Petal Skin Fluid Foundation (S$68) launches today (1 April) in Singapore, and is a welcome addition to Shu Uemura's foundation series. Built around the idea of fresh, smooth "effortlessly radiant" skin that looks like a flower petal, the formula aims to combine semi-matte with semi-glow characteristics in a lightweight, velvety smooth formula that feels comfortable and natural on the skin.
I've been test-trying this for the past few weeks now, and I'll say I love the finish and effect this has on the skin.
When I first saw the name, I expected a lightweight, radiant foundation with very light coverage. The things that surprised me were:
- the instant pore blurring effect
- how much like real skin it looked
- the rather impressive medium coverage despite the light texture
|Shu Uemura Petal Skin Foundation before-after: 1 coat|
My pores instantly looked "filtered" as I rubbed it on. The formula contains a unique volatile fluid that glides over skin and disperses pigments in a thin layer, where they bounce light off in a smooth, even sheet for that smoothed-out effect. It also subtly corrects texture and is not settling into or around pores and fine lines or emphasizing them.
Like the pigments in some of the Lightbulb powders, the ultra-fine reflective powders are also spherical so they don't sit on top of the skin in a matte, cakey layer, but diffuse light so you look "lit from within". I'm endlessly fascinated by formulas that manage to bounce light without making you look shiny or emphasizing all your pores and this one does it very well.
While this doesn't give high coverage like The Lightbulb or Smooth:Fit, it managed to give decent coverage and unify my skin tone quite well. I need less concealer when I use this, but if you have active spots or darker pigmentation to cover,this will not have enough concealing power on its own.
You CAN build this up a bit more, and I did try it with 2 coats (below) for a more perfected look, but I would not advise going any thicker because there's no point in losing that fresh, "my skin but better" effect.
|Petal Skin Foundation \: 2 coats|
I wore this for full days out, and it holds up beautifully on my normal-ish skin, in humid weather, for about 6 or so hours without any blotting, if I set it with a little loose powder. The formula has been tested in Singapore weather so it is quite humidity- and heat-resistant.
However, I do need to point out this is not an oil-control formula even though the fresh texture and semi-matte finish will be appealing to oily and combination skins. You should lightly blot to lift oil from skin every few hours regardless of what formula you are using, if you want makeup to stay fresh longer. Primer and powder will help obviously, but skin continues to produce oil through the day, so the best way to prolong your makeup is to lift it off before it breaks everything down.
On days when I've been going in and out of our hot steamy weather and didn't blot at all, the foundation did break down at the end of the day, which is to be expected of any formula. However I had minimal "fading" in terms of coverage, even if I didn't look quite as velvety and flawless after a long day.
Normal and dry skins can get by without using powder if you want a slightly more radiant "my skin but better" effect. The formula contains white lily extract and deepsea water for hydration, and white jasmine for promoting clarity, but I find if you have dry areas like me, or will be in a dehydrated environment (like air-conditioning), you should use a protective primer beneath for extra conditioning and lasting power.
I've been using it on top of my block:booster primer for the hefty sun protection. If you have oily skin, you can let the primer sit for a few minutes and then very lightly press a single-ply sheet of tissue over your face to lift any excess moisture before applying foundation. This gives you the staying power and protection, but allows you to retain a more matte finish.
As for the application of the foundation itself, you can go ahead and use fingers or whatever brush or sponge you want, but of course I had to try out Shu Uemura's newest buffer brush.
Named Petal 55 ($80) for its width, this new brush is designed to work with any foundation texture; powder, cream, liquid, and will give you seamless smooth coverage in a minimal number of strokes.
If you've ever been fascinated by those "shower-brush" Artis brushes, this is like a flattened version with more surface coverage and control because of the ergonomic design and the easy grip in the palm of your hand. The bristles are dense and ultra-soft but retain their shape without any scratchiness on the skin.
And I especially like the pointed ends which fit easily under the eyes and around the nose without needing a separate brush or tool.
In terms of application, to get the best effect you should:
- stroke down the nose and chin,
- out and down around the cheeks and chin
- outwards from the top of the forehead
You do NOT have to buff back and forth to get a seamless blend, unlike when using a rounded buffing brush. The bristles are designed so you only need to buff in one direction over each area. So no circles or wind-shield wiper motions please.
I also suggest applying foundation to the skin instead of pumping directly into the brush bristles. When you do the latter, you end up over-loading certain sections of the brush (whichever one you use), which actually makes for a less even blend. You also waste more product and make it harder to clean out your tools.
Petal Skin Foundation is available in Singapore in 11 shades, and is mainly targeted at pale to medium-tan skin tones. While the brand always has fantastic, natural-looking undertones, they don't go very deep and if you have deep tan to darker chocolate skin, you will not be able to find a shade currently. (But you never know if they might expand the selection since I hear they will be re-entering the US market in the near future.)
Another slight con is the gorgeous velvet poreless finish doesn't stay all day. Then again, even matte foundations seldom stay perfectly fresh and matte all day without fixing mists and blotting, so I can't say if this is a valid "con".
If you're on the lookout for a new foundation that marries lightweight radiance with decent coverage and a polished semi-matte finish (who isn't?!) you should probably try this out to see how it works on your skin. This is a great option for normal and combination skins in my opinion, and a definite go-to for casual daily wear because it gives that flawless but not overly made-up look.
This may not be the highest coverage, the most matte, the most glowy, the most hydrating, or the most long-wearing product around. But it does manage to straddle a bit of everything. And it feels and looks so darned beautiful for a few hours.
FREE PETAL SKIN 1-ON-1 SESSION AND TRIAL IN APRIL
To learn how to create your perfect petal skin canvas, Shu Uemura is conducting a month-long activity in Singapore where you can enjoy a 15 min session with a beauty advisor at one of the counters or boutiques, who will help you find your perfect shade match, guide you through a tutorial to achieve a flawless petal-inspired makeup look, AND send you home with samples of block:booster primer and Petal Skin Foundation.
To sign up for a one-on-one session, register to pick a preferred date and time slot here: http://www.shuuemura.com.sg/
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post but opinions are as always truthful and based on personal experience after extensive testing.