When it comes to bases, you’d be hard-pressed to find one that’s as universally well-loved as Laura Geller’s Baked Balance-n-Brighten Foundation. With glowing testimonials across the web from those in their twenties to those in their sixties, it’s the number one customer rated beauty product on QVC, having accrued the highest amount of 5-star reviews across the whole of its beauty category. Considering the e-tailer carries over 220 beauty brands, the feat is all the more noteworthy.
It comes with an impressive list of claims to help set it apart from the competition - colour correction , a lightweight texture, creamy natural-looking coverage and multi-pigment tech to leave skin even, flawless and radiant. It can even be used under the eyes as a concealer . Okay, I'm starting to see why so many people love the stuff. And, as an extra bonus, it also claims to provide more cover with less product than other powder cover-ups. For all these reasons and more, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it to see first-hand what sets it apart and if it’s truly worthy of the hype.
What is a baked foundation?
...was the question we asked ourselves when it first landed on our desks. It’s a hybrid between a liquid and powder foundation with the ‘baked’ part of its name referring to the way it’s made. It starts its life as a cream made up of swirls of multi-coloured liquid pigments (what gives rise to its striking marble effect) which is then baked on terracotta tiles for 24 hours.
When cooked, it’s then hand-polished into a silky dome and because it’s made without fillers or binders to affect bulk, feel or texture, its colour payoff and vibrancy’s greater than that of a run-of-the-mill powder. What you’re ultimately getting is a more concentrated product. It also contains antioxidants, centella asiatica and white tea extract, along with jojoba seed oil and vitamin E for added skin benefits.
Who’s it for?
Providing natural-looking buildable light to medium coverage, it’s pretty far-reaching in its appeal. It’s great as a comfortable feeling daily base. However, due to the level of luminosity it provides, it’s perhaps not ideal for those who are shine-prone and on the hunt for a more matte finish. Likewise, if you're in need of something full coverage , you're best looking elsewhere.
What’s it like to use?
Really quick and easy. Simply swirl a brush over its multicoloured dome (cautiously so, a surprisingly large amount of product comes off from just a quick sweep) and apply all over the face, layering it up on areas of unevenness.
With such high praise online, my expectations were understandably also high. And so I was surprised when, from a formulation perspective, they were met. Its standout features are its texture (supremely lightweight) and colour payoff - a little goes a very long way. The only factors that I can fault it on is its ability as an under-eye concealer (I definitely need something a little more hard-working for my dark circles) and its UK shade range line-up.
While QVC stocks seven (Porcelain, Fair, Light, Medium, Golden Medium, Tan - my match- and Deep), finding the full 9-shade collection (which includes a medium Sand shade and deep cocoa Toffee) proved tricky. The only place I could find it was the Laura Geller website where you’d also need to pay a £14 shipping fee. I’d love a more consistent presence of its range online. Mind you, even if there was, there would still be some way to go before it rivalled the likes of Fenty Beauty or MAC. I will say though that it’s not like other 9-shade ranges out there because of its light level of coverage, multi-coloured pigments and buildable formula - these qualities allow its appeal to stretch that little bit further.
In terms of feel and finish though, I’m a fan. Its featherlight texture’s ideal for the current humid spell we’re experiencing at the moment and the fact that only a small amount is needed means it’s great for manic mornings when time’s short. It’s a speedy foundation fix that leaves tired and dull-looking skin more radiant and even and brighter.