YSL’s Fusion Ink foundation, or Le Encre de Peau as it is called in French, had a crazy (and I mean craycray) amount of anticipation before it was launch.
There was even a waiting list of 12,000 in Europe alone! It’s almost like the Cheon Song Yi lipstick (YSL Pur Couture Lipstick in #52) ‘epidemic’ all over again, but with a western twist this time.
Come to think of it, YSL sure has a way with creating sensations and long waiting lists!
Now… I’ve got a bit of a backstory and personal experience with this foundation before it landed on my lap and then consequently this review entry but I don’t want it to be too long of an essay so let me try and sum it up a bit. If you’re interested to know, that is.
Else just skip on down some ways…
My Fusion Ink Backstory…
Cutting it short, I first got wind about this foundation from beauty bloggers in the western side of the world and also a very very sneak preview encounter. So sneak that the sample wasn’t sent in properly labelled tubes and all that.
Needless to say my curiosity was piqued and I think most were when they had heard about it from the European and USA beauty influencers but as usual, YSL takes a little while to saunter over to Asia and by the time it did it’s a little sad to say that I had gotten distracted and my interest in this had fizzled out some.
Not because the product wasn’t exciting anymore, nor was it because by that time there were foundie releases that came close because shockingly enough there doesn’t seem to be any in the market as of yet. Though I’ve caught word that Marc Jacobs Beauty is releasing one that sounds incredibly similar in formulation and function.
But yes, by a stroke of luck, chance and also re-introduction to it via meeting up with the YSL brand person once more followed by the opportunity to experience this foundation for myself, on myself, in 2 separate make over sessions, I was sold and in love with it all over again.
Head over heels. So now I’m proclaiming my love for it (objectively of course) in hopes that you all, too, will see the beauty and charm that is YSL Fusion Ink.
The Feels & the Formula –
Donning pretty big shoes with a claim that this foundation is suitable for most skintypes be it if you’re oily or dry, I do see the good effort from YSL’s part but is it a pair of shoes that fits everyone? Well, no.
Sadly to say.
Though most will find that they’re able to slip themselves comfortably into this and most being the spectrum of mildly oily, normal, combination and mildly dry.
Others that stand at the ends of the skincare spectrum with very oily skin or dry, parched and dull skin that comes with a sprinkle of dry flakey skin may not love this foundation so much. Especially so for the drier skintypes due to the foundation being of an almost-matte finish (soft matte, as YSL calls it).
I think oily skintypes may still have a way to work around it but the deal breaker would really be if you have flakey skin because this foundation is of a lightweight, airy and runny consistency that doesn’t do anything for flakiness and dryness. It doesn’t help that it doesn’t contain much nourishing or skincare capabilities to soften the look of flakey skin through the day so that’s something you may want to consider right off the bat of this review.
If flakey skin is your concern, that is. I do have an issue with some flakiness around my nose from time to time but once the foundation sets and sits and once my skin oils up a tad through the day to meld it all together, it works but I know dry skin folks don’t have the luxury of sebum to set and sit stuff sometimes.
But anyway, yes I think I’ve summed up the foundation quite generally in terms of what you should take note of right off the bat so you can decide if you want to read on further to find out in detail about the abovementioned points but I will input a personal opinion here and say you should because, personally, this foundation is pretty darn amazing!
Sleek, chic, and incredibly beautiful bottle aside, of course.
Now, back to my objective angle.
Unlike the Youth Liberator Serum Foundation which is a lot more about skin science and what goes into the foundation, I feel I don’t really have to talk about or showcase that too much where Fusion Ink is concerned.
Sure there’s still a bit of NASA-inspired technology in there (enhanced absorption of serbum or something, you can read about it here) but the key point of this foundation is really how it feels.
It feels amazing. Downright amazing.
Simply said, this foundation is all about performance from it’s incredibly lightweight, airy and whipped formulation to the perfect glide that it lends that somehow still settles and sit to a tack-free finish on the skin after.
Following that, the perfect skin-like finish and coverage that is so easily build-able and beautifully so without caking at all. In fact you probably have to try to cake it up… if somehow someone wanted to do that – But why?!
The only not so high performance aspect to this foundation is the applicator, which I have a bit of an iffy issue with.
Sure it works and it’s cute and all representing the shape the tip of a fountain pen, tying it all back to ink and such but something about the shape (the flatness?) and slight flimsiness that it has sort of kills the otherwise very perfect experience for me.
But that’s me nitpicking because it still works great for dabbing foundation on spots of your face before working it all out.
If I were to put this in relatable comparison, I would say it’s closest to the Giorgio Armani Maestro foundation but even then I hate drawing up that reference because at the end of the day, Fusion Ink is not a serum foundation.
Sure if may feel the same in the whipped and airy, easily blendable and light consistency but otherwise it’s worlds apart from what I know of and have tried of serum foundations.
So now that I feel I’ve explained enough about it’s performance and what to expect from this foundation, let me move on to show you what I’m talking about.
The Application –
Where application is concerned, Fusion Ink is an absolute breeze.
It’s so easy to dab on, it’s easy to blend out, it’s got such a non-tacky finish (but still a little moist definitely) that it’s an ease to set that in general, the whole foundation process is such a no-brainer.
You don’t have to work with it in an allocated time to get the beautiful skin-like finish that it imparts.
Now, I know that the term skin-like finish is highly thrown around especially in instances when people don’t know how to place a not-too-matte, not-exactly-dewy, slightly-glowy sort of foundation finish.
Sure, that does fall under the perimeters of skin-like finish but if you ask me nothing comes as close to how skin looks as Fusion Ink does. It truly embodies that soft matte look of skin (which dewy-lovers may not love… I understand) but enhances it in a way that still makes it natural. And I’m not even talking about such soft and sheer coverage that it just gives you the look of healthy skin.
The only context I can place it in is, picture this –
There’s the natural and very real look of skin which is your face without makeup and then there’s the extreme filtered, edited and smoothed out look of skin which would be your higher coverage foundations (nothing wrong with that, I must say) but where YSL Fusion Ink sits is when you look at magazine editorials or photoshoots and someone just has such great looking skin but yet it’s so natural at the same time you attribute it to the fact that they must have pretty good skin or that’s some pretty damn good editing.
Up close (which you’ll see in my review), Fusion Ink still allows the natural texture of skin along with slight blemishes and all to peek through. Though once you take a step back at a natural and comfortable / usual distance all you see is a naturally perfected sort of skin.
I hope I made some sense in that explanation, otherwise…. here are pictures! :D
For the best experience of how smooth and light the foundation is, I would recommend for you to use your fingers. That also lends a little more coverage when it comes to blending the foundation out.
Though I’ve come to enjoy using a dense buffing brush (as pictured below) to quickly buff out the foundation after I have dabbed it on certain points of my face – usually the cheeks, forehead, nose, and chin area.
The brush does the job a lot quicker by blending and buffing and the same time but it does sheer the foundation down a little more. Which is fine by me for a day to day face.
Alright, enough talk, and more face!
I doubt I need to emphasize it again but look at that perfect skin sort of finish. Yes it still looks like skin, the formula is thin enough that it doesn’t mask the skin texture yet some little elfs within the foundation manage to do it such that up close you see skin, and further away you see a more perfected version of skin.
It’s quite intriguing, really.
Shade-wise, I was matched to both B20 (which is an exact match to my skintone) and also BR20, which was what I opted for in the end.
The differences are simply in the nuances where BR20 has a little more pink and looks a little brighter on, but not giving me that overly fair face look as well thankfully. It could look a little pale in pictures but in person, it’s absolutely perfect.
Here are more snaps of the foundation after I have blended it out on both sides of the face!
I really did go to town with close ups and snaps of this in hopes that I can truly capture the beautiful skin-like but still natural perfection sort of finish this carries.
When it comes to setting this foundation, I’ll say that if you’re lucky enough to be able to stand some moist-feel on your skin, or if you have drier skin, or if you’re in a drier climate and not one that’s as hot and humid as Singapore then don’t bother setting it.
Given how I’m someone who absolutely needs to powder-puff my foundation down to a smooth sweep, I have wrestled with my inner-need to powder down to smooth perfection and gone out of the house without setting this on some occasions but I still prefer setting it, of course.
The trick to this, if you must set, is to do a light sweep and slowly buff on a bit more if necessary because less is more here and given it’s not overly moist or tacky on its own, you really don’t need much powder.
Fusion Ink’s Weartime –
Alrightey… now the wear time for this foundation is also where YSL is really banking quite a lot on because it’s touted to be a long-wearing foundation that should be able to last you 24 hours with no problemo at all.
I can’t vouch for 24 hours because I try not to keep my makeup on for that long but I have tested this many atimes on short trips out, hot trips out, air conditioned trips, full work days and full work days with some dinner plans after.
Basically I’ve tried it with everything on my wavering skintype – it’s a bit normal, a bit combination and some days dry now – and I’ve come to the conclusion that yes, it does last and wear quite well for how amazingly light, weightless and comfortable this foundation feels.
I’ll admit that the longevity isn’t as bullet-proof as the thicker, creamier and a tad mask-like long-wearing foundations out there in the market but for what you’re getting with something so airy and fluffy, it’s pretty darn good!
Now there is a bit of a but which I feel I must explain because it’s a long-wear that also comes with a little fine print.
That fine print is, despite the whole NASA technology included to make you stay matte and shine-free for a longer period of time, Fusion Ink doesn’t have the best of shine-control properties.
I don’t say oil control because often times the lack of oil control is also associated with a foundation wearing out and breaking down sooner due to sebum but odd enough while Fusion Ink isn’t the best at hiding the shine, it does hold up against sebum pretty well.
That said, I can still go about 6 hours or so before the first signs of shine starts to show up.
To showcase whatever I have explained above, I did a bit of an experiment. It’s a tad gross, but an experiment nonetheless where I went a full work day (12 hours) without blotting at all and shooting the end of day picture after and another day where I blotted twice through the day, once at about 8 hours and once just before I snapped the end of day photos.
Here’s the full day no blotting pic:
Granted the makeup still looks relatively intact but I feel once some shine peeks through along with slightly faded liner and all from a full day, the look just seems a little worn and fatigued.
Here’s the full day with 2 blots:
What I love about Fusion Ink is that right after blotting, somehow the foundation appears a lot more refreshed once more. You could touch up some areas if you wanted to (like I would do my undereye area a little to clean up liner smokiness) but yet you don’t need to because the foundation still looks presentable and good!
And this is just blotting (blot paper only, no blot powder) mind you, no touching up involved at all.
I know I’ve rambled on about it long enough that it should have covered most points but summing it up, if you need a conclusion of some sort to collect all my thoughts again, I’ll say that put very simply Fusion Ink is a foundation that I love a lot because it is versatile enough for a quick and daily wear yet also lasting enough for dressier days / nights.
It’s quite an all-rounder, really, if you consider it in the aspect of foundations these days. It’s lightweight, airy and incredibly comfortable to wear while being relatively long-wearing and well-wearing at the same time. I think it manages to tick quite a number of boxes!
Granted there are always some ‘buts’ and no foundation is going to be perfect for everyone, I think this one should appeal to a large crowd of people out there. Not only appeal but be suitable to and wear well for.
The few points of consideration would be that those that oil up and have shine showing very quickly will still have to blot because Fusion Ink isn’t going to keep you looking matte the whole day but at least you know that it can withstand a little encounter with sebum to still soldier on with coverage and wear.
Dry skin folks, I’ll not be able to convince you as much because truth is truth, the finish is more matte and if that’s not your cup of tea, I wouldn’t be able to do anything about it but it’s a beautiful finish no less. Though if flakey skin is an issue you face then I’ll suggest you stay a little ways away from this foundation, or at least keep it away from the flakiness.
Long story short, it’s a formula that is best experienced and felt for yourself so while I appreciate you all reading my rambles and this huge wall of text, I urge you to head down to YSL to feel and experience Fusion Ink for yourself.
I assure you, it’s a worthy experience!
Thanks for reading!
YSL’s Fusion Ink retails for S$89 and is a permanent item.