Review: Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Serum Foundation SPF40

“This will change your skin inside and out” – Bobbi Brown

When it’s said that the hybrid foundation Intensive Skin Serum Foundation SPF 40 is the fusion of skincare and makeup that beautifies the skin from within, I believe it. I have first hand experience of the benefits of Cordyceps Mushroom. It is a traditional herb we Chinese use to improve our health and vitality. After I gave birth to my children, I was given this Cordyceps Mushroom + pure chicken broth so that my body can recuperate faster. It is also a very expensive herb especially the wild ones. This foundation incorporates this super herb in the foundation. There are also Bamboo Grass for radiance and Lychee extracts for hydration, but I’m not familiar with these so I won’t comment. With color corrective pigments, this foundation promises to provide flawless, natural looking all day coverage.



Bobbi Brown Intensive Serum Foundation


The Intensive Skin Serum Foundation SPF40 comes in an opaque black glass bottle and like other serum foundation, it dispenses the foundation through a dropper. I always shake the bottle before using, but this foundation is actually quite creamy in texture so you won’t actually hear the foundation shake in the bottle. I expected the texture to be rather liquid and runny but surprisingly, it isn’t.




Let’s talk about the bottle for a second. It’s messy. I tried a few ways of pulling out the dropper and putting it back but no matter what I did, the result is below. Sometimes even messier. Does it sound like I’m a little OCD? Well, I am. It might not bother many of you, but it bothers me. Very much. Because I’m weird. So, yeah, let’s leave it at that. Back to the foundation.


bottle mouth


See the texture below? It’s one little squeeze from the dropper. It’s not easy to control the amount dispensed and for this texture, I would rather see it in a pump bottle. At least I know it’s airtight and I won’t be pumping air into the foundation every time I use it. And it’ll probably be easier to control how much to use. The color you see here is 0.5 Warm Porcelain. I thought it would be too light for me, because I usually use either a 1 or a 1.5 but surprisingly, again, it actually works quite well. It’s still a little light, but I don’t mind the brightening effect.




This foundation applies like a very light moisturizer. It goes on the skin and it just melts into the skin almost immediately. One drop like the above is enough for the whole face, for an almost medium coverage and it can be built up for more coverage. I really don’t think it can go to full coverage, but if you’ve done it before, do let me know in comments below! I want to show you the effects of this foundation. Below, you’ll see my bare skin, literally with nothing on but skincare, and on the right is one layer of the Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Serum Foundation. You’ll see that my skin is lighter, but the yellow tones on my skin have also been cancelled out. I don’t know how many of you apply foundation on your lids and around your eyes, but it creases. It didn’t crease under my eyes, but it creased on the fold of my lids. I don’t usually apply foundation on my lids, but I tested it just for you. It also lessened the shadows around my eyes and the redness around my nostrils. The dent you see by the side of my face is actually the hollow of my cheekbones so don’t worry about that. It tends to get more noticeable as I lose some weight.


BB serum foundation before after


The finish, I’d say, is more luminous and dewy. On my normal skin, and in our tropical weather, it holds up for about 3 to 4 hours (without primer or powder) before I start looking a little shiny. It doesn’t cover pores and while it takes away some shadows and pigmentation, it still lets the skin shine through. With powder, my natural oils start to break out around my nose by the 5th hour. This foundation doesn’t oxidize on me and it stays bright the whole time I wore it. I’ve only worn it for 8 hours tops, and the foundation is still intact, with minimal pooling around my nostrils – which could be easily fixed with some patting motion. Below is a close up of how my skin looks with a thin layer of the Intensive Skin Serum Foundation. No powder, no concealer. The red veins around my cheeks are covered completely, but you can still see some freckles and marks showing. However, my friends, who’s gonna come soooo close to you, unless you’re making out?


BB serum foundation after closeup


With skincare ingredients like anti ageing, skin firming, moisture boosting and even skin repairing, this foundation is really the “do all” base. I can’t attest to any of the skincare benefits mentioned (while the special ingredients used are top notch) but for the foundation itself, I’d say it’s more suited to those with normal to dry skin. I can see those with combination to oily skin to complain about it being too rich. I really like the finish of this foundation though. Once you give it a few minutes to settle, it just looks completely like skin. It also smells a little of lavender (lavender oil is part of the ingredients) so if you’re not a big fan, then you might not like this. Below is the list of ingredients for those of you interested. You’ll notice that Titanium Dioxide is quite high on the list. This foundation is SPF40 after all, so if you’re going to be photographed with flash, avoid this foundation.


BB intensive skin serum foundation ingredients


I have tried using this foundation with my fingers, stippling brush, foundation brush and buffing brush. They all work well but my favourite is to apply with my fingers then use a buffing brush to smooth it out further. This gives a lighter coverage, so if you want a higher coverage, you might want to try using a paddle foundation brush.

Before you ask, let me tell you that I actually cannot really compare the Diorskin Nude Air foundation and the Giorgio Armani Maestro Fusion Makeup to this because they are very different. The Dior and GA ones however are comparable. This Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Serum Foundation (RM195) is in its own league. A good thing, I say.

Have you tried it? If there’s anything that I didn’t cover, that maybe I left out, please ask me in comments below!


xoxo Lily



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