Let Patty Buy It

First, American Idol brief recrap.  Okay, I get the genius that is Adam this week. What a strange, talented kid he is.  Johnny Cash would have loved that.  I’m not entirely sure I like Ring of Fire being messed with in quite that way, but I still think it was genuis. Megan did more shimmy porn on Patsy Cline.  This was my favorite thing she’s done so far, but why does it sound like the exact same thing she’s done on every other song, just this one slightly less sucky than the others?  It makes me miss Patsy, who was brilliant and one of a kind.  Lil made some poor choices.  Scott?  I really want to root for him, but I start nodding off every time he sings.  This whole season, so far, is staring to make me really sleepy.

Let’s move on to ludicrously priced stuff in our new feature, “Let Patty Buy it so you Don’t Have To – yet.”  This is where I’ll buy something overpriced by any normal standard and tell you if it’s even remotely worth it.  Today is Serge Lutens Compact Foundation and their makeup base.  A nice SA/makeup artist made me up with Serge this in Beverly Hills.  Let’s get the price out of the way. The compact foundation kit is $160, but the good news is, the refills are only $80 (yeah, I did say only, but that’s on par with the Armanis and Cle de Peau and some of the other pricey foundations, so it’s high, yes, but rolling in that same high rent makeup district that’s already been breached. )  I’m assuming you can just get the refill foundation and use your own sponge if you don’t want the little compact.  The foundation base, is $80, and I can’t tell if it’s refillable.  My hunch is yes because their lipsticks are refillable at $55 instead of $75 and, well, about everything they do is refillable.

Now, I’ll start off by just warning you that after the SA did this makeup, my face looked flawless, and she used all Serge products, base, foundation, blush, powder, lipstick, everything.  I’ve had that done a few times in my life by gifted makeup artists, so the real trick is – can I do it myself?  I know she’s talented, but I’m always in a hurry and usually have mediocre lighting,so my face is too often left for the 2 minutes leftover in the morning.

The base is white and was touted as covering discoloration in your skin, redness, etc. The MA (makeup artist) put it on in what she called a warpaint configuration.  A swipe on your forehead between the eyes, on the furrow lines, then a swipe under each eye, one swipe down the  nose and a swip on the chin.  You blend that in with your fingers/sponge/brush (I picked my fingers, it just seems to smooth better, the heat seems to melt it into your face).  This does an excellent job of coverage and priming your face for foundation, so no complaints there. I’m not sure it’s worth $80, unless, of course, it works better with the Serge foundation than other concealers.  Haven’t tested the foundation with anything else under it, so I don’t know.  But the product itself is superior to about anything I’ve used.  Most concealers are too light for me and just seem to  show up on my face as concealer instead of blending into the skin – and I include in that the much vaunted Cle de Peau concealer, which is too dry and slightly cakey looking on me. So to find one that isn’t drying and doesn’t read completely in neon signs on my face as “CONCEALER HERE” makes this work for me.

The foundation uses nano dispersion technology (as does the blush, etc.).  I have no idea what that means, but it is a powder-type foundation that comes in a compact. I apply it with a sponge, finishing with a little bit of brush in the areas a sponge doesn’t do as well with.  My shade is B40.  The finish on this is silky smooth and completely flawless, not dry or flaky in any way. It covers great and doesn’t look like you’ve just “done” your face.  I’ve tried a lot of the powder compact foundations in the past (Longo, etc.), and this has been the best on my skin.  Not just for powder foundations, but any foundation I’ve put on, and I can say pretty emphatically that I am a foundation whore and have tried most of them out there.  Lots of them go on pretty, but a check in the mirror in full sun finds some brush strokes or dryness, places it didn’t spread evenly.  I do know how long it wears, and it’s pretty much until you take it off.

Is it worth it?  Probably not for most people, unless it is the perfect foundation and no others have worked to give you the level of coverage and flawlessness this one does.  I’m not sure if Shiseido makes something similar that may not be as pricey.  If anyone has info on that, let me know.  For me?  I’ll be buying refills, it is a match and goes on like nothing else I’ve used before.

Next up – Cire Trudon candles.  If you have something you’d like me to test, let me know.  If I can fit it into my budget or get plenty of interest in it, I’m your tester!

  • Dain says:

    I think CdP switched to a cheaper formulation behind our backs when they repackaged their concealer, while keeping the price and their lies about the quality intact. The new stuff is no longer better than everything else on the market.

  • obscented says:

    I too was smitten at first swipe. And I think the BH Barney’s Serge Luten’s MA is some kind of genius. I dutifully wore this for a few months. Even, gulp, re-purchased. Base + foundation. I was charmed by the compact: I could discretely “do” my face anywhere–just whip out that chic, discrete little case, and presto! I was done. But then it started to severely dry my never- before- dry skin in patches. My facialist noted a change in my skin, and clucked at me as to what I was doing to pollute it (?!).. And then, perhaps it was my sunscreen, my latest refill, after three of fours hours, turns to an orangey tinge on my skin. Alarmed I swapped my sunscreen. 3x. Still that funny oxidation persisted. I had turned my mama on to this. She has darker skin, and she said her refill did the same. Now back to my Makeup Forever. No more dab and dash, but I am glad to no longer have that Serge Luten’s pumpkin sheen. I hope you have a better run with it, Patty, for it is amazingly elegant. As with all things, chemistry varies.

  • violetnoir says:

    Girl, your lovely face is a great palette to work from, so I know you looked foxy after the makeup was done! @};-


  • LizS says:

    Patty, i do love the reviews, and i love makeup too, but do you suppose perhaps a little piece of this new feature is to justify the purchase of all the stuff that you’ve wanted to have or try anyways?
    Just saying….that would be my reason…and i would be happy to be a guest writer on this subject. Do you think i could do a guest spot on that $300 face cream that i’ve wanted to get? 😉

    • Patty says:

      Not reallly. I would have bought it regardless, I just figured I’d share my frivolous, overpriced purchases that I can’t resist with you guys so you don’t have to think about buying any of it unless it’s pretty great.

  • Francesca says:

    Love the new feature and its name! Thanks, Patty!


  • Sara K says:

    Thanks for the great review! I am especially interested in the concealer as I also find that I have trouble with it…it is either too dry or seems to just sit on top of my skin and never blend in (it’s not just that I am makeup challenged, makeup artists have this problem on me too).

    I guess I’ll let the SA try it on me since I couldn’t possibly spend that much on a base cold turkey.

    • Patty says:

      I’ve been trying to figure out forever why they can’t make a concealer that’s not drying.

      Definitely recommend trying it first, it’s way too expensive to do untested.

  • Kathryn says:

    The concealer sounds especially great. I find them hard to blend in, too, and if you can’t conceal your concealer, then what’s the point of using one in the first place?

    And since you’re now in “Let Patty Buy It…” mode, I wonder if you ever came to a decision about doing a split of Guerlain Quand Vient La Pluie?

    • Patty says:

      I think it’s not called a concealer, more like a foundation base, but it was so great. I’ll probably use it on everything now, it’s got a great consistency. Most concealers are just sticky and thick. The Chanel one was good on consistency, but you can barely put any on or it’s really dark and bleah.

      You mean that other new Guerlain? So far, not enough people, but I’ll put out another call and see if I can get more support for it.

  • Fiordiligi says:

    Love this post Patty! I am every bit as devoted to my maquillage as to my perfume. Having tried just about everything on this earth over the last 4 decades (eek) I too think Laura Mercier is fab – and my skin is sensitive pink English. Met the lady herself in Harrods the other week and she was a real delight. The trick is always to look polished but not horribly made-up, especially as one gets older. Chantecaille is good, too, particularly the tinted moisturizer.

    I am however tempted by the Serge lippy, so must betake myself off to Harvey Nics for a try.

    Cire Trudon? I have one which is just about at the end of its natural life and will be very interested to hear what you have to say.

    • Patty says:

      Thanks! I look at the number of foundations I have and sorta blanche. I like them all for different things or some shades work better in summer than winter, etc. I am also going to try on of those spray tan things next week. Not the Mystic tan thing, but the one where the person hand sprays on a tan, which is supposed to be pretty great. As long as I don’t look like some of the Dancing With the Start contestants, I’ll be happy.

      I’m anxious for the Cires. I love the smells, but the throw and everything else, who knows? I hope they do nt’ turn out like the Modern Alchemy candles, which I adored, but didn’t smell at all beyond sticking your nose in the candle.

  • Louise says:

    Whew! Thanks, Patty, for making the sacrifice for us :d/

    The Lutens foundation sounds fabu, but my derm and I have beat my skin into such great shape that lately I can get by with sunscreen, and a bit of powder or tinted moisturizer. For dressy occasions, I am using a newer BB foundation-I found a great color match, though the tiny bit of oil in it may prove too much as the weather warms.

    I’d love to hear more about the Serge lippies, though not sure I could spend quite that much, even for a refill 8-|

    I’m saving for the oh-so-great Rose Chypree, and possible Le Labo Oud, and the eventual purchase of Enlevement au Serail 😡

    • Patty says:

      I did have my skin where I didn’t really need anything, but I’m long overdue for another IPL treatment. Need to get one scheduled. Though I still like to wear something some of the time anyway, not sure why?

      YOu sniffed the Rose Chypre, didn’t you? Isn’t that gorgeous? I’m waiting for that Le Labo too, I think it’s due out next week, yeah!!!!!

  • Maura says:

    I will 2nd your recap of AI 🙂 I just know Megan can sing and hope she breaks through her twang to let loose one of these days. I love Adam’s unique style and talent. I thought he was goth/punk but but my neice assured me he was emo/punk?!?! /:)

    Thanks for the MU reviews and I now want to wear it…LOL! I’m just a blush gal but wear powder for occasions. I just can’t stand anything on my skin but may venture out one of these days.

    Love candles 😡

    • Patty says:

      I’m still distraught over Alexis going home! There were at least 6 people that could have gone home before her. I guess I’m going to have to vote or they’ll send my cute little 16-year-old red-haired favorite home next!!!

      I know Serge has powder too. She put it on me, and I’m not sure what it added? Next time I’ll pay better attention. I use just powder quite a bit too, depending on what look I’m going for.

  • Lee says:

    I cannae comment on the make-up, lassie, but with the candles, I’d like you to try the newbs I’ve yet to sniff, Ernesto in particular…

  • Musette says:

    Patty –

    You so rock with the makeup! I love reading those posts. I’m still a Laura Mercier gal – my skin is so yellow and the LM seems to do that YSBB thing best for yellow/olive-y skin like mine. I also love thatyou’re willing to part withthe simoleans for The Greater Good:)>- my liver would be quivering for years, were I to spend that kind of dough on foundation – in fact, as I get older I find myself steering away from foundation more and more, tending towards LM’s tinted moisturizer and a hit of silica powder (like MUF’s Hi-Def powder, only the Coastal Scents version – exact same thing, just $8 instead of $35. Gotta watch the simoleans these days)

    I also just want to put out a moment of quiet for poor Natasha Richardson and the family she’s left behind. Sad, sad loss. Life is so precious and so unpredictable @};-

    • carter says:

      Yes, so very shocking and sad about Natasha. I have seen her around my neighborhood with her family and she just seemed like a lovely person. It’s a sobering reminder of things can change in the blink of an eye and how much we should treasure our lives and our loved ones.

    • Patty says:

      Foundation is so tricky. I’ve got more foundations than I like to count. MUFE body and face works about the best next to this one on me, giving light coverage that doesn’t look like makeup. I love the new Chanel one, but I can’t get it to brush out as smooth as I’d like, it tends to look makeupy, which is fine for an evening out, but not for every day. Cle de peau and Sensai are good, but tend to the chanel, have a hard time getting them to go completely flawless. Though I think I’ll try both of those with a sponge and see if it’s different. I’m thinking maybe the brush isn’t working? Armani, same thing. All of those are fluids. But I love the compacts, so it’s a treat to find one that works great and doesn’t look flaky and dry

  • carter says:

    This is very cool…I like this idea very much, Patty! And I love your first product, too…I’ve been dying for someone to test this foundation and compare it to others of the same type. So you liked it better than Longo? The water one? That’s what I’ve been using because it is the closest I’ve been able to get to foundation that doesn’t look or act like foundation, but it is a bit dry for my skin; I tried the Shiseido one, but it wasn’t as good on me as the VL. So, anyway, would you say it’s more yellow or pink based? Any info on the shades?

    Yay! I love this! Now do the lipsticks :d

    • carter says:

      Okay, wait…I’m looking at the Barney’s site and there’s a concealer stick for $55, but I don’t see a base product. Could it be the foundation in the color “Blanc”? What does the packaging look like — is it identical to the foundation? Or is it the concealer stick, which also appears to be white?

    • Patty says:

      I love it much more than the Longo.Longo was really drying on me, as were the MAC cream to powder things. Longo I kept thinking should be perfect, but very dring. Never tried the Shiseido one.

      I think it’s more yellow. In the thing, she said it looks two shades darker than it is, so it was a leetly scary. The only thing that is worrying is they don’t have a lot of shades. Though it seems to sink into the skin enough, maybe they don’t need that many.

      Lipsticks are great, but I’m still not sold that they are worth that much, despite how long-lasting they are. The refills at $55, maybe.

      I don’t see the concealer on Barney’s website, I think you’d have to call them to order it. It’s in a round container. I think it’s called something base, not concealer. It just seems to feel more like concealer to me. 🙂

      • carter says:

        I’m gonna have to get my lazy ass over to Barney’s and look at this stuff. If you like it more than Longo because it’s not as dry, I am so interested in that.

        As for lipsticks (and Barney’s for that matter, because that’s where they’re available) I really love the Lipstick Queen products. Great reds! But they’re actually not that expensive, so they may not qualify for your new gig.

        This is so great ^:)^

        • Patty says:

          Let me know what you think. I’d not encourage anyone to buy either of these products at this price point without testing them first. They are amazing on me, but I know how different all skin is.

          Love the lipstick queen!!!

  • Elle says:

    OK, might as well start out w/ full confession here and say that I’ve never worn foundation in my entire life. Couldn’t survive even one day on a desert island w/out mascara and lipstick, but powder, concealer, foundation, eye shadow? Nope. Never. But do I like the idea? Oh, yeah. Loved reading this post and have to say that it sounds like it would be wonderfully relaxing and fun to have my face done by a makeup artist. What an ideal way to slow down for a while. And I do think that it sounds like it pays to go high end w/ something as critical as foundation. Thanks for this review! Hope you do more reviews of makeup and skin care products. I have a couple of Cire Trudon candles (Dada and Revolution) and look forward to your take on them.

    • Patty says:

      You are so lucky, you must have great skin. I can get by with a little bit of powder on some days or nothing, but my skin tone is just too uneven to do nothing at all, unless I just feel like looking like Bessie Washwoman.

      It is incredibly relaxing to have someone screw with your face, seriously. And when done right, you just look amazing when they are finished. Picking who you let have at that is tricky. I’ve had some awful makeovers too.