L’Oreal Magic Nude Liquid Powder Foundation (about $12.95 at drugstores) is a cream-to-powder foundation formula that’s supposed to go on creamy and transform into its own finishing powder, so all you have to do is shake and apply and you’re done. This has become my new go-to, especially on days when I don’t feel like going through lots of steps.
When I get this product out on my fingertips, it feels like a thin foundation (the packaging recommends using your fingers to apply rather than a brush, sponge or anything else). When I first apply it, it looks like a medium coverage, buildable foundation (on good skin days, one coat is enough, on bad skin days I add a little more in the areas that need it). A few minutes later, it develops this light-diffusing property that makes it look like I just have great skin. I can wear this completely alone, using just a little extra wherever you need some concealing. But if you need serious coverage for scars or major discoloration, you’ll need to use it with concealer. You’re not going to reach full coverage with this one.
The wear time on this one… the first time I wore it, I just used one “coat” and it faded after 3-4 hours. The next time, I wore two coats and it lasted all freakin’ day and then some (and yet washes off easily – gotta love that). If I want to be absolutely sure it’ll last 10-12 hours or more, I brush some setting powder over it. I’ve done this with several powders ranging from Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders ($45) to Wet N Wild’s Reserve Your Cabana Bronzer (around $5) and they all do the trick, so it doesn’t take something pricey.
I also love that it has no scent – I’ve read some reviews that mention a light scent which disappears, so I don’t know if there’s a variation among shades but I can’t smell mine at all. This foundation is also SPF18, which is a nice level of protection if you’re only getting “incidental sun exposure” – running in and out of buildings, driving, that sort of thing. Don’t rely on it if you’re spending a day in the sun, but otherwise it’s a nice little bit of protection.
The biggest criticism I can make of this formula is that the deepest shades are “Soft Sable” and “Classic Tan”, and both the names and the swatches I’ve seen look too light for dark skin tones. It looks to me like the fairer shades are all covered (Creamy Natural 314 worked for me, and I probably could also go with a slightly lighter shade). So let’s take a detailed look at this one.
It’s a regular bottle. I actually wonder if a pump was even an option – would it turn into that satiny powder texture while it’s sitting in the pump and clog? It’s got a rather narrow opening. I just dab a little onto one finger, then dab another dot onto another finger and apply it with those fingertips. I always give it a few minutes to set before deciding if I need a second layer.
That’s how thin the consistency is. It’s also as lightweight feeling as it looks.
The swatch on my arm looks much too yellow and a little too deep, but it seems like this one does some tone-adjusting or something because it worked well on my face. Here’s my face with no foundation and no primer – just moisturizer.
In this next photo, I’ve put the Magic Nude on the left side of my face – that’s your left, my right.
As you can see, it camouflages the moderate hyperpigmentation on my cheeks and around my mouth but still looks natural. And here’s me with my whole face done with Magic Nude:
If you like this product but need a little more coverage, a pigmented setting powder will add to the light diffusing effects. I don’t find that primer changes the look of it at all.
In case you’re wondering, my skin is normal, neither dry nor oily, and other skin types may have a different experience with this one. Magic Nude didn’t cling to it or emphasize any flaws or settle into lines. The finish is definitely on the matte side, so if you prefer a dewy foundation this might not be the one for you.