March 30, 2012

Estee Lauder Invisible Fluid Makeup Review & Swatches

I feel like I have the oddest skin tone. I imagine it isn’t as dramatic as I think but sometimes it seems like I can never find the perfect shade of foundation. The skin on my body is darker than that on my face which is one freaky aspect. I consider myself medium fair with golden undertones which kinda stinks because when I hit up a counter they automatically start trying to match me up with a shade of beige-y orange foundation that simply looks awful on me.

I am absolutely in love with Estee Lauder for having a cool neutral shade that fits me! Thank the makeup gods, they are singing, here them?

I hit up my local Estee Lauder counter two weeks ago to indulge in the new Estee Lauder Invisible Fluid Makeup. Sadly, the every so lovely Joyce, my normal MA, wasn’t there. I had to contend with someone from the NARS counter, it seems so wrong having a NARS MA selling me Estee Lauder. No offense, but she knew nothing about the product and I was very close to walking out because she was matching me up with some beige-orangey shade that was just wickedly bad. I sorted through the shades myself and we finally agreed on 2CN2 and it’s pretty much a great match (I think a shade down would have been even better but no complaints so far).

I think if you already enjoy and love using Shiseido Perfect Refining Foundation you’ll love this however you’ll find it is considerably less pigmented in comparison. I actually expected it to be more like Shiseido’s version but the formula, to me, feels and wears vastly differently. I plan on comparing this, Shiseido, and Chanel’s version soon in an upcoming post.

This comes in a squeeze bottle with a small dropper nozzle. It’s water based so you have to take special care and attention that you shake it up well prior to use. You want the liquid to mix with the foundation pigments well so Estee Lauder suggests shaking it 10 times.

It’s rare that a product lives up to its description but Invisible Fluid Makeup does exactly what it promises. This provides invisible coverage that leaves skin flawless with a technology that adapts to your unique skin tone for a true to life shade match, weightless coverage allows your skin to breath easily.

Estee Lauder is known for fragrance in their products but this remains fragrance-free which I’m sure is a relief if you’re sensitive.

The formula…

What can I say?

It’s incredible. These generation foundations that offer second skin coverage with such a breathable formula are truly makeup technology at its best. This is virtually weightless but still provides a beautiful canvas that will ease redness, dullness, and uneven skin tone. Coverage is considerably sheerer than Shiseido’s version but you can build easily and no matter how much you build it still remains flawlessly light and perfect. The texture is a creamy liquid which absorbs easily into the skin, it runs quite watery. It enhances your own natural skin tone and never looks or feels like a foundation, merely as a second skin. If we can have the my lips but better lipstick experience than this would be the my skin but better look.

The wear time is just as wonderful as the product doesn’t oxidize, fade, or wear away for extended periods of time. If you put your makeup on in the morning chances are it’ll be on when you leave work at night. I’d say coverage will get you through a day easily in a normal environment, ie you aren’t on a beach playing volley ball in the sun!

I do believe that you need a decently smooth working surface and clear skin to enjoy it since it runs a bit sheerer. Another words if you suffer from acne, acne scarring, or other issues of the kind it probably won’t be the best fit or coverage for your problems.

There is something to be said about the IntuTone Technology which adapts to your unique skin tone. I think if you go a little lighter with your foundation, as I’m prone to do, you don’t have to be scared as this seems to adapt very well to skin without every looking pasty or chalky.

Overall, Estee Lauder Invisible Fluid Makeup is an amazing foundation to say the least. Light coverage, true to skin color, and incredible wear are just some of the things to rave about here. I do think if you already own and love Shiseido’s version you should still try out Estee Lauder’s version as I find it a little lighter and nicer for Summer wear.

This is gorgeous, gorgeous makeup and very well worth picking up.

Muse Approved for purchase.

I highly recommend it.

Available now at Estee Lauder counters or online at

About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

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  • Larie

    Thank you for this review!!! I’ve been waiting to hear more about it. I think I’m gonna go take a look at it, too.

    • the Muse

      my pleasure larie, def have a little play on counter it is lovely stuff!

  • michelle

    I recently swatched myself as well for this foundation and loved it! I also got a sample of their new illuminating primer and used it underneath the foundation. Wonderful!

    I have been a die hard Chanel foundation user for years and have been using their VITALUMIÈRE AQUA ULTRA-LIGHT SKIN PERFECTING MAKEUP SPF 15 daily; but this really is almost identical in coverage, lightness and wear-ability; not to mention the price is quite a bit less (Chanel is $45 + tax).

    I consider this a win-win for me.

    Try the primer! It comes in a Matte and Illuminating formula! It feels wonderful going on, and is lightweight, while imparting a nice “glow”

    Thanks for the review!

    • the Muse

      thanks for YOUR review michelle so helpful! ;-D the primer sounds lovely ;-D!

  • Cj

    Well I’m jealous you got this before me lol. I still have no idea what my shade is lol. I’m thinking of calling a EstΓ©e Lauder counter up and see if someone could help me :S Lauder owns Mac right? So someone should know the nc15 equilavent.

    • the Muse

      yup! your mac person can totes match you perfectly ;-D you’re going to LOVE it cj!

      • Cj

        Btw off topic but have you seen the swatches temptalia put up of mac immortal flower?? Talk about gorgeous!

    • Lori

      I only wear Estee Lauder after a horrible few experiences with MAC foundations. I’m neutral so NW15 and NC15 don’t match me right. The color I wear is 1N1, so you’d probably be 1 (C for cool, N for nuetral, W for warm)1. Hopes this helps πŸ™‚

  • Tracy

    I am soooooo needing to try this, it looks like this shade would be a good match for me! NW 20/25, what do you think?

    • the Muse

      mm not sure tracy, I’m not really suave-y on the mac foundation shades.

      • Tracy

        πŸ™‚ LOL, ok ! Thanks! Love your blog! I am now addicted!!!
        I am glad to hear this calms down redness even though the shade you used is cool, usually I have to find a yellower shade to do that!

        • the Muse

          hey tracy aw thanks so much! really thank you πŸ™‚ This will conceal calm redness easily ;-D yellow base or not! if you try it do let me know what you think!

  • Sarita

    Thank you for the review – I’m very intrigued by this foundation. I’m usually a tinted moisturizer gal – how would you compare it as far as coverage to a tinted foundation (right now wearing Laura Mercier’s). Thanks so much!

    • the Muse

      hi sarita, much more coverage than a tm. tm’s are legendary for being terribly sheer. This is sheer but can be built up to medium coverage however, it won’t cover major issues like acne, acne scarring…! but it eases redness, dullness, evens out skin tone, etc..better than a tm would!

  • Sarah S.

    Good revew, bummer it isn’t for me! I need stuff to fill in my acne scars πŸ˜›

  • Krista

    What about the Shiseido sun protection liquid foundation? Do you have that? It sounds very similar as well! I would love to see a comparison πŸ™‚

  • Nikki

    I want to try this! I like ELDW but it’s a bit heavy so I’ve been mixing it with my liquid silk sunscreen which has been working well. But this sounds like it would be perfect!! I hope they have a shade light enough. I wear 1c1 shell in double wear and it’s the best match I’ve found for my skintone

  • Louise

    Great review! How does this compare to Chanel’s Vitalumiere as far as wear-time? I find on my combo skin Vitalumiere tends to go patchy really quickly on me πŸ™

  • chel

    Chanel VA is my HG and this looks like Chanel! I am B10 in Chanel – would you know what shade should I try here? And how much is this?

    • the Muse

      quite different ginny. I’ll be reviewing benefit’s version shortly.

  • Josh :D

    I really love this foundation! However, I don’t have a shade match, as usual, so, I do have to lighten 1N1 with my yaby white corrector. Now, I’m interested in trying the Shiseido Refining — I keep going back and forth about trying this, especially since I’m a HUGE fan of their Sun Protection Foundation. :]

    • the Muse

      yay josh glad to hear it ;-D I didn’t think it was like Sun Protection at all, but refining is amazing you NEED it!

  • Marlie

    I can’t wait to try this out. I love the Chanel version but it’s not easily available near me so I’m really hoping this works out. A quick note about contending with the NARS MA – happens to me ALL the time and is becoming increasingly frustrating! A lady from the Clarins counter recently had to help me with Dior when I was asking questions about the Diorskin Nude Loose Powder (amazing, btw) and she looked at me like I had 3 heads! Now I try to call to make sure a specific brand MA is working before I head out.

    • the Muse

      marlie I notice this a lot lately. Un-manned counters in Neimans, Nordies, etc…smart idea calling ahead. I was wondering around Nordstrom absolutely lost b/c no one was at the EL, Chanel, Bobbi Brown, and Clarins counter. Was awful!

      • Marlie

        I always research (the majority of) the products I plan to purchase and I think it’s funny/sad when I’m more informed on a product than an MA because they’ve been pulled from another counter..maybe I should go into the buisness professionally?

  • Sami

    It looks yellow on your hand. I can’t wear EstΓ©e Lauder. I am very light and they’re colors are all too yellow for me.

  • Tiffany C.

    I’ve been wanting to try this ever since Lisa Eldridge used it in a video and you just made me want to buy it right now!! It sounds amazing!

  • Nia

    I’d love to try this but unfortunately i don’t have EstΓ©e Lauder near me, so sad…and I don’t want to buy it online because I’m not sure about the shade…

  • murt

    Thanks for this review – I am very curious about this foundation and am going to check it out…. Do you know how it compares to MAC Face and Body?

  • Kat

    Thank you so much for this review. I’ve tried this foundation, and feel that I should add a really important note.

    I bought EL’s Invisible Fluid online, based on beauty bloggers swatches, and several stores color charts. I got 2CN2 (the same shade that’s pictured in this review). The color straight out of the bottle is perfect (almost a hair too light) but as I rub it into my skin is turns far too dark, and orange / peach.

    I’ve taken pictures with one swatch of the foundation sitting on my hand for a few minutes, and another swatch straight out of the bottle. You can see the pictures here I think the difference is even more extreme under sunlight.

    In direct sunlight, I end up with an obvious orange line at my jaw that’s too extreme to blend in.

    I like the coverage, and the texture, don’t get me wrong. But I just wanted to warn anyone who reads this to go to a counter and try on the shades in person! I don’t believe that the color actually adapts to your skin, it just warms and oxidizes. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, if you get the right shade. Try it on, wait ten minutes, and look at it again to be sure you get the right one.

  • Ashley

    I’ve almost purchased this foundation so many times its not even funny. I just love their bb cream and usually can get away with just wearing it by itself.

    However I had the lady working do my makeup and the Invisible Fluid with pressed powder I felt really awesome, I just don’t like a foundation that you have to shake for 5min before use.

    As I say this I did end up buying the Chanel Aqua Vita, which leaves the skin feeling cool, the invisible fluid has slightly more coverage. I’m still biting my nails deciding if I need it.

    I bought the double wear from Estee and instead should of gotten the double wear light or the invisible fluid. The double wear foundation I wear the lightest shade they make and I still feel as though it makes me look a little bronzy. The lady at the counter applied it perfectly in two layers so that’s why I purchased the Double Wear Foundation. I’ve really never been disappointed with any of Estee Lauder’s products except their tinted moisturizer-that made my pale skin look orange! Nightmare Never Again!

  • Kenzie Shimrock

    You see i bought this foundation and about a month later, it started to look more of an orange and not match my skin at all! so disappointed and frustrated with it.

  • Nadya Sadri Mulok

    Have this! I am in the shade 1WN2 Sand, very natural finish, and it gives my skin a soft glow. *browse click browse click*