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NOTE: I've added a few things to my blog sale and lowered some of the prices.
I'm going to keep this review relatively short, because this foundation clearly isn't meant for my skin type. It might work for someone else, though, so I'm going to try to describe it rather evaluate whether it's good or bad. It's true that I don't like it, but that's mostly because it's just not right for me. I hope my review will give you a sense of whether or not you want to try it.
I got this deluxe sample of Josie Maran Vibrancy Foundation in the shade Dynamic, which Sephora says is "for fair skintones with neutral undertones," as a gift-with-purchase on a recent order. Though the shade description sounds right for me, it's too light. The product description doesn't emphasize that this foundation is meant for dry skin, but most Josie Maran products seem to be, so I should have guessed that it wouldn't be ideal for me. Now that summer is on its way, my combination skin, which in winter is mostly normal with some oily and dry parts, is mostly oily with some normal and dry parts. I think you would have to have very dry skin for this foundation to work.
Though it's described as "lightweight," to me it felt very heavy and it never quite set. My skin felt greasy. I suppose it's moisturizing, though it wouldn't absorb into my skin. (The texture seemed very similar to the Paula's Choice Resist Instant Smoothing Anti-Aging Foundation, reviewed here, in case you've ever tried that.) You can see in the photo below that it sits on top of my skin in a pretty obvious way, (though it looks a bit better in the photo than it did in person, even from a normal distance). It's especially visible right above my lip and in some of the pores on my cheek.
It also highlights flakiness (see my nose), which makes me wonder how great it would be for dry skin. I do wonder if these problems would be less obvious if the color match were better. Still, I have tried foundations that didn't quite match but that nonetheless looked natural, like L'Oreal's True Match Lumi (reviewed here). The Josie Maran foundations seems quite pigmented when you apply it. You can see in the photo, however, that it doesn't completely cover redness and spots, though it's described as "medium to full coverage" and buildable. I couldn't build it up, because it was already thick and greasy feeling, and it creased constantly next to my nose and mouth. If I had added more to cover the redness in the center of my face, it would have been a mess. It has a very dewey finish, as promised--it almost looked as though I had added highlighter to my nose.
One of my least favorite things about this stuff is the strong fragrance that lingers as you wear it. It seems like a combination of lavender and maybe some kind of citrus. I don't like it.
I don't know about longevity, because I disliked the feeling and smell of this foundation so much that I wiped it all off after half an hour. And the next day I broke out really badly, which I also should have expected, because when I tried a Josie Maran argan facial oil a couple of years ago, the same thing happened. Unfortunately, I'd completely forgotten about that, and now I'm having to deal with a huge, painful mess on my face that's lasted for days. To be clear, I'm not saying that this foundation will make you break out. That's probably only a concern if your skin doesn't like argan oil, like mine.
Here are some comparison swatches:
Left to right: Josie Maran Vibrancy Foundation in Dynamic; Maybelline Dream Pure BB Cream in Sheer Light (I really like this--review coming soon!); TheBalm Time Balm Tinted Moisturizer in Light than Light; and Maybelline Better Skin foundation in Porcelain.
As you can imagine, I was tempted to just give this stuff a negative review (and I guess I have), but since I don't have dry skin, I really have no idea what is desirable in a foundation for dry skin. Maybe this stuff would work great. Have any of you dry-skinned people out there tried it? What did you think?