Some items are worth their weight in gold, even when that's their actual price tag. Serge Lutens Compact Foundation is one such product. Pressed powder foundations can be very dry and matte (the whole "powder" thing), so I usually save them for the melty days of august or for visits to questionable climate zones. But Serge Lutens Teint Si Fin is like a unicorn. A touch of a sponge or a firm brush (Shiseido Perfect Foundation brush is ideal) to the surface of the foundation, a swipe on the face, and there you go: an invisible cream, good coverage, skin-like finish. You can build it up to a full coverage with a porcelain finish by applying a few layers, or use it lightly to give your tinted moisturizer a truly flawless and polished look.
I rarely use a full-coverage foundation over my entire face, and I think that Serge Lutens Teint Si Fin is ideal for those of us who want to even out the skin and cover only certain areas. I did test the foundation for a full face look and was amazed at the photoshopped effect it gives. I still avoid the crevices at the sides of my nose (I find that a liquid concealer is better for this area), but everywhere else, including parts of the under-eye area can benefit from the touch of Uncle Serge.
Serge Lutens has always been a perfectionist, so when he architects your face you know you're going to get the best possible base. The versatility of his foundation also makes up for the price, as you really get the very best product and can tailor it to your needs. Don't buy sight unseen, though. There are only ten shades in this range and you must make sure you have a perfect match, otherwise there's no point: even the unicorn texture cannot help if the color is off. The wonderful makeup artist at Barneys NY was utterly confident that my shade was B40. There was no peering into my face, hemming and hawing while shining various lamps onto my skin, head-scratching and swatching one shade after another on my jaw. Just B40 that melded with my skin and disappeared into it, covering a small unsightly spot and a patch of hyper-pigmentation. The foundation stays in place and lasts all day, at least on my well-primed and non-oily face.
Bottom Line: I'm grateful for the refill option.
Serge Lutens Compact Foundation ($80 for the 8 gram refill pan) is available from Barneys as well as directly from http://us.sergelutens.com.
Top image: Serge Lutens Cityscape By Yvonne Lacet.