I’ll admit, the reason I chose the Pretty Vulgar Cool AF Lava Water Foundation (retail $39) to try out was because of the pretty bottle. I know, shallow, but true. Admittedly I also chose the Pretty Vulgar mascara for the same reason and I am really enjoying the formula, so I have hopes that at least this time, my vanity will be rewarded.
While some of you may remember my system for testing foundations, others of you may not so I’ll do a quick recap. As to the choice of the foundations I am testing, it is completely random. This one I chose because I thought the bottle was pretty, another I chose because I’ve had luck with the brand in the past, one was a recommendation from a stranger and one was sent in a BoxyCharm. The fifth was because I kept seeing posts about Wet and Wild and I realized I hadn’t tried any of their products since high school so I thought, why not?
A rather complex, scientific system, no?
Don’t worry the testing is a little more regulated. For each foundation chose, I give it a week of sole usage. It is my only foundation for the week. I figured that would give me enough of a use test to see how I feel about it. I know initial tests usually only have a try on and comment but I tend to like to think about things a little longer before I make up my mind. I often find my initial impressions changing.
So the first day I use the foundation, I don’t use any sort of primer. It is just the foundation against my skin. Then for the six subsequent days I change out my primers to see how well the foundation plays with others. The other face products (powder, bronzer, blush, highlighter) I tend to keep consistent for each day of the test. At the moment I am still using the Pacifica Cherry Matte translucent powder, which I absolutely love, and I am testing the Real Her Ultimate Glow Getter Cheek Palette that came in this month’s IPSY box. I will be using these products throughout all five foundation tests.
Okay so before we get into what I thought of the product, lets see what the Pretty Vulgar Cool AF Lava Water Foundation has to say for itself via the product page shall we?
Keep cool and put your flawless face forward. Our full-coverage, matte, liquid Cool AF Lava Water Foundation is lightweight, buildable and long-wearing. Formulated with detoxifying charcoal powder and hydrating Moringa Butter, our refreshing formula will cover imperfections and even out your complexion. To top it off, exotic volcanic lava water sourced from the ancient Jeju Island delivers antioxidants, minerals, and nutrients that nourish, keeping your skin supple and strong. Perfect for normal, combination, and oily skin types.
Shake well before use. – Apply 1-2 pumps of Lava Water Foundation to the back of your hand. – Dip the Flawless Wand Foundation Brush in to the formula and apply to skin at the center of the face, blending outward and down the neck in circular motions. Beauty Tip: – Apply Detox and Chill Lava Water Foundation Primer first to create a moisturized & primed face for smoother and longer lasting wear. – For light, customizable coverage, mix a pump of Detox and Chill Lava Water Foundation Primer to the Lava Water Foundation for lighter, hydrated wear. – Use lighter and deeper shades of Under Cover Concealer to create highlights and contours for full face dimension. – If your skin tends to be oily, finish your look with The Powder Room Translucent Setting Powder
Okay, that sounds like a lot. First of all, when they say shake, they are not joking. If you don’t shake you get some separation from the water and the other bits. So I shook. Luckily the bottle is kind of maraca shaped so shaking it is a fairly natural procedure. Admittedly it is easy to get carried away. It won’t hurt the product, but it will lengthen your getting ready routine. But hey, that can be fun too.
And yes, there was singing at the dressing table this week.
While they recommend 1-2 pumps, I found that was way too much product for me. You may have to pump a little extra out the first time you use it but ever after one pump will do for a full face. Now I will say that while I don’t mind full coverage, I do not favor a mask like appearance. I know some people are into that and if you are doing a full high glam face beat, that may be your jam.
It just isn’t mine on a regular everyday basis. With two pumps the product felt too heavy on the skin and tended to settle into my fine lines. When I dispensed one pump on my hand and went in with a lighter touch, the product worked well. This is definitely a less is more sort of product. My inner accountant was happy with that as it means the product will last longer. It also means I get to keep the pretty bottle longer too.
The foundation felt very light weight on the skin. Even when I initially applied too much and it looked heavy, it felt very light against the skin. It was a foundation that I could forget I was wearing. There is a slight paint smell to it that isn’t particularly pleasant, but it dissipates fairly quickly. It just surprised me that it was there. From the description I was expecting more of a mineral-ly or even charcoal type of smell. But nope, paint.
But like I said it is quickly gone. If you are super sensitive though, it might be something to keep in mind.
I did find that this is a foundation that works best with a primer. Without a primer, it tended to emphasize my pores more as the day went on. With a primer, any primer actually, the formula did not seem to be particular, this was not a problem. I noticed that if I put it on and ore it through the length of a work day then I had no problems, as long as I used the primer. There was no settling into my lines and no extra pore emphasis. After about seven hours, I had some oil showing through. I am not an extremely oily person, but I noticed the oil in my t-zone, which is where I get it. I didn’t need a pat of powder mid day though. I just needed it towards what would be the end of my work day. So if I was wearing it out after work, I would need a bathroom refresh before continuing on my night.
I think if you tend towards the oily side of things, you may need to add a little powder around lunch time. On the other side, the mattifying formula didn’t dry me out. Over all I had a pretty positive experience with this product. I enjoyed using it and I enjoyed looking at it. It definitely moves into round two where all of the foundations that pass the initial wearability test will go head to head to see who comes on top. The winner will then be in the running to compete with the winner from round one, which as you might recall was the Pacifica Alight Clean Foundation. But that is for the future. For now, the Pretty Vulgar Cool AF Lava Water Foundation has earned a spot in round two. I am off to a great start with this and can hardly wait to see how the next foundation performs. Stay tuned.