This Foundation Went Viral For The Wrong Reasons — So We Had To Try It

If you've been on TikTok any time in the last two weeks, you've probably been bombarded with reviews of Jones Road's new What The Foundation. And if you haven't, you've likely seen plenty of reactions to those reviews — namely, the internet coming for beauty influencer Meredith Buxbury's neck for her poor, wasteful application of the product, leading her to give it a bad review, despite her not adjusting any single part of her makeup technique to make the product work.
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Most notably, she used a damp Beautyblender to blend out an oil-based product and then was... shocked that they separated on her skin. (Third-grade science teachers are collapsing everywhere.) The review truly would have been a blip in the stratosphere until Jones Road's founder, Bobbi Brown — yes, that Bobbi Brown — responded with a light-hearted yet incredibly snarky stitch of Buxbury's review.
Brown poked fun by saying that she loved learning new makeup techniques after her forty years plus in the business, and proceeded to copy Buxbury's signature cake frosting-style makeup routine, slathering her face in foundation. Miss Bobbi had the time that day, and the internet freaked out, as they should have. It was a gentle reminder that sometimes, the makeup techniques developed in the past are there for a reason.
But it was perfect for the modern world — Brown being silly (she described herself to me as quick and scrappy, and I can't think of a better description of this video), commenting on Buxbury's (wildly wasteful) routine, and also educating her audience about What The Foundation. It was perfect, and the comment section was hilarious. Since then, it seems like every beauty influencer has stepped their toes into the discourse — a bonus for Jones Road, whose social team is one person and Brown herself. Buxbury wound up trying the foundation again, after being handed a huge fat L by the entire internet beauty community, but deemed that it wasn't for her.
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@justbobbibrown How did I do?? Applying Jones Road’s light to medium coverage What The Foundation 🤣😅 #foundation #foundationhack #foundationroutine ♬ original sound - Bobbi Brown
And that's kind of the point of the foundation, according to Brown. "Nothing in Jones Road is for everybody. If you're someone that likes really full coverage, really dry, matte makeup, then Jones Road isn't the brand for you," she told me over the phone. "I really think it's for someone that doesn't want to look like they're wearing foundation." And considering Buxbury wants to look like they're making a plaster mould of her face out of foundation, it's not surprising this foundation didn't serve her. Jones Road is named "What The Foundation," because after applying it, Brown was in her "WTF?!" mode — her face looked even, yet like she didn't even have makeup on.
Brown is hoping we've entered the stage where the newest beauty trend is "there are no rules." Her view on the future, and especially when formulating products for Jones Road, is to have products that work however the consumer decides to make them work for themselves, not because of some arbitrary rule. Whether it's the brand's Miracle Balm or the foundation, do whatever works for you. "What I hope is that people will —and I'm saying people because men wear makeup too — but that people will find what works for them and makes them their most beautiful, how it makes them feel more than how it makes them look. And to me, ultimately, that should lead to confidence, and you want to be confident, and confidence just means you feel good in your skin."
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Well, we over here at Refinery29 — and one R29's team member's mum, who has loved Bobbi Brown since the 1980s — are dying to see what the buzz is all about, so we tried it out for ourselves. Read on for our thoughts.
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WTFoundation in shade Beige

Sara Tan, Beauty Director

"I didn't think I was going to love this product as much as I did. Wow, Bobbi — wow! I love how this formula hydrates my face like skincare, but gives me a little more coverage than a skin tint. And it gives me the glowy, dewy finish of my dreams — my husband even complimented how good my skin looked after applying it. I will say one thing: this is more of a skin enhancer than a foundation, IMO. It's not going to cover blemishes or texture the way some might want a foundation to. This product is the definition of "your skin, but better."
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WTFoundation in shade Pecan

Amanda Mitchell, Senior Beauty Editor + Stories Creator

"As I’ve said before, and I’ll annoy people with this information time and time again, but I don’t wear foundation and I don’t really like it… At all. I’m a hard shade match and most formulas aren’t what I want my skin to look like every day. I want dewy, skin-like skin, which is why I’m a medium concealer kinda gal. My friend Star Donaldson, who truly is one of my biggest makeup inspirations and whose product opinions I hold in the highest of regards said, 'The Jones Road foundations... are for people like you.' Which sounds like a read, but it’s not — I truly, truly am obsessed with this foundation. I don’t think it’s long-nail friendly — an entirely arbitrary standard I have for products that come in tubs — but I loved how moisturising this foundation was. Sometimes, oil-based products just feel like they’re sitting on top of your skin, but not this one. It’s truly a 'light coverage' foundation, so if that’s not your gig, this may be not for you. But for the first time, it truly feels like there’s a foundation product you can put on in the back of your car without a mirror and still look incredible. 2022’s Hot Girl Summer just got so much better."
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WTFoundation in shade Medium

Karina Hoshikawa, Beauty & Wellness Market Writer

"I recently tried a bunch of Jones Road products, and I have to say — I loved what I sampled. Since What The Foundation has been making the rounds online, I was super excited to test it out myself. The shade Medium was a beautiful match for my olive skin, and was neither too warm nor too pink. I don’t usually use creamy foundation formulas since they can feel heavy on my oily skin, but this one was positively dreamy. It was super hydrating and left a natural, gleaming finish on skin that looked healthy, not sweaty. The coverage was pretty minimal (which I personally don’t mind) but you could add some concealer where needed on top if so desired. It is literally impossible for this stuff to cake or show dry patches, and a little goes a surprisingly long way. All in all, it exceeded the hype — and then some."
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WTFoundation in shade Light

Megan Decker, Beauty Editor

"I trust Bobbi Brown, but I was skeptical of this foundation, mostly because it comes in a jar. But if you can get past that weird part — the scooping a bit of it out with your fingers and rubbing it into your skin — it’s really nice. I like that it feels like a moisturiser and works to even out my skin tone and gives me that little bit of dewiness. It reminds me a lot of the Iris & Romeo Best Skin Days, if you’ve tried that, but I actually prefer this one because it’s a bit lighter."
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WTFoundation in shade Honey + Pecan

Teresa McAlpine, retired (and Amanda’s mum!)

"I ended up using both shades, Pecan and Honey. It felt very light going on, the consistency was like whipped cream with colour. It left a dewy sheen that was just right on my normal to dry skin— not too shiny. I’m not one to wear foundation, but I would use this to even out and amp up the look of my skin."
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