Base Makeup

Dolce & Gabbana Powder Foundation

September 14, 2011
Dolce & Gabbana’s Powder Foundation has reached holy grail status for me ($59 for 15 g / 0.53 oz). When the line first launched in NYC mid-2009, I immediately e-mailed a few NY friends for their thoughts. It was only available at a select few counters (none near me) so I relied on several for their keen eye and exquisite taste. Two things that were constantly raved about included the Dolce & Gabbana mascara and powder foundation. Not having local access to the brand, I was hesitant to try this sight unseen. With the exception of the Dolce & Gabbana I have never purchased a foundation without testing it in person first. Many thanks to Nikki at Saks Houston who was kind enough to match me over the phone. I told her a few foundation shades I used, “Chanel Teint Innocence Liquid in Shell and I’m in between Armani’s Lasting Silk 5.5 and 6.5” and the kind soul that she is, she swiped the Chanel on her hand to find my perfect match to Tan #140. Since discovering this my skin has lightened a bit. When I Tan became too dark, I told her “I’m now 1.5 shades lighter, not quite a full two shades down, but almost.” She matched me perfectly again to Warm #100 (I’m not sure why there’s such a huge jump, but I suspect other shades in between either have more peach or pink or yellow).

The powder foundation comes in a gold double tiered mirrored compact. The bottom compartment will hold a square sponge for application but I prefer to apply with a brush. The texture is smooth and silky with full but natural coverage. It makes the skin look velvety smooth but not in an overdone way. The finish is truly flawless for me.
Dolce & Gabbana Warm Powder Foundation:

There’s no detectable scent. Applying with a sponge works well for touch-ups but I prefer to use a brush. Even though it’s a powder foundation and doesn’t require liquid foundation underneath, I like to use it as a setting powder. I tend to use sheerer lighter weight liquid foundations (which are more forgiving when the color isn’t a 100% exact match) and always layer with some kind of powder on top (loose, pressed or powder foundation). It lasts well into the afternoon without changing color as your skin gets oily. Touch ups are easy to do with a swipe of the sponge. With this powder, I rarely ever need concealer if I have redness.

Chanel’s Double Perfection Powder Foundation ($50 for 13 g / .45 oz) has been a long time favorite of mine. Both have similar soft smooth textures with very similar coverage. I feel that the Dolce & Gabbana is slightly more versatile in the sense you can control coverage better, but both are similar in finish and quality. I can’t pick my favorite out of the two because I adore them both.
Swatching these on the arm seems futile since it will end up blending into my skin. I’ve featured it here compared to the Chanel shades I alternate between for Tender Bisque and Medium Beige. I hope this helps a bit. The Tender Bisque is close to Warm, the Chanel has slightly more peach while the Dolce & Gabbana has more yellow. Two views since it might be hard to tell how they compare from the lighting.

Overall I love this. I’ve used up two compacts already and this is my third. It’s pricey and while I had luck being matched over the phone, I don’t recommend trying the same. There’s no substitute for trying foundation on in person and I believe it’s one of the things you need an exact match for your undertone. Makeupalley does have some reviews which might help you guess what shade you are if you can’t get to a counter in person.

Have you tried Dolce & Gabbana’s powder foundation? What’s your current holy grail or are you still searching?

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  • I have 2 HG foundations: Chanel Matte Lumiere and Armani Luminous Silk. Lovely review!

  • Wow, this is such a helpful post because I'm in the market for a compact foundation – either powder or creme, so long as it's portable – and this is on my list to try. But didn't you also once mention you bought the Edward Bess compact? How does that compare, if I may ask? Thanks!

  • Elizabeth – I did purchase the EB and used it up but never reviewed it. The EB is a wonderful foundation but completely different as it's a cream (not powder). It's similar to the Shu Uemura Nobara that was discontinued years ago. Full natural wonderful coverage with a built in primer. Shade selection is limited though. I used Beige which I think was the 4th darkest shade? Hope this helps.

  • I love the rounded gold casing. How luxurious!

    I don't know if I have any HG foundations. There's a long list of those that don't work! I think I need to do a comprehensive check like you did in your foundation series, since I have very sensitive skin. I'm happy with my NARS sheer glow =)

  • Sabrina, is the compact refillable? That would be my big selling point!

    I also completely agree with your description of the Edward Bess foundation. It's probably the best cream foundation I have ever used.

  • Dovey – I have a long list of ones that didn't work for me either. Most turn dark on my skin because of oxidation or irritate my skin or turn pink because there's not enough yellow. I loved Armani's texture but couldn't find a good color match. Bobbi Brown foundations are like MAC for my skin and cause bad reactions. Laura Mercier's Mineral Powder Foundation is great but also tends to darken on the skin. NARS is ok but not HG material. Chanel and D&G are the best for my skin. Good luck with your search! D&G has an excellent color selection/range. Definitely worth checking out.

    Joey, I agree any compact foundation that is refillable would be amazing. The D&G is not. Chanel was at one point but I don't think they sell the refills online in the US anymore πŸ™

  • Anonymous

    wow, the chanel PFs look so much darker than the D&G

  • Anonymous

    Have you tried the new DG cream foundation? Are you going to write a review, I am interested in what you think about it?

  • I wasn't sure whether this would be worth trying until I got to the part where you said this was your third compact. Now I'm very curious πŸ™‚

  • my HG is deifinatly chanel vitalumier aqua! I love that it is so light weight almost undetectable on the skin!

  • Anonymous

    How does this compare with the Burberry powder foundation, if you have tried?

  • Judith

    Intriqued by the D&G, have the Edward Bess and LOVE!!!!! It is perfection for me! IF I use liquid it is Armani 5.5. I love the entire Edward Bess collection, and don't find it limited, as how much does one need or use? I have three lipsticks, two glosses, foundation, two cheeks, eyeliner…and a bit more, but all amazing!

  • thanks for the review, Lina! I"m going to check it out. πŸ™‚

  • I didn't get to try the powder version yet, although I tried the new creme foundation and liked it. I think next time I will compare the two at a counter.

    I kind of stopped using powder foundations since I switched to liquids, since I feel that liquids look better on most skin types (even though mine is oily).

    Anyway, I'm glad you had such good luck getting matched to a shade on the phone! πŸ™‚

  • Anonymous

    Hi, can you provide feedback on the Burberry Sheer Foundation? Do you think D&G might be better?

  • I have that exact foundation in Warm also! However, I use it for touch-ups during the day (I have very oily skin and live in a warm climate), so I tend to be very light with the sponge. Which brush do you use to apply it, may I ask?

  • Thanks for the info, Sabrina. I think I might just bite the bullet an try the EB cream!

  • I haven't tried the D&G powder foundation, but I am loving their new cream foundation! I bought the RMK powder foundation after reading rave reviews on it, I have high hopes for it and can't wait to try it.

  • Sophia1105

    I live and breathe by LM's mineral powder foundation, and I swear it truly has the positive mineral effect on my skin as a treatment that many other lines claim but cannot deliver. No -cones, no ingredients that make me breakout or become more irritated. Lovelovelove.

  • Lilly

    Do you know the ingrediants in the powder?

  • Hi ladies, I'm going to group all the anonymous questions into one response:

    I have not tried the D&G Cream foundation yet. I just received a few samples but do not know when I will be able to test them. My skin is recovering from a bad reaction to Burberry's Fresh Glow.

    I have not tried Burberry's Powder Foundation. Burberry's Liquid foundation has not worked for my skin (allergic reaction).

    Patuxxa – I use MAC powder brushes.

    Lilly – I do not have the ingredients, sorry.

  • Hey Sabrina! Great post πŸ™‚

    Not quite sure if I have a HG foundation but for the past month I've been using Lancome Miracle Teint and topped it off with MAC Studio Fix. But I recently purchased the Lancome Dual Finish to try with the Miracle Teint. I think I get less oily with the MAC.

    I also love Laura Mercier's mineral powder. Too bad it didn't work out for you :/

  • K

    I have both the D&G powder foundation and the Burberry foundation. My routine is to top my tinted moisturizer with a brush of powder to set. In this case, both powders achieve a similar, velvety finish. For the past month and half, I've been using the Burberry powder foundation more to set (with brush).

    On days when I'm rushed, I skip the base and simply do a powdered foundation face over concealer. In that aspect, I prefer the D&G powder over Burberry.

  • CJB

    I love the D&G powder foundation. And I did the very same thing..I spoke with Alissa at Saks in San Fran, mentioned the Chanel shade I wear and she matched me over the phone. She's a helpful. Since my Saks does not have the line (I'm in Boston) I took the chance and am so thrilled. I also purchased the highlighter in Eva, the new Fall highlighter/blush in Shimmer, and blushes in Mocha and Tan. I can honestly say, all the powders are beautiful and so finely milled. They leave a velvety finish, as you said. ~CJ

  • I've been really into D&G cosmetics.. I got their mascara and it's pretty good.. This powder looks gorgeous! Heard they came out with a cream foundation that I REALLY wanna try!

  • For powder foundation, I'm currently using NARS. I bought it on a whim this summer, and I absolutely love it. The New Orleans shade is beautiful for me, and I love the flocked sponge that it comes with…it gives a superior application at home, or on the go. I'm actually surprised at how much I love it.

    For liquid, my HG is Armani Luminous Silk.

    I admit I was surprised to see that D&G might have a shade for me in their powder foundation. I'll check it out next time I'm at Saks.

  • I was set on the burberry powder foundation but now I'm going to have to try this one instead! I currently use YSL's teint resist liquid foundation which is my HG but I really want to find an HG powder foundation. Sometimes I'm just feeling lazy and don't wanna fuss with a liquid foundation.

  • I know this post is late, but I have been drooling over this powder since you first reviewed it! I tried to convince myself I could live without it…but I finally caved. I used your description of the shades and decided on Caramel 110 ( I am a 6.5 in Armani Lasting Silk). This product is amazing, thanks so much for introducing me to it!

  • i know this is kind of late but is this a perfect match to your nc30 skin cause i'm debating between warm 100 and caramel 110..