… the best thing to come out of a can since Easy-Cheese.
I admit that I was slightly terrified by the spray foundation concept. It just seemed like there was so much that could go wrong. Like Homer Simpson’s makeup gun invention:
Homer: Now, this next one’s for the ladies. How many times have you gals been late for a high-powered business meeting, only to realize you’re not wearing make-up?
Marge: That’s every woman’s nightmare.
Homer: That’s why I invented this revolutionary make-up gun. It’s for the woman who only has four-fifths of a second to get ready. Close your eyes, Marge.
[Homer fires the make-up gun, which appears to be a shotgun with some containers of liquid attached, into Marge's face. After the cloud of dust vanishes, she ends up with way too much on]
Homer: Now you’re ready for a night on the town. [holds up a mirror]
Marge: [gasps] Homer! You’ve got it set on “whore!”
Homer: [adjusts a setting] Okay, this time try to keep your nostrils closed.
[Homer points the gun at her, but she pushes it away from her face. A vaguely face-shaped blotch of make-up stains the wall]
Homer: Oh, look what you did. Now I have to go get my cold-cream gun.
Lisa: Dad, women won’t like being shot in the face.
Homer: Women will like what I tell them to like!
Well, fortunately, this product performs somewhat better than that. Actually, a great deal better than that.
When push comes to shove, I’m not entirely sure there’s all that much difference between spray and liquid foundation. The directions for ERA say to shake well (*really* well), then to hold the can about 8 inches from your face and apply in an S pattern: across the forehead, diagonally down across the nose and the center of your face, and then round your chin up to the other side. Then they tell you you are supposed to buff it into the skin in order to set it and make it water-resistant. (I’ve tried buffing with a BeautyBlender and with my fingers, and I think that my fingers give slightly better coverage since they don’t absorb any of the foundation. I’ll try a brush also and see what happens.) So in other words, it’s not the spray equivalent of “set it and forget it.” If you have ever been inside a spray tan booth, well, this is NOT like that. In a spray tan booth, because there are multiple jets shooting a very fine mist, you get even coverage in a pretty foolproof way. Spray foundation is not yet so foolproof. The more you do it, the easier it will be, but the first time I did it I was decidedly blotchy. There is definitely a learning curve! If you don’t want to spray it directly onto your face, you can spray it into your palm or some other container and then apply with a brush, so it becomes exactly like a liquid foundation.
The product is oil-free and easily wipes off of eyebrows and hair (though they do advise that you cover your hair with something before use; I’ve never done this and haven’t had any trouble yet). They also advise that you can leave the foundation that landed on your closed eyelids as an eyelid primer (you will want to buff out any irregular patches that came from squinching your eyelids shut) and any that ended up on your lips as a lip primer. If you don’t wipe it off your lips right away, it will act as a nude lip primer whether you want it to or not, just so you know. I’m wearing it today, and it made my orange lip gloss almost colorless on my lips. It’s since worn off, after eating and drinking, but I was surprised by exactly how opaque it was on my lips.
In terms of weartime, it starts to look a little faded after about 5 or 6 hours. I haven’t yet worn it on a day when I had to be on display from dawn to dusk, so I don’t know about its extended wear. Coverage is medium. One day I would like to see if I can build it up to full coverage by putting it on, letting the first layer set, and then applying a second layer.
One of the things I’m most impressed with, though, is its shade matching. Most foundations are too yellow on me (second verse, same as the first), but this one is great. There are 10 shades, and there is a helpful “automatch” feature on the site that will allow you to tell it what color you are in another brand’s foundation and it will find you the corresponding ERA shade. Mine is R2 (“pale, light, rose-undertoned skin”) and I’m an NW20 in MAC. It blends perfectly. Seamlessly. Flawlessly. Wait till you see the hand swatches!
ERA will set you back $55, which is not cheap; however, you do get 2.25 oz of product for the money, and since most foundations come in 1 or 1.7-oz. containers, it’s a better bargain than it may first appear. So long as you like it, of course. I got mine at half off through a Good Morning America promotion, which made it considerably less painful for my removable wallet.
Photos and swatches!
Impressive height, eh? Unfortunately, half of it’s just lid. Why? I don’t know. Here’s how it really looks:
Hand swatch — when first applied, very wet:
During the blending/drying process:
After product has been fully blended and is dry:
You can’t even tell I have it on. Pretty darn awesome.
ERA FACE Spray On Foundation: $55 for 2.25 oz.
Price/Value Ratio (high-end: poor/fair/good/excellent): Fair.
Purchase again? At full price? Mmmmmaybe. I’m not sorry to have tried it, though, and I’ll definitely use it up.
(Have you used this product? Love it? Hate it? Want it? Give a holler in the comments!)