Beauty Diaries

Beauty Diaries

Your Personal Beauty Bulletin Blog

TESTED: Urban Decay All Nighter foundation

On my recent trip to Johannesburg, I got my hands on the Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation. I love me some coverage, and I LOVE foundations that stay put, so I figured that this would be a match made in heaven.

I really put my all into researching the product before buying it, as I didn't want to go all the way there, buy the incorrect shade/product, and not be able to swop it. There were some FABULOUS reviews online, and some not so nice ones. The things that stood out for me were that this foundation was VERY high coverage, it lasted all day long, BUT it oxidised badly. 

For those not in the know - when a foundation makes contact with the air, it can have a chemical reaction and change colour. I have had this happen a few times to me, and those foundations have ultimately been tossed, or passed on (sometimes it won't oxidise as badly on another skin). I mean, who wants to look like an Oompa Loompa after a few hours of wear-time??

With the help of the lovely assistant at the Sandton store, I swatched a few different shades on my neckline, to see how they would oxidise, and then browsed the other products on offer. I actually took several of these shades, and a couple that wouldn't suit me, and swatched them on my hands too, just to see how they would oxidise. They all did, in different time frames - one shade oxidised as I spread it out after pumping the small blob onto my hand! You really need to know what skin tone you have, and try the shades out with this foundation. Also - the shade looks a lot lighter through the bottle, but once pumped out, it can be a bit darker.

After some debate, we decided that shade 3.0 would work best for me. It seems quite light when I first apply it, but it only oxidises slightly into a shade that fits my skin better.

So - let's skip ahead now (after all the waffling) to the actual review. I'm going to apologise in advance for constantly comparing this to my Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation, but that is my holy grail product, and I've tried so many, so it seems fair that for a foundation to be good for me, it has to somewhat meet those standards.


Urban Decay All Nighter liquid foundation in shade 3.0. You receive 30ml of product.


The All Nighter foundation comes in a metallic silver bottle with asymmetrical cutouts. The packaging looks expensive, edgy and is practical, as you can see the shade of your foundation through the cutouts (although the foundation is slightly darker than it appears through these cutouts). The foundation is dispensed through an airless pump - very hygienic and you also get every last bit squeezed out, so there is no wastage (something I battle with, with regards to the Estee Lauder Double Wear, as there is always that little bit that I can't get out).


This is a liquid foundation, but it's thicker than my Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation, which to me is a true liquid. 


Very, VERY high coverage - I find that one full pump is too much for my face and neck. I use about half a pump at a time, which means that this should theoretically last for ages. You need to ensure that you blend the foundation out exceptionally well, or you could look like you're wearing a mask, as the coverage is so high.

I've always found my ELDW (Estee Lauder Double Wear) to be the perfect coverage - you can use a little to just give you a fully covered face that still looks like skin, yet you can build the coverage up depending on the occasion. I found that I'd have to use the absolute tiniest bit of the Urban Decay in order to give me a still very full-coverage effect.


The formulation of this foundation is oil-free and waterproof. One would think that this is therefore the ideal foundation for oilier skins, and for summer humidity.

I've heard reviews where some people swear by this foundation and others where people found that it caked and crumbled and came off.

Unfortunately, I come somewhere in between these reviews. 

On first application, the product is very creamy and easy to apply. You do have to blend a bit more in order to get it to look completely flawless, but once you're done it's beautiful. It's matte, it's poreless, it covers every single little imperfection to the point where I don't even need concealer. Basically heaven on earth. 

Annndd that's where things go pear-shaped. 

I don't find that this foundation wears well on me throughout the day. Granted, I've gone off the pill in recent months, and my skin has been a bit oilier than usual, but no matter how I prep my skin beforehand (I've tried about 4 different primers, I've used every single different moisturiser in my cupboard before using this, from super moisturising, to hydrating, to serious oil-control ones, and I've even powdered my skin before applying foundation), this just does not last. I find that I need to constantly blot my T-zone throughout the day (I don't have this problem with ELDW or with myL'Oreal Infallible 24h Matte) and the makeup that seamlessly blended into my skin mere hours before now sits in a layer on top of my skin, so that if I bump it with a finger or a phone, it takes that layer off completely. The end result when I get home at the end of a long day is patchy and greasy. It also then clings to any teensy bit of dry skin I might have.

I don't know if I'm doing something incorrectly, applying it poorly or not setting it well (I've tried about a dozen different ways in all of these things, and I even set it with my Urban Decay Chill setting spray), but I can't get this foundation to last the day on me, without blotting and then re-powdering at least twice during the day.

Perhaps it would just work better for normal/combination skin or even drier skins?



There are 24 shades in the range, and we have all 24 available here in South Africa.


R489.95 for 30ml


At the Urban Decay store in Sandton City


Unless I can find a way to make this work better for me, then no, probably not. Have any of you tried out this foundation? If so, what did you think? The mixed reviews make me think that maybe it's amazing for very specific skins and not so much for others...

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