Saturday, April 2, 2011

Two Favorite Products from Paula Dorf and Vincent Longo

A friend drew my attention to an article by The Non-Blonde today, who says that Vincent Longo and Paula Dorf are making a comeback. I can't begin to express how happy that makes me because two of my all-time favorite products come from those brands.

Paula Dorf Eye Primer

Paula Dorf Eye Primer in Light

It never occurred to me that I might not be able to get this product one day. Given what happened with the entire Prescriptives brand, I should not have been so naive. Paula Dorf's Eye Primer ($24), in the color Light, has been my only eyelid primer (and sometimes undereye concealer) for at least ten years.

Made primarily of beeswax, ozokerite,  petrolatum, dimethicone, silica, and mineral sunscreen, this tacky paste provides a neutral ivory-peach-pink base for powder and cream eyeshadows. Best for fair to light skintones, it lasts all day and doesn't smudge or crease, despite the weird ingredient cocktail. The original Light color also completely erases redness, blue veins, and tea-stain discolorations from sun damage. Although my lids are still a little bit oily, I find most primers too drying; they make my eyelid skin look like rumpled old sheets. Tapped on gently with a warm fingertip, this primer seems to plump up the skin, and it keeps color true all day. I sometimes apply the thinnest layer on its own, without additional eye makeup.

No other eye primer on the market today performs as well as this one for me, so I hope it is available for at least another 10 years.

EDIT: This primer no longer comes in Light (#1) or Deep (#2). They offer just one "color" now, a sheer, light beige. It still works for me, though not as perfectly as the original Light. Those of you with mid-toned to darker skins will have to look elsewhere. In fact, as of November 6, 2013, the website is down, which could be a bad sign for this struggling brand.

Vincent Longo Water Canvas Cream-to-Powder Foundation

Water Canvas in Porcelain
 I realize this is not a new product, but I must rave about Vincent Longo Water Canvas foundation ($57)—especially as it keeps fading away only to be reborn. I have tried countless foundations over the years, but Vincent Longo Water Canvas remains my ultimate favorite, even though it's ridiculously expensive for what you get, and it becomes virtually unusable toward the end, when the last third or so turns into rubbery little balls. I put up with these defects because for the first couple months it is just that good. I wear Porcelain, a perfect match for my fair, pink-porcelain skin, though I wore the warmer Cream Beige when Porcelain became unavailable.

I was introduced to this foundation over 10 years ago, when a Barneys New York sales associate noticed me hovering indecisively between the Chantecaille and Stila counters. I'd previously been wearing a custom-blended Prescriptives powder, but I wanted something new to conceal the pink in my cheeks and chin, which had maddeningly appeared one day and did not fade away (rosacea). The sales associate put Water Canvas in Porcelain on one half of my face and Stila Illuminating Powder Foundation in 10 Watts on the other. What immediately struck me was how cool and light the Water Canvas felt going on, but when I looked in the mirror, I was disappointed that both looked equally good. I wanted to be wowed by one or the other.

I postponed making a purchase and ran errands in another store. As I rushed around, I got warm. I might even have perspired a little, thanks to the ubiquitous halogen lights in retail. After more than an hour of hustling around, I caught my reflection in a mirror and did a double take. The Water Canvas side looked fresh and flawless, while the Stila side looked shiny and flushed red. I had unwittingly put the two foundations through a performance test. I went back to Barneys and asked for two of the Water Canvas compacts, nearly fainting from sticker shock ($42 then and $57 now).

Since that day, I have experimented with other brands, but all (with the exception of Jane Iredale) either settled in my pores or looked like I was wearing obvious makeup. I always come back to Vincent Longo Water Canvas Creme-To-Powder Foundation because it has been the most effective foundation for naturally concealing redness, evening out skin tone, never transferring to clothes or scarves, never creasing or caking or settling in pores—all the while looking like my skin. It feels so cooling to apply and it looks flawless.

For more than a year, Water Canvas was unavailable in my color, even more difficult to find after Vincent Longo was dropped from Sephora retail stores. Stock at online retailers, such as, also dwindled and then vanished. I accepted that I would never see this foundation again, but then suddenly it was back in stock on As I was getting used to having it on hand again, I began receiving ominous sale e-mails from and I heard rumors that he was selling current inventory and closing his doors again. So I really hope the news reported by The Non-Blonde via WWD is true. If someone has additional information, please leave a comment!

Bottom line: Joy, even if temporary


  1. I need a new e/s primer as I'm not happy with the ones I have. I'll give this a try.

  2. I ordered a PD eyeshadow primer at a site that was selling out their PD items but unfortunately it wasn't sent in my order (nor was I charged for it). PD was the first eye primer that I ever liked and I know it's still as good now as it was then.

  3. Ammie, one thing you should know in advance is the product is waxy feeling. I gently press my fingertip into it and leave it there for a moment to warm up, and then I pat it (not rub) onto the lid area, mostly the movable lid into the crease, feathering up toward the brow bone.

  4. They have new SS range coming up so i do think the news abt them coming back is true.


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