When Jones Road Beauty's What the Foundation launched on TikTok, the algorithm woke up and chose mayhem. At first, everything seemed normal: influencers were praising the not-a-foundation's surprising wear on their skin and makeup artists lauded the “clean” formula. The original reactions were par for the course, considering the foundation is a hero product from Bobbi Brown's own new buzzy beauty brand. It wasn't until Meredith Duxbury, a makeup influencer with no less than 15.6 million followers reviewed the product that a TikTok firestorm ensued.
The now-deleted video saw Duxbury apply what appeared to be a metric ton of foundation on her face, to which Bobbi Brown deftly responded with a video of her own, satirizing Duxbury's “Peanut Butter Baby” application. Since then, there have been countless reaction videos, podcasts, and reviews—the debate has even sparked some conspiracy theories about whether the whole thing was a PR stunt. Given the controversy, we simply had to get our hands on the viral foundation and try it out ourselves. After all, Bobbi Brown is the queen of creating trusted complexion staples, and Jones Road Beauty is all about straightforward essentials that get you an effortless, your-skin-but-better look.
But first, some facts about What the Foundation. The product is described as a “tinted moisture balm” that's available in 12 shades, ranging from a fair Porcelain to a deep Espresso. As the description suggests, the foundation's consistency is like that of a creamy and buildable salve. (It looks like clay in a pot.) It offers light-to-medium coverage, which is probably why Duxbury's more-is-more technique didn't play well with the foundation. Instead, you can wear it as a skin-like veil or softly touch up other areas for a diffused effect. What the Foundation is a companion to Jones Road Beauty's other no-makeup-makeup products, most notably Miracle Balm (a tinted multi-purpose balm) and The Face Pencil (a concealer stick).
So, were we doomed to look like we just stepped off a Jif assembly line? Read Glamour editors review the viral What the Foundation product, along with a few other staples from Jones Road Beauty.