Shade Adjusting Adventures With NYX Total Control Drop Foundation (ft. KVD Lock-It)
So I've accumulated quite a collection of too-dark foundations. It stems from me being ~afraid~ of pale foundation. My neck is much darker than my face, and exactly matching my foundation to my facial skintone makes my neck look full of libag. My yellow tones are also stronger than at first glance, so I tend to err on the dark side. Darker foundations are also easier to adjust than light ones, in my opinion.
I recently got the NYX Total Control Drop Foundation in 01 Pale (PHP 750 + 50 shipping from BeautyMNL / 13ml) as a way to remedy this. I purchased the shade 01 Pale, being their lightest shade. I considered 06 Vanilla for a long time because It looked like it had a loooot of yellow in it, but after considering the shade misses in my collection, decided to prioritize white rather than yellow.
Why not just add light foundation?
Adding lighter shades of foundation is also an option, but I've already done that and the two light foundations in my stash seem to ruin my darker foundations. They make them crack, separate or look bumpy. Basically many foundations are not compatible for mixing whether you're talking about oil vs. water based, or even specific ingredients that may not play well together.
I really wanted to get the Make Up For Ever Chromatic Mix. For true shade adjusting, you would need a lightweight base formula - and MUFE's are almost water-like. This ensures you're getting maximum pigment with the least change to your foundation's formula. They are, however, so hard to find so I tried the most popular and affordable one that I know of.
Dipping my toes in foundation adjustment
NYX Total Control Drop Foundation is still foundation, so I'm not technically shade-adjusting. The product says it is buildable from sheer to full, so in essence I am still getting more pigment-than-normal in a liquidy carrier. And it is very liquidy! Dropped on a palette, it lays almost flat, unlike creamier and thicker foundations.
BYS carries a similar product, which is the BYS Foundation Adjuster at PHP 900, as I was told. NYX TCDF 01 is still beige while BYS FA is actually white. That's also a great option, as taking a pure-white pigment lets you skip more shades without having to 'contaminate' your foundation as much.
Tita Tellie's Tips for Successful Foundation Adjustment:
Mixing light foundation with dark foundation is difficult. So many ingredients may conflict if you combine two foundations. You can easily do this by using foundation of the same line and from the same brand, but if I'm buying a second bottle of the same foundation anyway, I'd rather buy the correct shade.
Find the thinnest product you can find, with the most pigment offered. The goal is to have the most pigment affect your foundation color in the least texture-altering way possible. I can't say yet if NYX is the top budget choice for this, as I was definitely in a rush and grabbed the first good thing I could find. Other brands that I know of and that other people have shared with me over social media are: MUFE Chromatic Mix, CoverFX Custom Cover Drops, The Body Shop Shade Adjusting Drops, BYS Foundation Lightener, LA Girl Pro Coverage and airbrush shade adjustors.
A watery (not necessarily water-based) adjustor makes mixing a lot more consistent and faster. You should only be adjusting per application instead of the whole bottle so having to do it everyday means you have to consider ease of use.
Patience, As much as we don't want to waste foundation, there is no way to figure out your 'recipe' without using regular batches of foundation. Using too small of a practice batch makes it harder to extrapolate the ratio, and you may end up wasting even more product. The trick is to add one tiny drop, mix and swatch, before adding another to the usual amount of foundation you use. Depending on the level of pigment your adjuster carries, you may even have to try to get fractions of drops, as I did practicing with MUFE Chromatic Mix.
You're not a miracle worker, go home. If the foundation is galaxies away from your true shade, be realistic with your expectations. Using too much of a different formulation of light foundation will alter your original foundation formula. Even adjusting with pure pigment is difficult if it comes to the point that you require a more robust mix of reds, yellows or even blues. Sometimes, it's not worth it.
Here's my trial with the too-tan Kat Von D Lock-It Foundation in 52. I first added one drop, then two drops, and eventually four (!!!) drops of NYX TCDF to a full pump of KVD. I used the adjusted foundation on one side, and the tan foundation on the other side.
The non-negotiable: KVD Lock-It is full coverage and has reflective properties to make it look more skin-like. NYX TCDF alone is a bit patchy, so I don't want this affecting KVD. I find that my adjusted side looked really crusty. The color ended up a little chalky and the finish is less skin-like, especially on my forehead where I have the worst texture. I also ended up using a full pump for my adjusted side, but only about half of the plain KVD side. This leads me to the conclusion that I've simply adjusted too much and have fucked up the formula.
On the cheeks, it actually looks fine and the difference is passable! It's my first time to use both products and I feel the next few trials can be more successful now that I have a better feel of both. I think I just ended up using too much adjustor so the color didn't match and the formula changed.
Overall, I'd rate this Adventure: inconclusive. This first trial looked awful, but I've gotten better at my ratios. After trying with my other tan foundations (Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk and Club Clio Kill Cover Conceal-dation,) I realized that the limit for NYX TCDF is about 2 drops to a full pump of foundation. This ratio tends to keep my beloved formulations more or less unaffected.
NYX Total Control Drop Foundation is nice and watery, but can only adjust shades up to a certain limit. It's worth a try if you feel like you have a fractional difference between your foundation shade and skin tone. Otherwise, I'd go with a real adjustor or a completely new foundation.
Now sounds like a great time to start a foundation week!