Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Ardency Inn Custom Coverage Concentrate...Review + Swatches of Every Shade!

Above: The Ardency Inn AMERICANA Custom Coverage Concentrate...tiny bottle, impressive potential.
This review has been a long time coming...I originally picked up the Ardency Inn AMERICANA Custom Coverage Concentrate last September at Sephora.  Drawn in by the allure of a portable formula that allows the wearer to create their own foundation mix, this highly-pigmented innovation does not disappoint.  Over the past few months, I have mentioned my positive experience with the Custom Coverage Concentrate in Light-Medium Olive (a perfect match for my NC 23-27 skin) HEREHERE, and HERE.  Upon getting the opportunity to swatch all ten shades, I am thrilled to formally expound on this exemplary formula.

MY THOUGHTS:

I would liken this formula to that of the Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer, however, I much prefer the CCC due to its lack of fragrance, superior blendability and lighter sensation on the face (after a few hours of wear, the KA SSE always makes my sensitive skin feel like it cannot breathe).  

Texturally speaking, it is thick, yet spreads with ease...just a tiny dot (one half of one pump) is enough to cover the entire face; because it is so concentrated, a little goes a very long way and I recommend staring with a diminutive amount because you can always add a bit more (as a very potent concealer) in areas requiring additional attention.  For medium to full coverage, I prefer mixing the aforementioned dot with few different options and applying with a damp Beauty Blender:
In terms of lasting power, this formula does not budge!  Even in heat and humidity, the skin-like finish stays intact...no patchiness, migrating, pooling or streaking.  When applied with restraint, skin looks perfected yet natural and only develops the slightest glow after hours of wear.  

With regards to ingredients, the unscented quality of this product is appreciated, and I haven't found that it irritates or causes a negative reaction to my sensitive skin whatsoever!  

While I personally haven't experimented with cutting this formula down to tinted moisturizer proportions (I'm a medium coverage girl!), I know many who have with great success.  A tiny bottle that offers light, medium and full coverage foundation options as well as concealer?  The versatility of this formula is commendable and at $38, its value is indisputable.


OFFICIAL DETAILS (courtesy of Sephora):

WHAT IT IS:

What it is: 
A breakthrough innovation in complexion that adds a natural flesh tone to your daily moisturizer, turning it into your own custom liquid foundation, tinted moisturizer, or concealer. 

What it does: 
Get a naturally flawless-looking complexion every day. While traditional foundations only offer one level of coverage, even when layering, Americana Custom Coverage Concentrate provides the exact amount of coverage you need only where you need it. Mix a drop of with any moisturizer to create your custom tinted foundation, tinted moisturizer, or concealer. Adjust the amount of concentrate based on your desired level of coverage. The more concentrate, the more coverage. 

What else you need to know: 
One bottle of this highly-concentrated formula can last as long as two bottles of standard liquid foundation. Made in USA. 

HOW to USE:

To create your customized foundation: 
-Using the back of your hand as a mixing palette, add a tiny drop of concentrate directly to your daily water-based moisturizer. 
-Use slightly more moisturizer than usually needed for a full face. 
-Mix until tone is uniform and apply over the entire face using fingers, a sponge or a foundation brush. 
-Add another drop of concentrate to your leftover mix. Mix until tone is uniform and apply only where extra coverage is needed. 

To create your customized tinted moisturizer: 
-Using the back of your hand as a mixing palette, add a tiny drop of concentrate directly to your daily water-based moisturizer. 
-Mix until tone is uniform and apply over the entire face using fingers, a sponge or a foundation brush. 

To create your customized concealer: 
-Mix concentrate with your daily water-based moisturizer in equal amounts and apply where needed using fingers or a concealer brush. 

Precautions: 
-Americana Custom Coverage Concentrate is not intended to be used alone on bare skin or mixed with active treatment products containing glycol or salicylic acid. 
-Shake well before use.


INGREDIENTS:

-Pure mineral pigments: Ensure true-to-color application when mixed. 
-Beta Carotene: Evens skin tone. 
-Silica: Gives a soft focus effect to blur imperfections. 
-Chronospheres: Reflect light to even and brighten skin tone. 

Cyclopentasiloxane, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Calcium Carbonate, Coco-Caprylate Silica, Polyglyceryl-3 Diisostearate, Quaternium-90 Bentonite, Microcrystalline Wax, Trihydroxystearin, Propylene Carbonate, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Lecithin, Isopropyl Myristate, Isostearic Acid, Polyglyceryl-3 Polyricinoleate, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Zea Mays (Corn) Oil, Beta-Carotene, Polyurethane-40, Phenoxyethanol, Glyceryl Dibehenate, Tribehenin, Glyceryl Behenate, Polyglyceryl-3 Polyricinoleate, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77492), Iron Oxides (CI 77491), Iron Oxides (CI 77499), Mica (CI 77019).


Kindly scroll on for shade descriptions, a copious amount of swatches in various lighting situations, images of the formula on my face and the Bottom Line...

Above: All 10 shades in direct sunlight.
Shade Descriptions (in my experience):
  • Fair Pink: Light rosy beige for very fair skin with pink undertones (@N/NW 10-15)
  • Light Golden: Light beige for fair to light skin with neutral to yellow undertones (@ N/NC 15)
  • Light Golden Beige: Light beige for light skin with neutral to yellow undertones (@N/NC 20-23)
  • Light Pink Beige: Light beige for light skin with neutral to rosy undertones (@N/NW 20-25)
  • Light Beige: Light beige for light-medium skin with neutral undertones (@N/NW/NC 25-27)
  • Light-Medium Olive: Light-medium beige for light-medium skin with neutral to yellow olive undertones (N/NC 25-27)
  • Medium Golden: Medium beige for medium skin with warm undertones (NC 27-30)
  • Medium Beige: Medium beige for medium skin with neutral to rosy undertones (N/NW 27-35)
  • Medium Deep Golden: Dark beige for dark skin with neutral, rosy and warm undertones (N/NW/C 40-45)
  • Deep Beige: Darkest beige for deep skin with neutral, rosy and warm undertones (N/NW/NC 45-50+)

Above: All shades swatched in outdoor shade.
Above: Swatches in natural indoor light.
Above: Swatches in outdoor mixed lighting.
Above: The first five (lighter) shades in direct sunlight.
Above: The second five (darker) shades in direct sunlight.
Above: Swatches in sunlight.
Above: Swatches in outdoor sunlight.
Below: Images from September through May...wearing Ardency Inn AMERICANA Custom Coverage Concentrate (in Light-Medium Olive) in various lighting situations...

Above: In natural indoor lighting...end of a long work day...only a touch of dewiness.
Above: Florescent lighting...by a window.
Above: Florescent lighting...by a window.
Above: In front of a tinted hotel window (12th floor!).
Above: Car lighting ; ) 
Above: Natural sunlight.
Above: Mixed outdoor lighting with flash.
Above: Direct sunlight.
Above: Outdoor shade.
Bottom Line: The Ardency Inn AMERICANA Custom Coverage Concentrate, available exclusively at Sephora, is incredible.  Affordable and accessible, this intensely-pigmented wonder base allows one to easily and precisely create the desired coverage, from light and sheer to concealer-calibur full coverage, each and every time!  One bottle will last you ages, even with regular usage; I've had mine for nearly nine months and it is still not empty. Whether you are a foundation fanatic (like me!) or merely thinking about entering the foundation game, this formula is a must.  I hope you enjoyed this elucidation...the Ardency Inn AMERICANA CCC is highly recommended!

Good things ahead this week including new discoveries, another FOTD and a skincare update~

xx,

--The Beauty Professor

**This post contains affiliate links; my disclosure policy contains additional details on how these work.

14 comments:

  1. Hi Lovely,
    This sounds a very versatile product, I was quite interested in the Kevyn Aucoin SSE but after a lot of research decided against it because it could feel to heavy and thick on my face, a feeling that I hate. After reading your comment about it in this review I think I decided right, and the fragrance was also a concern.
    This on the other hand seems the same type of product but without those negatives. So it maybe worth tracking down. Sephora is opening here in Australia next year woohoo!
    So although I won't wait till then to buy this it is going to be hugely exciting to be able to access some of these otherwise difficult to buy products.
    Now trying to explain to the kids why there are no birthday presents may be a little difficult !!??
    I have also just bought the Jouer cream foundation (i have forgotten the name) that you reviewed on your blog a little while ago so can't wait for that to arrive!

    As always take care and talk soon.

    Julie xoxo

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    1. Hello dear Julie!

      If you are between the KA and this, I highly recommend this as the best option...it is just much better overall! That is awesome (and dangerous!) that Sephora is coming to Australia next year...truly, I head in for one thing and walk out with ten! And...how many presents do your kids actually need, really?! Just kidding! ; )

      Please keep me posted on your thoughts on the Jouer cream foundation...I love their formulas!

      xoxo, have a beautiful weekend and talk soon,

      --The Beauty Professor

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  2. wow, I can use this to create a better coverage with the foundations that ended up very light coverage than expected ! Wonderful solution to all the foundations in storage, I LOVE the first photo after long day teaching. You look fantastic with a natural glow.

    Thanks for the review, much appreciated.

    Rochie

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    1. Hello Rochie,

      Absolutely! This formula is great for increasing coverage with a foundation you love but need more from; it truly brings new life to existing formulas! Thank you so much for the kind words!!

      xoxo and hope your week is going well,

      --The Beauty Professor

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  3. First of all, I'm so enamoured with how beautiful you are in all of your photos. It's not just the great foundation-you simply have the most magnificent features! Now that I'm done admiring you, I have to ask--how does this photograph with flash photography? I saw the one photo labeled as "flash", but I wanted to confirm!

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    1. Oh my goodness, MG...you are too lovely to me. Thank you ever so much for the sweet words. *Blushing*!

      With regards to your question, since this foundation does not contain a bit of SPF, there is absolutely no flashback. It is wonderful in that regard! The only time it may pose a flashback issue is if you combine it with a product that does indeed contain SPF ; )

      Hope your day is magnificent!

      xx and talk soon,

      --The Beauty Professor

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  4. Hi BP! I have been meaning to buy this! It looks so nice on you, and I love how versatile it seems!!! I have hit a major wall with my love of cosmetics. Many times over the years I have contemplated the whole animal cruelty and animal byproduct issue. I never stuck to any commitment that I made to eliminate such items from my arsenal, but I have been exposed to some pretty powerful and informative information lately that rocked my world. Mainly health as far as food, but also the ethical and sustainability issues. Anyway, I feel so sad to think that I will not be able to enjoy beauty products like I once had should I stick to my gut on this issue, but maybe I can :) I know you use several cruelty free and probably vegan products. I would LOVE if if you could maybe do a roundup of your products that fit into this category and your thoughts? I am not sure I won't ever purchase non cruelty-free items again, but I have so much that maybe I will try to reduce at the very least. Oh, and the photo of you in the cap is so adorable, and your eyes look amazing!!! Tutorial please!! :)

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    Replies
    1. Hello Shoshana!

      So good to hear from you, dear friend! I am impressed by your resolute view on the animal cruelty issue and am inspired to put together a vegan/cruelty-free roundup post per your suggestion. Consider it officially in the works ; )

      Thanks always for your sweet words and I'll give you a preemptive hint on the last photo (with the cap)...some mascara and a copious usage of the Le Metier de Beaute Carnaby Street Kaleidoscope!

      xoxo, have a lovely weekend and talk SOON!

      --The Beauty Professor

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    2. Hey, this is my first time here on your blog however I really like it :) i was wondering if u have any foundation recommendations that can be used year round(summer and winter). I have normal skin but sometimes between my eyebrows is dry and during winter my nose and between my eyebrows are dry. I was using Chanel perfection lumiere B20 but it emphasized my dry areas in winter and made me a bit oily in summer so what do u recommend and shade if u can tell? I live abroad and I'm going to the states this month so I was hoping to have a huge makeup haul :) btw I love how u do ur swatches. And what light under eye concealer do u recommend (I have no dark circles just want a brightening effect) sorry for the long post. I've just come to trust ur opinion after skimming through ur blog :D

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    3. Hi Natalie,

      I am so glad you found your way here! With regards to your question, I have two foundation recommendations for you. The Ardency Inn (featured in this post) is an excellent option since you can use it as concealer, foundation or even a tinted moisturizer (if you mix it with a moisturizer) depending on your skin needs for that particular time of year. Another foundation I love is the Cle de Peau Cream Foundation (also recently reviewed on my blog)...it has incredible coverage, lasting power and comfort.

      For concealer, I really like the Cle de Peau concealer...it is a classic cult favorite that really lives up to its name. The Beige shade brightens up the under eye area and stays in place. Another concealer that's lovely for a brightening effect is the By Terry Touche Veloutee in #2...velvet coverage that brightens without shimmer...it is amazing!

      I hope that helps...xx,

      --The Beauty Professor

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  5. Oh my gosh thank you for this fabulous post! This foundation has been on my wish list ever since you first posted about it last fall. Your skin looks stunning! I have been dying to try it but haven't had a chance to go to Sephora and experiment. You helped me find my perfect color match -- the By Terry Densiliss Serum foundation in Cream Ivory. I've tried everything and it's all too dark, too pink, or too yellow. I absolutely love the foundation but do wish it had a bit more coverage. It sounds like CCC would be a perfect solution, but I'm still not sure which color would be best for my neutral fair skin. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! And I can't wait to try the lumi serum! Just ordered immaculate light and rose elixir thanks to your recommendation. Thanks again! xo.

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    1. Hello Blondie, Esq.!

      Good to hear from you! Thanks for your kind words...truly, this foundation is so sublime in terms of coverage and finish. I am so glad you found the perfect match in the By Terry Densiliss; I am actually wearing the Densillis today...it is so luxurious. Just a tiny dot of the Ardency Inn mixed into the Densiliss should give you the coverage you desire. I am guessing that you will find a great match with the Fair Pink or Light Golden...it will just depend on which undertone you prefer, rosy or warm.

      So excited for you to get the Lumi Serum...it is a daily part of my routine...such a special formula!

      xoxo and do keep in touch,

      --The Beauty Professor

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    2. Thank you so much for your advice! I'm thinking of trying the fair pink first but I might just order both and see which works best. I am dying for my lumi serum to arrive but alas it still hasn't shipped. But I finally broke down and ordered the cle de peau cream foundation--it just looks too fabulous not to try.

      Thanks again, I really appreciate your help! :)

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    3. My pleasure!

      Please let me know how you like the shades you selected...this, plus the Lumi-Serum and the Cle de Peau Cream, too?! You will be in complexion product heaven when they all arrive ; )

      xx and talk soon,

      --The Beauty Professor

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