Saturday, May 30, 2015

Warming up foundation (my first indie beauty purchase from Life's Entropy)

I've documented my troubles finding a good, pale, neutral foundation before. Since I don't like to waste things, I thought I would experiment with making my almost full bottle of Revlon ColorStay Makeup (Oily/Combination) in Ivory, which is too cool, work for me. One option would be to buy a bottle of a warmer foundation and mix it. The obvious risk there is that it wouldn't work, and then I'd be stuck with a whole second bottle of useless foundation.

I was excited, then, when I saw that Life's Entropy, an indie makeup brand, was selling a yellow mixer, called a Foundation Elixir, designed specifically for warming up too-cool foundations. Unfortunately, when I made this discovery, it was out of stock. Months later, I checked back, and - hooray - it was available, so I ordered a sample size for just $1.50 (I also ordered two Lip Theory samples, which I will write about in an upcoming post on coral lip products). Shipping was $3 (flat rate). It is still in stock as of today.

There was a considerable wait between ordering the stuff and finally having it in my hands, as I understand is often the case when ordering indies. Obviously it's not a huge operation, with a large staff, that you're dealing with. I placed the order on April 8, got a shipping notification April 26, and it was delivered May 4, so almost a month from start to finish. I think in this case the wait was worth it.

Here is the little paint pot sample I got:

Sample size Life's Entropy Foundation Elixir in Yellow and Revlon ColorStay Makeup for Oily/Combination in Ivory
Sample size Life's Entropy Foundation Elixir in Yellow and Revlon ColorStay Makeup for Oily/Combination in Ivory
You can see the color better in the swatch below. The yellow Foundation Elixir is a very pigmented, dark, mustard yellow color. The consistency is about the same as the Revlon foundation: a thick liquid.

I decided to mix the yellow directly into the bottle, since I wasn't particularly attached to the Revlon foundation - if I'd ruined it completely, I could live with that. Proceed that way with caution, though.

First I swatched the original Revlon foundation on my arm (see below). I started by adding about 4-5 drops of yellow to the bottle. I'm not sure about the exact measurement, because I just used a brush to scoop some out of the pot. Then I shook the bottle. It takes a lot of shaking to mix it this way. There's a reason paint stores have mechanical mixers. Once I got tired of shaking, I swatched it on my arm again. If I were being very rigorous, at that stage I would have tested it out on my face. But I am an impatient experimenter. Instead, since I didn't see as much change as I wanted in the swatch, I decided to just go ahead and add another 4-5 drops. In total, in the final swatch, you are looking at somewhere between 8-10 drops of yellow elixir in an almost full 1 fl. oz. bottle of foundation.

SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE. My arm almost fucking fell off. I swatched again. This time the results looked good, so I stopped there. The color is just slightly on the warm side of neutral. On my arm, it looks a touch warmer than my skin, but I know from experience that I need makeup to be warmer to match my face than to match the inside of my forearm.

Here are the final swatches:

Swatches (left to right): Life's Entropy Foundation Elixir in Yellow, Revlon ColorStay Makeup for Oily/Combination in Ivory, 4-5 drop of Yellow added to Revlon bottle, 8-10 drops of Yellow added to Revlon bottle
Swatches (left to right): Life's Entropy Foundation Elixir in Yellow, Revlon ColorStay Makeup for Oily/Combination in Ivory, 4-5 drop of Yellow added to Revlon bottle, 8-10 drops of Yellow added to Revlon bottle
This was a very successful experiment. I have used the now-warmer Revlon foundation on my whole face since I mixed it, and it's a much better match for me. Unfortunately, I don't love the Revlon ColorStay formula. It's heavier, more opaque, and more matte than I like. I'll keep playing with it and try mixing it with primer or moisturizer or highlighter to see if I can get something I like better. But in terms of creating a shade match, the foundation elixir was definitely the ticket, and it only cost me $1.50 (plus shipping).

I'd recommend this stuff if you have a foundation that you like, but that is a little too cool for you. You only need to use a small amount, so you might find that a sample size is enough. I used about half of the sample to adjust my bottle of foundation. If you're going to be using it repeatedly, a $12 bottle might be worth it. You can use it to change the color of other cream or liquid products, as well, and besides yellow, it also comes in white and brown, to lighten and darken your makeup. Keep in mind that because it is very pigmented, it's possible that even the yellow elixir will darken your foundation if you use too much, so start out slowly.

This is the only product of its kind that I am aware of, at least outside of professional makeup supplies. Anyone else successfully warmed up a foundation using another method?


  1. This is such an awesome invention!!
    To help heavier/thick foundations, I've been mixing light gel kind of moisturizers or even watery sunscreen (I use a resist one from Paula's choice) and it spreads much better, and probably becomes less matte too. Hope the mixed foundation works out for you!

    1. I have some of the gel PC moisturizer, so I think I will try that next. I know that I have tried mixing the foundation with something in the past and it didn't work very well, but I can't remember what. I need to take notes or something so I don't repeat my failed experiments!

  2. This is amazing! I've been using powder eyeshadows because I could never see myself using yellow or green eyeshadow. This would be more economical and convenient xD

    1. I guess if you already have the eyeshadow and you're not going to use it, it's an economical choice to find another use for it, though. Have you had good luck doing that? Does it mix evenly?

  3. Interesting. I usually have the opposite problem though - it seems like a lot of foundations are too yellow for me. I sort of have my eye on the white one though... there are a couple foundations in my drawer that are too dark but have nice textures.

    1. I have a bottle of white foundation mixer and it's been very useful. I mix it on the back of my hand. I think it would take more to lighten up a whole bottle, though I guess it depends on the specific product. It's funny there's nothing for making a foundation cooler, but maybe it's harder to do. I'm not sure what color you would use. Blue? Pink? My color theory is failing me.

  4. It may be might turn your face green!

    I have problems with Revlon color's too dark and turns my face orange. Sometimes I'll mix it with a really pale foundation however it's still tough to work with because it highlights all my dry patches and is cakey. I might try CoverFX custom cover drops.


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