Base Makeup Laura Mercier

Laura Mercier Candleglow Soft Luminous Foundation Review

February 29, 2016

Laura Mercier launched a new foundation formula earlier this year called the Candleglow Soft Luminous Foundation ($48 for 30 ml/1 fl oz). I’ve been playing with this formula for a few months now, testing a few shades over different bases and trying to see how it wears compared to other glow foundation formulas and I’ve found that it is one of the most luminous foundations I’ve ever tried. The Candleglow Foundation comes in 24 shades and is described as having a sheer to medium finish with buildable coverage. I find it to be on the sheer side with a noticeably dewy finish. I love a good glow, but for me the foundation finish is a bit too dewy on its own and needs a soft powder to set. It’s dewy but not greasy looking. Unfortunately once you add any kind of powder, the dewy glow disappears which kinda defeats the purpose of the product, but you still get a natural looking finish. (I’ve been setting with the Translucent Loose Setting Powder.) The formula is described as a hydrating formula – I did find it to have a hydrating feel but it’s a very lightweight formula and doesn’t feel heavy.

Comparing it to other formulas, the new Candleglow Foundation is not quite as sheer as the Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer, but definitely sheerer than the Flawless Fluide and Silk Creme Oil Free Formula. The packaging of the new foundation is well designed – I think it’s the best one yet from Laura Mercier. It comes in a sleek glass bottle and a very well designed pump dispenser. It’s very sturdy and has a nice simple streamlined look which I really like for an easy to use no-fuss kind of look. For me, I need three pumps of product to have enough to apply for my whole face. I like using the Sephora Pro Full Coverage Airbrush #53 brush with this formula, but you can use fingers or a sponge too. It glides on smoothly and evens out the skin in a very sheer natural kind of way. I couldn’t detect any scent which is a plus for those with sensitive noses.

Since the formula is on the sheer side, it makes the colors more forgiving so you don’t need a 100% exact match which is exactly what I need with this line. When it comes to Laura Mercier foundation shades, matching is always so incredibly tricky for me. I’ve made several visits to the counter to get matched for past formulas. Every single time I’ve been to a counter, I’ve been matched to a different shade. My Flawless Fluide match was Honey when I was last matched and it’s worked for quite some time. If you recall my original review, you might remember my surprise since it’s very pink in undertone. I have olive/yellow skin and Honey should be too pink, but somehow when it is blended out on my skin, it is an exact match. For the new Candleglow Foundation formula, Honey works well on my skin, but Dusk also works too. Dusk by comparison is more olive and cool-toned but it oxidizes on my skin so it adjusts to match my neck exactly. Golden worked on me a couple of months ago when I was a bit darker, but I’m losing my tan so it’s just a tad bit too dark for me. My perfect match happens when I mix all three shades, but I find myself reaching for either Honey or Dusk most. The formula is pretty forgiving. If you know what your shade is in the Flawless Fluide formula, your Candleglow shade should probably be the same.

Swatches, first set straight from the pump:

Blended out a little:

Swatch comparisons:

Above from left to right:

I would say for a natural glowy foundation/base, my favorite is still the NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer because it’s not like a traditional tinted moisturizer, but has that lightweight feel. For me the NARS gives me just the right amount of natural coverage on days I only need a light base. It lasts all day without getting too dewy or greasy looking. Comparing the NARS to the Laura Mercier Candleglow, I prefer the NARS by far. The NARS wears better for my normal/combination skin. I’m in between colors, but the colors match my skintone better. The NARS also lasts longer and doesn’t get as dewy as the one from Laura Mercier.
I’ve also been testing the Armani Maestro Glow Foundation and Becca Aqua Luminous Perfecting Foundation (both of which I’ll review soon). I’ll have a more detailed comparison in the following posts, but I will say right now out of all the newest glowy foundation launches this year, my favorite is the Becca, followed by Laura Mercier. The one from Armani unfortunately has been a fail for me (details soon).

If you like sheer to medium coverage with a dewy finish I think you’ll like this one. It works for my normal combination skin but I think it would be better suited for those with normal to dry skin. Overall I found it held up very well considering how dewy/glowy it was. I did get a little shiny in the Tzone by 1-2pm – but it was easy to fix with a bit of a touch up. It’s sheerer than I prefer right now because I have spots I like to cover up – but you can fix those with a spot concealer (some of my favorites in this post here). If you’re one who doesn’t like a glow because you find formulas tend to get too dewy by late afternoon, you will probably be better off checking out the Flawless Fluide formula from Laura Mercier or the NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint. A huge plus for me with the new Candleglow formula is that it didn’t cause any irritation or breakouts for my super sensitive skin (many foundations clog my pores or cause tiny little bumps all over the face). You can probably experiment with different primers or bases to see how it lasts or wears. I found that primer didn’t make much of a difference in application or lasting power. It works just as well over a regular moisturizer.

Bottom line I the Laura Mercier Candleglow Foundation a solid performer – but may be too dewy in finish for some. Given the sheer coverage and the non-perfect state of my complexion, I do find I need to add something on top of certain areas to give me the coverage I need, but it’s definitely worth checking out for those who want a natural looking glow.

You can find the Laura Mercier Candleglow Foundation at all Laura Mercier counters by now. Online at Laura Mercier, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Sephora and all other Laura Mercier retailers.
Have you checked out this formula yet? What did you think? Did you find a good match?

The Candleglow Foundations were sent courtesy of Laura Mercier for review consideration.

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