Like most beauty fiends, I love trying new products. My bathroom cabinet is filled with foundations, eyeliners, and lipsticks, be it either drugstore or high-end. (Yes, I’m a tad obsessed). So, when a new Bobbi Brown product, Jones Road's What the Foundation, caused an uproar on TikTok—with even legend Bobbi Brown herself chiming in—I knew something was up in the beauty world.
Now, some makeup content creators believe the foundation is too light and fragrant-heavy. Others admired the product for giving their skin a summer glow. Between raves and criticism, I couldn’t tell if WTF was my next summer go-to. So, I took it upon myself to try it out.
The foundation is described as a “tinted moisture balm,” which means not-so-heavy coverage, a go-to for natural makeup girls like myself. But when wearing a light coverage foundation, finding the right shade is a must. WTF has 12 shades available, ranging from light to deep. After some deliberating, the shade “Pecan” looked the most similar to medium-to-deep skin.
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I’m not a foundation gal. My daily makeup look consists of eyebrow gel, mascara, some concealer, and blush. So, for a week, I incorporated the balm into my routine. Here are my honest thoughts:
The balm came in a circular glass jar and felt heavy, which was an odd surprise. I opened the jar and my senses were quickly greeted by a makeup-counter-like smell. A sort of high-end fragrance scent. The scent was a bit overbearing, but nothing too harsh that made me not want to wear the foundation.
It's also an oil-based formula, so whether it was from the shipping or the heat, I was surprised to see the oil separating from the foundation in the jar. The product looked thick too, almost like a heavy moisturizer.
How I applied it
Because of how oily the foundation is, I wasn’t sure about how to apply it. Brush, sponge, or my fingers? With a week to experiment, I decided to try all three.
- Brush: I skipped my normal primer—Milk’s Hydro Grip Primer—as the foundation had enough oil to prep my skin. The brush gave me an okay result.I dipped it into the jar and applied the foundation using smooth strokes, but the brush left the coverage a bit splotchy and there were areas between my cheeks where the foundation hadn’t blended properly.
- Sponge: Again, this foundation is oil-based, and since blending your complexion makeup works best when you wet your beauty blender—and since oil and water aren't the best of friends—using a sponge to apply this isn't the best course of action either. It was easy for me to blend the balm into my skin, but after 15 minutes of wear, I found creases along my smile lines and forehead.
- Fingers: Your hands are your best bet here. It took some time for the formula to rub in properly, but the results were worth it! No more blotchy spots. Plus, with a bit of powder added to my smile lines and under eyes, all creases were prevented.
This foundation gaveme a dewy look, and it's a great product for people who prefer light-to-medium coverage formulas. Without powder, WTF looks like skin and covers all red and dark spots, but because of the amount of oil in it, it may not be the best option for people with oily or normal to combination skin (like me). If you do choose to wear it, it's best to apply it with your fingers to avoid blotchiness.
WTF also has a pretty strong scent, so if you have sensitive skin or skin that tends to react to fragrance, you may want to proceed with caution here by only wearing it every once in a while or just avoiding it altogether. As someone with sensitive skin, I wasn't sure if wearing this foundation would cause a reaction. Luckily, my skin didn’t break out, but I can’t say it couldn’t happen with daily wear.
Melanie Curry (she/her) is an editorial assistant at Hearst Magazines where she does a little of bit of everything in digital media. Her work has appeared in Men’s Health, InStyle, ELLE, and more. When not writing the day away, you can find her drinking a cold brew at Starbucks, reading a romance novel, or binge-watching the trendiest show on Netflix.