Review: Smashbox Liquid Halo HD Foundation

SmashboxLHaloHave you jumped on the crazy “HD” bandwagon yet??

Everywhere I go it seems every new beauty product is high definition or bust…or at least advertised that way.  As a makeup artist it has been ingrained into my brain that high definition is really more of a technique than a product.  When high def started to be the norm in the film and television industry, artists had to roll with the times and re-learn makeup application at the magnified level.  Every single face was clear, and like SCARY clear on screen.

That being said, on the consumer level, wouldn’t it be nice to have a product that gave you the HD skin with minimal effort?  Um, YES.  I am not often impressed by the HD lingo on a pretty bottle of foundation, but of course I have to try it if it’s new!  (SQUEEE!)

Long story short, I tried the new Smashbox Liquid Halo SPF 15 Foundation. Many of the tones leaned toward yellow as opposed to more neutral undertones.  This can be good for me, as I need to reduce the redness in my very pale complexion, but I have seen this type of tone go bad in minutes on me.  Tested on my hand, it did not seem to oxidize at all.  I experienced this with their heavier foundation, Studio Skin, so I felt confident in buying my shade that it would not make me orange.

There is quite a strong fragrance in this liquid, almost a sickly sweet chemical type scent.  This is my biggest negative about the formula.  I usually use my hands to apply (old school makeup artist right here) but this day I opted for my trusty Cargo Magic Brush to buff the foundation into my skin.  It was instantly, surprisingly pretty.  I was certain I would dislike the light coverage, but my hand test was not accurate.  This covered quite well in one layer of application.  It did not immediately find pores and make a cozy home in them.  It didn’t cake up, did not separate, did not settle into my laugh lines.  The finish is really gorgeous, dewy, HAPPY.  Smashbox claims it is designed to mimic studio photography lights on your skin.  I thought this was ridiculous when I bought this in store, but I can say that I see where they got the description.  Somehow, it does this.  And it’s beautiful.

The biggest test is wear time on me.  Almost every foundation I have tried breaks up quickly.  If my skin hates it, I can see huge disgusting patches where the makeup broke up, settled in horrifyingly, creased dramatically.  Liquid Halo DID NOT break up on my dehydrated skin.  It stayed smooth and flawless, and it maintained the color and finish over 10 hours.  I set with a light translucent powder, but I think this diminished the beauty of the skin.  It’s such a habit of mine to use powder no matter what, gah!

From an artistry standpoint, I can definitely see this replacing good old Make Up For Ever HD liquid foundation in my own kit.  I have never been a huge fan of the coverage, tones, nor finish of the MUFE.  I also cannot use that formula on dry skin, it doesn’t look right in my opinion.  Living in a desert climate, I think you can see my dilemma.  Yes it is a kit staple industry-wide, but I am just not that into it.  Smashbox, I haven’t been super stoked on you for a few years now.  You have redeemed yourselves with this stellar foundation formulation!

Pretty Penny Recommends Smashbox Liquid Halo Foundation if you:

Have normal to dry skin, or combination skin

Are not seeking a full coverage foundation

Like a dewy finish

Are not super duper oily

Have relatively smooth skin texture

Are not experiencing a dramatic acne breakout

It is a golden day when I find a new foundation that ACTUALLY WORKS for me!  Sound off in the comments and let me know what you thought of it!

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Posted on August 12, 2013, in Foundation, Reviews, Trends and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. That’s awesome information about HD foundations! I have tried using HD foundations for some time and they never really gave me the skin-tone I wanted. Like you mentioned about yellowness, that’s what happened with me. They would all lean toward yellowness after some time.

    Thanks for sharing!🙂

  2. I love your review. I am a makeup artist and I am looking for a sheer to medium coverage liquid foundation to add to my kit. I was drawn to MAC Matchmaster, because you don’t have to match undertones (warm/cool), just the depth of the clients pigment. I found it hard to work with and it oxidized on my skin so quick (but most of MAC’s foundations do). I have been looking for a replacement option. I have a very thorough skin regimen and I have pretty normal skin, so sometimes testing on me isn’t always best. I loved your review. Thanks for taking the time out to write it!

    • Kari you rule! Thank you for reading! I thought Matchmaster oxidized too yellow on clients for me as well. I still love the Smashbox Liquid Halo on most clients! The lightest shade is not always perfect, but I have solved that by using Make Up For Ever Chromatic Mix in White. Face Atelier Zero Minus would also work, I love everything they do! Thanks for sharing your blog too!!

  3. This review was so appreciated. I am a MUA and I am looking to replace my current liquid foundations. I use MAC matcmaster because you don’t have to match the undertones and you just match the depth of the complexion. Unfortunately it is not easy to work with and I find it oxidizes rather quickly on various clients. I have a thorough skin regimen and I have pretty “normal” skin, so trying stuff on me is not always the best way to see if it is “kit-worthy.” I got a sample of the halo the other day and I really liked it. Seeing your review I think it would be a good investment for my kit for light to medium coverage. I love what you said about MUFE, I was on the fence about which I should get.

    • Awesome, thank you so much!! I still think the investment is worth it. Don’t forget it is offered through Naimie’s and at Pro Discount! Apply for it if you haven’t already! 🙂

  4. I bought this foundation today but I’m not sure yet if I love it. My skin is super dry, very sensitive and it’s super red right now but no texture. I try to moisture as much as I can and I removed my Makeup at Sephora to try it on my face. I really like it the first time I applied but wrong color so I removed again and I did the same I did before: primed with the Smashbox Hydrating Primer and moved to the correct shade. This time I still like it but not loved it because I skin was already patchy and irritated by removing the Makeup two times in a row. Bottom line, I bought it because I liked the texture and it matched me perfect, covered all redness with a good layer applied with my hands. I tried a Sephora brush to apply and didn’t like it. By the time I got home I thought “I bought a matte finish foundation!” – having dry skin, I hate matte foundations! But was happy that no patches were super visible and skin looked decent. Hope I manage to make it more shinny and dewy tomorrow after my long moisturizing face morning routine!

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