Revolution’s releases always seem to cause a storm, and last year’s Conceal and Define Foundation was no exception. Yet here I am, finally polishing off my review at the start of 2019. What happened?
I did actually write this post up last year, and I even filmed a review, but I never got to the editing. Just to be clear, my early experiences with this foundation were awful, and I stopped using it after I’d filmed. But at the same time, I wasn’t sure I had given the product enough of a fair chance to post the review.
So having finally picked it up again and played around with it some more, here I am now, ready to give my opinion on how the Revolution Conceal and Define Foundation performs on dry skin, and my tips to get it to look it’s best.
The foundation comes in a heavy, luxurious feeling glass bottle. While it does look nice, it probably isn’t one for travelling, as I feel it could break in your suitcase. Inside, rather than the standard pump, you get a large doe foot applicator, similar to a concealer.
Think this looks familiar? You would be forgiven for thinking this was a bottle of Tarte’s Shape Tape Foundation: it’s clear Revolution took their inspiration from them, as they did with the Conceal & Define Concealer. We’ve also already seen this type of applicator in Rimmel’s Lasting Finish Breathable Foundation, and in Clinique’s similar looking Beyond Perfecting Foundation.
Personally, I think it’s pretty gimicky and doesn’t add anything to the product. Revolution’s doe foot is pretty hard compared to Rimmel’s, and despite is large size, it doesn’t hold that much product. I find myself dipping back in three or four times for the first layer of foundation, so it’s hard to gauge how much product I’m actually using. There’s also the hygiene issue, as any bacteria from your face will go straight into the tube when you put the wand away.
The Shade Range
Already causing a stir with it’s initial 18 shades of Conceal and Define concealer, Revolution certainly pleased the crowds when they extended their complexion line to 24 shades. They even cater to different undertones, which many drugstore brands still fail at.
While Revolution have proven to be one of the more inclusive brands on the market, there are still some teething issues on the lightest end of the spectrum. Here are the shade descriptions as per Revolution’s website:
- F0.5 – For fair skin tones with a pink undertone
- F1 – For fair skin tones with a neutral undertone
- F2 – For fair skin tones with a yellow undertone
- F3 – For fair skin tones with a cool undertone
Having used F1 in the Fast Base Foundation, I swatched all four of these to find the ideal undertone for me. I actually found that F0.5 is considerably lighter than the other three, despite all four of them being marked as “fair”; they looked orange in comparison. While it’s nice to see brands finally going this light, anyone with different undertones will not find their match. I have however seen on Instagram that the brand is actually going to be expanding to a huge 50 shades this year, so I’m excited to see what they bring to the table.
“Offering lightweight yet buildable coverage in 24 skin-true shades, this versatile foundation is designed to suit every skin type and tone. With an oil-free yet creamy and comfortable formula that dries down to a long-lasting, demi-matte finish, it won’t settle into fine lines or cling to dry patches.”
Having already been disappointed by the claim to suit every tone, I was even more dubious that it could suit every type. People with dry skin tend to look for very different things than people with oily skin; even if there are exceptions (YouTuber Alissa Ashley loves a matte foundation, and she has dry skin), catering to both is difficult.
Going for a demi matte finish may however be a good middle ground: it should be less drying than a full matte finish, which I tend to struggle with, while staying in place fairly well for oily skin. It’s the last two promises that really caught my eye, as matte foundations usually tend to cling to all my dry spots, and I do struggle with products settling into my smile lines.
We’ve had a mixed bag so far, and we’ve not even made it to the application. Before we get there, let’s get through the part I have the biggest issue with: the cost.
The foundation retails for £9. This is more than Revolution’s other foundations, but a pretty standard price for the drugstore nowadays. Except that the standard amount for foundation is 30 ml of product; the Conceal and Define Foundation only comes with 23 ml. To get to 30 ml, you’ll actually be spending £11.74.
It may not be a huge increase, but it’s not the first time Revolution have done this: I had the exact same issue with Fast Base, and the £4 Conceal and Define concealers also seemed to run out pretty fast. These products appear to be a good deal, when in fact they’re not.
Perhaps the bigger issue that I had were the excuses people were making for Revolution when acknowledging that there is less product. I saw people saying that it’s fine for it to contain less product because it’s cheap, which I find confusing because, number 1, see the maths above, and 2, there are lots of cheaper foundations that do contain more product. Another stated that this was probably because of the applicator taking up space in the bottle; again, Rimmel’s foundation also has a doe foot and yet contains the full 30 ml. I was really baffled by this, and as consumers, I think our response should be one that tells brands this is not acceptable.
This week I thought I would include a short video showing me applying the foundation. Want to skip ahead to a certain section? I have listed all the time stamps below.
The Shade Match
When I picked the foundation up in September, I thought the last of my tan had faded, but I guess I underestimated just how pale I really am. After initially picking up F3, I reconsidered and exchanged it for F0.5, fooled by how dark the other swatches looked next to it.
It turned out I was in fact wrong. The undertones are pretty spot on for me, but there was just enough difference between the colour of my face and my body to make me look a little sickly. This is what brought on my criticism of the shade range: a darker foundation with pink undertones would have been ideal. Even now that I have made it back to my true ghostly self, it’s somehow still a little too light for me.
One of the Conceal and Define Foundation’s most appealing selling points is the “buildable coverage”: it means that rather than owning a foundation for every different occasion, you can get away with customising one product.
“Swipe on and blend out to ramp up the coverage for a ‘real skin’ finish that diffuses blemishes and uneven skin tone. Or let your complexion’s natural character shine through using a small amount with a damp beauty sponge for veil-like coverage.”
The difference between both tools is really striking in real life and in the video, although it isn’t as visible in the photo: you really do get a lot more coverage out of it with a brush. On my skin however, it ends up looking pretty thick and cakey, so I’ve been sticking to the sponge, and I find that one layer is plenty for every day.
I definitely agree that the Conceal and Define Foundation has a demi-matte finish, so it doesn’t suck the moisture out of my face like a full matte one would. Used with the sponge, it does pass as pretty natural, but you can tell there is something on your skin.
Revolution do recommend using a powder and setting spray with the foundation to help extend the wear. When I purchased it the only powder I had was from RCMA, which can look pretty cakey, so I skipped it (more on this in the next section). I did however pick up the NABLA Close Up Powder on Black Friday, and it layers perfectly with the foundation, without making it look too matte.
As I mentioned above, I didn’t powder at first with the foundation; I didn’t want things to look cakey. Unfortunately, I had a bad time. It settled into not only my smile lines, but into the one I have going across my forehead, so much that it really made me look older. Disappointing when settling was one of the product’s main claims.
So when I picked it up again, I completely changed my routine. Before applying it, I use the MUA Pro-Base Moisturising Primer, followed by the L’Oréal Infallible Primer Shots Luminising Primer, to help keep my skin hydrated. Once the foundation is on, I conceal with the Too Faced Born This Way Sculpting Concealer, use the NABLA powder, and finish everything off with a setting spray.
The difference has been huge: I’ve been blown away by just how smooth and velvety it’s looked throughout the day. Looking closer at it, I do notice it going a little cakey around my nose and my smiles lines, but nothing as bad as when I used it on it’s own. It did also start clinging to my dry spots.
I’ve definitely been enjoying the Revolution Conceal and Define Foundation a lot more this time around, and I’ve found it to be a much better experience than their Fast Base Foundation. Once I paired it with the right products, it really did look stunning (I think that NABLA powder will need it’s own review at some point!).
Would I repurchase it though? While I’m still pretty sour on the cost issue, its one of the best drugstore foundations I have reviewed so far on my blog. It’s not a finish I usually gravitate towards, and not my favourite foundation, but I could seeing myself picking it up in a bit of an emergency, because I know it will do a good job. I think oilier skin types will probably be happier with it, and the biggest selling point for me is the customisable coverage, which is ideal if you’re on a budget.
Make sure you let me know what you think of this new format, and if there’s anything you want me to review next!
Purchase the Revolution Conceal & Define Foundation from the Revolution Beauty website for £9.