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Review: Bobbi Brown Foundations

Hi all,
Sorry I've been putting this off for a while. I wanted to use the skin foundation for a while before making a verdict on it.
I'm going to review only three of the eleven foundations Bobbi Brown offers. You can go to her site and check and see what type fits you. My reviews are going to be based on the oily-skin type foundations (because that's what I am :p)

* All Products are in shade 2 Sand *

So the reviewees are (L-R)the skin foundation, the stick foundation and the oil-free even finish foundation.

The Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation

The Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation is described as a foundation that looks like skin. It fits all skin types and provides medium to light coverage, which means.. on the one hand, it's going to look really natural, but on the other hand it's not going to provide enough coverage for those that have a lot of blemishes like me.

I mean, I guess it does make sense. There's not a lot of people with perfect, flawless skin and it would look natural to have some blemishes here and there.

The foundation is a liquid type that is quite watery (you can read my first impressions here). It comes with it's own pump attached and contains 1 Fl. oz (or 30ml). It seems to be the best bang for the buck since other foundations have lesser volume, but I don't think that's the case with this foundation. Since it is so sheer and light, you really have to pile up a bit if you want coverage and it usually doesn't happen with one pump. Even if you want to even out your skin tone, you will need at least a minimum of 1.5 pumps.
The recommended usage period is 24 months after it's first application.

The retail price is $45.00 excluding tax. Bobbi Brown counters are usually located in department stores such as Saks, Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, Berfdorf Goodman, etc.
I believe Bobbi Brown is one of the Estee Lauder companies, so if you know a Estee Lauder store (CCO) - it is most likely that they will have Bobbi Brown products at a discounted price there too.

So here's a demo of how much coverage this foundation gives to an average NC20, yellow undertones, tons of blemishes and uneven skin tone person.

As you can see I have old acne scars down my cheek and a lot of red spots.

The middle picture is purely the skin foundation with no additional products. I have applied it with a foundation brush evenly. My uneven skin tone has been corrected (under and around the eyes and nose) a bit, but the overall coverage isn't impressive. The camera failed to capture it, but the strongest selling point of the skin foundation is actually the natural glow that it gives to your skin.

Now the third picture is Missha Perfect Concealer (light beige) applied on the blemishes. Coverage has drastically improved, yet the surface of my skin has lost that "natural looking" touch and looks a bit caked up.

If you want a natural and glowy, dewy looking skin, yet you could care less about blemishes showing then you should try the skin foundation out. If you are not okay with freckles and scars apparent on your skin, no need to bother unless you are willing to pile up a bit. This foundation only provides minimal coverage.

Extremely light weight
Reflects light, which makes your skin GLOW and look shiny & healthy
Comes off easily when removed
Comes with its own pump and cap
Provides SPF 15

Minimum coverage - you have to really build up if you want coverage from the foundation alone
A bit too watery
Gets a bit oily and clumpy after a couple of hours (if you are an oily skin type)

Overall Impression:
I do have to admit that this foundation makes your skin look amazing in videos and/or pictures (if it's not taken in macro mode). It also doesn't make your face look ghostly white when flash is used, so if you like to take pictures in low-light setting or at clubs, this will make your skin look shiny and healthy. :) The only catch is you have to build up a bit or combine a concealer to make your skin look flawless. All in all, the Skin foundation is a bit disappointing since it doesn't seem to live up to other good foundations from Bobbi Brown. But then again it could purely be so because I'm an extremely oily person and I'm comparing this "for all skin types" to "oily skin type" foundations. If that's the case, they should change the recommended skin types for this foundation.

- Bobbi Brown Stick Foundation -

The Bobbi Brown Stick foundation is for those that are busy and that need an on the go foundation. It is an extremely compact (a bit bigger than a single lipstick) and is retractable. The formula is cream and the coverage is medium to full.

The price is $40.00 for a .31 oz/9g, which seems to be a rip off compared to the skin foundation. However, you only need to use a couple of strikes to cover your whole face unlike the several pumps of skin foundation. On top of that, the coverage and consistency is extremely good so all you have to do is blend the foundation evenly - which is really easy too.

Unlike the Skin foundation, this foundation doesn't clump and oil up through out the day. Out of all three foundations, it is the stickiest one, but if you like to buff your face with power, that isn't going to be a problem.

I rarely use concealer with this foundation, so if you like things done at a fast phase, this is the foundation that could suit you. It has the least shine of all three foundations, so if you want that dewy look this isn't going to provide much of that feature.

Here's a demo of how the foundation applies on my bare skin
Haha, yikes. Yes, this is how my skin looks like :p That's why I'm often embarrassed when people tell me I have good skin. I have old acne scars and disconnected veins under my skin that gives me a reddish look on my cheek.

I applied the stick foundation on the second picture and spread it around a bit with my fingers. The foundation color came out really yellow, but once you blend it out - it matches your skin tone like your second skin.

The third picture is the foundation evenly spread out. Can you see how great the coverage is? I didn't even have to use a concealer! The "Bobbi Brown glow" is still there, but not as prominent as the other foundations.
The color of the foundation is exactly the same as the skin foundation. (maybe it's because both are targeted for all skin types)

Very compact
Amazing coverage
Easy to blend
Minimal usage
Doesn't oil up or melt through out the day

Has a tendency to collect dust on the surface
Quite pricy
The foundation stick gets shaved off on the rim when you retract it

Overall Impression:
I would definitely prefer this foundation over the skin foundation since coverage is super important to me. However, if you like light weight foundation, this is going to feel a bit on the thicker and heavier side. You have to be careful with the blending. It's a bit ambiguous when it comes to what tools are the best to use with this foundation. I have used the conventional foundation (flat) brush, but that leaves streak marks. You have to either use your finger or a sponge (but keep in mind, if you use a sponge it will defeat the whole purpose of this foundation. it will add more tools and eliminate the "on the go concept". It will also force you to use more foundation than when it is applied with your fingers, which make the foundation relatively expensive).
So if you are okay with using your fingers and don't have a lot of time to put your makeup on, this is for you :) If you like the more natural and dewy look - this might not be suitable.

- Bobbi Brown Oil-Free Even Finish Compact Foundation -

This Bobbi Brown foundation is specifically targeted for normal to oily skin people. If you have dry or combo skin, you shouldn't try this. The comparable one for dry/combo people is the Moisturizing Cream Compact Foundation.

The container contains a mirror, the foundation and a sponge that you can use as a applicator. The amount that you get for its $40.00 price is .31 oz / 9g (the same as the stick foundation) - which is extremely little.

The most noticeable aspect of this foundation is its finishing. It has an incredibly matte-satin finish once it is blended in. There is no stickiness and a bit of the "Bobbi Brown Glow" makes your skin look healthy and not drenched in oil. The foundation is buildable, but there's not a lot of touch up to do through out the day. A small amount can cover one's whole face while providing full coverage.

The foundation tends to make your face have that whitening effect when a picture is taken with the flash on, so be careful with the shade you choose. And for some reason, shade 1 (warm ivory) seems to be darker than shade 2 (sand).

The Oil-free compact's shade 2(sand) does not match the skin foundation and stick foundation's shade 2 (sand). The compact's shade is much lighter, so if you are matched to the skin or stick, you should still get your shade checked out when you buy the compact (or vice versa).

Here's a comparative swatch of the three foundations
As you can see the oil-free compact is a bit lighter than the other two.. or the other two are a bit more yellow than the oil-free compact :)

Here's a demo of the foundation on my skin
So my bare skin on my left face isn't as messy as my right cheek. I have a scar, freckles and some old acne scars on the cheek. The redness on my cheeks are the biggest problems.

The second shot is just to show how the color is like when applied to the skin without being blended out.

The third shot is the foundation blended out without any concealer. The scar and some big blemishes are slightly noticeable. The coverage isn't as powerful as the stick foundation, but it is definitely better than the skin foundation.

Great coverage with a healthy looking glow
Extremely soft and satin0ish finish
Doesn't cake or clump
Nice packaging (mirror, foundation, sponge)

Shades are a bit difference from the "all skin types" foundations
Very small amount per container
Collects too much dust and small stuff in the air
Dews up when temperatures change drastically

Overall Impressions:
If you are used to using a concealer, this foundation has the best compatibility with concealers. You only need to dab a little bit of concealer on the bigger blemishes. Since the foundation isn't too light (like the skin foundation) - the combination with the concealer is utilized to its maximum potential and you won't have that cakey look.

Woah, that was quite a long review :p I hope this helped those that were wondering how the Bobbi Brown foundations are.

I'll see you guys in my next post :)


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  1. Thank you so much for this review!

  2. yay! ive been wanting to try the BB compact foundation but i have dry skin so it would probably be a bad idea?

  3. Hi Catalina!
    Glad you're back & thanks for this helpful review! ;)


  4. Thank you very much for the FANTASTIC review, great pictures, great descriptions! Thanks!

  5. i'm also an nc20 with old acne scars and yellow undertones.. so this review was perfect for me :) as always, thanks!

  6. Wow this review is great! Would you say that the Bobby Brown Skin Foundation is better/worse/same than the Chanel Vitalumiere Foundation?

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. Thank you for your review! But, can you tell us the ingredients in each of the foundations? Thank you!!!

  9. i could never tell you hav post acne scars! you did an uhh-mazing job using the right concealer & foundation~~

    i too hav my tough battles with acne during my uni days & i'll never leave home without foundation.. i might pick up BobbiBrown fdt soon thanks to your review!

    keep bloggin babe

  10. Love the review!
    tempted to get the foundation stick!
    any ideas how to cover freckles?

    oh hey,could you do a review for places to shop in NYC?

  11. Thanks for the reviews! Yes, I've noticed that the stick foundations don't match the Skin foundation in shade.

  12. Awesome review! I also got the same products you got (oddly enough I'm the same shade as you too), but my stick foundation order was cancelled b/c they didn't have my shade =/ and I got the moisture compact instead since I have dry skin. About the Skin foundation, I agree with your review whole heartily. I also found the Moisture compact is slightly lighter even though the shade name is the same. I bought them on separate occasions, so i didn't even notice until I got home. At some point, maybe when I go travelling, I will pick up the stick foundation again. The coverage looks amazing.

  13. Thanks for doing this review! I have been running around trying to find a foundation suitable for oily skin and I was thinking of trying some new brands. I currently use Sephora's mattifying compact powder foundation and it stays on better than other foundations but I find that I still need to do touch-ups during the day because I sweat around my face easily. I can't wait to try the Bobbi Brown foundations some day!

  14. amazing review! i was thinking of trying the skin foundation from bobbi brown, but after reading your review, i dont think i'll try it. thx for yr helpful review!

  15. This is a great review! And you leave me wanting to get the BB stick foundation! :)

  16. An amazing review! I'm currently using skin foundation and I'm really satisfied with it, despite my acne covered face. I used to wear Double Wear light but felt it was too heavy. But skin foundation feels like I have nothing on my face!

    When the SA at Bobbi Brown tested the foundation on my face, she evened out my skin tone with skin foundation first, then applied stick foundation to cover up blemishes. It looked really natural and I looked liked I was wearing almost no make up. So try it!

  17. Ah omgosh! I think you just made me want to buy the Bobbi Brown Foundation Stick. Great coverage and it does look quite natural on it seems. Thanks for this entry! (:

  18. Awesome review Catalina! I have never bought BB foundation but id definitely consider after you review :)

  19. Your skin isn't half as bad as your videos made it seems. The foundation stick coverage is amazing! Very tempting, but just too ridiculously priced.

  20. Wow, the pictures really help lay out the difference between the different foundations. The coverage for the Foundation Stick looks great. I'm almost tempted to try it out since I have similar issues and my current bb cream doesn't quite give me the coverage I need.

  21. Hi Catalina! I follow you on youtube and today I thought to take a look at your web site.

    I use products of Bobbi Brown. The foundation they thougt would suit for me was the compact foundation (cool beige).

    I have oil skin and acne problems frequently, so I think the coverage is good but gaves me a caked look (I'm spanish sorry for the mistakes). Maybe it's because the application, don't know... I'll try again with your tips.

    Thanks a lot to make this review. It's really helpfull and may took you a lot of time.


  22. Hi Catalina! I follow you on youtube and today I thought to take a look at your web site.

    I use products of Bobbi Brown. The foundation they thougt would suit for me was the compact foundation (cool beige).

    I have oil skin and acne problems frequently, so I think the coverage is good but gaves me a caked look (I'm spanish sorry for the mistakes). Maybe it's because the application, don't know... I'll try again with your tips.

    Thanks a lot to make this review. It's really helpfull and may took you a lot of time.


  23. thanks soo much this really helps!!!

  24. This is such a good review! The format is really good and gives so much information! You have totally helped me in choosing a foundation. Thanks! :)

  25. OM ---- you did such a Thorough, comparative and informative review. It is so well organized and helpful. I have referred to this site several times over the past couple weeks as I am getting new makeup for fall/winter and Bobbi is definitely one of the brands I've been buying and comparing to. Looks like I'll be getting the compact foundation. Thanks for this review!!!!

  26. Thank u very much!
    I'm ur super fan!

  27. you'r so genuine!
    I become your fan now!

  28. Hi Great review !

    I have just started using SKIN FOUNDATION shade - 2.0 last week. Prior to this, I used to use BB Natural Finish Long Lasting 2.5, but they have DISCONTINUED IT ! I am heartbroken ! It was my HG foundation, very natural sheer coverage but it had staying power, and it was so compatible with my skin. Skin Foundation is more dewy and oily, and my skin does get oily throughout the day :(

    Great review though, thanks, I am following your blog :)

    x Kim x <---- Professional Hair Blog : Salon Hair Product Reviews, Hair Tips, Q & A and Images of my Work !


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