Celebrity makeup artists almost always have a cult-like following. Whether it's worshipping at the church of Dame Pat McGrath, losing your mind over Charlotte Tilbury, or trying every one of Lisa Eldridge's lipsticks, there are certain names that are a no-brainer 'add to cart' when shopping for new makeup.
Mario Dedivanovic (makeup artist to the likes of the Kardashians) as well as his namesake makeup line, Makeup By Mario, are ranked high in this category. If you're a makeup lover, you've probably already tried something from his line, whether it's the SoftSculpt Shaping Stick or the MoistureGlow Plumping Lip Serum. And if you've been anywhere near the internet for the past few weeks, you've likely heard about the brand's latest launch.
Described as a "breathable, luminous" product which effortlessly builds and blends to illuminate the complexion, this long-wearing foundation nearly broke the web and has certainly divided opinion. As such, trying out this foundation was a must for our beauty team. Is it right for oily skin, for example? And does it stick around? Read ahead for our honest thoughts before you drop your well-earned coin on the latest craze.
Amanda Mitchell, Senior Beauty Writer/Stories Creator
"I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I am not a foundation girl. As much as I want to be, as hard as I’m trying, I’m still waiting for the one product that makes me want to love it. (Haus Labs is still the closest, tbh.) But let me tell you: I was hyped when I heard about this product. Medium coverage seems to be where I want to land and I love the idea that Mario wanted it to be breathable and show the skin’s texture. I didn’t expect this from the Mario Dedivanovic, who basically ushered in the matte look for an entire generation.
I am also always a little hesitant when a brand says you could use multiple shades because it’s 'so blendable it’ll meld with your skin tone', but that’s exactly what happened to me. My foundation, at first glance, was a wee bit light, but then I blended my little heart out. Y’all, it was giving like it was Christmas. It does feel like there’s no makeup in this makeup, which I love. I don’t know if it’s my holy grail daily foundation, but will I be reaching for this during days when I want to do full glam? Absolutely. That’s a promise and a fact."
Sara Tan, Beauty Director
"I knew I was going to love this foundation before I even put it on my face. Mario Dedivanovic can do no wrong in my eyes, but there was a piece of me that was worried this formula would be a little too glam. I was right, but also wrong — it could be glam if I wanted it to be, as the medium coverage foundation is super buildable. But I could also use it day-to-day when I opt for a little bit of coverage to conceal any redness or blemishes and to even out my skin.
It’s incredibly flexible. I’m shade 6W, but I could go a shade lighter or a shade darker and it would still look natural. Above all, I love how luminous this formula makes my skin look. I was hesitant about mica being an ingredient in the foundation (I’m not a fan of looking like Edward Cullen á la Twilight) but something about the subtle shimmer made my skin look glowy and healthy in the best way possible. It also stays put for longer than most lightweight foundations I wear, especially when you set it with a little powder. In other words, I’m obsessed."
Karina Hoshikawa, Senior Writer
"I attended the Miami launch dinner for SurrealSkin, and honestly, the way Mario talked about this foundation was enough to get me hooked. I’ll admit that I was a little unsure about the visible shimmer in the bottle, but I was blown away by how natural it looked on my skin. It disappeared, but also didn’t; I’d say this is on the lighter end of medium coverage, but it's so buildable that I'm able to even out my skin and spot-cover small breakouts in a matter of brush strokes (which of course, also came courtesy of Mario’s F4 Cosmetic Brush).
The look of the product truly is surreal. IRL, it has the most un-makeup-like finish I’ve seen in some time, and I mean that as a complement for a makeup product. It literally just looks like you have flawless skin. Since I’m oily, I set my T-zone with a bit of loose powder, and voilà: I’m ready for my closeup."
Megan Decker, Beauty Editor
"With this foundation, Mario hit on what I and so many people want: to look bare faced. For a liquid foundation, it is pretty close to undetectable. It melts and blurs and has a bit of radiance that looks like your skin has a glow or dewiness. Here’s how it fits into my routine: serum, moisturizer, sunscreen, then I contour and conceal under my eyes (à la Mary Phillips), and apply a tiny bit of SurrealSkin with a fluffy brush over my face.
It’s sheer and subtle but evens out the highlight and shading. It’s like Giorgio Armani’s Luminous Silk Foundation, but less matte. I thought this might mean it wouldn’t last, but I wore it all day while walking outside, sniffling through the New York winter cold, and it didn’t melt, disappear or go dry. My skin still looked good at 9pm; dewy and fresh. I don’t know what Mario did here, but this stands up next to Luminous Silk. I might actually prefer it."
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