Uoma Beauty recently launched its line bringing another vast range of foundation shades and a poor range of concealer shades (the lightest concealer is about five tones darker than its matching foundation – pretty Fenty shade range in reverse). The reason why I went for this foundation is because unlike Fenty, it didn’t pretty much dry on contact with the skin and I think more than anything, it’s exciting if you can find a foundation shade that matches you and this seemed to have a good variety ranging from fairest to deepest.
Let’s talk through some standard parameters before I go into my thoughts on the product. The Uoma Beauty Say What?! Foundation comes in 51 shades divided into six colour families with each family differing in formula. The White Pearl section provides six shades with two tones (1 and 2) and three undertones (warm, cool and neutral). The shade I was colour matched to in Selfridges was T1C which is the lightest cool shade despite the colour finder online matching me to T1N based of my use of the Smashbox Studio Skin Foundation in 0.1. The White Pearl formula is said to soothe sensitivity and hydrate the skin and like all the formulas, provide adjustable coverage with a soft matte finish.
To begin with, let me touch on the shade match. Now, the lighting in stores is notoriously horrendous and because I bought this on a whim, I clearly have been caught off guard and didn’t go out to see the shade in daylight nor did I pay attention to what undertone I was buying. When I first opened this I had a bit of an instant regret moment because this looks a lot darker and frankly, I suspect the sales assistant swatched T1N on my face but sold me T1C. In any case, usually I don’t mind if a foundation is pinker as long as it doesn’t go peachy or significantly darker and this one does in fact, blend out to a good match but gives a slight healthy rosiness to my skin which I find to be quite pretty. While this is a decent depth of colour for me, it is darker than Too Faced Cloud for example and I don’t imagine this working for anyone extremely fair skinned. Having said that, the foundation definitely goes further on the deeper side of the spectrum and that’s definitely its strongest point.
My face notoriously hates foundation and there are only a few that blend in well enough not to look heavy, the aforementioned Smashbox Studio Skin being one of them. I’ve tested this formula with various combinations of moisturisers, primers, powders and application tools and it’s definitely more testing than I’d like to do with a foundation. Personally I find it works best applied with a brush with a simple moisturiser underneath. I don’t find this blends well on top of my illuminating primers nor does it look good applied with a sponge or fingers. By good, I mean where you cannot see obvious signs of the pigment sitting on top of your skin. Now, it does look good upon initial application and you think you’ve blended it well enough but it can dry patchy. I prefer this set with a light pressed powder like Hourglass Ambient Lighting in Diffused Light and found it looked heavy with the Hourglass Translucent Veil on top.
My skin’s main concern is dullness and texture so my expectation is that a foundation makes my skin looker healthier, blurs the texture and covers some of the discolourations under my eyes in preparation for concealer. Despite having dry skin, I don’t mind a matte foundation as long as the finish is velvety and smoothing on the skin like the Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet but this one doesn’t quite match up. For me the finish is simply flat, it’s not particularly matte nor is illuminating. The coverage is medium with one layer and you don’t need a lot to cover your whole face but this is not a foundation I’d feel comfortably layering despite the claims you can achieve total coverage. The good thing is though that the pump gives you a lot of control so you can easily get a tiny bit out if you want to layer it just a little bit.
I will admit I was very sceptical about the concept of different formulas for different shades even though I feel like that’s an important concept to explore because realistically foundations work differently on the fairest and the darkest of shades. In this case, I don’t think the idea was executed well enough at least for the White Pearl range and I’d much rather the focus was on trying to perfect the performance of the foundation rather than add skincare like benefits. More than anything, I’m just confused by what this foundation is trying to do and while it looks smooth from a distance (or in pictures), it doesn’t look that great close up.
All in all, this is not a formula I could rely on the same way I can rely on on the Smashbox Studio Skin to look healthy and stay put all day. To quickly mention, I despise the smell and don’t like the idea of skincare claims on foundations. I do find that that the colour is actually quite pretty on despite T1N being a closer tone match. For me the shade range is comparable to Fenty where the range definitely improves as the shades go deeper and perhaps so does formula but White Pearl won’t be my go to formula.