Review: Graftobian HD Glamour Creme

Inspired by a video by gossmakeupartist, I ordered some Graftobian HD Glamour Creme to try for myself. Graftobian specialises in theatrical make-up but it seems that more and more ‘casual’ make-up users are looking towards these kind of brands for cheap cosmetics that are also good quality.

The HD Creme comes in a round pot about 5cm across. It looked pretty small to me but I can see it lasting a while because you only need a tiny amount to do a full face.

On day one of using this I used fingers on one side of my face, and a stippling brush (Elf Studio powder brush) on the other. Although the finger application looked really good, the stippling brush had the edge as it ‘blurred’ my pores a little more. I applied with the stippling brush for a few days but today applied with a sponge (as per the directions on the back of the container). The sponge gave more coverage but did not leave my skin with the ‘airbrushed’ finish I got from the brush.

Before and after sponge application (sorry for the nasty before pic!)

In spite of the creme’s oily texture it is surprisingly long-lasting without a setting powder. It lasted all day (and survived a boiling hot car journey and a humid 30 minute walk) and only looked slightly worse for wear when I took it off 12 hours after applying it. When set with powder (Ben Nye neutral set) it stays put completely. I had assumed that it would slip off on more oily areas but I was pleasantly surprised.
Caprylic/Capric/Triglyceride, Octyl Palmitate, Carnauba Wax, Petrolatum, Lanolin Oil, Bees Wax, Ozokerite Wax, Acetylated Lanolin Alcohol, PTFE, BHA, Silica, Phenoxyethanol, Isopropylparaben, Isobutylparaben, N-Butylparaben. May contain: Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Talc, Ultramarines.

This could be problematic: according to Zerozits a bunch of these ingredients are potentially highly comedogenic. Potentially being the operative word here: so far my skin is behaving well with this foundation. Fingers crossed!
I ordered the HD Creme in ‘Buff’ – the palest of all the cool-toned shades. It matches my skin perfectly. Graftobian has a great colour range: there are 59 shades that are divided into warm, neutral and cool tones so there’s something to suit almost everyone. However the shades all have wonderfully poetic names like ‘midnight marigold’ and ‘hidden magic’ so it’s difficult to guess your shade. Luckily they have a handy chart which compares the shades to those of other foundations.

Update 28/09/10: I have swatched Buff next to my other foundations, here’s the picture and a link to the post.

Temptalia’s foundation matrix also lists some matches. A word of warning: many of the matches for cool tones are actually taken from the neutral shades. Perhaps people were worried the cool tones would be too pink – from my albeit limited experience I would say that although Buff is very cool-toned, it’s not the kind of pink of Clinique foundations, the undertones are much more blue-toned.

I’ve also made a list (from reading reviews) that might help/ add to the confusion.

A little lighter than NC15 : Graceful Swan
NC25 : Vixen
NC25-30 :  Buttermilk
NC30 :  Temptress
NC30-35 :  Buttermilk mixed with Desert Sand
NC35-40 :  Enchantress, Enchantress and Femme Fatale
NW20 :  Aurora, Sunrise Flush and Prima Donna

It’s so easy to be swayed by value when writing about a product that is (relatively) cheap – giving a mediocre product a good write-up because it’s good for the price. Graftobian HD Glamour Creme is phenomenal for the price, but it is also phenomenal when compared to foundations costing twice as much. While the beauty world is saturated with foundations, the finish this creme gives is rare. The product has versatility that many brands advertise but few deliver: sheer, medium and full coverage all in one (small) package. The one flaw in this foundation is the ingredients. The creme can’t compare with more expensive foundations in this area, but perhaps that would be expecting too much.