I have a small confession: I hate foundation. However, because I love the way it makes the rest of my makeup look, it’s one of those necessary evils in my life like paying taxes and enduring men telling me to smile. Technically, though, Valmont’s upcoming foray into makeup isn’t a foundation — it’s a Perfecting Powder Cream. And it’s $145.
The Valmont Perfecting Powder Cream is a creamy pigment that’s infused with ingredients typically found in skin-care products, so it’s like a serum and foundation in one. (That doesn’t make it the most expensive foundation, though. Cle De Peau’s The Foundation is a whopping $250.) With that in mind, I had high hopes for this Perfecting Powder Cream. Maybe my skin wouldn’t reject it like 87 percent of foundations I try. Usually, they float on top of my oily skin like little islands by noon. I figured since this was more like a skin-care product, it would sink in like a serum and stay there.
I will admit that the price fascinated me, too. I typically spend no more than $15 on anything besides tattoos, rent, and plane tickets. When given the opportunity to test a foundation that costs more than my whole outfit, I’m not going to say no. For a week, I subbed in the Perfecting Powder Cream for a foundation that my skin will eventually swipe left on.
The first time I opened up the white-and-gold compact, I fully expected the Perfecting Powder Cream to be thick and chalky. Powder-to-cream products tend to be a good idea in theory, but on the skin, they’re often drying and flaky. As soon as I dipped the complementary sponge into the formulas, I knew this would be the case. (The sponge is made with anti-bacterial materials, which is helpful for my acne-prone skin.) The Perfecting Powder Cream felt luxuriously creamy like perfectly softened butter you’d use to make chocolate chip cookies with. Once I dabbed it onto my skin and blended it out, it melted into a velvety smooth powder but still had that smoothness to it. The coverage falls in the light-to-medium range, though. I have some hyperpigmentation happening on my cheeks at the moment, so I needed Urban Decay’s Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer to help me out in that department.
As the day went on, I realized my skin had never felt more moisturized than it did in that moment. As a result, my skin looked smoother and more radiant. (Please refer to my glow above.) The foundation felt soothing, too. Winter has been making my skin feel seriously parched, and I’ve been doing hydrating sheet masks and sleeping mask almost every night to quench its thirst. The Perfecting Powder Cream felt more nourishing than all the products I’ve tried so far, combined. Squalene and Valmont’s proprietary ingredient called Triple DNA, which is derivated from salmon, is to thank for the surge of hydration. Triple DNA can retain up to 10,000 times its weight in water. Like hyaluronic acid, it will draw moisture into your skin and keep it there. This also helps with filling out fine lines and wrinkles. Not to brag, but I have the skin of a toddler. If I were concerned about those elements of aging, though, I think the Perfecting Powder Cream would be incredibly helpful. I will say my skin looked aggressively dewy by the end of the day. It must have felt overwhelmed by the $145 worth of moisture. If you have dry skin (instead of oily like me), it probably wouldn’t end up as shiny.
Unfortunately, the price isn’t the only barrier to entry for the Perfecting Powder Cream. Its shade range is extremely limited. At the moment, the only four shades available are Fair Porcelain, Fair Nude, Medium Beige, and Warm Beige. Luckily, you can shop more affordable alternatives. I’d say the It Cosmetics Confidence in a Compact ($38) is the closest possible dupe. It’s also formulated with squalane, as well as hydrolyzed collagen and hyaluronic acid. Milani also makes a Smooth Finish Cream-to-Powder Make Up that rings up at $9. However, it doesn’t pack the same intensely hydrating ingredients.
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