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Cheekbones, please!I’ve hit major pan on my beloved NARS Laguna that I’ve been loyal to for how many years and counting. It’s the only product in my stash that I use to contour, nothing else. While I’d repurchase it in a heartbeat, I had an urge to try something new – particularly a cream formula that I felt would look more natural as compared to a powder one. So imagine my delight when I saw the the new NARS Matte Multiples that came in shades that looked perfect for contouring! However, upon reading reviews regarding it, my excitement kinda died down. Also, they aren’t out here in the Philippines till next month which further killed the anticipation. I didn’t want to order online blindly because I wanted to test which among the three possible contour shades would best suit me. So I dragged my ass off to the local beauty sections instead and hunted down a cream contour product to test out.
The LowdownJames Cooper Compact Powder Foundation Cream is a weird name – so are you a cream or a powder? Anyway, a short background – James Cooper is a Filipino makeup artist who (I didn’t know before now!) worked in Hollywood during the 80s and catered to stars like Farrah Fawcett, Victoria Principal, Barbara Carerra, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Maude Addams. He left the Hollywood lights to return to the Philippines in the mid-1980s which was when his makeup line was born. On to the product – this cream foundation is very thick and slightly heavy. I personally wouldn’t prefer to use this for my whole face on a daily basis. I do see why professional makeup artists would love this on their clients, though, because it’s a heavy duty foundation and covers up well when blended and applied properly.
Texture and ConsistencyThat said, the cream is slightly tacky and a tiny bit too sticky for my preference which makes blending much more laborious than I would like. My fusses aside, the shade I got is CP-FC01 which I believe is the darkest and I find it terrific as a contour shade. It is not at all orange (despite the photos below, it was just really sunny when I took them and I can’t color-correct for shit). It’s more of a taupe chocolate brown. I find that this oils up quite a bit (though not as much as I expected) at the 4-hour mark (sans primer or powder). So, I make sure to set this with loose powder after application to delay them oilies as much as possible. My only other gripe really is blendability. It’s really a pain to blend out because it’s not a smooth cream like how most blushes are formulated. It’s a bit drier and stiffer, so I use a dense synthetic brush like the Real Techniques Buffing Brush or Expert Face Brush to blend this one out.
FINAL THOUGHTSFirst thing I learned from this is that it’s pretty hard to come by a cream contour product in the local market that comes in this shade or any other dark shade, for that matter. I’ve been to both the SM and Landmark beauty sections and spent a good two and a half hour going from counter to counter to look for one. Most local foundation shades go only up to MAC NC40 and are still probably too light for most morenas in the country. Also, there is just no cream contour product in other brands! WHY. There are some that carry powders but are too light to even be called a contour shade, they’re more like warm-up shades. I think we can attribute this to the fact that most Filipinas are still hesitant to contour because it tends to ‘darkens the face’ and in a country where “white” skin is celebrated, I can see why most brands (international and local) aren’t bringing in the darker shades of their lines. Even those who are dark and tan insist on getting a foundation shade lighter than their natural skintones because of this skin whitening phenomenon in the country (we were under colonial rule for decades and were criticized for being dark-skinned, so I get where this insecurity developed). Anyway, as a final note, I am loving James Cooper Compact Powder Cream Foundation (can the name be any longer?) for my contouring needs. It comes off much “natural-looking” than powder and performs well despite the minor blending issue (buffing is key!). As mentioned above, it’s hard to come by a cream contour product in the market so I commend James Cooper for bringing in this product and making it available for Filipinas locally.
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