Friday, April 22, 2011

Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base - Review

I'm an oily-skinned girl who loves a matte yet slightly luminous look. No matter what I try (with one exception), if a foundation as the word "luminous" on the bottle or tube, I'm screwed. Apparently, to most makeup formulators, oily gals don't want luminous - they want a greasy face! And, "natural" finishes translate to... OILY! (although, that's sort of poetic justice - I mean, my face is naturally oily, so a "natural" finish for my face... yeah).

So, I've given up on finding a foundation that can stand up to oily skin. Instead, I've turned my focus away from foundations and towards primers. I've tried several, and the one that I'm working with now I love (except the price kinda stinks). A couple of weeks ago, I went to a Bobbi Brown event at one of my local Nordstrom's. The artist who did my makeup had several skincare recommendations for me (of course, they were all Bobbi Brown and uber pricey), and didn't really talk up this little gem. I asked for a sample (since it's $50 for a jar, more on that later). She gave me a generous sample in a 5 gram jar. I've been using that sample daily, under the Maybelline Fit Me and Tarte Amazonian Full Coverage Balancing Foundation, as well as a to-be-reviewed Estee Lauder Doublewear Light. I've never been more impressed with a primer!

It doesn't claim to be oil-controlling, or mattifying, which are typically the two terms I seek on a primer's label. Instead, it claims:
"Rich in feel, but never greasy, this advanced oil-free, face formula, with Shea Butter, instantly hydrates, softens, and cushions skin. Carrot Extract and Vitamin A Complex help minimize the look of fine lines and wrinkles. Vitamins C and E help protect against environmental damage. Grapefruit and Geranium fragrances leave a light, uplifting scent on skin. With daily use, skin looks and feels its best."
Usually, I'd call a foul and say "Really? You want me to believe all of this? C'mon!" And I can't speak to the wrinkle/fine line claims. I can say, however, I love the way my skin feels after applying this product. It feels soft, smooth, and happy. I don't use a daily moisturizer under this product, for the most part (some mornings, I've used Bobbi's EXTRA Face Oil, another thing I'd like to review), because I don't really feel it necessary.

I really believe Face Base has made a difference in the way my makeup wears. Every foundation I've applied on top of it has lasted all day. I still get oily, but the fact that there's still foundation on my forehead at the end of the day is almost unprecedented. Setting with a good powder (still looking for a holy grail powder, though) helps the look last, but previous primers, like Murad's Oil Control lotion (which doesn't live up to it's name), or MAC's P+P with SPF, can't hold a candle to this primer.

This is fragranced. I mean, it does contain a lot of essential oils. Carrot is, apparently, very... uhh... overpowering. This smells delish, a soft citrus with maybe a hint of floral. Even my husband thought it smelled nice, and that's truly saying something. The fragrance isn't apparent on the skin, but if you're someone who is sensitive to scents, you are forewarned!

This product costs $50. That's a bit much, especially since I balked at paying $30 for MAC's Prep + Prime with SPF primer (the first two tubes I had were ah-maz-ing, the third... not so much). I was able to purchase this during Bobbi's last Friends and Family sale for $45, which I felt was still a bit much, until I realized how much product is in the jar. 1.7 fluid ounces. Most primers (and foundations, for that matter) are sold in 1 fluid ounce jars/tubes/whatevers. Additionally, I don't use very much of this. The amount shown above? Enough for my face. Seriously. As I mentioned, I've been using a 5 gram jar that was fairly well filled for 3+ weeks, and I'm not done with it yet! I didn't feel so cheated, after looking at it this way.

Overall, I love this product. I really, truly do. It's expensive, so, I'd recommend a sample first (to make sure you like it), and then start scouring your CCO! Regrettably, I haven't found anything similar.


  1. Love the review!! Just started using this 2 weeks ago and I love it

  2. I really, really love this product! I'm so glad to hear you're enjoying it, too!