|Above: The streamlined, luxe Serge Lutens packaging...I love this aesthetic.|
A couple of months ago, I purchased the Serge Lutens Teint Si Fin Compact Foundation. This was a carefully deliberated transaction as this product is far from inexpensive. Retailing for $80 for the powder pan and $80 for the compact, one cannot help but question if such a product is worth the cost.
|Above: The Teint Si Fin is made in Japan and offers .28 ounces of product; thankfully, a little goes a long way!|
Having procured more powders in my lifetime that I can even enumerate, I was able to justify this purchase as commensurate to the total cost of a few powders that I own and currently do not wear and thought, if I end up wearing this all of the time, then it may be worth it.
|Above: The Serge Lutens Teint Si Fin compact in all its ebony glory.|
I originally bought the powder (sans the compact) with hopes that I wouldn't need the compact for the full experience. However, my hopes were dashed when I quickly grew tired of opening and closing the fragile plastic packaging that held the pan of powder. In turn, I ended up ordering the entire compact shortly after!
The compact is a sleek, glossy black, minimalist case with beautiful hinges and a generous mirror. It has a separate compartment for the sponge (which is standard) and I love how this feels in my hands. It opens easily and closes securely with a satisfying snap.
|Above: Even though the compact comes labeled and intact with a particular shade of powder, you can buy the refills in any shade, thereby making the compact quite utilitarian.|
|Above: My pristine pan of Teint Si Fin in O40 before sullying it with a brush or sponge ; ) It looks quite dark in the pan, but applies much lighter and thankfully doesn't oxidize!|
Because there was so little by way of details and information (much less, swatches!) regarding this product, I spent an inordinate amount of time deciding on which shade to order. After a couple of phone calls with the Serge Lutens specialist at Barney's (I even gave her my match in the Kevyn Aucoin SSE--#6--which she swatched in conjunction with the powders just to make sure), I came to the conclusion that O40 was likely the best match for my NC25 skin.
Texturally, this powder is exceedingly finely-milled, endlessly silky and somehow simultaneously harnesses both mattifying and glow-inducing powers. On its own as a powder foundation, I found that the coverage to be minimal; it is difficult for me to call this an official "foundation powder." However, if you have very good skin to begin with, then I suppose a great primer and thorough application of this powder might be all one needs for a polished visage. I find that this works amazingly well over any foundation that I choose for the day, and I fully acknowledge that this rotation can be vast!
Applied with a foundation brush (in this case, my trusty Hourglass Retractable Foundation Brush), it provides a lovely finishing effect and additional coverage...a few swirls are sufficient as a little of this goes a remarkably long way. It simply melts into the skin, removing excess shine and adding extra coverage, all the while without imparting a perceivable powdery finish. I notice that this does not oxidize as the day goes on and touchups with the sponge throughout the day are achieved without unsightly buildup.
|Above: Serge Lutens Teint Si Fin in O40 in direct sunlight.|
Because this powder is so finely milled, relatively sheer (although it gives excellent buildable coverage over a base of foundation), and instantly melds with the skin upon application (the chief challenge for color-saturated images), I found that it was excruciatingly difficult to swatch. I took a veritable host of pictures and the next couple of images are the absolute best I have to offer; despite trying a variety of lighting situations, the powder would just not appear as it did to my naked eye! I am hoping that the resulting swatches, in tandem with my shade descriptions, will be of use to those hoping to order this sight unseen!
Onto the swatches and shade descriptions...
|Above: Serge Lutens Teint Si Fin (top row L-R) in Blanc, BF20, B40, B60, D10 and (bottom row L-R) I20, I40, O40, O60, O20. It should be noted that the powders apply more lightly than they appear in the pan!|
|Above: Swatches of the Serge Lutens Teint Si Fin shade range in direct sunlight.|
1. Blanc: Very light with yellow undertones (similar to Hourglass Diffused Light) for very fair skin
2. BF20: A light yellow beige for NC15-20 skin tones
3. I20: A light neutral beige for N/NW 15-20 skin tones
4. O20: A light yellow beige for NC20 skin tones (very similar to BF 20, perhaps a bit less yellow)
5. O40: A light yellow beige for NC20-27 skin tones (because this is fairly sheer and adaptable, I can see myself using this year round and I range from NC 23-NC 30, dependent on the season)
6. B40: A neutral to rosy beige for NW 25-30 skin tones
7. O60: A yellow beige for NC 30-40 skin tones
8. I40: A neutral beige for NW/N/NC 30-35 or so skin tones
9. B60: A rosy beige for NW 35 + skin tones
10. D10: A very warm, peachy beige for NW/N/NC 40 + skin tones
|Above: Swatches of the Serge Lutens Teint Si Fin shade range in indoor car lighting.|
Here is my video review as well of images of the powder on my face in various lighting and foundation situations...
|Above: In direct sunlight...it creates a matte glow rather than a powdery finish (not a great expression, but a useful lighting context nonetheless!). I am wearing this over Revlon Colorstay Whipped Foundation in #200.|
|Above: In a sunlit window. I am wearing this over Face Atelier Ultra Foundation in #2 Ivory.|
|Above: Outdoors in shade. I am wearing this over Kanebo Sensai Cellular Performance Foundation in Natural Beige (to be reviewed soon).|
|Above: In a sunny car ; ) I am wearing this over Hourglass Immaculate Foundation in Golden.|
In turn, I recommend it along with a prudent sentiment...if it is within your reach financially, then it is a lovely acquisition that features both form and function. If its cost is not reasonable within the constraints of your budget, then there are a myriad of powders that can deliver commensurate results...Sulwhasoo Brightening and Hourglass Ambient Lightening Powder to name a few!
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