Ready for something new? Try Voula, the Serum Foundation

About this time of year we are usually thinking about how we can make our visages more lovely. With so many celebrations coming up looking our best is a priority. With the new VOULA Beauty Serum Foundation ($50) we’ve found a friend that is providing us with skin that looks better each day and will help us through the holidays and more.

Voula, Founder & Owner of Voula Beauty

Created by Stavroula Fotiou who was inspired by Greek beauty she decided to create her own collection. Armed with a passion for bio-active botanical ingredients, high-performance formulations, and the belief that luxury cosmetics should blend perfect pigments, incredible finishes, and extraordinary ingredients, she created the brand she had always dreamed of.  This foundation comes in 8 shades:

01 – Very fair with neutral undertones; for very fair skin

02 – Fair with light yellow undertones; for fair skin

03 – Light with neutral undertones; for light skin

04 – Light-Medium with neutral undertones; for light to medium skin

05 – Tan with neutral undertones; for medium skin

06 – Warm honey tan with yellow undertones; for medium skin

07 – Caramel tan with peachy yellow undertones; for medium to dark skin

08 – Golden dark tan with peachy yellow undertones; for medium to dark

In addition to the shade selection, the formula is serum based with an ingredient called SEPILIFT DPHP, which hydrates, firms, and fights wrinkles, making it a terrific multi-tasker. It also has mastic, ‘an aromatic resin from the bark of a tree that grows on the Greek island of Chios and has been used for health and beauty since the time of the ancient Greeks.’ Mastic tighten pores and reduces shine, another reason to give this foundation a try!


Marcia wears both Shade 01 and Shade 02

With 8 shades to choose from and a terrific comparison chart I was able to find two shades that match me well. Both Shades 1 and 2 work well for me with 01 being the best match. VOULA compares 01 to MAC NW15 and Bobbi Brown Porcelain which are the exact shades I wear in those two brands. But I find that 02 (MAC NC20 and BB Ivory) also works well for me and I’m the only one who can notice a difference.

Voula Serum Foundation

Let me tell you why I like this Serum Foundation so much…

First it’s fragrance free which is a priority for me.

Second it blends so easily no matter what tool I use. I’ve used my fingers, my IT Cosmetics Heavenly Lush brush, my Artis brush, and a cosmetic beauty blender sponge (or two) and each one gives me what I want – coverage that’s light to medium weight that makes me feel wonderful.

Voula Shade 01 and 02

This is a water based serum foundation that doesn’t mask your face. My “freckles” show through but not my unevenness. It can be layered but I’ve never found the need to do so. I’ve been alternating between the 2 shades and different tools and find that I’m always happy with the finish. I don’t need to powder everywhere to set it either which is what I prefer. Shade 01 has a lighter, cooler undertone with a hint of peach while Shade 02 is a warmer more beige tone.

Voula Shade 01 and 02

This is a very happy find and one that I’ll be using for months to come.

Lisa wears both Shade 03 and Shade 04

I am totally bowled over by this foundation. It’s fantastic.

Voula The Serum Foundation in Shades 03 and 04

The shades I have are very forgiving. I can use either the 03 or the 04 shade. The 03 is lighter and slightly cooler in tone, so while it will be a perfect match for me mid-December, right now I use it with a bit of 04 mixed in, or I use the 04 all by itself.

Voula The Serum Foundation Shades 03 and 04

Voula The Serum Foundation Shades 03 and 04

I love the texture of this creamy liquid. It looks so natural on – Voula The Serum Foundation is a foundation that really melds with skin and becomes one with it; it doesn’t just sit on top of the skin. I also love the coverage. It covers everything that needs to be covered – my hyperpigmentation, my blue areas like that pesky vein, any blemishes that popped up just to annoy me. In fact, I don’t need to worry about much concealer, just a little under my eyes.

I love that I hardly need to powder my nose during the day. This foundation has amazing lasting power, and it really does make my pores seem tiny and practically eliminates my shiny nose syndrome, but it doesn’t make my skin look dry and flat like matte or powder foundations can.

I don’t use much, just a small squirt on my steel palette, then I use my IT Cosmetics foundation brush to buff it in – it takes about two minutes for perfect coverage that looks fantastic all day long. I am super impressed.

Wearing Voula The Serum Foundation Shades 03 and 04

You can find Voula The Serum Foundation online at – we hope you check out this beautiful foundation, we know you will be happy you did!

The Ordinary Colours foundations – see what $6.70 can get you

The Ordinary Colours foundation

The Ordinary Colours foundation

If you haven’t heard of THE ORDINARY then you just aren’t part of the “in” crowd. LOL. In actuality, it’s one of the hottest companies out there right now and the two big reasons for that is the quality and prices of their products. Their parent company Deceim calls themselves The Abnormal Beauty Company. When you receive what you’ve purchased that’s what you’ll see on the box. It prepares you for what you are about to experience. As Deceim says “The brand was created to celebrate integrity in its most humble and true form. Its offering is pioneering, not in the familiar technologies it uses, but in its honesty and integrity. The Ordinary is born to disallow commodity to be disguised as ingenuity. The Ordinary is “Clinical formulations with integrity”. ”

I’ve purchased both skincare and foundation from The Ordinary. The foundation is the beginning of their Colour line and has taken off like wildfire. The orders are coming in rapidly, so fast that it’s difficult for them to keep up. It may take weeks (I think I waited almost 4 weeks) but patience is a virtue when you enjoy what you’ve bought.

The Ordinary Colours foundations

The Ordinary Colours foundations

Today it’s all about their two foundations: Serum and High Coverage. Both are available in a large range of shades and undertones. In my experience there’s a minor different in shade between the two coverages but it’s so small that it’s negligible.

Each foundation format is available in 21 shades. The shades are divided into three categories: 1 for fair to lighter tones, 2 for medium tones; and 3 for darker tones. Each category is then classified further by a second digit from 0 to 3 to indicate depth within each category. Finally, a letter is added to the shade code to identify the undertone: P (Pink) and R (Red) indicate cool undertones for lighter and darker shades respectively; N indicates a Neutral tone; Y indicates a Yellow undertone.

The Ordinary Serum Foundation

Not being sure what to order I chose 1.0 N and 1.1 N. I really didn’t need to do that since the colors turned out to be so close to each other that either works on my pale skin. 1.0 N is Very Fair Neutral while 1.1 N is Fair Neutral.

The Serum foundation is said to be a lightweight medium-coverage formula but I disagree and consider it a light formula. The coverage possibly can be built to medium but with the amount I’m comfortable using I find the coverage to be quite light.

The Ordinary Serum Foundation 1.0N

The Ordinary Serum Foundation 1.0N

The Ordinary Serum Foundation 1.1N

The Ordinary Serum Foundation 1.1N

1.0N and 1.1N are practically identical on my skin with 1.1N being just a little more yellow. This is a very natural looking foundation that is low in viscosity. I prefer using my fingers with this rather than a brush or sponge. The Serum Foundation is a semi-matte finish. It doesn’t cover my freckles and some of my redness shows through but it’s a natural look which works for me most days.

The Ordinary Serum foundation in both 1.0N and 1.1N

The Ordinary Serum foundation in both 1.0N and 1.1N

Deceim says that their ‘proprietary spreadablilty system’ allows pigments to look natural on skin (yes), resist collecting within fine lines (not so sure about this), and stay on for longer. Marcia says that at the end of the day I notice this makes my pores, especially on my nose, look more pronounced. That’s my only grievance with this.


The Ordinary calls this their High-Spreadability Pigment Suspension System with High Coverage. There is a big difference between the coverage of the Serum and Coverage foundation. I like this High Coverage formula a little better since it’s dewier and has a fuller look to it. There’s more pigment than in the Serum foundation but it never looks cakey on me. I like that this isn’t an oily cream and that it spreads with ease. I find just about any tool helps me with application: fingers, a makeup sponge, a brush like Artis.

The Ordinary Coverage Foundation 1.0N

The Ordinary Coverage Foundation 1.0N

The Ordinary Coverage Foundation 1.1 N

The Ordinary Coverage Foundation 1.1 N

I’ve been using this with my PUR No Filter Primer to give it an even smoother and longer lasting finish but it works almost as well on its own. The Ordinary, of course, recommends their primer but I haven’t read raves about it.

The Ordinary top Full Coverage, below Serum Foundation in 1.0 N and 1.1 N

The Ordinary top Full Coverage, below Serum Foundation in 1.0 N and 1.1 N

There are several reasons to try this foundation.

  1. Price! You can’t beat $6.70 for a full 30 mL bottle of foundation
  2. No fragrance
  3. Wide variety of shades but mostly in the light and medium ranges
  4. Cruelty free
  5. Oil free
  6. Vegan
  7. nut free and gluten free
  8. free of parabens, sulphates, mineral oil, methylchloroisothiazolinone, methylisothiazolinone, animal oils, benzalkonium chloride, coal tar dyes, formaldehyde, mercury, oxybenzone.
  9. pH 6.0 – 7.5
The Ordinary Colours foundation

The Ordinary Colours foundation

It’s important too to know about SPF with with The Ordinary Coverage.  “Coverage Foundations sold in the European Union offer an SPF 15 claim. This protection is achieved without the use of chemical sunscreens and only through physical protection from Titanium Dioxide. Additionally, no nano-particles are used to achieve this sun protection. These attributes are unique in foundations because it is exceptionally difficult to create a natural, lightweight look and consistent shades when using only non-nano forms of Titanium Dioxide for sun protection without any chemical sunscreen agents.”

Do I recommend these products? Of course I do. There are so many positives and very few negatives. I don’t have reactive skin but I think one or the other would work for any skin type. The Serum Foundation especially would work for those with oily skin. While these aren’t my holy grail of foundations I’m not sorry that I bought them and I’m using them almost every day. As I’m typing this I have Make Up For Ever’s Ultra HD Invisible Coverage Foundation on the left side of my face and The Ordinary Serum Foundation on the right side of my face. I see no difference in the coverage. At $43 vs $6.70 which would you choose? —  Marcia

*nothing to disclose

Side by Side with Shea Moisture

shea moisture logo

How many brands do you know of that have been around since 1912? Of those brands, which ones have become more relevant in the 2000’s than they were before? There might be a few but the one we think you should notice is SHEA MOISTURE. It was started in 1912 by a woman named Sofi Tucker who started selling Shea Nuts at the village market in Bonthe, Sierra Leone in 1912. By age 19, the widowed mother of four was selling Shea Butter, African Black Soap and her homemade hair and skin preparations all over the countryside. Now her product line has grown but remains true to their origins. This cruelty-free brand that uses certified organic ingredients and recyclable materials has products for men, baby, bath & body, hair, as well as wonderful cosmetics.

SheaMoisture Weightless Shea Serum Foundation and Shea Butter Luscious LipstickBeauty Info Zone was sent some products to test and we’ve become surprised and delighted with what we’ve found. Today we’re sharing with you SheaMoisture Weightless Shea Serum Foundation in three shades along with two different Shea Butter Luscious Lipsticks.

SheaMoisture Weightless Shea Serum Foundation is a light, silky, fluid formula that blends easily with fingertips or a makeup sponge to provide light to medium coverage with a natural finish. Shades stay true. No ashy look. Feels comfortable, almost undetectable on the skin. Formulated with natural ingredients and blended with moisturizing Shea Butter and antioxidant-rich Vitamins C & E to nourish and protect skin.


Shea Moisture Tea Rose Luscious Lipstick and Weightless Shea Serum Foundation in Porcelain

Shea Moisture Nectar Luscious Lipstick and Weightless Shea Serum Foundation in Porcelain

Even though I selected Shea Moisture’s light shade, Porcelain, I was still quite concerned about the color match. Shea Moisture is a wonderful line for Women of Color but I wasn’t so sure how they’d be with someone as pale as I am. To my delight, they hit it out of the ballpark. Upon applying Porcelain on my hand to picture swatch it seemed too dark and a little too yellow for me but the first time I applied it on my face I knew that perception was all wrong. Porcelain is a perfect match for those of us who wear the lightest or second lightest shade in a foundation.

SHEA MOISTURE Weightless Shea Serum Foundation in Porcelain

SHEA MOISTURE Weightless Shea Serum Foundation in Porcelain

Being a serum foundation makes this a great choice for warm weather. The foundation is totally weightless and blends beautifully into a seamless finish. This wears so well on me that I’m often surprised at the end of the day that my face still looks evenly toned yet not like I’m wearing foundation.

I have Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Serum Foundation SPF40 and I’ve not only compared them but I’ve worn them both on the same day. Shea Moisture on one side, Bobbi Brown on the other side. Guess who wins? The $14.99 bottle of Shea Moisture looks better and lasts longer than the $65 Bobbi Brown. The two porcelain shades are almost identical with the Shea Moisture having better coverage and a small amount more tint to it. There’s no SPF in Shea Moisture but the difference is $50!! Ulta often has specials on Shea Moisture too. At the time I’m typing this they are 40% off a second SM product.

Shea Moisture Luscious Lipstick in Tea Rose

Shea Moisture Luscious Lipstick in Nectar

Shea Moisture Luscious Lipstick in Nectar is a perfect shade for me. So perfect in fact that I’m wearing it to my niece’s wedding. I still prefer a creamy lipstick in spite of the latest matte craze and Shea Moisture knows about creamy lipsticks. This contains Shea Butter as well as other emollients to keep lips soft and moisturized. It’s fragrance free (yea) as well as free of all the other bad things that we always mention. Most important is that I love the light to medium tone of this shade and the wear is great. Nectar is one of 10 shades that sell for just $9.99 (and those sales).

Shea Moisture Luscious Lipstick in Tea Rose

Shea Moisture Luscious Lipstick in Nectar


SheaMoisture Weightless Shea Serum Foundation and Shea Butter Luscious Lipstick

I think it’s a little easier for Marcia to find her color match in foundation – it’s always the lightest shade. For me, it’s a little more complicated  I go anywhere from light/medium to medium/dark, depending on where I am in my self tanning cycle.

SheaMoisture Weightless Shea Serum Foundation in Latte and Nude

SheaMoisture Weightless Shea Serum Foundation in Latte (left) and Nude (right)

The selection of shades is pretty incredible with this line – there are 20 of them, with lots of excellent shades for darker skin tones  I am sure you will be able to find your perfect shade in the range from Porcelain to Cocoa, with options for cool, warm, and neutral undertones. I tried two of the foundation shades, Nude (warm undertones) and Latte (neutral undertones).

I was taken aback at how little foundation is needed for excellent coverage. At first I put waaay too much on, not realizing how pigmented it was. This is a wonderful liquid foundation that can be layered for up to full coverage and lasts all day long. It’s also free of parabens, talc, gluten, sulfates, phthalates, mineral oil, and synthetic fragrance.

SheaMoisture Shea Butter Moisture Lipstick in Tea Rose

SheaMoisture Shea Butter Moisture Lipstick in Tea Rose

SheaMoisture Shea Butter Moisture Lipstick in Tea Rose

SheaMoisture Shea Butter Moisture Lipstick in Tea Rose

I think Marcia’s lipstick shade, Nectar, is very pretty, but I think my shade is even prettier! I have Tea Rose, which is a beautiful cool pink shade. I am in love with the shade and the moisturizing formula. I typically find I have to reapply the more hydrating lipsticks quite often, but this one has surprising lasting power.

Shea Moisture is a refreshingly affordable line that you can easily find at ULTA and at Target. Next time you are out shopping, be sure to take a look at the beautiful lipsticks and the excellent shade selection in the foundations.

*received for editorial consideration, affiliate links

Shea Moisture can be found at both ULTA and TARGET.

Shea Moisture Serum Foundation: Isononyl Isononanoate, Octyldodecanol, Shea Butter Cetyl Esters, Water, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Barium Sulfate, VP / Eicosene Copolymer, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Silica, Glyceryl Caprylate, Glycerin, Propylene Carbonate, Aluminum Hydroxide, Glyceryl Undecylenate, Isononanoic Acid, Tocopheryl Acetate, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter. May Contain (+/-): Mica, (CI 77163), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77492, CI 77491, CI 77499), Ultramarine Blue (CI 77007).

Shea Moisture Luscious Lipstick:

Diisostearyl Malate, Ethylhexyl Hydroxystearate, Triethylhexanoin, Ceresin, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Polyglyceryl-2 Triisostearate, Polybutene, Ozokerite, Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Diglyceryl Sebacate/Isopalmitate, Polyethylene, Dicalcium Phosphate, Phytosteryl/Isostearyl/Cetyl/ Stearyl/Behenyl Dimer Dilinoleate, Synthetic Wax, Pentaerythrityl Tetraisostearate, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Alumina, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Vp/Hexadecene Copolymer, Sorbitan Isostearate, Polyglyceryl-2 Diisostearate, Ethylene/Propylene Copolymer, Phytosteryl Macadamiate, Silica, Glyceryl Caprylate, Caprylyl Glycol, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Tin Oxide (CI 77861). May Contain (+/-): Mica (CI 77019), Blue 1 Lake (CI 42090), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Red 6 (CI 15850), Red 7 (CI 15850:1), Red 28 Lake (CI 45410), Red 33 Lake (CI 17200), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Yellow 5 Lake (CI 19140), Yellow 6 Lake (CI 15985).

*Certified Organic Ingredient.