Kat Von D Lock-It Tattoo Foundation Review

by Molly Gardner

I was recommended this foundation while browsing at Sephora one day.  “Browsing” = touching everything.  I have used it in two different shades now and have lots and lots of things to say about it.  Mostly PROS, but some thoughts on how to use it or maybe how the foundation could be improved.

I want to start out by saying how impressed I am with this brand.  When I first saw Kat Von D products come out at Sephora, I thought it was just another reality TV person who put their name on a makeup line to make that quick dolla dolla bill.  I did not realize that Kat Von D created this line herself, she didn’t just endorse someone else’s line, and really made some unique, high quality, and highly pigmented products at great prices.

I bought the Lock It Foundation, $34 for 1 oz.  I also bought a blush that is beautiful, in Por Vida.  Next I might try the tattoo eye liner and the lock it concealer.  Oh, and the lipstick in Lovecraft.  I have some wants.

Kat Von D Foundation

Kat Von D Foundation


1:  It is an awesome full coverage foundation.  Truly awesome and truly full coverage.  I need only the tiniest dot of concealer after.

It covers my light acne scars on my left cheek.  When I first moved to Los Angeles, I had flawless skin.   I did not take it for granted.  I was very grateful.  I never broke out.  But the smog and just general dirt that comes from living in a city and being around millions of other people changed things.  My skin kind of freaked out for a couple of months.  I kept breaking out and then instead of letting it go, I’d pop pimples and pick at my skin.  I use some products to fade the scars, but it still looks like a light reddish rash on my left cheek.  Usually I will have to put 3 to 4 layers of foundation in that spot.  With The Kat Von D, I do a light layer, then dab a tiny bit over the scars and everything is gone.  Your skin looks flawless.

Also, I think because my skin is drier, it tends to “eat up” the foundation.  Makeup artists have said to me that they put foundation on and then it just disappears.  So I tend to have to put a moisturizer, then a BB cream, then two coats of foundation to get any coverage.  With this foundation, one coat over my moisturizer and primer did the trick.

Full coverage, scars totally covered.

Full coverage, scars totally covered.

2:  It lasts.  And lasts.  I have gone through 12 to 14 hour days of working in the sun, in 100 degree heat waves and come home and my skin has still looked very close to when I left the house.  This stuff doesn’t move.

This photo makes me laugh because I do NOT look happy after working 14 hours. Buuut, that foundation lasted 14 hours in the sun, in a heatwave, and driving all over L.A (STRESS).

This photo makes me laugh because I do NOT look happy after working 14 hours. Buuut, that foundation lasted all day in the sun, in a heatwave, and driving all over L.A (STRESS).

3:  It’s paraben free.  Yay!  Less junk on your face.

4:  For a “high end” foundation, the price is great!  $34 for 1 ounce.  And one to two pumps max covers your whole face.  This bottle will last.

5.  It looks fantastic in photos or on video.

Close ups.Kat Von D Foundation

Kat Von D foundaton


1.  If you don’t apply is correctly, it looks flaky and scaley and weird.

This is one of those foundations where the right application is key.  Some foundations you don’t have to super precise with, you can put any amount on and it will be fine, but I’ve found that this one works best if you start with a small amount and then build from there.  When I have tried to put a ton on and blend out from there, I found that my skin looked patchy and flaky and weird.  Like, embarrassing weird, and not at all like skin.

So here’s my new plan with it:  I always start with Jergen’s Daily Glow for face.  Then I either go to Garnier BB cream if my skin is super dry, or if it’s hotter out and my skin is fine, I’ll use Laura Mercier primer in Radiance.  I liked this foundation with just a regular matte face cream under it, but found it looked more natural with a bit of radiance, but not shimmer.

2:  I wish they had a few more colors in the range.  I tried a sample of it first in shade #52, medium/light complexion with warm beige undertones.  The medium/light color was a good match, but the undertones were way too yellow for me.  So I went back into Sephora and tried a second sample in shade #46, Light with a pink undertone.  The undertone was perfect the shade is a bit too light.  So I blend bronzer in really well over my whole face and the color seems fine.  Probably in summer it would be too light for me, but for Fall it’s great.

Foundation Swatches

Foundation Swatches

I want to take a moment to say that foundation sampling is probably one of the smartest things Sephora has ever done. It’s really generous of them, because I’m sure it’s kind of a pain. But it’s saved me from having to return two foundations and really let me find the right match.  Sometimes a little swatch looks great. but then you do your whole face and home and it’s completely the wrong shade.  So thank you, Sephora.

3:  It can feel a little heavy on the skin.

4.  It can accentuate fine lines.  I feel like I need a second layer of primer or moisturizer on my forehead and around my eyes to avoid it settling in them.  It’s also a bit drying, but I have dry skin to start with, and I think it’s intended for oilier complexions.

Settling into some forehead lines. But still not as bad as powder foundation.Kat von d foundation

To take this foundation off at the end of the day, I use DHC Deep Cleansing Oil face wash, then sometimes another wash after that if I’m feeling especially gross.  This foundation is heavy duty, so you do need an oil wash to really get rid of every last trace.

BOTTOM LINE:   Love it.  I will definitely continue to wear and purchase it.  I think it would be great for brides, moms, doctors, or anyone who works long hours.  I will probably wear it mostly on days when I know I won’t have time for touch ups.

Kat Von D Foundation


Any thoughts?  Anyone else tried this foundation yet?  Thank you for reading!

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ms.msccormick March 20, 2015 - 4:29 pm

interesting that a ginger finds any of those shades too light

Asha June 15, 2016 - 4:32 am

Can tell you right now, as a ginger I sit in the Mediums range. Anything from the Lights would look revolting on me.


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