The Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick is obscenely priced at £42 for 0.25oz of product. It is also unbelievably good and you only need the tiniest amount of product, so I’m going to go ahead and say that in my opinion it is worth the price tag.Vanish boasts the “coverage of a concealer, the weightlessness of a powder, and the fluidity of a liquid,” all in a convenient stick form. Stick foundations have never really appealed to me because they tend to be thick in texture and difficult to blend, but Vanish is nothing like other stick foundations — it really does blend like a liquid. That would have been impressive in and of itself, but it also feels as light as the finest of powders when it sets, while also providing the heavy-duty coverage of a spot concealer.
I’m having a difficult time not sounding like an ad as I write about this product, but what can I say? The blurb is actually accurate. Out of the 26 available shades, I found my match in Golden, a medium shade with a golden undertone (duh). There looks to be a good range of fair to deep shades with varying undertones (cool, neutral, warm, and golden). Hourglass is a brand that just gets it when it comes to tones — I mean, their Ambient lighting powders are all about altering the skin’s tones, subtly. The effect is always beautifully soft and nowhere near over the top. When it comes to foundations, using the right tone is extremely important and the subtleties amongst them can take a good while to learn. I know can work with “warm” or “yellow” tones better than I can with “pink” or “cool” ones (I avoid those entirely), but the best undertone for me is somewhere in the “neutral,” “olive,” or “golden” territory. There are slight differences amongst even those three, but it’s not something I think I have the vocabulary to explain. I do know the right tone when I see it though, which is a skill I attribute to years of making mistakes before finding the right shade. If in doubt, ask more than one sales assistant for their opinion! Packaging-wise, Vanish is a sight to behold. The triangular tube sits prettily on my vanity but can also travel with me easily because it’s not a glass bottle or even a squeeze tube that might leak.
The foundation itself is formed into that triangular shape to supposedly help get product into the corners of your face and I do think it helps do that a bit. When I first touched Vanish, I couldn’t believe how soft and smooth it felt, and I also saw that the amount of pigment in it was insane. I barely applied any pressure when I swatched it onto my arm (the left swatch is unblended and the right one is blended out slightly). It’s comparable only to my Cover FX Cover Drops, which is essentially liquid pigment. Vanish is easier to use because you don’t have to mix it in with anything first and yet it provides just as much coverage.It is imperative that you follow the directions on the box packaging and I will re-type them here just to really drill it in: “Formula is highly concentrated – only a small amount is needed. Lightly dot foundation on the forehead, cheeks and chin and blend with a brush for the most seamless finish.” Less is more with this formula and I have seen people on YouTube use way too much of it, resulting in less than desirable look every time. I promise – even a small amount of this stuff will get you up to full coverage. Just build it up slowly.
As for the instruction to use it with a brush, I have followed that but I use a Real Techniques synthetic brush. It’s working well enough for me now in achieving light to medium coverage, but I am tempted to buy the Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Brush because I feel that it will help me move up to full coverage without over-applying product. I just have to have a long think about that because the bloody thing is another £42. Ouch. I was tempted to lead the post with this photo of me because I don’t think my skin has ever looked better in a photograph. I use a Sony a5100 which takes photos of pretty darn good quality by my standards.
Vanish leaves a demi-matte finish on it’s own but I set my entire face with Hourglass’ Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused Light, which definitely added a bit more glow. I perosnally have combination skin, but I would recommend using a primer underneath Vanish for any skin type just to extend wear. Here’s another photo of my skin for good measure (and in slightly different lighting).
As you can probably tell by this point in the post, I am a believer. Still, I’m not going to tell every single one of you to run out and buy this immediately. It’s not cheap and I do think that as with any makeup product, this will probably suit some more than it will others. My advice is: DO consider buying this foundation if you are looking for a natural skin effect (because some people honestly aren’t), if you want high coverage, and if you can live with the fact that you will need to use a brush to blend this out properly. Maybe DON’T buy this foundation if you have extremely dry skin (although a good primer can work wonders!), if you want a base with SPF included, or if you simply can’t bring yourself to use a light hand with makeup. This foundation sits at par with my Cover FX Custom Cover Drops as my favourite bases. Makeup is making leaps in bounds these days when it comes to formulations. What an amazing time to be alive (and addicted to makeup) indeed. Ingredients.
In Asia and America, Hourglass is available at Sephora. In the Philippines, it is available from Calyxta. In London, it is available at Space NK, John Lewis, and Liberty.