I hate foundation. My mother, blessed with frustratingly perfect skin, has never worn it and she instilled in me a love of a bare face. Parental influences aside though, traditional foundation just doesn’t work for my skin: it settles into fine lines and instead of giving me a flawless complexion it gives me that coveted “withered crone” look. Hawt. I had spent countless hours at high-end beauty counters attempting to find a formula that works, only to give up in frustration. This is why I was both excited and apprehensive to try the new foundation from Gressa Skin.

The recently released Minimalist Corrective Serum Foundation claims to be a radical departure from traditional foundations: an oil-based serum with a suspension of mineral makeup within. Mineral makeup never worked for me, so I did not have particularly high hopes for Minimalist and ended up ordering a bottle primarily for research purposes (and because I was, frankly, fascinated by the concept). Boy, am I glad that I did! At a time when even highly-touted “breakthrough formulas” seem to be nothing more than slight tweaks on existing products, this foundation is nothing short of revolutionary.


Minimalist's light, thin texture melts into the skin

Minimalist’s light, thin texture melts into the skin

The first surprise is the texture. After being lightly shaken, Minimalist comes out of the bottle looking like a traditional liquid foundation, yet it is lighter and thinner. Upon application, it seems to melt and disappear into the skin, evening out texture and covering imperfections. The coverage is medium-light: you may need concealer to camouflage any major blemishes, but it should provide sufficient coverage for most skins. This is the only skin-perfecting product I have tried, foundation or concealer, that does not settle into fine lines under my eyes, even after hours of wear. It is a testament to the ability of Minimalist to adjust to different skin tones that it worked equally well on me (light olive-skinned brunette) and my fair, Irish redhead best friend (we were using shade 2). I should also note that she, like I, had given up on finding a foundation for her dry, delicate, irritation-prone skin and she found Minimalist to work like a charm.

I am wildly impressed its fabulous texture and performance, but they are not what makes Minimalist truly remarkable. The main reason I don’t wear foundation, except on the most special of occasions, is because my skin just doesn’t like it much. However clean the formula, after wearing a full face of coverage for any length of time my skin feels a little irritated and sort of tired and heavy. Imagine my surprise, when upon getting home after a full day of wearing Minimalist foundation, I realized that I had forgotten I had it on. Better still, after I removed it, my skin actually felt better: healthier and even refreshed.

I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised by Minimalist’s effect on my skin: it contains a host of skin nourishing and healing ingredients like neem, sea buckthorn, licorice root, CoQ10, to name just a few. The use of light oils, blemish-busting ingredients and powder minerals make this foundation a dream for oily or blemish-prone skin and it obviously works fabulously for the dry skinned gals like myself. I layer it over my face oils, but it is certainly nourishing enough to be used on its own and probably should be if your skin is on the oilier side.

I suppose this is the time to mention the one drawback of this miracle product. I’m not sure how to put it delicately, so here you go: it stinks. No really, it smells like turpentine. I think it’s the neem; though fabulous for the skin, this oil is notoriously stinky. Here’s the good news though: the smell does not linger at all. In fact, it dissipates so quickly (within a couple of seconds), it’s almost not worth mentioning, but I wouldn’t want you to get an unpleasant surprise. Please, do not let the worry about smell dissuade you from giving this product a shot. I am notoriously sensitive to smells and it does not bother me at all.

It makes me so happy to see green beauty products overtake their conventional counterparts when it comes to quality, performance and innovation. Gressa Skin’s latest epitomizes this ethos: a gorgeous product that makes your skin not just look better, but be better too.

Leave a Reply