I've discovered a strange new love for stamping sponges (they are SO good with cushion foundations and BBs), so when I walked past the Clio display at the drugstore the other day I HAD to pick up a Clio Kill Cover Stamping Foundation kit.
Now this costs $39.90 which is not cheap for a drugstore foundation. But it does come with a sponge, a sponge case, and the foundation itself. So I thought - ok one of the most affordable cushions around is Innisfree's, and that adds up to $12 for the case, $19 for the foundation, and $8 for the stamping sponge. $39. Pretty much the same. Also you get 17g of foundation, and the Innisfree sachets only contain 14g.
Then I thought - well I can replace the Innisfree foundation refill for $19, and buy a new sponge for $8. I also get to choose from 100 cute designs when I buy an Innisfree case. With the Clio, you need to repurchase the entire kit for $39.90 whether you need new sponges and new case or not.
The stamping sponge is a big win for me simply because it comes in a plastic carrying case. This means if you travel, or you prefer the stamp for touch-ups versus a flat puff (which I personally do), you have the option to bring this out.
I know many of you will want to compare it to the Innisfree Stamping Puff. The Clio one is slanted and a bit smaller, which I actually find a bit handier for tight corners, and for gripping in the hand. So shape wise, the Clio wins. Performance and function wise, they are pretty much the same in terms of packing on coverage.
Now for girls who have not tried these stamping puffs/sponges, please remember these are NOT BEAUTY BLENDERS. You don't roll or drag or buff with this. You dip it in foundation, then stamp-stamp-stamp lightly until you cover your face, and it looks weird below, but you actually get a very seamless and flawless finish quite quickly, and a lot more coverage than with other tools, if you use it right. I also get a very even finish with these stamping puffs and the foundation doesn't look heavy.
The foundation itself comes in a heavy jar with a twist-off cap. Inside is a separator lid with a flat latex sponge, which you can flip up. UNDER that, there is a seal, and beneath it is a white mesh net which stops the thick cream foundation from leaking or getting everywhere. Quite a lot of stuff going on here But every component does make sense, and there is even a mirror under the lid, which is nice. The main problem for me is how heavy the jar is. Probably not something you will appreciate chucking into your bag, versus a regular compact.
Shade range is another con, and there were only 3 colors on the displays I saw. 2, which is a neutral medium-light shade, 3 which is a light yellow-based shade (which is lighter than 2, so don't assume they go in order from light to dark), and 4 which is a medium neutral.
I was pretty surprised that the lightest shade was 3, and the color can fit NC20-25 or so. But if you need a typical Korean shade 13 or even some girls who wear 21, you might find this color either too deep or too yellow.
Coverage-wise, this is light-to-medium. Despite the product copy saying this gives high coverage, it's really not that high. The product is a little too thick and creamy so actually not a lot gets on the puff compared to more liquid cushion foundations like Innisfree's. You also need to spend a bit more time building up coverage.
Below, I am using the foundation with a little of Clio's Kill Cover concealer under my eyes. No primer, no powder, so you can see the finish. I would definitely still add powder just to set things if you're going out in the heat, or have slightly oily skin.
If you have very oily skin, then nope - stick with a liquid foundation that will actually set. This will move on oily skins, and like many cushion foundations, has a slightly tacky feel when you touch your face with your hands. So oddly, even though it is adamant about not being a cushion, it really does perform and apply like a cushion, other than being slightly less dewy than the average cushion foundation.
One thing that I most definitely feel should be changed is the big chunky pot.
Ladies, I used the foundation three times and could see the bottom of the pan. That white spot in the center below? Pan. Most of the product smooshes over to the sides so it's not like there is no product by the 3rd use. (Every cushion base has a scarily small amount of product - most people just don't realize it.)
BUT what I don't like is how misleading the pot is. The entire base is solid plastic, and they could have made it a lot smaller and more compact rather than create a huge jar which makes it look like there is a lot of product.
So in conclusion, I DO like the finish and the slightly moisturizing feel, and I like the sponge case a lot. I just wish the sponges and foundation refills could be purchased separately, and that they had more colors. I was happy that there was one shade with a yellow base, and that it didn't oxidize and turn orange, but not everyone is NC20-25.
In terms of portability the jar is a no-no for me. I don't bring liquid foundations out for touch-ups anyway so that's not a huge issue but they really can save on a lot of packaging and perhaps make the product a bit lighter (and cheaper) if they didn't make it so big, when there is so little product. Not something I love enough to repurchase at this price point.