It's taken a long time to decide whether or not I like this foundation! But I'm very happy to report the verdict is in...
***All items purchased by me. Affiliate links included.***
**Scroll down for The One Perfecting Brush**
I ended up with 2 shades (so I took the pic of both bottles), Sand and Buff. Sand is the lighter of the 2 but is definitely too light. Buff is almost there but a tad too dark - so I mix both for my perfect shade. ***EDIT 3/4/2014: After much deliberation, I've realized that Buff is actually a really good match, though a touch too yellow (which I mistook for being too dark). I only notice the difference in tone if I don't apply foundation to my forehead, which I never used to do because I don't feel I need it there. But to remedy the color matching problem I now apply on my forehead and it's all good!! Relief not to have to mix 2 shades anymore!***
I found this while doing a general foundation search on the Sephora site. Seriously...I clicked on makeup, face makeup, foundation and looked through all the choices to see if there was anything I hadn't read about before. This Becca one had a big red NEW next to it so I clicked to read more. What caught my eye was that the description claimed to have a much higher percentage of pigment and water vs. other foundations. Eh, you say??
According to the description both on Sephora and the Becca site, most foundations contain 10-15% pigment and 5-10% water. The Becca Ultimate Coverage Complexion Creme contains 21% pigment and 22% water. What does this mean?? Supposedly it means we get a much higher coverage foundation that feels lightweight.
The packaging is in the general Becca style - simple, clean and sleek. The dark brown part is slightly rubberized like NARS. I like the pump bottle, but wish some part (or all) of it was clear plastic or glass to see foundation levels. It's a pretty tall container for 1oz of product...a little cumbersome for travel so I decant mine into a small travel jar.
Here are the foundation colors I chose, and there are 20 shades in all. Most shades seem to fall into the 'medium' category, but there are still a number of shades for darker skin tones. However, if you run very pale your options seem more limited.
I was conflicted about this foundation for a long time and seemed to go back and forth between loving it, highly disliking it and everything between. But why?? Took me awhile to figure out if I liked the finish, if there was an application method that might change the finish, and frankly it took the longest time to get the application method down in the first place. I had a big learning curve with this one! Now I love this foundation, but it took some time getting there LOL!!
Here's what I learned...
This foundation sets quickly, so I have to work even more quickly.
The Becca Ultimate Coverage Complexion Creme likes and works best on well moisturized skin. If my skin is dry and/or I have any flakey areas then application is uneven and those dry and flakey areas are emphasized, and it's hard to de-emphasize once the foundation has set.
There's kind of a fine line between too much and too little of this product. Too much and the finish isn't as nice and it emphasizes my pores. Too little and it dries SUPER quick and doesn't have the coverage I like - then I have to spend the time spot correcting the coverage which can sometimes not come out as evenly as I would like.
Application method does change the finish and performance of this foundation, so if it doesn't work for you the first, second or even third time be patient because it might work the 4th time. Or 5th time. Ha ha :-) Ok, maybe it's not funny ha ha, but I'm mainly trying to get across that you might have to be patient to find what works for you with this foundation.
Becca describes this as a natural finish, but on me it's more of a naturally matte finish. Not a true matte, but not quite a natural finish either. When applied with a Beauty Blender, this does have a natural finish...but then the performance is degraded somewhat.
When I wasn't getting quite the coverage I wanted I was getting really frustrated, especially since this is dubbed a full coverage foundation. But then I went back and watched the product video again and a lightbulb came on - concentrate the product on the areas you want the most coverage, and blend outward from there. See the following video!
Here's what I love about this foundation...
This doesn't irritate my skin or cause clogs.
This has amazing staying power, and still looks pretty darn fresh after 12 hours. Even at 14 hours the only wear I can start to barely see is around the sides of my nose - I'm not super oily though and these days generally blot about 1x/day.
This makes anything I put on top of it last much longer - concealer, blush, highlighter, powder.
Becca claims this is transfer and water resistant, and it's definitely the most transfer resistant foundation I've used. I usually wear a white, button down shirt for work and I absolutely love that I don't see makeup on my collar anymore! Not that I saw a ton before, but through the course of a day as a Flight Attendant I move around a lot, and sometimes I'd end up with makeup on my collar - not such a good look. And to prove how transfer resistant this is...when I'm ready to take my makeup off, I first use a tissue to remove much as I can before cleansing. With any foundation until the Becca, I've felt I could get most of the foundation off with said tissue. Not the Becca - and in order to feel I've confidently removed the Becca foundation I've been using an oil cleanser each time.
This gives me a beautifully airbrushed finished that I look forward to each time! I've intermittently used my other foundations for comparison, and they just don't look nearly as lovely. It's looks soft, naturally velvet and about as close to real life flawless as I'm going to get these days. I don't even want to use my other foundations.
Becca feels so weightless and comfortable!! I imagined a full coverage foundation wouldn't be something I'd remotely be interested in, but this has changed my mind because I can't feel it at all. And speaking of coverage, I have some areas of hypo/hyperpigmentation on my cheeks that are very difficult to hide so I have to layer a bit more foundation or concealer over those areas. I think for most people this would genuinely be a full coverage foundation, but if you have discoloration like me you might have to supplement to get the coverage you want. Not a dealbreaker, and I've had to do that with all foundations anyway...but with Becca I have to do a lot less which is a very good thing!
After trying multiple brushes, the Beauty Blender, fingers and multiple combinations thereof, I've found my favorite way to apply the Becca Ultimate Coverage Complexion Creme is with The One Perfecting Brush - it's quick, creates the best coverage and gives me the prettiest finish. I like to place thin spots (between dime and nickel size) onto my cheeks where I need the most coverage, and radiate out from there until the product thins out and there is none left on my fingers. Then with Becca's The One Perfecting Brush (I turn the brush perpendicular to the floor vs. horizontal as in the video), I sweep/buff the foundation until it's blended. This brush is quite wide, so I only end up using about 1/2 of its width to apply the foundation.
For size comparison, here's The One Perfecting Brush next to a Sephora #50 Pro Flawless Light Powder Brush. The One Perfecting Brush is very dense goat hair, but pretty soft. I've washed this twice and it still sheds a little, but I'm hoping it'll be done soon? I ordered mine from Sephora for $49, but you can also purchase it on Becca's site.
I've not used this type of brush before, so I'm not sure if its application is unique to this particular Becca brush, or just this type of brush in general? Regardless I'm loving it with the foundation so I'm keeping it! Plus, because it's big it's also fast! ***EDIT 3/4/2014: I decided to return this brush because I've since washed it again and it's shedding even worse - how is that possible??***
On a side note, supposedly The One Perfecting Brush can replace 10 of your brushes: foundation, bronzer, powder, blush, stipple, contour, fan, kabuki, concealer and a sponge. I've tried using it for a few of these things and it works pretty well, provided you aren't always trying to use the full length of the brush and can maneuver it to use just an end. I quite liked how it applied blush…was surprised how well it blended more pigmented colors…and if you use the clean 1/2 of the brush to apply blush, you can use the foundation end to blend it out even more. That said, I prefer this for foundation only. In the end, if you are someone who likes to be precise or be more soft in your application, then it definitely is not a replacement for all those brushes - there are some things that simply cannot be replaced.
In the end, I am so glad I took a chance on the Becca Ultimate Coverage Complexion Creme because I absolutely love it!!! This is one time where patience and persistence paid off :-)