Read ALL about my review process including how I take swatches, photos, and more here.
EDIT: beautyblender has since added more shades—check them out here
I gave my first impressions and talked about the beautyblender Bounce Foundation shade range in a recent first impressions video on my Youtube channel, but now I’ve had a chance to play around with the foundation and look at more of the shades aside from the deeper ones, I’m posting my full review. If you want to see some of this stuff in action for a better idea of the foundation, check out my Youtube video as well.
When a lot of the backlash about the beautyblender Bounce shade range hit, I was on my way to a road trip to upstate New York and my car overheated. One of my friends sent me a screenshot of the range while I was on the go and it looked really bad to me—like the typical tons of beige shades and a small sampling of deeper shades. I was able to get a gist of the backlash but didn’t get to fully dive in since I was traveling. I know that there were images put out on social media that made the shades look super orange.
Even when I got my press package, it felt like an overwhelming amount of beige shades vs the teeny section of darker shades. And while what’s considered dark can vary from person to person (I put up a post a few years ago of 70+ dark skin beauty Youtubers and in the comments I got people telling me the people on my list weren’t dark skin and I also had people telling me Shirley B. Eniang should have been on the list). But out of 32 shades, we’re looking at 4-5 MAYBE 6 deep shades.
What it is:
A weightless, liquid whip foundation with a multidimensional, velveteen-matte finish that wears for up to 24 hours.
What it does:
The best foundation is the one you can’t see at all. With a bare-skin feel yet completely full-coverage, this revolutionary, weightless, whipped liquid glides and bounces easily so it never looks cakey or fake—no matter how little or how much you layer on. Developed with an exclusive, high-speed HyperWhip™ process, this silky smooth formula is whisked into a light-as-air texture for unparalleled blendability—no pro skills required. Never chalky or lifeless, the velveteen-matte finish has a multidimensional effect, like naturally-gorgeous, healthy skin. Available in 32 blends, this full-coverage foundation addresses not just tone but also skin texture so your complexion looks smooth and even. Infused with hyaluronic acid and antioxidant-rich white birch extract, it leaves your complexion both perfected and protected. Best of all, it leaves skin looking picture-perfect—both IRL and on-screen—for up to 24 hours.
What it is formulated WITHOUT:
What else you need to know:
Pro makeup artist Rea Ann Silva’s category-creating beautyblender changed the way women apply their makeup. For years, the beautyblender makeup sponge has helped foundations look their best. Finally, the iconic blender meets its match with Bounce Liquid Whip Long Wear Foundation. This perfect pair creates a completely diffused, undetectable finish. Some things are just better together. Just like the premier aqua-activated™, edgeless blender, form meets function in Bounce’s unique packaging. A special reservoir on the bottle allows anyone to apply and blend like a pro.
(beautyblender cosmetic sponge is sold separately.)
A screenshot from my video
Now performance-wise, this foundation is amazing if you’re looking for a matte finish foundation that doesn’t look cakey and gives skin-like results with a medium to full buildable coverage. I have oily skin and wore this out on a day where it felt like I was being cooked in a big pot of thick soup and it held up very well. It also held up well on another suuuuper hot day where I was walking around Soho shopping. I didn’t use primer (but in the summer I do use lighter weight moisturizers—this day I was wearing Murad Oil Free Mattifier SPF 15) and only had some minor oil breakthrough that some blotting could take care of.
I like that you can sheer it out if you want less coverage and then layer for more coverage. I layered in areas where I have dark spots and discoloration. It covers well, but I did still need concealer for the discoloration under my eyes.
I also LOVE the packaging and also find fault in it at the same time. The packaging is perfect for travel and everyday usage—it has a lock in the back so you don’t spill any of your precious foundation and then the packaging also doubles as a makeup palette—when you pump out the foundation there’s a little “well” in the package where you can bounce the foundation onto your beautyblender so you don’t have to put it on the back of your hand. The foundation packaging is super easy to wipe off and seems like you’d be able to keep it clean long-term. What I find fault in is the frosted bottle which makes it hard to determine the shade inside the bottle. I almost didn’t think shade 4.40 would match me because it looks SO LIGHT in the bottle. Obviously once you get your shade (if they have it), you won’t care because you’ll know it’s your shade, but going in it makes it a bit hard to decipher what the shade really looks like.
I am a dark brown with neutral undertones—often times I don’t have a good shade match even in brands that are geared toward women of color (they often go too red on me or too dark if they’re neutral enough). Shade 4.40 which is in the neutral category was a good match for me—not too light, not too dark, and not too red. I have had my undertones calculated (yes, this is a thing…lol) by the owner of Hue Noir (a makeup line by a WOC for WOC now available at Target) using a special machine that helps her read skin tones. She remarked how I’m the shade that she’s trying to perfect—a dark brown with neutral undertones as I have a pretty balanced amount of red and yellow (not too red not too yellow, neutral). So on a personal note, I was actually shocked I had a shade match in the beautyblender range.
Now I do have to say that they did a good job with the darker shades that they made—these are shades that will work on many people with deeper skin tones (within those shades—I’m of course not suggesting that EVERY person with deeper skin can wear these) BUT there are a LOT of gaps in between shades making a heavy need for more shades on the deeper end of the spectrum (I’m including light brown through dark brown here). There’s a huge jump between my shade 4.40 and the shade above it 4.30. My niece is in town visiting from Georgia and she’s gotta be at least like 6 or 7 shades lighter than me even with her tan (I’d say she has a caramel complexion with olive undertones) and although the undertones were off, 4.30 was her closest match in color and that’s only the shade above mine (4.40). Those who are in that light to medium brown range (think Lauren London to Queen Latifah’s shades inclusive of undertones) may find it hard to find a good match in this range along with the variations in color and undertone on the deeper end (think Janelle Monae to Duckie—although 4.70 looks close to Duckie—I don’t have the Fenty 480 which is her shade to compare it to BB’s 4.70). But though the deeper shades can really use some in between shades to fill in the gaps, the ones they do have are done well and aren’t orange as they appeared to be on social media. To be fair, I have had a few conversations with the brand and they said they have additional shades in the works. But because we’ve heard that so many times from brands before, it feels like an afterthought. Though from what I know about the beautyblender team, it’s hard for me to believe they intentionally wanted to exclude anyone (disclosure: I have a bit of a relationship with the beautyblender team—not in a “hey girl, I’ll be at the barbecue by 3” type of relationship, but I’ve done paid work with them before, am on their press list, get invited to events, and was part of a trip where they took a bunch of makeup artists and bloggers/vloggers to a Beyoncé concert not too long ago) but this shade range definitely needs improvement on the deeper end. MUCH improvement.
My focus on this post is on the darker shades, but I also see that a lot of attention was placed on the medium plus tones. Since I focus a lot on darker skin tones on this blog, I never really thought about how people with lighter skin tones (I’m talking the Alicia Keys/Beyoncé/Lauren London range) have a hard time finding shades because either the color is good and the undertone is too pink or too orange or too red OR the undertone is good, but the color is too light or too dark, until I went makeup shopping with my homey La Loca at Radio 103.9 (watch the video here). Those with olive undertones who aren’t very light also struggle finding good matches. This line seems to attempt to fill that gap BUT it would have been amazing to see that attention paid on the deeper end as well. People with deeper skin AND olive undertones will also have difficulty finding a shade match in this range (may even be impossible).
And when I say the few shades they’ve done are done well, I don’t mean that they did a good job overall on the shade range (because somehow a number of people misinterpreted this from my video on Youtube). Like I mentioned above, there are a LOT of gaps in between the shades, BUT of the deeper shades they made, I do think they did a good job with those. I’ve been swatching foundations from maaaaaaany brands over the last 11 years I’ve had this blog. I’ve seen great shade ranges and I’ve seen ones where I wonder if the brand actually knows people with darker skin. Those beautyblender Foundation shades (though VERY stingy and few) weren’t of the variety where the deeper shade is like Beyoncé or ones where the dark shades are grey AF. Now they are NOWHERE near the type of variety in deeper shades you’d see at brands like Cover FX, A.P.D.G. (who has one of the MOST extensive shade matches for darker skin), AJ Crimson, Danessa Myricks, MAC, Lancome, Estee Lauder, Fenty Beauty, etc. but they’re also not as bad as brands like Almay, Tarte, and It Cosmetics.
So I wrote a post about why MAC isn’t a Foundation Guide and it’s great to read it if you haven’t already. It’ll explain why foundation equivalents can be hard to match up because brands in general are making more shades on the deeper end of the spectrum now and also there is no universal foundation range in the beauty industry. One brand’s dark brown with golden undertones can look very different from another brand’s because of the mix of colors used to create the shade.
Your best bet in finding a match in beautyblender Bounce is to use the guide below and/or try it out in person at Sephora (or order online and try it at home—if the shade doesn’t match and you return it within Sephora’s guidelines, you can get a refund). Or you know, try a brand that has more shade options on the deeper end of the spectrum. I listed some out in my Black Girl’s Guide to Shopping at Sephora post.
Shade 4.10 gives a coffee with a touch of cream vibe—it has cool undertones. Shades 4.20, and 4.30 are in the caramel complexion range (you know, like the color of the actual candy). Of course watch the undertones as all caramel complexions aren’t the same undertone and some are of course lighter or darker than others. 4.40 is my shade match—if you’re a dark brown with neutral undertones like me, this might be a good match for you—we don’t often have good dark browns with neutral undertones. Cover FX N110 and Dior Face and Body in 6.5N are two shades that work very well for me with Cover FX N110 being a longtime favorite in the Custom Cover Drops, Total Cover Cream Foundation, Pressed Mineral Foundation, and the latest Power Play foundation. You can see videos of me wearing Cover FX foundations on my Youtube channel here.
If you’re about 2 shades darker than me with red undertones, 4.50 might be a match. A few shades deeper than that with neutral undertones gets you 4.60 and even deeper than that by a SMIDGE with cool undertones is 4.70.
I’m also including an image of the darker shades after they dried down not because they oxidize (I didn’t experience any oxidizing when I wore my shade out), but because once they dry down, you get a better read of the color. This happens with a number of foundation formulas because of a multitude of reasons including water content and also if you’ve ever painted with matte paint, you know once it dries down it looks different than when it was wet.
EDIT: beautyblender has since added more shades—check them out here
Bottom line: Beautyblender Bounce Liquid Whip Long Wear Foundation is an amazing matte finish (but skin-like) medium to full coverage foundation with really innovative packaging. Like this packaging is really a game-changer. There is definitely a big need for improvement to fill in the gaps on the deeper end of the spectrum which includes not only the dark browns but also the light to medium browns as well.
Price and where to buy: $40 at Sephora (plus get 4% cash back when you use eBates). The expected in-store arrival is mid-August from what I’ve seen but if I get better info, I’ll update this section of the post.