Serum-like foundations seem to be a huge trend these days. I successfully ignored most of them, sticking instead to my tried and true favorites. When I had a chance to nab Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Foundation (1oz, $62) at a discount in my shade, I finally caved.
Intensive Skin Serum Foundation comes in a heavy, black bottle with dropper applicator and touts SPF 40 sunscreen. The instructions clearly state that shaking well before application is required; I found this to be essential.
Application: To apply this, I tended to drop a single drop on the back of my hand, then picked up product with my clean fingertips then blended directly on my skin. I suppose that you can use a BeautyBlender for this, but that's a tool that I don't use so I couldn't try it out. At the very least, this is a no-brushes please foundation. You need to be able to blend into the skin, and I found that my body heat helped.
Formula: As a serum foundation, this is very runny (hence only work with one drop at a time, and that should just about do it for your face) and sheers out. I noticed a lovely finish, but it is very, very sheer. I didn't find it particularly buildable.
I did, however, find it to be an awesome match with great finish. I built up the formula and it looks a little darker here. Plus, the underside of my arms never see the sun.
I wear 00 Alabaster in Bobbi Brown products, which is so hard to find. I pulled a few different foundations out for comparison.
1. Tom Ford Traceless Perfecting Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF15- 01 Cream
2. Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Serum Foundation- 00 Alabaster
3. Chanel Perfection Luminere Velvet- 12 Beige Rose
4. Tom Ford Traceless Foundation Stick- 01 Alabaster
5. MAC Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation NW15 (Watch for a full review on this soon)
6. NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation- Mont Blanc
Overall, I think this is probably lovely for what it is- a lightweight serum foundation. My skin loves it, but it's not enough to cover my rosacea. I have to really get aggressive with concealer when I wear this, so that defeats the purpose. I'm glad that I got a chance to try this out at less than retail, but it tells me that I shouldn't look to purchase others. I'll give this a try come the height of summer, and hopefully when my skin's better behaved.
QBB's Bottom Line: If your skin is in great condition and you want a "my skin but better" look, I'd look at this foundation for sure. It wears nicely (8+ hours), but coverage is questionable. I'll keep trying once my rosacea calms down a bit and when I'm not fighting some breakouts. It's a great range of shades.