I picked up the Sana Maiko-han liquid foundation on my last trip to Singapore. The foundation comes in a heavy solid glass bottle with very pretty patterns embossed on the frosted glass. The whole package looks so compact and delicate and so unlike the normal bottles of liquid foundation you get in the market. Truly, the Japanese have some things or two to teach the world about the wonders of packaging!
When I tested the foundation in the store, it was a toss up between 01 and 02 the 2 lightest shades. 01 when I dabbed on my hand looked very white, but 02 looked too yellow. So, I settled for 01. There are only 3 shades available by the way, so girls of darker skin tone will be hardpressed to find a match.
The unique thing about this liquid foundation is the spatula that comes with it. When you lift up the cover, you’ll find a spatula stuck on it. This is what you use to take the foundation out of the bottle. I have seen a similar concept used in one of the Make Up For Ever liquid foundations and I remember a lot of people complaining about it, but I personally like it. It means you don’t have to pour the foundation out of the bottle, and it therefore also means less wastage.
This liquid foundation is supposed to be used together with the Sana Maiko-han foundation brush. I however, as always, prefer to use my fingers. I open the cover, dab some of the foundation from the spatula on the back of my hand or on the mixing palette that comes with the brush, and it is sufficient to cover my whole face.
On the Sana Maiko-han site, this is what is said about the liquid foundation:-
Ultra tiny particles adhere closely without any gap to form a thin film over the skin. Covers pores and unevenness by applying just one layer. In addition, it is a highly functional formula that does not easily come off by sweat, sebum, high temperature, or high humidity.
I tend to agree that one layer is quite sufficient. The colour is quite opaque going on the skin which means a medium coverage. This is surprising as the texture of this foundation is very liquid. As this foundation is geisha inspired, I was expecting it to be heavier and thicker so I was happy to know it was not. It spreads easily and doesn’t look cakey.
I found that there was a cool feeling when the foundation is applied on the skin. I attribute this to alcohol in the product. I cannot find the ingredient list anywhere, so I cannot say for sure if there is alcohol or not but it feels like it. The colour doesn’t oxidise much though which is good. I hate it when liquid foundations oxidise on my skin, turning into a totally different shade and tone. So, 01 although looking white initially, mellows very slightly into a shade which is almost exactly my skintone.
As for the claims that it lasts through sweat and high humidity, I must say that there is some truth to it. The liquid foundation does not slip and slide much, even without a primer. In our hot tropical weather this is a good thing. It is also supposed to contain SPF30 which is useful, but which isn’t much of a selling point for me since I use a separate sunscreen everyday anyway.
I did not experience any breakouts while using this foundation and I suspect that because it doesn’t budge much, removing it may be a little bit of a problem. However, I use cleansing oils every evening to remove my makeup, so I had no problems.
I cannot remember the price for a bottle – S$32.90 maybe? But you don’t use very much, so it can last a long while. Unfortunately Sana isn’t available in Malaysia at this time (boo!) but if you pop down to Singapore, look in the Sasa or in the John Little store on Orchard Road.
Pros: Only little is required, Cute packaging, Lasts on the skin
Cons: Only 3 shades available, some people may not like the spatula