Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation | Review

Thursday 8 September 2016

Oh my goodness, the hype.

The beauty web absolutely blew up when Urban Decay announced they’d be launching a new, high-coverage, long lasting foundation.

Like many, I was drawn in by the buzz and the stunning packaging, and decided immediately that this was a foundation I needed in my life. 

To me, UD have great form. I love the brand, and their Naked Skin foundation was my holy grail, until Too Faced Born This Way just edged it out. 

But like many people, although I loved the formula, I thought the coverage was very light and I looked forward to something a bit more heavyweight for nights out or bad skin days.

I feel like I’ve literally been waiting months to get my hands on this. 

After having to watch it launch in the US (when will beauty companies learn how infuriating that is? Beauty is global - get with it, cosmetics companies!), it finally came up for sale in the UK. I ordered from the website before it even launched, thinking I would receive it quicker, but the dispatch was frustratingly slow and I could have gotten it quicker going into store.

Anyway, it was finally here. 

Fellow beauty addicts will know the indescribable thrill of unboxing something you’ve been dying to get your hands on for ages. 

But oh, what a towering pedestal of hype this foundation had to live up to. Would it manage to be as good as I dreamed?

Heres the verdict.

The Hype

As I mentioned, the amount of buzz about this online was deafening.

Urban Decay has an army of loyal fans that adore the brand’s ethos, shade range and edgy packaging and I am definitely one of those! I would even go so far as to name UD my favourite beauty brand overall.

When I tried their Naked Skin foundation, I was absolutely blown away. At first glance though, I didn’t get on with it - I thought it was way too runny and not nearly good enough in the coverage stakes. But it was a slow burner, and when I realised that a fluid foundation could still give that coveted airbrush finish, I fell in love.

However, like a lot of people, I still wished there was a higher-coverage option in the same formula. Step forward, All Nighter.

This foundation makes a hell of a lot of promises, including having ‘more stamina than your date’ - oooh-err! It bills itself as ‘the ultimate foundation for a flawless looking complexion that won’t quit’.

“Full coverage with a modern matte finish that never looks overdone, serious long lasting wear and a blown-out effect for all night affairs.”

You had me at ‘blown-out effect’, UD…

It also promises:

  • A completely matte but never flat finish
  • Oil-free coverage
  • Three times the amount of pigment in Naked Skin
  • No need to apply multiple layers or build coverage
  • Waterproof
  • Paraben-free (less damaging and aging to skin)
  • Diffuses light to blur flaws
  • Mattifies and absorbs oils
  • Wide range of ‘meticulously calibrated’ shades
  • Equipped with an airless pump to get out every last bit of product

This is all absolute music to my ears. I loved the blurring powers of Naked Skin, so I was super excited to see they were using that technology in All Nighter as well.

The level of pigment sounded insane, waterproof is an amazing idea (y’know...for all the many pool parties I go to at rapper’s mansions…) and of course, the thought of ‘one swipe and done’ is always seductive for those of us that generally have to get ready in 10 minutes flat between sorting our little people out.

The Packaging

Wow. Just wow. I think this is the prettiest foundation bottle I have ever, ever seen.

It features a metallised outer casing, in UD’s signature gunmetal shade. This has a shattered design of asymmetric cut-outs that shows the inner casing, meaning you can see the shade of the foundation at a glance.

It’s everything beautiful - edgy, glamourous, iconic. Its a work of freaking art to sit on your dressing table. But its also practical.

Regular readers will know I’m crazy about pump bottles. They are hygienic, they’re no mess, and best of all they preserve the active ingredients in a formula and stop them decaying through exposure to oxygen.

Practical and pretty? This bottle is a winner.

The Formula

So there’s a lot of benefits packed into this gorgeous bottle. Its definitely thicker and less runny than Naked Skin, and yet, wonderfully, it doesn’t feel suffocating and heavy on the skin.

Although the pigmentation is clearly heavyweight, it does avoid becoming too cloying. One word of warning - you have very little ‘playtime’ with this foundation. Once its set, its locked in place and there’s no slip in it as the formula is so very matte.

Normally, I dab my foundation on and buff it in with a brush, but if you’re planning to take that approach here, you need to be super-speedy.

I found that it does show brush marks easily, so this actually works a lot better when you apply it with a Beauty Blender. That’s the way to get it to look ‘flawless’ -  and work in small sections rather than applying all your product and then working it into the face - that way lies madness.

Although the coverage is good, I could still see some pigmentation in odd areas of my face and would want to top those up or blend with a powder.

On to the ‘matteness’. This is extremely matte and if you have drier skin, it may not be for you (oily girls on the other hand, go get). As someone with normal-combination skin, I actually found this a little TOO matte. It almost looks chalky on me.

Second, despite the blurring powers I rated so highly in their Naked Skin foundation, something has gone awry here. The formula is so dry that I felt it really accentuated my fine lines and pores - and that was after using the Clarins Smoothing Perfecting Touch first!

I was actually a little disappointed, and I think I’ve decided I definitely prefer a demi-matte finish as its much more flattering if you have less than perfectly smooth skin.

However, if you use a drop of facial oil or a decent moisturiser right before applying, it does help matters a bit. I’m still not totally in love with the finish, and I don’t think it looks right for day, so I will be reserving this more for evenings out.

The other thing I’m not so sure on is the shade match. I went for 3.5, which is my perfect match in the Naked Skin formulation. But here it looks a half a shade too light - possibly because of the more matte finish and possibly because its summer and I’ve caught the sun a little more.

It’s nothing disastrous, but Naked Skin is definitely more forgiving - this formula is so matte, and so opaque that the shade needs to be spot on, so I would definitely suggest going into a store to be matched, even if you *think* you know your UD shades.

The Performance

To be fair, this totally does what it says on the tin. It doesn’t budge once its on and its probably the longest-lasting foundation I’ve ever tried. You could literally chuck this on, spend all day and night at a festival, and it would still be intact the next morning.

I did get a bit of shine breaking through on my nose, but there doesn’t seem to be any power on earth that can prevent that. So, if you’re a bright young thing looking for a budge-proof, extremely matte, high-coverage formula, you’re onto a good tip here.

However, for those of us who are a little older, and perhaps have more concerns about lines and pores appearing everywhere, I don’t think this is the one.

It’s very nice, but the blurring powers don’t live up to Naked Skin and its just too matte to be flattering on many people over the age of 25, I think.

The Verdict

I must admit, I am slightly, just slightly, disappointed in this. I honestly bought into the hype and believed that this foundation would be the best thing ever.

And although it is pretty good, and the bottle is to die for, I’m just not convinced it works for me. Its just super-matte, and I actually think a bit more a glow is far nice.

True, it won’t budge once its on, but that does make it a little awkward to work with. Although I have figured out how to make it work for me (a facial oil, a good smoothing primer and a very damp Beauty Blender to apply), I don’t like that its such hard work and that rules it out as an everyday formula for me as I just don’t have time for that much prep in the mornings.

However, as a showstopper for a night out, its well worth it. I do like this foundation but I just don’t love it like I expected to. The formula falls a little short for older skins.

I’m going to continue to test this out and see if it grows on me, but Too Faced Born This Way is still my holy grail foundation for now. All Nighter? Think I might just go to bed instead...

1 comment

  1. It still looks lovely on you! But I'm also combination so I think this might cling to my dry areas a little, plus I need a good coverage for covering up some acne scarring! Loved how honest and in depth this review was!!

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