Giving Up the Ghost: When Is it Time to Say Goodbye?

Hello gentle readers.

Put the champagne and streamers away. I'm not going anywhere.

We all reach that point in our lives. We meet our perfect one. We encounter that perfect partner that makes us look and feel like a million bucks each and every day of our lives no matter what. When it is new and fresh and beautiful and exciting and perfect and we just can't get enough. And we are in perfect love and we think it will last forever. And we go along in a haze of rose coloured happiness, thinking that everything is going swimmingly.

Then one day, hard, cold reality hits and it's all over. You look in the mirror or look very carefully at a photograph and the glaring truth becomes painfully obvious.

 That foundation you thought was the perfect thing, your Holy Grail of Holiest Grails is now a gross, thick, clotted, creased, nasty, cake-y mess.

When did that happen? How did that happen? Why did that happen?

It probably crept up on you slowly. You recognized the signs... Having to spend a little extra time blending. Having to add more and more to get the right coverage. Getting finished with your makeup only to notice that your foundation has already cracked around your nose, mouth and across your forehead so you oh-so-carefully smooth it back out, set it with powder and turn away from the mirror and pray. But your prayers go unanswered. Several hours later, the cracks are back. And you are back. In front of a mirror, fixing, cussing and making excuses. It's hot. It's humid. You were in a hurry when you applied, this morning. You used a different sponge or brush. You changed your under makeup primer or are test driving a new moisturizer.

Uh-huh. Keep on telling yourself sweet little lies, gentle reader. Keep on justifying and making excuses for a relationship that just isn't working any longer. Hey, I get it... Boy do I ever. I recently broke up with a long term foundation, myself. My skin has undergone changes that have made it and my once favorite foundation highly incompatible. I feel as if it happened almost overnight but in reality, I have been seeing signs of trouble in our romance for quite a while, now. The breaking point came for me when I took careful stock of some recent photographs I took for this blog. I don't photograph all that well under the best of circumstances but I realized that I was looking particularly rough and when I carefully analyzed the problem, I realized that it was my foundation. Cake face. Nasty, unflattering, sitting on the surface of my skin thick, gunked up, gross, cracked... Yuk. Cake face. Because my once perfect foundation was now completely wrong.

 Take a long, honest look in the mirror or fire off a few photographs in your current makeup. Step outside of yourself, set aside your bias, your affection for the brand, your allegiance to a type and really study your reflection or recent photograph. What do you see?  Do you see soft, silky, smooth skin? An even, near (I don't believe in flawless) flawless finish? Most of us need to build a bit more coverage in certain areas, less in others. Does your foundation blend these all out seamlessly? If you have fine lines, wrinkles, does your foundation flow, give and flex with the undulations of your skin or does it break and crack, forcing you to ride herd on it, constantly repairing it, worrying that you are going to look aged and falling apart? Does your makeup stay one consistent shade all day or does it oxidize, turn weird colours that skin should not become when air comes in contact with it? Are you oily, gentle reader? Does your foundation slide right off of your face as soon as you get oil breakthrough? Are you truly satisfied with your foundation? Completely happy and thrilled with what you see in the mirror or that photograph? Be honest. If the answer is no...

Purse those rosebud lips of yours and kiss that foundation goodbye.

My Holy Grail foundation was, up until just recently, Revlon ColorStay for Dry Skin in 150 Buff. Lordy, I loved that foundation. Perfect shade match right out of the bottle, I didn't have to mix it, miracle of miracles. Fab coverage, buildable where I needed extra coverage, I could sheer it out where I didn't need so much, it was easy to work with and once it set, it locked down and didn't move all day. I could apply that stuff at six in the morning and come back to remove it at midnight and it would be nearly perfectly intact, even in the middle of a searing Arizona Summer. Just good foundation. And, at about twelve clams a bottle, affordable, too. It nearly broke my little heart to say goodbye but it had to be done.


This photo was taken in February 2012, I was wearing Revlon ColorStay Foundation for Dry Skin in 150 Buff. Great shade match. See how nice and smooth it looks? No cake face, no cracking. Even in the sun it just looked like skin. At that time, this foundation was still working well with my dry but not yet Sahara like skin.

Yes, before you ask, that is my natural hair colour. And yes, those lighter streaks running through it are grey. I don't colour to cover my grey, I colour because I can't stand my natural colour. It is so drab and blah. If I were all silver, I'd wear that shit like nobody's business!


Two years later, February, 2014. Revlon ColorStay Foundation for Dry Skin in 150 Buff. Hello, Cakeface! See how my foundation is lying on the surface of my skin, rather than blending in to my skin? Instead of looking smooth, more silken, it looks a bit rougher in spots. It is obviously thick, heavy and "made up." What you can't see in that photo was the fun I had with cracking around my mouth and nasal/labial folds and having to smooth that business out, a couple of times after application. Yeah. Out in the sun, it was not looking good. Not what I am going for.

The hair, blonde. What I am by nature, if not naturally. Short, for reasons. Maybe I'll talk about it, one day.  

So, the hunt begins for my new Holy Grail foundation. I have been researching drugstore offerings and I already know that I am going to have to go mid tier/high end. *sigh* I have a fall back. I am currently using an IT Cosmetics CC cream (that I need to do a post on) that I like. But I do need a new foundation and finding just the right one is not going to be easy. Stay tuned, I should be whining and pissing and moaning about that process, soon.

Gentle reader, give up the ghost. Let go of that stuff you have been using for years because it is "the right brand" or "the popular stuff." Oh... You have been rocking that fluid of beauty since when and now you can't even think about letting it go because it will mean that you are getting old, right? Right? Well, suck it up, Buttercup. We're all getting older. Some of us older than others. So, get over your beautiful self, get your ass out there and buy some new foundation. You deserve it. And you should have it. Because you should look your very best and feel beautiful every time you look into your mirror, every day. If I can do this, you can too. Let's give up the ghost, together.

64 comments

  1. It always sucks when a company changes the formula on a product you love. Hopefully, you can find another holy grail foundation that is as good as this one.

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  2. It wasn't the company that changed the formula. It was my skin. It was just time. I'll find something else, it'll just take time. Until then, I have my CC cream. :)

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  3. dear lord... hopefully that will never be me. i have SO MANY different foundations that i tend to custom mix what i want every morning... its a pain to others but the chemist deep down in me loves it.

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  4. Mad scientist. It is fun to play. I don't keep many on hand. I usually have one or two, max. Right now, I have a CC cream. I need to get shopping. LOL

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  5. Great narrative! I jumped to conclusion way too soon, I thought you were pertaining to marital issues, hahaha! I haven't broken up with a foundation yet but my aging skin likes lighter coverage these days so BB cream (which I don't like then) is my go-to....

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  6. LOVE this post. I also love the blonde hair and the cut on you! You're so lucky you can pull off both!!!

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  7. ROFLMAO! Your intro was such a good read. I know what you mean - I began with Colorstay for Oily Skin when I began wearing makeup, moved to Bourjois Mineral Mousse and loved it, but a year later my skin threw it up. And then I had trouble finding a replacement but my derm suggested powder foundation so things seem fairly stable for more than a year now. Touch wood! I need to try the IT Cosmetics CC Cream - am going on an IT Cosmetics haul soon!

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  8. LOLOL!!! Awesome post! I too know your pain and loss. I have a drawer full of alleged holy grail foundations that have slowly faded from favor. Peace be with you sister! :-D

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  9. i haven't used foundation in years! i really should start... my pores aren't what they used to be.

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  10. LOL Great post. At first I was like huh? at the title. I agree with you. I had a friend who used to wear the wrong shade always... Until I gave her a makeover she saw the light.

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  11. I freakin' love this post. Totally giggled my way through it. Great, great points you've made!

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  12. I think I am just too ignorant to know when a product doesn't work for me. I just slog through. Now that I'm doing more makeup posts, though, maybe I'll see in pictures what isn't working for me!

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  13. This was a super fun read! I recently just threw out my Almay foundation because it no longer works and I may have shed a tear over it!

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  14. I love seeing your pictures throughout the years!

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  15. Yes time changes skin. And at some point it might happen to all of us that the products that suited so well, just won´t work no more :(

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  16. As I learn, every time I fall in love with a foundation. LOL

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  17. It's hard to make ourselves see what is right in front of our eyes. It took me a while with this foundation!

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  18. Thank you.


    I fear it was a bit long. LOL

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  19. That is a point I neglected to bring up but one well worth mentioning. :)

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  20. If you don't need it, you are lucky. :)

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  21. Thank you. I think I'll get through it. :)

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  22. I really dig the IT CC cream. I used to use mineral foundation, I loved it for almost ten years then my skin got dry and buh bye. I was heartbroken, as I loved that stuff. Ah...

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  23. Naw. Marital issues would have been prefaced with a photograph of my husband's body... ;) :P


    My skin definitely likes lighter coverage, these days. The older I get, *gulp* the less foundation it wants to muck around with. I think that is why it likes the CC cream. :)

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  24. It's so frustrating when skin changes and you have to find a new favorite foundation

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  25. ah that sucks :( the CC cream from IT is fantastic though!

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  26. You scared me for a second! And I love you as a blonde! I wish Colorstay had ever worked for me, but it was just not great. I'm sorry it doesn't work out for you anymore.

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  27. I was thinking 'OH, NO!' when I started reading your post. Girl, you know I have a tender heart; you startled me!!! I'll forgive you though, because you are a beauty in lots and lots of different ways. <3

    As for my Holy Grail foundation, mine was a mineral foundation that is now one of my competitors. Ha! Best thing is, mine is just a bit better and creamier. Hooray!!! I don't do well with moral dilemmas like that!

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  28. I am at that point now. I need to find a good one that works for me again.

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  29. My mom has used the same makeup since she was 16! I'm always trying to get her to update her routine. I love the It Cosmetics CC though!

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  30. Every time I think I found a perfect foundation, something happens and one day it just looks awful on me :(

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  31. I'm currently trying out foundations too. IT CC cream is awesome, especially for summer.

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  32. I've had the same thing happen. You just can't expect it to be the same as we age. Sad but true!

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  33. Great post! I never use makeup out of loyalty. I had to break up with Urban Decay's Primer Potion when they repackaged it. It is not the same as it used to be.

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  34. You bring up a great point. You can't just stick with something because it used to work for you. Products change, we change ... release the grip a little.

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  35. This happens to me alot. I'm currently trying to find a great foundation in my stash without having to purchase another one. I think my Nars is winning.

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  36. Good luck finding a new HG foundation, it can be a hard task, but it's very rewarding at the end :)

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  37. I think it's good to switch thing's up once in a while!

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  38. If your skin is still dry, I really like the IT Cosmetics IT-02. It blends into my dry skin better than the CC Cream.

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  39. I may have to look into the IT foundation. I use the CC but I find it a little heavy/greasy. thanks!

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  40. Sorry - breakups are hard. I honestly think the formula has changed. Now I only use it as a mixer.

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  41. I suppose it's possible that the formula changed. <u skin has drastically changed, recently. It has become even more dry, dry, dry and ColorStay just can't keep up any longer. Time to move on. :)

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  42. I can't use the the IT-02. It contains a chemical sunscreen. (If I am thinking of the right one.) :)

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  43. I agree. Should be fun to see what I find. :)

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  44. Shopping is fn but the testing can be a bear. When I switched from mineral to liquid I nearly went nuts! LOL

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  45. Must read their ingredients and if it is safe, get a sample. :)

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  46. I will likely end up in a higher end foundation. All of the drugstore brands I am interested in contain chemical sunscreen and I can't use them. It's going to be a hunt. LOL

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  47. I didn't start using UDPP until after the re package... Hmmm...

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  48. It's the wonder of Nature. I wish that it could stay the same but man...

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  49. Thank God for the IT CC cream or I'd be in a real pickle! At least I have something! :D I am loving it right now, for the hot days but I still want a great foundation, too. :)

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  50. Ugh! I hate it when that happens!

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  51. Have you invited her over for a beauty night? Offered to do her makeup just for giggles? No mention of updating her routine or anything, just play, have fun, let her enjoy and experience newer products and techniques with no pressure and see for herself how even more gorgeous she can look? I don't know. Maybe all of a sudden, it would be her idea to update her routine and makeup stash. ;)

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  52. It is enough to make you crazy, isn't it? LOL

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  53. You are too kind. <3


    Ha! I laughed my ass off as you liking a competitor's foundation. You know me and my love of that sort of thing... My evil knows no bounds. Heh heh! I wish that mineral still worked for me, I loved it, so.

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  54. I didn't mean to scare anyone. :D Thank you. I am a blonde by nature. It suits my skin tone, my personality. Whenever I go dark, I start planning my return to the light. I just need that peroxide head. :D

    Different foundations for different folks. :) I wonder what my new HG will be... :D

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  55. I have it but don't like the scent, it's so sad to see when they changed formulas that were fine to begin with

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  56. Dude! Thanks for the freakin scare at 0500 this morning. I thought you were getting divorced or somehing bad had happened! After I read thru- mind you before I had my morning coffee- and realized what you were talking about. I've never been able to use liquid I always use powder. Recently I was switched to Jane Iredale brand and I love it. And it's the right color as I'd always worn the wrong color. Love the pics. Next time warn a girl would ya??????

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  57. Oh no. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to scare you. No divorce. Just breaking up with some makeup. I used to use mineral and loved it until my skin went from oily/combo to dry. It doesn't work for me, any longer and I haz a sad because I loved it so much. :)

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  58. It does smell a little latex paint-y. I think that is the pigments. The titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. :) I got used t the scent and it didn't bother me, after a while.

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  59. This happened to me with that same foundation a couple of years ago. After quite a lot of trial and error, I fell in love with Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow in Honey. We are still in a good relationship. ;)

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