Friday, 11 August 2017

Five Note Cosmetics Foundations - Review, Comparison, Before + After Pics

I think I was a bit late to the Note Cosmetics party (partly because I still to this day have not come across an actual physical Note Cosmetics display in a pharmacy - shame on me) but after trying out some products that were kindly sent to me by the Note Cosmetics PR team, I was bitten by the bug and I had to try more. I've heard glowing reports from many of my fellow beauty nuts on the various foundations in particular so that had to be my first foray into the brand. Long time readers of this here blog will know that I am a foundation fanatic - I have favourites but I am always searching for the next best foundation, it's the most important makeup step in my opinion and I will judge whole brands on their foundation offerings. Full disclosure first - I received one foundation as a PR sample and purchased the other four foundations myself from Cara Pharmacy.

On the brand, a little bit of investigative work informs me that this brand is the brainchild of former NYX Cosmetics and Cargo Cosmetics executives (and y'all know I was a big NYX fangirl back in the day). The brand pride themselves on infusing their products with botanicals and all of the products are manufactured in Europe. The packaging and finish of the products is more luxe than your average drugstore brand and they promise professional quality cosmetics yet the prices are still very reasonable across the board. 

 I don't know how to review five foundations in one post but when I asked on Instagram if there would be any appetite on a comparison post, y'all were hungry - so we will give it a try. I loved some of the foundations and was happy enough with others but (miraculously) I didn't dislike any of the foundations I tried and I am ridiculously picky and unforgiving when it comes to foundation testing. For reference, I have been using these foundations for weeks but I tested them out/photographed over five consecutive days. I did not use any concealers, primers or setting powders with them so the coverage and finish you see in the pictures is the actual raw unfiltered finish of the product taken in natural daylight. I used the exact same brush to apply all of the foundations (obvs washing it in between uses) and my brush of choice was the Zoeva Buffer brush #104.

All of the Note Cosmetics foundations are very affordable (between the €10-14 mark, however the shade range is not great in some (I will elaborate below). Whilst some of the shades were at least 2 shades too dark for me, I have to say I did not encounter any oxidation with any of the foundations. There is also a newer foundation out called Sun Glow which I have not yet tried - this is one I would like to test before forking out just because some of the others ran so dark on me. All of the foundations contain SPF 15 which is always greatly appreciated and each foundation comes with 35ml of product instead of the standard 30ml so you get another few applications for your dolla. On to the goods!

Note Cosmetics Mineral Foundation* 

This is the foundation that was sent to me by the Note Cosmetics PR team and they sent me the lightest shade of the three shades available, 401. This foundation retails for €12.95, has SPF 15 built in and is paraben free. This was the first Note Cosmetics foundation that I tried and the one that made me catch the bug. I have to self tan when I use this foundation as it is too dark to even blend down my neck - for reference, I take a MAC NW20 so I'm not the fairest of the fair but this is still far too dark for my natural skin shade. Literally, the only complaint that I have about this foundation is that I wish it came in a lighter shade. The coverage is amazing - definitely medium to full - and it lasts beautifully (even in this muggy summer weather) - in my experience, it looks the same in the evening as it did when it was first applied in the morning. I don't have oily skin but I have noticed in the summer months a lot of my foundations tend to evaporate off my face over the course of wear but this one lasts brilliantly even without powder and doesn't disappear from or gather up around my nose. The foundation is full of vitamins, calcium and zinc to both care for your skin and give your skin a nice glow. In terms of finish, it's quite a satin finish with a gentle sheen under the light as opposed to a shiny, glowy finish. There is also a concealer in this range which I will absolutely have to try out.

Note Cosmetics BB Cream

The BB Cream is definitely one of my favourite Note Cosmetics foundation offerings, I've been using this so much over the last 2+ months that I am nearly finished the tube. This foundation costs €11.95, comes in three shades and is labelled an 'Advanced Skin Corrector'. I don't know about you but I'm all about the BB cream life in the summer months - when you don't want too much coverage but would like an even canvas for the rest of your makeup - so I was more than happy to try this out. I went for the lightest shade 01 but it was still too dark for my natural skin tone so I have to wear this when I have self tanned. Again, like the Mineral Foundation, that is the only complaint that I have about this product - I really rate it other than that. It applies beautifully, you would not even feel it sitting on your skin, it lasts incredibly well and the finish is luminous enough without being too shiny and very unifying if you have any patches of pigmentation or redness (you can clearly see in the photo how the BB Cream concealed some old blemish marks around my jawline and chin area - this was just the BB Cream - no other concealers or products necessary. It lasted incredibly well without gathering around my nose or fading off in spots and I didn't feel like I had to powder it over the course of wear either (but remember I don't have oily skin so I can get away without powder). 

Note Cosmetics Luminizing Moisturising Foundation

The Note Cosmetics Luminous Moisture Foundation is another absolute gift of a product - this beaut has probably cemented it's place in my top 5 high street/pharmacy/drugstore foundations already. I purchased the palest shade 01 Beige and, thankfully, unlike the Mineral Foundation and BB Cream, I can get away with the palest shade in this one without having to self tan because it is that bit lighter (in fact, it was probably too light for me on this occasion as you can see from the picture above but it's easier to warm up a foundation than it is to cool one down!). This foundation costs €9.95 so it is the cheapest of all the Note Cosmetics foundations that I tried and comes in 6 shades so you have a far better chance of finding a shade to suit you. The finish of this is super luminous and radiant without being shiny and greasy looking, and it sits on the skin beautifully - you would not even feel like you have foundation on. It is medium to full in coverage - it was enough to cover the marks on my chin and jawline and my freckles without any other concealer. I love this and will undoubtedly repurchase.

Note Cosmetics Detox and Protect Foundation

I was curious to try this foundation as I would love to know how a foundation can detox and protect your skin. This foundation was €13.95 and comes in a sleek plastic bottle (very reminiscent of the Inglot HD Foundation) with a built in pump. I purchased the lightest shade 01 Beige which is light enough to wear without fake tan but I noticed that shade 01 in this foundation was quite a bit more yellow toned than the other foundations - not yellow enough to make me look like a Simpson though. There are 6 shades available in this range. This foundation is supposed to act as a shield against free radicals and whilst I cannot put my hand on my heart and say that no such free radicals were able to penetrate through this foundation, I can put my hand on my heart and say this is a brilliant foundation that wore beautifully over the course of a day - so much so that I was asked by three different people in one day about what foundation I was wearing. This foundation just looks like skin - you cannot feel it on your skin and it just blends in like a dream. I felt like when I had this one blended to my satisfaction that it set - not like cement obvs - but it just felt like it wouldn't budge and budge it does not. The finish is quite matte and it feels quite silky on the skin.

Note Cosmetics Mattifying Foundation

Lastly but not leastly, the Mattifying Extreme Wear Foundation is a foundation that I probably wouldn't have gravitated towards off my own bat because I'm not really an extreme matte kind of girl. I really wanted to try all of the Note Cosmetics foundations though so I purchased this one also and at €13.95 it hardly broke the bank. For a "mattifying extreme" foundation, this applied effortlessly with a flat top kabuki and didn't look powdery or chalky like I suspected it might. Again, like the Detox & Protect Foundation, this set quite quickly after applying which means you have to work quickly to blend like a boss before it sets down. A little bit of this product goes a long way and it is most definitely a full coverage foundation. If you have oily skin and are in the market for a new comfortable matte foundation that will last a full day on your face, I think you would love this one. It contains cedar wood oil and spiraea extract to balance the level of sebium in your skin which will not only help to keep the oil at bay but will also work to prevent breakouts. This lasted 16 hours on me with no primer, no powder and no setting spray and I'm sure any of these things would improve longevity for my oilier friends. I feel guilty for dismissing this at the beginning because whenever I've needed a foundation to last a really long time because of a long work day or extreme heat, this is the one I have turned to. It's one of the most comfortable, least cakey matte foundations I have ever tried. It comes in 6 different shades, I got the lightest shade of the bunch (01 Beige) and it also comes with a built in pump.

The Bottom Line

If you cannot tell from all you have read already, I am seriously impressed with every single one of the Note Cosmetics foundations that I have tried to date - like I am genuinely surprised at how impressed I honestly was, I can't lie to myself and I wouldn't lie to you. I've said I completely admit judging brands by their foundation offerings because I'm all about that base and, if I am to judge Note Cosmetics on the back of their foundations, I think they have much to offer and I look forward to trying more out of their products. My only gripe is that I wish the Mineral Foundation and BB Cream came in lighter shades - I won't be self tanning as much in the winter which means I will have to retire these soon and I don't want to have to retire them (first world problem I know). I will put my hat on the line and unequivocally state that these foundations collectively perform a heck of a lot better than many of my high end / luxe foundations and, maybe I should be bitter about that, but I'm not because I am just happy to have found these. If you are interested in purchasing these yourself, the list of stockists is available from the Note Cosmetics Ireland Facebook page and the full range is available online from Cara Pharmacy, Sam McCauley, CH Chemists Tralee and Meaghers Pharmacy to name a few that I am aware of.

Have you tried any Note Cosmetics foundations and, if so, what did you think? I would also be very grateful for any Note Cosmetics product suggestions or recommendations in the comments below.

1 comment

  1. I love the look of that BB cream - the consistency seems to be right up my street. I haven't used a "proper" foundation in months, I use the Bourjois CC cream but it's becoming increasingly hard to find so this one could be a good alternative. Great swatches x


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