C.Y.O who?? You might have already heard or seen C.Y.O around or not. Maybe like me…heard about them/ seen them around sure but not really given them a second thought, not even in a negative way just nothing really spiked my interest.
C.Y.O (I believe it stands for Call it Your Own?) was created by Boots in the UK (at their Nottingham HQ to be exact) and was originally launched in the US (Illinois, where Boots’ parent company Walgreens Boots Alliance or WBA is based) at Walgreens stores and also online back in August 2017. Designed to encourage younger customers or those on a limited budget to experiment/ have fun with their makeup without the commitment of a heavy price tag (everything at C.Y.O is under £7.50/ €9.50/ $7). So high quality at affordable prices and cruelty free…all sounding great so far! They also have their hashtag focus #MIXLAYERHACK…versatile and on trend multi use products are their thaaang, which again is great news from such an accessible brand. After their success in the US, C.Y.O finally launched online at Boots in the UK/ Ireland on the 25th October 2017 and is now in Boots stores in the UK.
They apparently have 180 products in their line up so far (a bit overwhelming, but brilliant work for such a relatively new brand), but I knew where to start. I’d been hearing lots of good things about one of their foundations in particular, so as a foundation junkie…I had to check that out first! In particular a US based YouTuber I’ve followed for a good while now (fellow pale person and we generally have pretty similar opinions on most products) @thataylaa had tried it, reviewed it and liked it so I was interested to give it a go…the Lifeproof Long Lasting Foundation*.
The Lifeproof is one of two foundations in C.Y.O’s lineup…the other being their No Shine Zone Matte Foundation*. I thought that might be one to try too, especially with my oily/ combo skin…but apart from the slightly off putting thick consistency (just on first impressions, it might not feel/ look like that on) unless they extend their shade range (there’s only 6 shades and start off pretty dark, I’m taking maybe MAC NC25 ish?) even their lightest in this just wouldn’t be light enough for me to try it without mixing in something lighter (but that defeats the object when it potentially then changes the formula).
So let’s get on to specifics of what we’re here for…the C.Y.O Lifeproof Long Lasting Foundation*.
✖15 shades/ tones (an improvement to the other foundation, but still room for much needed improvement as with a lot of both affordable/ drugstore and high end brands!).
✖Medium to full coverage.
✖24 hour wear claim – smudge and transfer free.
✖Creamy, lightweight and without the caky feeling.
I picked up the 3 lightest shades, I figured if not the lightest I’d be not far off. I did get to swatch them on my arm in store but it’s so hard under the artificial lighting and if you were trying to figure out a colour online…there are slim to no swatches of this including none on the C.Y.O website and Insta which doesn’t really help things. Also…if you’re in store, make sure to double check the shades…the shade code (3 digits) is tiny/ only on the barcode sticker and nowhere else on the bottle! Like I said, I did swatch a few of the Lifeproof shades in store and also then against some other brands/ formulas to compare/ give you more of an idea (the top swatches are in store, hence the not great lighting)…
I’ve tried out and worn all 3 lightest shades and can make all 3 work…103 is the lightest golden tone (which I usually go for…101 and 102 are both neutral) so I thought this would be my closest match, but it’s a bit too dark. I have to use a lighter concealer with the 103 and blend right down on to my neck to make it work. I like 102 and it does look absolutely fine on, I just think that even though it’s technically neutral it’s a tiny bit pink on me. I was convinced that 101 might be too light even for me, but it’s actually my closest match. It oxidises ever so slightly which works in my favour…but something you’ll want to think about if you’re paler than me again. For reference if you didn’t know already I’m Light 43 Warm in KVD, MAC NC10/15, Huda Faux Filter Panna Cotta…basically fair with golden undertones.
Not only for such an affordable brand, but in general…I was impressed with the C.Y.O Lifeproof from the get go! It applies amazingly well and makes your skin look incredible. Think the perfected smoothed out effects of MAC Fix Fluid, but lightweight, way more comfortable on and with a natural/ real skin finish! (Great cruelty free alternative option) It doesn’t have any hint of a weird scent to it (in fact, not at all) which can be a issue for me and the rest of your makeup applies like a dream over the top. I nearly always prefer to use a damp beauty sponge (and it’s often the NYX one*) and with this, same applies. I just prefer the way a sponge really works product in to you skin. If you want a fuller coverage straight off the bat, go for a brush and then you can always boop the sponge over when you’re done to settle it. I like the way this applies with a brush way more than I do with other formulas though.
It feels comfy on and doesn’t look flat matte or too dewy, just somewhere in the middle where your skin just looks perfected and alive! With the Lifeproof having more of a natural finish rather than more definite matte, I was a bit freaked about my oily nose situation…especially because it was looking unreal on, I wanted it to work for me! Even though my skin is on the combo/ oily side, I like to use a hydrating primer to stop more matte makeup looking flat…my favourite is the Kat Von D Beauty Lock It Hydrating Primer (UK* / IE*) and I used that when trying this for a fair test, but it did add to my worry of oil breakthrough/ it sliding off my face! I’m surprised at how well the C.Y.O Lifeproof keeps my oils under control! After applying it first thing and heading out, I came home for lunch (2pm ish) presuming I’d need to at least blot (as I always do) my nose…it looked pretty much freshly applied! Actual shock. I gave it a bit of a blot an hour or so after that and the next time it needed it, I was about to take it off…it not only lasted, but stayed really fresh looking all day. Natural glow in all the right places and kept my oils well and truly under I control. I feel like Lifeproof actually looked better throughout the day as I wore it. I’d be prepared to pay a lot more for this formula, it’s a winner and I feel like it would work for most!
As it stands the C.Y.O Lifeproof has definitely stolen the crown for my favourite affordable/ drugstore foundation and is holding it’s own up there with the high end holygrails! Safe to say I’m impressed! I love how it looks on, the way it lasts and the price is a nice little bonus. If you’re in the market for a new foundation…not even specifically an affordable one just a great one, I’d give the C.Y.O Lifeproof a look…well worth it in my opinion. I’m thinking about picking a bunch of these up for my pro kit too!
(As I write this it’s currently on offer as part of Boots’ 3 for 2 also!)