For the past year or so I've been hearing about Surratt Beauty. For anyone who hasn't heard of it, the brand was founded in 2013 by US makeup artist Troy Surratt. After studying to become a fashion illustrator, he decided to use his artistic skill to become a makeup artist. Over the Years, Troy Surratt worked under the guidance of the legendary Kevyn Aucoin and has since become one of the most sought after and well respected make up artists in the industry. While visiting Japan, he discovered new and innovative materials, textures and products that inspired him to start his own brand. After years of research Surratt found that he wanted to manufacture his products in Japan where they had the best quality materials and attention to detail.
So now that you know a little bit about the brand, let's talk about what I bought from Surratt Beauty in Sephora in New York. I actually only ended up buying the Surreal Skin Foundation Wand (although had I more time and money I would have bought a lot more, the eyelash curler is next on my list). I'd seen this foundation mentioned countless times by makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes who is a huge fan of the brand and particularly this foundation. I had also seen Lisa Eldridge using it in one of her videos, she also wrote some of her thoughts about it on her website which you can read here. So after being endorsed by two of my favourite makeup artists I had to check it out for myself in Sephora. I colour matched myself to shade 01 (the lightest shade, of course), I tried a little on my face but I didn't buy it that day because I wanted to think about it some more and see the colour in the daylight. On our last day in New York I was doing a dash around Sephora 15 minutes before they closed and I had a list from my sister and I didn't have much time to think about it so I ended up with this in my basket. The reason I was so hesitant to buy this is because it costs $65! Yes, that's right, $65! Not only does it cost that much, that's only for 15ml/0.5oz of product, so half the amount you would usually get from a bottle of foundation.
I've been dying to write about this foundation for the past couple of months but I wanted to try it out properly and really put it through its paces because of how much it costs. I've never spent that much on a beauty product that I can think of except possibly perfume.
Let's begin with what this foundation is supposed to give you for your hard earned $65. It's medium to full coverage, oil free, long wearing and it comes in 15 shades. It has a built in angled, anti-bacterial brush to make application quick and easy and handy for topping up on the go. The brush apparently only needs to be washed once a month. It's supposed to reduce the appearance of pores and fine lines and is self-setting. It's also formulated without sulphates or parabens.
I completely agree that the formula is medium to full coverage. You can apply as much or as little of this as you desire by clicking the pen and dispensing the right amount onto the brush. You can see from the photos below that it has evened out my skin tone, and significantly reduced the appearance of my pores and any redness. That's with only one thing layer buffed out with the built in brush. It's easy enough to layer this up if you need more coverage, I don't find that it looks heavy on the skin.
It contains ingredients that help make it anti-bacterial (Phenoxyethanol) which is great for the built in brush and vitamin E to condition the skin and act as an anti-oxidant (Tocopheryl). It also contains a silicone called Cyclopentasiloxane which makes it easy to blend and also can fill in lines to give the skin a temporary plumped look. This is something to bear in mind if you're not a fan of silicones, however I don't find it has that usual silicone feeling at all.
bare, moisturised skin
foundation and concealer under my eyes
So what did I think of the most expensive foundation I'v ever tried? First off, the packaging is incredibly impressive. It's clear that a great amount of thought and time has gone into developing the packaging of this foundation. The matte into glossy/shimmery case is weighted and feels expensive (whatever that means) but not too heavy that your hand gets tired when you're blending it in. The duo fibre brush is soft but that's where my love of the brush ends. There aren't that many reviews on this foundation online, I watched a few videos and read a few reviews and the majority of them said exactly what I thought. The brush just doesn't do it for me. I love the idea in theory and if you have the time to spend blending and blending it actually gives an amazing full coverage finish but for my face, the brush is far too small. In fact it's marginally bigger than the brush I use for my concealer. I found that the first time I used this I ended up blending and blending and it really annoyed me. I couldn't believe I'd spent so much money on something that was adding so much time to my makeup routine. The first time I used it I applied too much by accident so obviously that added to the problem because it took longer to blend and then it didn't wear as well as I thought it would because there was just far too much foundation on my face.
The second time I tried it I applied less and that definitely helped but I was still annoyed that it was taking me so long to blend it in and get rid of the streaks. I did like that it was angled as I felt that helped to blend around my nose. Like most of the other reviews I read I have now taken to using it with one of my own brushes. I click the pen and apply the foundation in patches around my face with the built in brush and then blend it out with my own Zoeva face brush which is about three times the size.
Other than the brush issue I've found that this makes my skin look amazing. I do have to powder it in the centre of my face because my t-zone gets quite oily throughout the day but if you have dry skin you could probably leave it without powering. It gives excellent coverage but I like that you can still see my skins texture and my freckles underneath it. It's very lightweight and doesn't feel like I have a full coverage foundation on at all. It wears very well and evenly and the good thing about the wand is that you could bring it out to top it up if necessary but I wouldn't ever do that really, I don't find I need to but if you have oilier skin than me you might want to top it up.
You don't need to worry about cleaning the brush because it's made in such a way that no water or anything can get into the tube so you can wash away and it won't effect the product inside. They say it only needs to be washed once a month but personally I'd probably wash it more often than that just to make sure that the bristles don't get loaded with too much product and become less effective.
My final thoughts are that I love the foundation and the packaging but for me, the brush is too small. If it was twice the size I'd be much happier with spending that much money on it. I also don't know what I'm supposed to do once the wand is empty, it would feel strange throwing away something so expensive, I could use the brush for something else after all, like blush or contouring or even concealer. I understand that the expensive price is probably mostly due to the innovative packaging and the brush but I'd really love if I could buy the foundation alone, pay less and use my own brush. Or if the brush came separately and could be reused again and again. I would find it strange if I did like the built in brush to finish the foundation, throw it away and then buy a new one. It would be such a waste. I'd love to know what your thoughts are. As much as I love the formula I just couldn't justify spending another $65 on this because I just don't get the use of the brush which is half the idea of it. I also think it's far too much money to spend on only 15ml of product.
Just to break it down for you price wise. In Sephora I paid $65 for this which ended up working out at around €56. If you buy it from Net-a-porter is costs $65 too, but if you convert the price to buy in Euro, their price is €74, which is significantly more than what it ended up working out at for me. You can buy from Cult Beauty and Liberty London if you're based in the UK and Ireland and it costs £62 on both sites. This works out at €69/$80. Obviously as Surratt Beauty is a US brand, the price is going to be higher for anyone buying from Europe because of the import charges involved. It's something to think about if you are interested in trying out this brand.
All of that being said I'd really love to try more from the brand. Have you tried Surratt Beauty yet? What do you think of this foundation wand?