Vincent Longo Water Canvas Foundation

The Vincent Longo Water Canvas Foundation had been on my wish list for a while now. I was really excited to learn that Hudson’s Bay started carrying this brand in their stores, and I purchased it during Hauluary:
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I purchased the Water Canvas Foundation ($63 for 11.5g) in #4 Soft Amber and the corresponding Water Canvas Travel Compact ($18).  The Water Canvas Foundation is definitely the most well-known item from the Vincent Longo (VL) line and I wanted to see what the hype was all about.

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I had mentioned that I didn’t have the most stellar experience when I visited the VL counter.  When the MUA was demonstrating it to me, I asked her several questions about this product that she wasn’t able to answer me definitively (she was well meaning but a bit clueless).  I asked: do I need to dampen the sponge before applying? She didn’t know if it was imperative but she guessed that I could dampen the sponge. I asked: do I get a heavier coverage with a dampened or applying it dry? She wasn’t sure.  All she said was: it depends how much product I pick up on the sponge.  (Answers: no, you do not need to dampen the sponge. I’ve tried it with and without it dampened and it didn’t make a significant difference – a dampened sponge is a slightly more sheer coverage).  I also asked: how long will a compact last me?  Again, she said it depends how much product I use at a time. Really helpful huh? 🙄
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This little refill pan costs $63 😮

During the in-store counter application, the foundation was applied dry to my freshly rubbed skin (to remove my existing foundation with a makeup wipe – ick), which had not been prepped with any moisturizer (she did apply a bit of the VL primer).  The result was that the foundation looked patchy and did cling to some dry areas.  The MUA applied the foundation to my cheeks and forehead and was about to declare her job done… until I looked in the mirror and noticed my nose was completely bare.  I asked her to touch up the rest of my face if she could. 😛 Regardless, I did end up buying the foundation because I had seen how lovely this looked in YouTube videos.
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This foundation is described as:

Unique oil-free and creme-to-powder formula provides a real skin look, feel and finish. Created with a patented process and 75% microwater to hydrate and nourish skin for a healthy complexion. So light it feels like a second skin. Coverage is from light to medium.

Now, having worn this and applied it myself with proper skin prep and application, I can say that this foundation is one of the most skin-like foundations I’ve ever used. It looks like I have nothing on my face when I wear this, but it cancels out redness and smooths out the skin tone amazingly well.  It was honestly love at first wear!
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It’s a bit of a puzzling product though. While it looks like a powder product in the pan, the texture feels like a semi-solid gel, and when applied onto the skin, it behaves like a gel-cream foundation.  Application with the sponge is a breeze – I mostly use an up and down patting motion onto the skin, then I run the sponge lightly over the skin to blend.  It looks seamless!  Besides the included sponge, I’ve tried this foundation using a buffing brush and a Beauty Blender type makeup sponge, and my preference is still with the VL sponge. It lasts very well on my skin – it doesn’t rub off easily, break down, or oxidize. I would recommend this foundation for those who want light coverage and have normal to dry or combination skin – I think those with oily skin will find this won’t control oil to their liking.
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Initially I wasn’t convinced that I needed the corresponding compact but I felt the refill packaging alone was quite flimsy – I didn’t want the foundation to dry out in the pan.  So I shelled out $18 for the travel compact:
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The compact has a nifty locking mechanism to ensure the product remains airtight.  It’s made of a heavy plastic and quite slim.
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The case comes with the VL Water Canvas Sponge, which feels a lot like the sponges included with the MAC Studio Fix Powder compacts.  The VL Water Canvas Sponge is sold separately as well, for $9 each.
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The only issue I have with the case is that the sponge side doesn’t have air vents – it would be better if the sponge was allowed to air out. I typically wash the sponge after each use and let it air dry before putting it back in the case.
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The shade I was matched to, #4 Soft Amber is described as “fair to light, golden undertones” on the VL site. The MUA initially tried #3 Soft Beige but it was too peachy looking on my skin.  I’d say Soft Amber is a decent match – not 100%, it’s slightly too ochre on me – but since the formula of this foundation is sheer, it’s quite forgiving.  In terms of other natural looking foundations, I would say the VL is the most skin-like in appearance, ahead of MAC’s or MUFE’s Face and Body foundations.

This is what the pan looks like after wearing this for a few weeks:
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The semi-solid gel has cracked a little – not from drying out, I think it was just the way I dug into the product with the sponge.

This foundation is expensive – more than I’d typically like to pay but I will definitely repurchase this once I’ve finished it.  I do like that this product is refillable. VL also sells a Water Canvas Blush, and after my positive experience with the foundation, I’ll be putting that on my wish list!
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This is a contender as my base product when I travel to Japan. And funny enough, this product is made in Japan! (even the travel case)

Pros:
• Easy to apply
• Travel friendly packaging
• Wide range of colours (16) to choose from
• Looks very natural but offers good coverage
• Oil-free formula
• Fragrance-free
• Refillable

Cons:
• Expensive
• Not high oil control

Stash worthiness: 9/10

Have you tried any Vincent Longo products?  What’s your favourite foundation to take with you on a trip?

47 thoughts on “Vincent Longo Water Canvas Foundation

    1. I know, my list is never ending too. I actually keep track of my wish list and strike out items as I buy them or decide against them, but I keep adding to the list! 😆
      Yes, this foundation is perfect for lighter coverage days – I’m wearing it today, on a Spring-like day!

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  1. Thanks for the insightful review. I found it very helpful and in-depth, as it’s my first time reading a review on a VL product.
    The gel-cream formulation sounds really interesting. Also great to hear that the sponge the case came with works the best with the product…as it should, for $9 on its own!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was a bit long-winded in this review but ah well, I didn’t feel like cutting out the whole story about the encounter with the MUA, since I felt it adds to the review. 😛
      I’m wearing this foundation today and used one of the sponges from Quo and it works quite well too. Those are only $6 for a pair. I should add that information to my review. 😛

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  2. Voila! What a bang on product and the last picture with your previous dig in section explains how much you love about this product and the foundation looks like it has an inbuilt illuminant banana toned powder.Awesome!

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  3. Oh damn that is one pricey foundation! And you still gotta buy the compact separately .. waaaaat!! Youd expect paying that much that the case it came in was decent and not flimsy like lol, I guess they just want you to buy the compact! I’ve never heard of that brand before. I’m usually not one to go for sheer skin looking foundations but I’m thinking of purchasing one for summer this year. I’m getting tired wearing full coverage foundations in this heat!-.- when I travel I usually just bring with me my Lancome Teint Idole Ultra 24H liquid foundation lol. I know it’s a glass bottle and all but it’s my fave ! I’m extra extra careful when packing so it never gets damaged, I’m usually more worried about my eyeshadows !!🙈

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    1. Have you tried either MAC or MUFE Face & Body foundation? Those are good options for skin-like foundations if you’re wanting to try them.
      I like to pack SUPER light. Just you wait when I post my travel makeup bag for my trip. I literally will pack just ONE eye shadow lol. I figured if I really need more than that, I can buy something there (well, I’m gonna go absolutely NUTS shopping in Japan anyway).

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      1. LMAOOO! I never thought about it that way! 😛 That way I’ll have an excuse to buy makeup because … I totally forgot the rest of my eyeshadows and such :p lol!! NO! I’ve never tried it but I have been wanting to give it a try.. I still wouldn’t know which one to choose. Have you tried it!? I can’t wait to see that post ! I hate packing light because I feel like I’m forgetting everything lol, I’m such an over packer!

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          1. lol!! that’s a great way of looking at it! 😛 It’s certainly much much much better than any tshirt or coffee mug am I right lol! You are the review queen! You have a review for everything!! 😀 woopwoop!!!!:)

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  4. The MUA…seriously :-/

    Once again you’ve found a brand I have never heard of before.
    I take my MAC Face and Body mostly because it is very travel friendly as well.

    When are you going to Japan?? It’s where all the cool kids go these days apparently.

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    1. I know, that MUA needs to be retrained!
      I have the MAC Face & Body in the gigantic 120ml bottle so I don’t ever take that with me travelling. I always try to take non-liquid foundations with me – I have this fear of things exploding in the suitcase!
      We’re planning on going to Japan in mid-May! Very excited! 😀

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  5. Ooooh this sounds like something I would definitely love to try because I love foundation that makes skin look like skin. Sorry you had a bad experience at the make up counter. It does depend on the individual person, however, I think you should know at least the basic information. After all, if you don’t know the key selling points, how are you supposed to sell the product?

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    1. I know, she was just lucky I was educated about the product beforehand. If I was just some random customer who knew nothing about this foundation, I’d like not have bought it based on that experience alone. I’ve been enjoying this foundation a lot! 😀

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  6. Great review! I love the extra bonus of the story about your shopping experience! Japan sounds super exciting, it’s definitely on my travel bucket list. I hope you have a fantastic time! 🙂 I’m the total opposite packing makeup, I have a hard time leaving things behind. I don’t pack an excessive amount but I could definitely trim it down if I tried.

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    1. Just wait til you see what I’m planning to pack for my 2 week trip. BARE MINIMUM! I used to be terrible about packaging extras of everything but then I realized that I never used them while on vacation. I’ve learned that I can always buy something locally if I really need it! Plus, Japanese makeup shopping, here I come! 😀

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  7. This sounds like such an interesting foundation! I have only tried a couple VL products before (long time ago), a lipstick and an eyeliner…neither wowed me, though they were fine. Fantastic review – you’re really selling this stuff 😀

    Too bad the SA was not very helpful! It reminds me of last Christmas when DH went to get me a nail polish as a surprise gift. He stopped at YSL and asked the SA, “So, what makes this nail polish special?” She was flustered by the question, apparently, and made some comment like, “Oh it lasts longer.” He wasn’t impressed with her sales pitch or the color selection, so he just went to pick up a Chanel instead. 😆

    Ahh when is your Japan trip, again? So exciting!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not getting any commission to talk about this foundation haha! (I wish!) I wasn’t interested in any other VL items but I might look into other things now. I did receive a free blush and it’s quite nice too but not amazing.
      Haha that’s hilarious your DH put the SA on the spot! I’m surprised she didn’t just answer, it’s special just because! 😛
      Japan trip will be mid-May! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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