Mesdemoiselles Blasé

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Fé as Mitsuru from Persona 3

Photo by Jack Liu

L’Oréal Paris’ True Match Roller

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L'Oréal True Match Roll On Foundation
Ok, so I can guess what you’re thinking. A ROLLER foundation applicator?! They were on seriously good stuff when they came up with that. I admit I was sort of thinking the same when I saw this at the pharmacy yesterday. That and something else along the lines of them being ready to try anything no matter how weird and ridiculous to get sales.

BUT the brand being L’Oréal True Match made me think twice about it. As far as pharmacy makeup brands go, I would say that L’Oréal True Match liquid foundation is my favourite and the one I would recommend to anyone looking for a foundation with good coverage at a fraction of the cost of the bigger brands (MAC, etc) at around 9 dollars a bottle. It also has the best selection of shades in its category to my knowledge. I had to return L’Oréal’s Infallible foundation the other day because the palest shade made me look like a Ganguro.

Feeling adventurous that evening, I decided to try it and find out first hand what that roller thing is all about.

Price Range

The first thing I noticed was the price tag. Compared to the True Match Liquid foundation the Roller is rather expensive (nearly twice the price of the Liquid). At least, it was 3 dollars off to launch the new product.

Shade Selection

The second thing I noticed was the differences in the shades compared to the True Match Liquid foundation. There is a lot less choice than with the Liquid foundation which goes from 1 to 6 in 3 different tint.

True Match Shades Explained
The 3 tints offered are Cold – for ‘bluer’ skin tones, Warm – for pink/red skin tones and Neutral – for skin tones that aren’t overly blue nor red.
Once you’ve determined your tint you can match it to the darkness or fairness of your skin with the numbers 1 to 6 (1 for the fairest to 6 for the darkest skin tones).
With that system and the homemade mixes you can do with it, it’s very nearly impossible to NOT find a match for your skin.

Normally, I use a mix of the colour N1 and N2 with the liquid foundation. (About 2/3rd N1 mixed with 1/3rd N2.)

However, True Match Roller doesn’t quite like that. They grouped the 1 to 6 increments in some shades and others have simply disappeared. For example, in the N tint, the fairest shade is ‘N1-N2’ (grouped) and the next N3.

I thought that the N1-N2 colour would match me perfectly but it is almost too light for my skin. It looks more like True Match Liquid N1 only. I haven’t tried any other shades but I think N3 would be much too dark for me.

Applicator

The roller is really something else. Honestly, I had no faith in it whatsoever and though I would end up using a sponge and treat the foundation like any other cream-type foundation. Surprisingly enough, the roller is not completely useless.

I saw on the L’Oréal website that the aim for this product is to help women with little or no experience in applying foundation with the use of a simple roller. True Match Roller actually does that. Mind you, it’s not as well applied as with a professional brush or sponge but it gives surprisingly good results, even when using only the roller.

It’s good but far from perfect. The application is very difficult in some places (namely around the eyes and the nose) and can leave some streak marks that must be blended in with a sponge or fingers. If you don’t have perfectly smooth skin (who does really?) the roller doesn’t work as nicely. It went over and around the wrinkles on my forehead and under my eyes thus accentuating and not covering them. That also creates a ‘cakey’ look.

It definitely has to be touched up with a sponge for a nicer look. I also worry about how the roller will hold up to use and if it’s washable.

Coverage

The foundation offers a medium to heavy coverage that is buildable. I suspect it’s also supposed to be able to offer a light coverage but because of the way it has to be rolled on multiple time to cover all the skin (nose, eyes, non-flat parts of the face) it’s impossible to apply it lightly.

1-Step Finish

The foundation claims it finished to a powdered look but I found it rather oily. It didn’t LOOK oily but it felt oily and cakey in places where it was applied too thickly or with difficulty. It necessitated the application of a finishing powder (MAC’s Blot Powder being my favourite).

I found that it got oily faster than my usual foundation and True Match Liquid, even with a mattifying primer and a blotting powder finish. It did not hold up well on the oilier part of my face (nose, chin, etc.) and started sliding off it in small chunks. Nothing a bit of blot paper or powder could not fix though.

Conclusion

Even though True Match Roller won’t be replacing any of my other foundations I was pleasantly surprised. Compared to the True Match Liquid I feel it is inferior in shades selection, sticking to the face and staying matte throughout the day.

However, I think it’s a perfectly good product for people with no clue about applying foundation, especially younger people (since it doesn’t do well with wrinkles). Applying it was fast, fun and simpler than sponge or brush application.

Pros
– Simple application
– Very good coverage
– A good in between liquid or powder foundations

Cons
– Cakey and oily (not for long wear)
– Smaller shades selection than other True Match foundations
– I rolled it into my eyes multiple time trying to apply it around my eyes; it was unpleasant.