Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Touch of Air from SK-II

I purchased this in Summer 2007 at the SKII counter at Bloomie's on 59th. I'd been intrigued by this foundation since its launch, but was too afraid of the hefty price tag to dare to try it. However, that day, without the sensibility of a shopping partner, I plunked down the $150USD and got this foundation! (Please note that since then, the price has increased to $165USD - gotta love inflation!) The start-up price included one packet of foundation at 0.16 ounces, and the actual machine and battery. The refills retail at $90USD for 2 packets.

For reference, I am an NC20 in MAC, Stila 30 Watts, Estee Lauder Linen, and I was matched with the color OP-3, which is probably one of the most flawless matches that I have in my foundations. If you have light golden-beige skin, this would be a good match for you. In total, there is a very limited color selection offered here in the U.S., like 3 or 4. Unfortunately, if your skintone ranges on the dark or the superlight, you will probably not be able to find a good match in this line.
There is a slight learning curve to learning to use this product. You must hold it at 4-inches from your face -- any closer, and it has a tendency to go on clumpy -- any further, and you're just dispersing foundation into the air. I use the "droplet" function to put a couple of drops around my nose before I go to the "on" function to mist my face. I do my face in sections -- forehead first, then right cheek, then nose/chin, and then left cheek. I've been using up-and-down motions, which has worked pretty well.

The mist is very, very light on the face, and the particles come out very fine. Compared to aerosol sprays like DiorFlash and Era, the mist of the SKII hardly feels like anything -- just an ever-so-slight breeze on the face. Because of this, the coverage is buildable, and you can do several layers without any sort of cakiness. Due to the ion technology employed by the SKII machine, the mist also doesn't get all over the hair and eyebrows or clothes (as the Dior always did). I have worn many white dress shirts when applying this foundation, and have not had any problems AT ALL with foundation spraying onto my clothing.

To this end, you have to make sure your face is evenly and throughly moisturized for the best effect. I think the ions make the foundation attracted to moisture, so it helps to apply a light lotion first to make sure the foundation goes onto your skin.

As for the actual quality of the foundation, it is sheer and lightweight, yet miraculously evens out the complexion. Obviously, for dark circles and blemishes, I still use a concealer beforehand, but this foundation does a good job at evening everything out. It also has a dewy finish, which I personally like (I think it makes the skin look more natural), although those who are used to super-matte might find it hard to get used to. It has an imperceptible finish -- just looks like my skin is really nice, not that I'm wearing foundation. It also contains Pitera, which is SKII's "miracle" ingredient derived from sake, and the cornerstone ingredient in its skincare, and is supposed to make the skin supple and radiant. I think because I use a sunblock moisturizer underneath, I've probably created a barrier against any of Pitera's effects. (I doubt that the amount in the foundation is even enough to make a difference anyway.)

I've been using it off and on for about 2 years. It's quick to apply (about 1 minute), and I don't have to worry about getting my hands dirty or having to use a sponge/brush, and it leaves my skin looking great. It seems that each refill packet can last up to 6 months for me, when I use it about 3-4 times a week. I have spoken with other people, however, and with a heavier application and daily use, the longevity of each pack is only about 2 months or so. Just to note, I also have not had to replace the battery yet.

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