Since relaunching its beauty collection in 2019, Gucci has made headlines everywhere. The luxury brand's first lipstick campaign divided opinion for ditching models with super-straight, gleaming white teeth, instead embracing beauty in imperfection by enlisting musician Dani Miller and model Mae Lapres to advertise the 58-shade-strong lipstick range. Not long after, Gucci Beauty's Mascara L'Obscur generated a similar reaction. One image shot on Instagram, captioned "It builds and builds, for eyes that are EVERYTHING," featured lashes so loaded with product that they appeared "clumpy" or "spidery." Once again, the unorthodox images didn't sway some of the brand's followers, but others loved the bold statement.
Earlier this month, Gucci Beauty added yet another product to its makeup dynasty: the Fluide de Beauté Natural Finish Fluid Foundation. Unlike its predecessors, this one launched relatively quietly and didn't make much of a splash on social media — but believe me when I say it's a game-changer.
As a beauty editor, I've tried hundreds of foundations that promise to airbrush blemishes and fine lines, impart an otherworldly glow, and stay put all day. The reality is that few really deliver. I have combination skin that's prone to oiliness and breakouts, and dry, flaky spots that are exacerbated by ingredients like acids or central heating and cold weather. The majority of foundations break me out, collect around parched patches, slip and slide, and — probably the most annoying thing — oxidize throughout the day, turning a dubious shade of orange. (Yes, even high-end products.)
Admittedly, my interest is always piqued by pretty packaging, and Gucci's Fluide de Beauté won me over with its frosted glass bottle, millennial-pink lid, and delicate gold font. But the formula is the best part: It provides medium coverage yet is so light and silky (that would be star ingredient dimethicone) that it can be built up by layer. Just one pump is enough to cover my entire face — I apply this with the Joy Adenuga Multi-Use Face Brush, which blends foundation quickly and evenly, especially around the eyes and nose.
I find a lot of medium-to-full-coverage foundations chalky and not able to mesh well with skin, but this is completely seamless; it isn't a chore to work in and doesn't leave behind any streaks. While the initial finish is matte, it makes my skin glow in all the right places as the day goes on, which I love when back-to-back Zoom calls wash me out and make my skin look flat. What it does to my large pores is especially impressive, though. The phrase "your skin but better" is overused when it comes to makeup, but it hits the nail on the head here. A light veil of this stuff almost looks like I'm wearing a real-life Paris filter as it blankets over my acne scars (both red marks and indents), which I'm often self-conscious about.
For a medium-coverage foundation, Fluide de Beauté's lasting power rivals most high-coverage foundations I've tried — it stays in place all day with no need for powder or touch-ups. It's also one of the very few products that doesn't leave me covered in little whiteheads, and it dissolves away with micellar water, cleansing balm, or face wash, depending on your personal preference. At 40 shades, there are still 10 less than the brilliant Fenty Beauty, but there are many options for dark skin with a focus on undertone to ensure the finish is neither ashy nor orange.
There are one or two catches, however. First, the formula is ever-so-slightly fragranced (lightly floral, much like Gucci Guilty Love Edition Pour Femme). My skin is sensitive to any type of scent in skin care, but it has no problem with this, and I much prefer it to the paint-like smell of some foundations out there. Of course, the big catch is the price tag: If you compare it to other designer brands like Chanel, Dior, and YSL, which are typically around the $40 to $50 mark depending on the type of foundation (bottle or tube, light- or full-coverage), $68 is steep.
If you're looking for an alternative, I will say I've come across a handful of great affordable options lately. L'Oréal Paris Skin Paradise Water-Infused Tinted Moisturizer SPF 19 is very light and dewy in texture and provides medium coverage. Like Gucci, it stays in place and feels like a second skin. The Ordinary Coverage Foundation is also similar in terms of coverage, but I like to mix it with a pump of serum or moisturizer to make it less matte. Elizabeth Arden Flawless Finish Skincaring Foundation is a little higher in price than the above two, but it matches Gucci coverage-wise and boasts skin-care benefits thanks to hydrating hyaluronic acid, brightening vitamin C, and moisturizing vitamin E.
While these are all excellent products, they definitely aren't an exact match, so if you're thinking of treating yourself to a luxe beauty buy for making it through the longest month of the year, consider Gucci's Fluide de Beauté. If you ask me, it's well on its way to becoming a cult hit.
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