If you only buy one product from Ellana Cosmetics (but really, why would you do that?), make it the Loose Mineral Powder Foundation (460.00 Php for 6g). It’s not Ellana’s best-selling product for no reason. This super blendable, medium (but buildable) coverage powder foundation blurs pores, sits lightly on skin, and wears extremely well in Philippine weather.
This will be a lengthy post because I had a lot to say about this foundation. I think every bit is worth knowing though, so I hope you can power through the text! If not, I do think the photos will speak for themselves, too. Enjoy! :)Shade Selection. The shade I currently use is Cafe Mocha — a medium light shade with olive tones. There are ten shades in total to choose from. Three with cool undertones, five with warm undertones, and two with olive undertones. I tend to straddle cool and warm undertones so I was glad to see that Ellana had a couple of olive options. I could probably work with the warm-toned shades as well when summer is in full swing, but for now I’m happy with Cafe Mocha.
Girls with warm undertones have the widest range of shades to choose from, which makes sense because Ellana caters mainly to a Pinay market. Not all Asians have yellow or warm undertones though, so it’s really great to see a range of options. And guess what? If you’re ordering online and you don’t feel confident in your idea of the shades, you can order samples for free!
Ta-daaa! I went ahead and ordered an Olive Tones Sample Set because I wanted to see Toffee Mocha, but in hindsight I probably should have chosen the Warm Medium to Deep Sample Set. Oh well, it’s easy to place another order and my other intention was to be able to show you guys what a sample set looks like. You get two different foundation shades and two different finishing powder shades, depending on your chosen undertone. Each little bag contains enough product for a couple of uses– more than enough to make a proper decision on the shade match and just enough to see how your skin reacts.
While the sample set itself is free, you will have to cover shipping costs, which are 80.00 Php in Metro Manila and 120.00 Php for provincial areas.
Here you can see the two olive toned shades, Cafe Mocha and Toffee Mocha, side by side. The jump between shades is a little extreme, but I can make both work, funnily enough. With Cafe Mocha I like to add a bit of bronzer around the edges of my face and I just look very well-tanned in Toffee Mocha–a look I don’t personally mind, but that most people probably won’t like. For the purposes of this review, we’ll be looking at Cafe Mocha, since that’s what I have in the full size and have been wearing a lot over the past few weeks.
And here begins the actual review, lol,
Packaging. Holding the sturdy plastic pot like a hamburger for size reference! Again, I like the quality of the materials used for packaging. It’s important to offer high quality packaging in Ellana’s case because the brand offers 6g refills for just 330.00 Php. When you run out of your foundation, you can save money and the environment by buying those instead of a whole new one–or you could do that too, it’s really all up to you! But you have the choice, and that is awesome.
Upon twisting off the lid, you’re greeted by a plastic “sifter” with just one hole. I found this a bit odd because it sometimes makes it hard to control the amount of product that you can tap out. The nice thing about it is that once the powder is out and onto the plastic surface, everything else inside the pot won’t get kicked up into a storm of powdery foundation. I don’t think the product actually needs a mesh sifter (which you sometimes see in mineral makeup packaging) because the powder is extremely fine already, but I would have liked to see multiple smaller holes at least.
Another funny thing is that although there is a tab on the upper right, the plastic doesn’t actually lift up. That’s good because you don’t have as much of a risk of accidentally popping it off and losing everything, but it will be a pain in the butt to refill the pot through that one hole when the time comes. Perhaps that’s why it’s so big?
Formula. The foundation itself is highly impressive. Mineral makeup in general is great because it excludes a lot of harmful ingredients like parabens, harmful chemicals, and mineral oils. It allows skin to breathe and is often also nourishing. That does not mean that all mineral makeup is the same– some mineral foundations are formulated to be more moisturizing while others are more suited for oily skin. Ellana’s formula, which includes Kaolin, happens to be better suited to combination or oily skin. The foundation absorbs excess oil and fairs well in humid weather.
Dry-skinned girls can still use this foundation with proper skin prep though, and that little extra effort might be worth it because the longer this foundation sits on skin, the more it mixes with natural oils. Girls with dry skin will just have to give it a little more time.
Application. I like to use my Real Techniques buffing brush to apply this foundation. After tapping a bit of product into the lid, I swirl my brush into it, tap off excess powder, and then buff the product onto my face, section by section. The more I use it, the faster and easier application becomes because I’ve become familiar with how much product to use and how much coverage I want. The hideous blemish in between my brows serves a purpose in the collage above– you can se that in the last photo, it isn’t fully covered, but it’s not too horrible anymore. Medium, even coverage is what you’ll get with this foundation.
Wear. The Ellana Loose Mineral Powder Foundation is one of the few foundations I have that actually looks better after a couple of hours sitting on the skin. In the photo above I’m wearing it over my Armada Face Cover SPF45 Sunblock and I’d been out of the house for about an hour and a half. By the end of the day, I can usually see some oil on my forehead, but it doesn’t feel uncomfortable at all. Sometimes when my skin oils up under a heavier foundation, it feels just plain gross. When I get home, I usually can’t wait to remove my makeup. Just the other day, I got home and totally forgot that I had any makeup on. I was, of course, wearing this foundation.
And I just want to mention real quick that blushes sit beautifully on this foundation! Fresh! Here’s what the foundation looks like freshly applied. I’m wearing it on top of the Let’s Make It Last Makeup Primer (review here). I really do enjoy using the loose powder foundation. I’ve been using light coverage bases for so long that I forgot how beautiful and satin-y medium coverage bases can be on skin. So again, I suppose my stress-induced pimples popped up at the best time they possibly could because at least now I have a medium coverage foundation that I thoroughly enjoy. Now let’s round-up my thoughts on it!
- Wide range of shades to choose from, with cool, warm, and olive undertones all accounted for!
- Affordable at just 460.00 Php
- Refills available at 330.00 Php
- No-brainer application–just swirl and buff away!
- Medium, satin-y coverage that does not look unnaturally matte
- Great for combination to oily skin
- Performs amazingly well in tropical weather
- Lightweight, barely-there feel despite the medium coverage
- Not ideal for dry skin, but you can make it work with adequate prep (moisturize!)
- Shades in the range tend to jump
- Loose powder can make for messy application
- Not travel/touch-up-friendly
- Funny, single-hole “sifter”
If you’re just getting into makeup and you don’t want to break the bank, this foundation is the best option for you. Heck, even if you’re a makeup artist/expert/junkie/enthusiast with unlimited amounts of money to spend, I still recommend it!
If you want to see the products in person, you can visit Ellana Mineral Cosmetics at their showroom at Unit 203 La Fuerza 2 Bldg., Chino Roces Ave. Corner Sabio St., Makati City. They can also be found at The Ramp branches and online, of course! They ship internationally as well. ;)
Check Ellana out at:
Also available inside The Ramp branches at Shangri-La, Trinona, and Glorietta.
* This product was provided to me free of charge. All opinions are my own and remain unbiased.
** Affiliate links were used in this post.