and shadowy marks. But I never like to look too done up. Not that there's anything wrong with a full-face (I've been partial to them in my younger 20s, after all). It's just that I'm at a point in my life where I enjoy the freshness of my skin, even on days it's not "perfect."
So finding the right foundation is key. I need one that provides me the coverage I'm looking for while still letting my skin shine through. It's a delicate balance. But one that Jones Road's What The Foundation seems to strike just so perfectly.
How this new foundation and skin care hybrid enhances my complexion.
I fell in love with this formula at first touch. The formula comes housed in a glass pot, and when you twist it open you are met with a plush, mousse-like delicacy. The whip-thick foundation feels like a luxe face cream, both as you are scooping it up and as you pad it onto your face. From a purely sensorial standpoint, this is a feast.
And while texture is a huge part of any beauty product's appeal, it can't be the only driver. Well, this foundation smooths onto skin, gently covering up any concern, from big to small. I personally love to apply products with my fingers (I'm a makeup-as-fingerpaint sort of gal), and this is perfectly suited for such a technique. Dare I even say: It's fun to apply with your fingers! For the sake of experimentation (I'm a thorough beauty director, after all), I also played around with a sponge and brush. Each method worked incredibly well with this lush texture, which isn't always the case.
When using any foundation, I always start on my cheeks, where most of the redness is concentrated. The rich cream texture melts into the skin so easily, leaving a soft wash of color that hides patchy skin. As I work out to the borders of my face, I tend to use less and less product—and there's no dreaded line. Like magic, this diffuses color evenly across the skin so it's a natural finish.
While this does provide a natural finish, a sheer tint this is not. The WTF (as Jones Road refers to it lovingly on their site) is a proper foundation and builds to a solid amount of coverage, if that's what you're after. After applying my base layer, I like to go back in and tap on extra pigment on the areas I need it most: under the eyes to hide dark circles, around my chin where most of the acne scars are concentrated, and double-layer on the apples of my cheeks to hide any redness that peeks through. Essentially the coverage is whatever you want it to be: work in a pea-size amount of a light wash, add on some more for medium coverage (a la my routine), or go full face and grab your foundation brushes and sponges. This number does it all.
But we wouldn't be mindbodygreen if we didn't talk about the ingredients. Considering how much surface area a foundation hits, you really do need to look for ingredients that can support skin health throughout the day. This is made with a botanical blend full of lipids, humectants, and antioxidants. Jojoba oil conditions the skin (and is similar to your natural oils, so it complements your skin perfectly). Sodium hyaluronate is a form of hyaluronic acid that drives hydration into the epidermis. And a cocktail of antioxidant-rich plant oils and waxes provide the cushy texture.
But let's talk about wearability. I got my samples delivered in the spring. I live in New York City. I'm loath to carry an umbrella. What does this mean? I get caught in the rain a lot. And this formula stayed with me, even if my mascara wasn't so lucky. And the hydrating, pillowy texture means it's not as likely to settle into fine lines (granted, a little bit of settling is inevitable and to be expected—it's just the outcome of using your facial muscles and living your life. Try not to get hung up about it.)
I am using Porcelain and Fair at the moment (which may change as the summer progresses), but they have a collection of 12 diverse hues. They provide several swatches on models on the website, so you can find an option that works best for your skin tone—or if you're like me, grab two shades and play with both to get your most natural finish.
Looking for a foundation that can go from barely there to full coverage? This buildable cream sinks into skin with a velvet, natural finish. I often struggle with finding an option that evens out my complexion without looking too caked on, but this soft formula is positively dreamy on skin.
Alexandra Engler is the beauty director at mindbodygreen and host of the beauty podcast Clean Beauty School. Previously, she's held beauty roles at Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, SELF, and Cosmopolitan; her byline has appeared in Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and Allure.com. In her current role, she covers all the latest trends in the clean and natural beauty space, as well as lifestyle topics, such as travel. She received her journalism degree from Marquette University, graduating first in the department. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.