I don’t know if it’s because my skin is changing (visible aging is happening! waah), or if my preferences have changed, but I’ve been struggling with finding a base product that I really like. I used to love a full coverage look, but that was when I was dealing with more acne and I felt like I had more to cover up. I still have things to cover up, but I want a more natural-looking finish. However, I still have very oily skin, so long- wearing products are still what I gravitate towards, but most of those type of products are heavier finish which make me look heavily made up and also accentuate my fine lines. Oh, the struggle is so very real…
I bought the Sublime Skin Foundation during the last Sephora VIB sale, because it promises medium coverage, but with a skin-like finish. I have very oily skin and noticed that some oily skinned reviewers wrote that it was phenomenal and had great lasting power. But, other oily skinned people said it sunk into their pores and didn’t last even half the day. The mixed reviews had me a little nervous, but Pat McGrath is so well known for her gorgeous base work, so I had to try it myself. Also, if there’s ever a good time to buy a much hyped $68 foundation, it’s when there is a 20% off promotion.
I’m a MAC NC15 and a 23 in most Korean BB creams and cushion foundations. I ordered the Sublime Skin Foundation in Light Medium 8, which is neutral with some peach tones. It was a touch too peach for me and I think Light 7 would have worked better for me since that Light 7 is yellow toned.
The finish IS phenomenal. It covered up my redness and disguised my melasma marks a bit, but I still needed concealer on those areas to get more coverage since those spots are pretty dark. My skin looked like my skin… just, better. This foundation is a very thin, watery formula, but it’s quite pigmented, so one full pump was enough to cover my face.
The first day, I applied it the way Pat does, with my hands. Actually, I watched her do this in a video. She warms it up in her hands first, and then applies it to the face like a moisturizer, then she buffs out areas like the sides of nose and around the eyes with her fingers. It’s wild! Seriously, you should check it out, the video is in one of her Stories highlights. Of course, I couldn’t completely duplicate her technique, so my version didn’t produce the same results, but it was fine. I also lightly patted a Beauty Blender all around to even out the coverage. It looked good, skin-like and slightly dewy, but unfortunately didn’t last .
By noon, the foundation on the center of my face had mostly disappeared, which is pretty normal for me. A couple hours later, my pores were much more prominent and the foundation had pooled in my pores in a very obvious way. I was also so shiny. By 3pm, I couldn’t handle the shine anymore, so I decided to blot, which resulted in lifting up a significant amount of remaining foundation that was on my face. So, yeah, the staying power isn’t great for very oily skin like mine.
As I was doing my skincare routine that evening, I noticed some small red bumps on my face. They weren’t pimples, and felt prickly and irritated. It was unusual, so I stuck to a soothing routine. I took a break from the foundation and the red spots went away after a couple days. I used the foundation 3 more times after that, with primer and powder. The primer helped a little with staying power and extended the wear maybe 2 hours vs. without primer, But, again, the little red bumps showed up every time. The last time I used it, one side of my face got really flushed and hot while I was rinsing off cleanser. It was temporary, but that’s never happened before. Ultimately, this foundation didn’t agree with my skin. I don’t know what it was, but there was something (or multiple things?) in here that was/were irritating my skin.
I do have a couple ingredient allergies, but this formula doesn’t contain them and I’ve never had a reaction like this to a foundation before, so I’m really surprised. I still would recommend this, but not for people with really oily skin. And, also patch test if you have sensitive skin. I’m wondering if other oily skinned people who actually loved this had used it with the Pat McGrath primer? I don’t like using things that rely on other products in order to work for my skin, so my journey with the Pat McGrath foundation was a short one and I ended up returning it. The finish really is beautiful, but definitely get a sample to try it out before committing to the full size!
Anyway, I was pretty bummed about that, but I’m glad that I tried it so I could stop wondering about it. I can get some severe FOMO when it comes to certain beauty products.