Round Two of the Great Foundation Quest 2020 continues with Pretty Vulgar

Pretty Vulgar Cool AF Lava Water Foundation

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?

pump under the cap

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.

one pump was more than enough product

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.

start of the day

But like I said it is quickly gone. If you are super sensitive though, it might be something to keep in mind.

Hour 12 shine

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.


Verso Skincare - available at Alyaka.com

Alight Clean Foundation from Pacifica; the next contestant in my foundation quest

Pacifica’s Alight Clean Foundation

I know several of you are thinking, wait, I thought the Becca Foundation was scheduled to be next. It was but then Pacifica very kindly sent me several products to try, the Alight Clean Foundation being one of them and when the package arrived I got so excited I went ahead and opened it. Since I hadn’t yet opened the Becca Foundation I am holding it for the next segment and going with the Pacifica one since it is now opened.

100 percent vegan and cruelty free. Shop now at PacificaBeauty.com!

I swear with any packages I become like a three year old at a birthday party. I must open and play. The only thing that saved the Becca from being opened on the spot was that it came in BoxyCharm on a day when I received several packages.

First off, I need to say this product was gifted to my by Pacifica and I do have a code for you to use it is MIMSY15. It doesn’t give me anything, but it does give you a discount.

So on with the review.

First off for those who don’t know, Pacifica offers vegan and cruelty free products. Their offerings range from make-up and skin care to bath and body products as well as fragrances. Their skin care, fragrances and body products are sold at Target. The target near me never has any of their makeup products, at least not that I can find. they could be hiding, but I’ve never found them. The makeup products are carried at Ulta. There is no Sephora near me so I can’t check, but I believe they are sold there as well. They are of course sold on-line on the company’s website.

Free gifts on all orders over $25. Only at Pacifica Beauty!

One of the things that I absolutely love about this company is that while they offer a lot of clean products, the prices are really affordable. This foundation costs $16 and comes in thirty seperate shades. You can go clean without breaking the bank. Of course that depends on whether or not you like the product. So let’s get into it.

First of this is the Alight Clean Foundation. It is listed as oil free, anti shine and with a satin finish. According to the website…

clean face, no product, just so you see the blank canvas

Get the flawless coverage of your dreams in 30 shades designed for real skin tones with the Pacifica Alight Clean Foundation. This innovative, non-comedogenic, dermatologist tested formula goes on smooth, covers pores and lasts throughout the day. This formula is free of silicone, parabens, phthalates, talc, BHA, BHT, petroleum and drying alcohols (and a huge list of other things your skin doesn’t love).

Immediate results: Flawless, seamless coverage, Skin feels clean, More radiant, healthy looking skin, Pore free appearance and vibrant, Lasts day to night

Just the foundation on my skin (I shifted so I was less in shadoe it really isn’t that light)

After 6 weeks of use: Skin looks more healthy, Skin feels smoother

While I haven’t used it for a full six weeks I did put it through my usual trial. I applied the foundation first to bare skin and then on subsequent days with a variety of primers underneath.

The foundation comes in a glass bottle with a pump. I really like the pump foundations as I find it an easy way to keep things clean. I’m not a total slob but sometimes products have a way of getting everywhere. One pump was all I needed to cover my entire face. There is almost no scent to the foundation and it smooths over the face easily. There was no oxidation that I noticed so if you go with this foundation, you are going to want to go with a shade close to your skin tone. It is pretty forgiving though so if you don’t get an exact match you should be okay if you come close.

Finished face

It is very much a medium coverage foundation. It isn’t going to give you that mask like appearance but it does a good job of covering minor blemishes so I didn’t need a lot of concealer. In fact I only used it on my under eyes and not on any dark spots on my face. I’m personally happy about that because I don’t like using a lot of concealer as it tends to weigh down my skin and add texture if I use too much.

This foundation applied well and didn’t settle into my fine lines, which I appreciated. After applying I went through my usual routine. In my initial tests I am trying to use all of the same face products, only changing out the lips and the eyes. Incidentally in case you were looking at the early photos and the laster photos and thinking the lips look very similar in them, I did not reapply the lipstick. On a whim I picked up the Maybelline Super Stay Matte Ink liquid lipstick (shade lover if you are wondering) and wow did it live up to it’s name. I’ll be posting a lipstick review soon so I won’t say anything more, I just wanted to clarify for the photo.

close up at the start of the day (yeah, I fixed the eyeliner before continuing with my day)

Once on the foundation melted into my skin. While I’ll have to get back to you on the skin care aspects of this product, I have to say after only a few days of use I can believe the claims have some validity. It felt more like applying a moisturizer than it did a foundation.

But it did give me medium coverage which I liked.

In these photos I wore the foundation for about nine hours. Around hour seven I noticed a little shine in the t-zone, but it wasn’t anything major. I was sans powder compact at the time so I didn’t powder off the shine. No one remarked on it and in the end of the day photos you can see my nose is a little on the shiny side, but everything else looks relatively okay. I think if I had taken a moment to powder off my nose, there would be very little change. the foundation stayed put and didn’t pill up around the nose or mouth, nor settle into fine lines. I was quite pleased with it’s performance.

End of the day nine hours after application

I will say that I did prefer using a primer under this foundation. I found a pore filling foundation gave me a smoother over all look to the skin from start to finish. This foundation behaved beautifully with all of the primers I tried it with. There were no adverse reactions to pairing it with any of them. I have not tried a primer from Pacifica yet, but I think I am definitely going to have to pick it up in the near future. Prior to this I only used skin care items from them, not makeup. Given the performance of the foundation and the affordable pricing, I think a shopping adventure is in my near future.

end of the day close up. A little shiny on the nose and chin but over all not bad.

The Alight Clean Foundation is a welcome addition to the extended testing I will be doing on this segment of foundations. That’s right the first segment’s line up is complete. All five of this first batch of foundations are lined up on my dressing table. In the next month or two I will see which ones I reach for consistently and which ones I don’t. Then I will be back with the details of why I reach for certain foundations more than others. Two of them will make it on to an additional test competing against the best two from the next selection of products I test. I’m hoping to find one daily favorite out of the lot. Barring one holy grail foundation, I am hoping to find a few that I know I can reach for consistently with no trouble.

The five foundations in this segment’s line up: Pacifica, Too Faced, Ulta, Wander and ELF. which one(s) will come out on top?

As I mentioned above, Pacifica very kindly gave me a discount code for anyone to use if they are looking to try out their products, whether this foundation or any other. The code is MIMSY15 and I don’t get anything from it if you use it. It’s just a little something extra for you. Just enter it in the coupon code section at checkout. Personally, I am going to check out what other products they have that I might want to try.


Pacifica Beauty