Can Makeup Forever Reboot foundation replace my all-time favorite foundation? Check out my honest real deal review.
All good things must come to an end…even your foundation. When I first started wearing foundation, there were very few brands that offered an inclusive shade range WITH a flattering finish. In the early 2000s, I wore Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse, but it didn’t quite deliver the match that I needed. MAC was all the rage in the prestige world, but I never loved the way it looked on other people, and I never felt comfortable approaching their counter (I still don’t, but I digress). I realized I needed help and I needed to make an investment in a quality product I really loved. So, when I got my first big girl salary, I got up the nerve to venture into Sephora for the first time. A lovely lady who looked like me took the time to help me find my first prestige foundation, perfect for my skin type, shade, and lifestyle. That foundation was Makeup Forever Face and Body (later reformulated and reintroduced as Water Blend) and my beauty life was forever changed.
I’ve now worn this foundation for a decade. No matter what other products I tried, I always ended up returning to Water Blend – until now. I saw my current bottle running low and ventured online to repurchase it, finding that the price had been slashed. Ordinarily, this would be a good thing, but a deep discount is quite suspicious for a product that almost never goes on sale. I checked another site, and the price had not only been cut there as well, most of it was sold out. Frantic, I checked stores again and on social media – the “last chance” label confirmed my worst fear: my best ever foundation was being discontinued. I was gonna be forced to go through the ups and downs of finding a new best base.
Now, after much improvement (and backlash), there are more foundation options than ever available. I’m frankly a bit overwhelmed by the brands and the choices. Also, for an added complication, true swatching is no longer an option due to the pandemic. So, I simplified matters by choosing to try a new foundation from the brand I know and trust.
Makeup Forever Reboot Active Care Revitalizing Foundation
$39 – 1.01 oz at sephora.com or makeupforever.com
The Makeup Forever Reboot Foundation is a light-to-medium coverage liquid foundation that brings together the finishing effects of foundation with the nourishing effects of skincare. Formulated to combat five signs of fatigue in skin, this foundation has a satin finish that makes the skin feel and look healthier. The foundation claims to leave skin illuminated, smooth, firm, hydrated, and evened out.
Makeup Forever accomplishes these claims by including ginseng, camellia japonica, and mondo grass to restore and strengthen the skin.
How is Reboot different from Makeup Forever’s other foundations?
As I mentioned, I was hesitant to try Reboot at first, in part because I wasn’t totally clear on what made this foundation special. So, let’s explore this further within Makeup Forever’s collection of liquid* complexion products:
- Water Blend Face and Body Foundation – This foundation was 80% water and waterproof, with a watery, gel-like texture. It hydrated the skin and gave it a nice dew, without feeling heavy. Recommended for combination skin, I found it to be sheer to light coverage (and it will always have a special place in my heart).
- Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation – The “flagship” foundation. Available in 52 shades for all skin types, Ultra HD was designed to look flawless in person and on camera, providing medium buildable coverage that adjusts to your complexion. My mother wears this foundation, so I will add that it looks gorgeous on mature skin. It dries seamlessly without caking or settling into fine lines.
- Matte Velvet Skin Liquid – A full-cover cream with a long-lasting matte finish
- Watertone Skin Perfecting Tint – A sheer skin tint offering light to medium coverage and a radiant finish for normal to oily skin.
*I also own the Ultra HD Foundation Stick, but for the sake of this comparison, it would be apples-to-oranges.
From my point of view, both Watertone and Reboot replace different aspects of Water Blend. Where Watertone picks up the sheer, water-like feel, Reboot provides a happy medium between the dewy, hydrating finish of Water Blend and the flawless coverage of Ultra HD.
I purchased the Makeup Forever Reboot foundation in color Y503, which was a departure from my previous color matches. I will note that I’ve discovered over the years that Makeup Forever’s colors are not always a 1:1 match across products, so it is best to go and be rematched if possible.
The foundation comes in a nice glass pump bottle, which makes it easy to control the amount of product dispensed. For what it’s worth, open-top bottles are easier to contaminate with germs, so I generally won’t buy a foundation that doesn’t have a pump. I have not found any obnoxious fragrance in this formula. Also, a little goes a long way – I was able to cover my entire face with one pump. The liquid itself feels quite lightweight to the touch. As expected it is slightly heavier than a true skint tint but lighter than a true medium coverage foundation.
The Wear Test
Here is an unfiltered look at Reboot in natural light:
One standard I have for foundations is that they must pass the “unfiltered flawlessness” test. I don’t retouch my photos for several reasons. With Water Blend I never needed to; Reboot also passes the test with flying colors.
At first application, I was concerned about the color match, but I was pleasantly surprised by how well it blended into my skin. The foundation is not sticky to the touch and dries down relatively quickly. I love that the coverage is relatively light but enough to disguise my imperfections. One layer almost completely covers my dark circles and spots, allowing me to forgo corrector and concealer for a quick day about town. Reboot also claims to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and increase hydration for 24 hrs.
After wearing this foundation all day for about a week, I can say that there is little to no degradation over the course of the day, even underneath my mask, and my skin does not feel fatigued, clogged, or distressed after removal. It also seems easier to remove than Water Blend.
The Makeup Forever Reboot foundation delivers on its claims to aid the look AND feel of the skin underneath. The coverage is fairly light but enough to cover imperfections on the first pass and still look like skin. Because so little foundation is required to achieve an even complexion, I expect the foundation to last the full 12-month shelf-life of the bottle. This makes me feel good about the value of the $39 purchase. I do wish there were more shades, but the match is pretty forgiving. Overall, I think I’ll be keeping this foundation in my rotation.
Rating: Migh-T Fine
What is your all-time favorite foundation? Tell us in the comments below!