I'm a bit late to the game in trying out the Kat Von D Beauty Lock-It Foundation ($35 for 1 fl oz/30 ml) and I've been clearly missing out for quite some time. The line just launched a special limited-edition set called the KVD + beautyblender® Customizable Complexion Set ($46) which includes your choice of Lock-It Foundation, a full size beautyblender® pro and minis of the liquid blendercleanser® and Lock-It Featherweight Primer (set valued at $55). I received several shades to try out and was immediately impressed by the flawless full coverage velvety finish the Lock-It Foundation had. This is a high pigment full-coverage foundation that gives the skin an almost porcelain doll-like look. The formula is very concentrated, but if blended properly has a smooth streak-free, cake-free, perfect finish. Lasting power is excellent with or without a primer, however I did feel the primer sample made a difference in application. With the primer nothing settles into fine lines. Without a proper base if you have any dry patches the foundation is prone to settling into tiny crevices, but as long as your skin is properly moisturized you can probably skip the primer. That being said I'm so impressed with the primer I've added it to my shopping list for this weekend.
The packaging is well designed. It comes with a clear case so you can see the product inside. The top of the pump is flush with the top of the bottle which makes it convenient for travel. There's a small black cap to place on the actual dispenser itself which acts as a lock so you don't accidentally dispense product if you press on the top. For me a little goes a long way, I only need 2 pumps to cover the entire face. Foundation needs very little layering to get full coverage - you just need to apply and blend.
For application, I tried this with a few damp beautyblenders® in the Original (pink) and Pro (black) (both reviewed here) along with several foundation brushes including the Marc Jacobs Beauty The Face III Buffing Foundation Brush and Sephora Pro Full Coverage Airbrush #53 (both reviewed here). I still stand by my original review that the Original Pink beautyblender® is better than the beautyblender® Pro, but I found with this particular foundation both sponges worked equally well. I'm not sure if the Pro version has changed at all over the years but this round of testing had black sponges that seemed softer with more bounce than what I remember. Either way - a dampened sponge helps control the amount of product you apply. Since the Lock-It Foundation is a very concentrated and full coverage finish foundation, you want to make sure you don't apply too much up front (it will just end up looking cakey). Dab, blend and build and the finish will be perfect.
Color selection was a bit tricky for me. I did find some colors swatched to a perfect match on the skin but they oxidize immediately (within 5-10 minutes) to a half shade darker. Medium 54 was a perfect match when I applied it but it darkened so my face did not match my neck - it's close and I doubt anyone but me would notice but I'm picky when it comes to matching my face shade to my neck. I tried two additional shades lighter. Medium 53 has amazing golden undertones (I wish more foundation lines had undertones like this one) but it also darkens on my skin right now. Medium 52 looks too pale when I first apply it but darkens to the perfect match. After the initial oxidizing which I found happens very quickly it stays the same shade once it sets and dries and doesn't darken further. My best match right now is Medium 52.
A look at the ingredients:
Some comparison swatches to other formulas and brands for shade reference. right now my perfect match is Becca Aqua Luminous Foundation in Beige - but do note the formula is not as opaque as the Kat Von D Beauty Lock-It Foundation and has some sheerness to it which makes it more forgiving.
NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer in Groenland
Becca Aqua Luminous Perfecting Foundation in Beige (review here)
Tom Ford Traceless Perfecting Foundation in Bisque and Natural (review here)
NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer in St. Moritz
If you do try this in store or get a sample, I highly recommend testing out a few shades and see how it sets. I normally would have given up on finding a match if I tested one and found it oxidized, but the formula of the Kat Von D Lock-It is so good taking the time to test different shades is well worth the effort. I've been playing with this formula for a few weeks now - no break outs and no irritation which is a huge plus for my sensitive skin. I have normal combination skin and it holds up very well without budging or getting shiny all day long. I wouldn't say it's 100% transfer resistant (if you rub your sleeve or anything on your face it will come off) but it does stay put very well. I always set foundation with a powder and found this performed best when set as well (my favorites rounded up in this post here).
If you're debating whether to buy the individual or spend a little bit more to get the set, I would say try out the set. Even though the beautyblender® pro isn't my favorite out of all the beautyblender® options (I think the Original Pink and Nude are the best), I still think it's a good tool the set is a nice way to the minis of the primer and liquid sponge cleanser. The liquid cleanser is a one-time use (it was for me) but the primer sample can last 3-4 uses (it lasted 4 days for me).
Bottom line, definitely worth checking out. You can find the KVD + beautyblender® Customizable Complexion Set for $46 at Sephora and Kat Von D Beauty. Do note it's limited-edition, but you can always buy the full-sized items included in the separately.
Have you tried this foundation before? What did you think?
KVD + beautyblender® Customizable Complexion Sets provided courtesy of Kat Von D Beauty for review consideration.