Phoenix Cosmetics custom-blended foundation

Phoenix Cosmetics Matte foundation, with friends Miracle Complexion Sponge and Expert Face Brush from Real Techniques, on a background of my Juliette Hogan dress (on special for $99! Score!)

Phoenix Cosmetics Matte foundation, with friends Miracle Complexion Sponge and Expert Face Brush from Real Techniques, on a background of my Juliette Hogan dress (on special for $99! Score!)

I have a soft spot for the phoenix. The themes of death and rebirth have been at the forefront of my mind of late; attempting a PhD for six years, having it not work out for various reasons, and writing it up as a masters while questioning all facets of my life and wellbeing might have something to do with it. So getting an email from Phoenix Cosmetics advertising their deal for custom-blended foundations was kind of apropos. It's the little things, right? Ace your base, fresh face for a fresh start, etc.

In Chinese mythology, the phoenix is associated with the feminine ying energy, so it seems appropriate that the Phoenix Cosmetics salons are feminine frou-frou heaven. I first came across them several years back when I was first at uni, after reading media coverage of founder Phoenix Renata's skill in eyebrow shaping. Phoenix has now built an impressive cosmetics brand and chain of salons, as well as running a Beauty School. While their particular retro aesthetic isn't necessary my style, I can appreciate their unabashedly girly branding and the styling of their Pink Ladies (aka makeup artists).

The deal was for their custom blended foundations, which come in Matte and Dewy formulas, at the special price of $35 (normally $65). They had me at “custom”, especially considering that most “mass-tige” brands like Maybelline and L’Oreal retail their foundations at the $30-40 mark in New Zealand. 

So much for custom-blended, though — I was a perfect match for the shade Honey, which as far as I can tell is approximately NC37 in MAC colouring. (I wish I was special.) This was in the Matte formula, although it's actually very similar to the dewier Lancome Teint Miracle in that it results in real-looking skin. I would describe it as satin-finish with a medium coverage. It’s a water-based formula, and can be sheered out with a damp sponge (the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion sponge is pictured), or built up with a dense brush (like the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush). 

The makeup artist who matched me at the Kingsland salon mentioned that the Matte formula oxidises, so it pays to be patient and wait ten minutes to see the final colour match (generally good advice when shopping for foundations, especially if your skin tends towards the oily).

Note: if you purchase the Real Techniques brushes through the links and use the code CFD132, you can get a discount of $5-10 depending on how much you spend. I’ll get a referral reward too. If you're in New Zealand you'll be pleased to note that the website prices are more than half off the retail prices here.