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:
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.
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? 🙄
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.
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!
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.
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:
The compact has a nifty locking mechanism to ensure the product remains airtight. It’s made of a heavy plastic and quite slim.
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.
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.
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:
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!
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)
• Easy to apply
• Travel friendly packaging
• Wide range of colours (16) to choose from
• Looks very natural but offers good coverage
• Oil-free formula
• 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?