Review – Givenchy Matissime Velvet Foundation with SPF 20

The Intro

My relationship with foundation has been complicated, to say the least. I’d say it’s love-hate, but truthfully, it feels mostly like a bitter enemy type of situation where the only love between us is how much foundation loves to torment me. Let me put it this way, if we were characters in a TV show I would be Michael Scott and Foundation would be Toby.

Ever since I started dabbling in makeup, foundation has for the most part been nothing but a major frustration. I never understood the people who I’d turn to for advice on the matter, whether on Youtube or IRL, I feel like most everyone was okay with the fact that foundation would be visible. I was told that foundation’s job was to cover up parts of the face and skin that we are uncomfortable with, whether it’s redness or pimples or whatever else, as long as it does the job of covering well, then I should be happy. Unfortunately for me, I have never been able to accept that. I hate the look of foundation, when you can see that smeary layer of “coverage” on the face, to me it just looks gunky and gross.

So for me foundation must first and foremost, must NOT look like foundation. I absolutely cannot stand having a foundation look like I have it on. It’s got to give coverage while being seamlessly invisible. And that is just the tip of the iceberg that is the long list of demands that my foundation must adhere to.

That’s why when I found Matissime Velvet Radiant Mattifying Fluid Foundation with SPF 20 (my, what I mouthful, but this bad boy is worth it) I knew I had found a rare winner. When I find one such winning foundation, I go through stages of celebration, the first is denial. Due to the frustrating history I have had with foundation when I find a good one I just can’t accept it for a while. So I test and test and test, looking and waiting for the ever inevitable disappointing results. After copious amounts of testing, in all types of circumstances, everything from seeing how it performs during a sweaty workout, to a nerve-wracking social engagement, to a long night of partying (read: binge-watching Netflix and cramming my face full of chocolate), then and only then do I make my final decision. If the foundation is a hit, I put it on my mantlepiece and promptly host a dinner party so that I can show off and taut my new found prize.

Believe me, when I say I put Matissime Velvet to the test and even when I was done testing, I tested some more. I even did the 24 hour, which is gross, I know. The things I do for love (of my readers, so I can make sure you’re getting your money’s worth and you only buy certified winners). I will be real with you when I first picked up Matissime in Sephora, I had my doubts. I have had mostly dissatisfying experiences with high-end designer foundations. They are usually super prone to being heavy and cakey to the max, that or they’ll be so thin and watery that they give zero coverage. But for some lucky reason, I went back to the Givenchy aisle and sealed the deal (that means purchased honey). As soon as I got home I ripped open the package and started my testing process. To give you a taste of my testing processes (I say a taste, because trust me, the full dinner version would bore you and perhaps annoy you to tears). It included a four-hour hike in the middle of the day, to see how it performed during extreme sweatiness, also a hike in the cold early morning so I could gather intel on how it did under sweaty, but cold and dry circumstances. I tried it during a trip to the mall that ended up being way more cardio-intensive than I planned, I tested during a super messy and spicy dinner (hello sweat again and super oily skin thanks to the copious amounts of cheese I consumed, not to mention alcohol to “professionally” test how it performed under that ever famous alcohol shine). Other things that I test for is how a foundation does in a socially awkward situation because for some lovely reason, I have found that if I’m nervous my face goes to peak oiliness levels. #blessed

Finding the perfect socially awkward situation can be tricky, so what I did was order food on Postmates and wait for the awkward inducing encounter of having to interact with the delivery person. Yikes. When are they going to get self-driving cars and robots who can bring us our food so that we can avoid the horribly unnecessary human interaction? Don’t tell me I’m the only one who can’t wait for this to be #canceled.

Ok, other forms of testing, obviously the wear test: put it on first thing in the morning and see how it does throughout the day, and if you’re really a champion (which of course, I am), you’ll extend that wear into the night. Then if you want to level up from champion to god, then you do the sleepover test and see how it does for the whole 24 hours. Yes, I went there.

Other tests that are important are the transfer tests which is done to see how the makeup does when it comes into contact with something that could smudge it or wipe it off altogether. These include putting on and pulling off a tight turtle neck and then another turtle neck that is white. Also, now this may be a little TMI so if you prefer to live a more PG life, skip over this next sentence. I want to see how it does with human contact, because of course one of the times in life where it’s most important that your makeup works well is on a date. If you’re headed down to smooch city, you do not want to have your makeup melting off your face and ending up all over your partners. I’m not going to get any more graphic than that, you all have imaginations and can fill in the blanks. So yes, I test in these circumstances as well. You’re welcome. #doingitforscience #actualscientificresearch

So now that you are apprised of my research methods (perhaps more than you ever wanted to be), it’s time to reveal my findings.

The Down and Dirty on Matissime Velvet’s Performance of a Lifetime

The testing was a long and arduous journey, but it was all worth it because the final destination was enlightenment. That’s right, I finally climbed to the top of the mountain and was greeted by the Dali Lama himself who immediately exclaimed that my skin was giving him total nirvana vibes and he must know now what my secret is. He wouldn’t even believe me when I told him it was a foundation, he said my skin looked flawless and glowy, but still matte, like a Snapchat filter.

That’s right, ya’ll. Matissime is my nirvana and it made the journey all worth it. #godblessthebrokenroadthatledmestraighttoyou

Givenchy promises that Matissime Velvet will give you a mattified complexion that is delicate like velvet (I think that means it’ll be the perfect combo of matte and inner-glow, natural skinlike texture because that’s what I found it does). They say in its creation they took inspo from velvet and went for a balanced airy structure of silica microspheres that optimize the absorption of sebum while still letting the skin breathe. I can definitely attest to the accuracy of this claim, my skin felt like it didn’t even have foundation on, it could totally breathe and it felt so comfortable.

I really did feel like immediately after applying it to my skin, Matissime was like a Snapchat filter in a bottle. Your skin just looks perfected and matte, but it still looks like skin. It does not look like you just applied foundation at all, which is why I adore it. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten this level of coverage while still maintaining the integrity of a natural, skin-like finish from a foundation before. It truly is incredible. And the glow is unreal, not as in its super glowy-it’s not, what I mean to say is it has the perfect balance of matte and glow is an actual state of nirvana. It just gets it so right. It’s like you know how they say that when someone falls in love they have that special glow to them, or the pregnancy glow, well folks, Matissime give you just that. Who needs love and romance anyways. Imagine that, perfect pregnancy glow, sans the 18 year-long commitment to sleepless nights and devoting your entire existence to the care of someone else? Yeah, I’ll take a case of Matissime Velvet, please.

Now before I get into the scoring, here are the facts ma’am.

The Breakdown

Matissime Velvet Radiant Mattifying Fluid Foundation SPF 20 by Givenchy is available at Sephora for $54. They have 12 shades and you’ll get one ounce of product. It’s got SPF 20, which is awesome and I want to point out that I did not experience any flashback with it, so that is ultra fantastic. It also does not have any parabens, so that’s cool. The packaging and the bottle itself feel very, very luxe (I should hope so for that price), and as much as I hate this term – it’s as bougie as it gets. I would never purchase something just because it’s bougie, I purchase based on performance but it does feel nice and special when something is fancy. *insert quip about treating yourself*.

The Scoring 9/10

This foundation delivers, plain and simple. I love it more than I am comfortable with. If I want to have the best-looking skin of my life, I wear it. The reason I’m not giving a full 10 is that it still lets my oiliness shine through after about two hours of wear, and in a perfect world, where a perfect 10 foundation would reside, it would have to keep my shine at bay for a lot longer than that. Honestly, though, I don’t even mind it, the shine that is. For one, with Matissime Velvet, it really does control the oiliness well and when the shine comes through, it’s not that bad. It somehow minimizes the shininess even when it’s rearing its ugly head and it also makes it super easy to blot it away. I’ve found that with a lot of foundations, the blotting process ends up wiping away the foundation entirely, not so with Matissime. When I blot it, the only thing that’s removed is excess oiliness, the foundation beneath still looks as perfect and fresh as ever. The best part, I don’t even need to re-powder, hallelujah.

The Pros and Cons

Pros:

  1. Matissime is like a Snapchat filter in a bottle, what more could you possibly want from this life.
  2. It’s extremely long-wearing. I’ve gone all day, I’ve gone all night too, it doesn’t quit. Truly, there will be no fading, no caking, no smearing or running down your face. If you’re oily like me you may need to blot here and there, but it won’t disturb your makeup underneath and you’ll look picture perfect for hours and hours and hours.
  3. Buildable coverage. This foundation builds beautifully, the first layer will give you a starting place of a medium coverage and you can easily bump that up to full if that’s your goal.
  4. A little goes a long way. You do not need a lot of product, even for a fuller than full level of coverage. I found that about a half pump gives me perfect medium coverage with lots left over for those areas that need more and for blending down onto my neck. This is fantastic because it means two things: 1. The foundation will last a long time and you’ll be able to get a ton of use without having to go repurchase, so even though it’s expensive as all hell, you are truly getting your money’s worth. And 2, it’s much nicer for your skin to have a light coating of product, this way your skin can still breathe through.
  5. SPF. Gotta love that SPF factor, you can never have enough. I hope and pray daily that you are doing several forms of SPF throughout the day, but if not, having it right there in your foundation is a great way to ensure that your precious skin is saved from the evils of the sun.
  6. No flashback! Yes, that’s right, you can rest assured that even though there’s SPF- you won’t have to experience the dreaded white-cast flashback effect that is often accompanied by SPF laden products.
  7. Absolutely beautiful packaging, feels so luxe and high-end.

Cons:

  1. It’s expensive. Coming at you with that $54 price tag…ouch. Ouch. Ouch. There’s just no way around it, Matissime is expensivo. I can argue all I want about how it’s so worth it and the best $54 you’ll ever spend, but in the end, fifty dollars is a lot of dough. It sucks, it really does.
  2. Fragrance. Now to some, this might actually be a pro, but usually, fragrance is pretty frowned upon. It can be a bad omen to those of us with sensitive skin, for instance, when we see fragrance high up in the ingredients list we’re are fully aware that if we apply the product to our skin, it’s highly likely that redness, irritation and possibly even breakouts are in our future. So tread with caution if you’ve been known to see fragrance as a kiss of death (or high degrees of annoyance).
  3. Another negative associated with fragrance is simply that you might not like how it smells and for some, this can be a real problem. Personally, I don’t mind it. I think it smells like a nice kinda floral and fresh smelling high-end perfume and thankfully it hasn’t irritated my skin.
  4. It’s not a perfect mattifier. I have super oily, combo skin and I’ve found that my shine starts peaking through at about the 2 to 3-hour mark of wear and I’ll definitely be needing a good blotting.
  5. Due to the fact that this is a mattifying, velvet type of foundation, it may not be suited well to dry skin. And they do say that it’s intended for normal to combination skin.

Tips & Tricks

This foundation is versatile and capable of giving you many different looks and finishes, I’ll go over the ones I found to be most compatible and have had the greatest success. Do keep in mind though that my skin is oily combo so if you have a different skin type then you may have different results.

  1. For a more dewy finish: right before you finish moisturizing your face and prior to adding primer (if you choose to add primer at all), grab your favorite moisturizing oil or oil blend. I personally love Rosehip, Argan and Camellia oils. Put a few drops on your fingers, rub them together to warm the oil(s) and then gently rub them into your skin, focusing on the areas that need the most moisturization. Then apply your foundation and lightly set with a soft powdering. I also really suggest that you only set (with powder) the areas of your face that really need it. (The T-zone, under the eyes and of course over any areas that needed concealer). Now stand back and be amazed at your beautiful, youthful, goddess glow.
  2. For a super locked in and indefinite set: bake your face. Step one: gather your ingredients. You’ll need a super good setting spray, we’re not talking some nice lil moisturizing mist, no you need the big guns, think All Nighter by Urban Decay. Then you’ll need a primer that is long-wearing, your foundation and a lot of powder. If you have never baked before, I strongly suggest you watch some tutorials, not because it’s tricky, it’s actually ridiculously easy to learn, but just because at first it will feel so weird and you’ll be questioning yourself. Here’s a great one by Nikkie Tutorials, she goes into just the right amount of depth to make it really clear and easy to understand without taking it too far. Skip to the 6:40 mark if you want to get straight into baking.
  3. For a quick and easy everyday Matte look that still lets your skin breathe and look natural: moisturize, prime if you want, apply foundation with a damp beauty blender (quickest method in my experience), add concealer if you need it, apply a light setting with powder in only the areas you need it. That’s it, you’re done and ready to go. You look fabulous, your skin feels wonderful, go tackle that to-do list with confidence that no matter what goes wrong in your day, your foundation will be your constant, your rock. No matter what, your skin will look its absolute best, so go forth and get it done.
Hannah Flack
Hannah Flack

I am a USC grad with a passion for beauty, health and science. I reside in beautiful California with my husband and puppy (@sebastian.thecavalierking).

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