The Complexion Rescue foundation has been under my radar for about a year, I’ve been recommended it and I’ve seen almost every beauty-tuber fall in love with it. The first range of shades that came out were all too light and cool for me, so I ended up not giving this foundation much attention even though I wanted to. But when I heard that they were adding more shades to the pool, I knew I had to give it another chance.
BareMinerals | Complexion Rescue in Dune 7.5
Let’s start with the coverage! Bareminerals says it gives you sheer to medium coverage, and I very much agree with that statement. However, I’ve seen tons of people on Youtube and in the review section saying that it’s far from medium coverage. So I thought to resolve that confusion and explain what these people are not doing right…
Most people – if not all – who complained about its sheer coverage used a makeup sponge to apply. Because it is a gel formula, it is not a good idea to use it with a sponge that will soak up half of the product. But if you like the finish, go for it! But know that you’re wasting product! Also, using only your fingers and not enough product will make the coverage seem sheerer too.
While BareMinerals recommends using their Smoothing Foundation brush, most buffing/dense brushes will do. I’ve been using my oval foundation brush from Kicks, and it’s given me a true medium coverage. It’s not the best brush to use with this type of product though, I do see some of it soaking up in the brush. But it works and gives a nice medium finish. And if you have dry skin, this should be your preferred way of applying it. My favorite way is to use my hands, as the formula soaks up better into the skin and does not feel as sticky on the skin as when I apply it with a brush.
I had some problems getting to my perfect match as not all department stores stock all the 16 shades. Plus, I was in the middle of developing a tan and contemplated whether to get a darker shade. Weird stuff we ponder on, right? Most stores in Sweden only go as far as to the shades Desert 6.5 and Tan 7. Desert 6.5 worked okay with my skin tone but felt slightly too neutral/pink. But did not match the rest of my body. Tan was weirdly too pink and light for me. Eventually, I found the shade Spice 8 to test out at the airport (of all places!) on my way to Crete. It would’ve been a great fit to my complexion! But I resonated that my tan will fade and so Dune will have to be my best match even though I never got to see it in person.
When I got Dune I got a little surprised to see that it was slightly lighter than the shade Desert 6.5! (Next-to-each-other-swatches from Annica Englund) And it wasn’t as warm/golden brown enough for my skin tone. But then I noticed that the shade oxidizes and converts to a more dark and warm tone after a couple of minutes, making it a great fit! *phew*
So with all of that said… Thanks to the sheer to medium coverage, the shades are pretty forgiving. I can practically get away wearing three shades from the collection: Desert, Dune, and Spice; without looking too weird. And remember, this foundation does oxidize slightly, so definitely go for samples if you can! I tried taking pictures, but the shade matches my arm so well that you can barely see it.
Look & Feel
When it comes to the Complexion Rescue foundation, you either love it or it’s not the one for you. I’ve lately been loving dewy complexions like the rest of the world. As matte finishes make me look old and dull, but I do have to be careful with shine and shimmer which may accentuate the scars and other bumps. But I’ve almost gotten past that cautiousness tbh.
With this foundation though, you probably want some sort of setting powder to go with it as it’s not subtle about its radiance-power – at least when applying with a brush and if you tend to have oily skin! This foundation takes it to a whole new level of dew; it’s almost to the point where your skin looks wet or greasy! This is a foundation marketed towards dry and dull skin though, so it’s understandable. And when I did have a period of dry skin, the shine wasn’t such a huge issue.
I did some experimentation and found that when used in combination with the BareMinerals BB Primer, that has a matte finish, the shine tones down for the better. So that’s an alternative too, to use a matte primer instead of setting powder. But also, when applying it with the hands, it kind of loses it’s super-glow.
Otherwise, the product has a light gel-mousse composition that’s easy to apply. I do like my foundations either very liquid or more creamy, but the Complexion Rescue blends in nicely without leaving any streaks.
I like that it has physical sunscreen and is nicely formulated for sensitive skin without fragrance. It has a light feel to it, but how it sets on the skin depends much on your skin type and what tool you use to apply it. As it can feel anything from slightly sticky (but not heavy) to even dry on the skin.
But it’s the super shine that drags the grade down a point, as it makes the product not suited for everyone, which is sad because it’s a lovely foundation formula! If they toned down the glow a little bit it would still be a great product, especially on its own without the need for a setting powder.
Despite the shine, my skin seems to feel very comfortable with it. I don’t know if it’s just a coincidence, but my skin seems to be more behaved ever since I started regularly using it. So it might seem to have the same sort of effect that Dr. Jart’s Premium BB have, of making the skin look better long term? But take this claim as an anecdote for now as I haven’t come across anyone else having the same experience!
This foundation might look super dewy, but it doesn’t feel that oily or sticky at all on the skin. It dries kind of matte and feels quite comfortable on the skin. But if you do have oily skin or one of those greasy days, I’d probably stay away from it. Normal/Combination, still okay to use. Technically I should’ve bought a lighter shade as this would be a perfect winter-time foundation. But I need to use up a few others first.
Overall, I still hold my Smashbox Water BB/MAC Waterweight foundation to be my favorite one, with the Complexion Rescue foundation sharing second place with the Dr. Jart BB Premium.