Review: Kat Von D Lock It Tattoo Foundation in Light 44

You know how Sephora has that evil lighting where you can see pimples but your makeup is shrouded in mystery? It’s easy to convince yourself that something will work for you in that lighting.

I asked for a sales associate to match me to both the Kat Von D concealer and to the foundation. I was so entranced by the glowing internet reviews for these products that I traveled a really considerable distance to get to the nearest Sephora (which is not-so-near to my home). He matched me to the lightest shade of the concealer (Light 16) and the second lightest shade of the foundation (Light 44).

As he spread the concealer under my eyes, I knew that it was clearly wrong, shitty Sephora lighting or no. The Sephora website says that the concealer in Light 16 has a pink undertone, but that is fucking bullshit. It looked like he was spreading yellow paint on my eye. He asked me, “What do you think of that?” and I responded, “Uh, that’s clearly the wrong color.” “Yeah, it’s pretty yellow,” he responded. Why Kat Von D is doing her concealers and foundations in different colors is a total mystery to me.

When he put the foundation on, though, it looked much better. I should have known, though, since he said that same fucking thing about it. “What do you think of that?” That’s clearly code for, “this isn’t working for you, but I’ll sell it to you anyways”.

I think I even knew when I was there, non-consciously, because I asked to try the lighter color, Light 42, but with my summer tan (I can’t put on enough sunscreen to completely stay pale), it was too light.

I took home a sample, but I ended up buying the full size online. In the natural lighting of my bathroom, though, there was no denying it. It was the wrong color. Not only was it too dark, it was too yellow. Apparently unbeknownst to me, my skin has been cotton candy pink.

Yeah, the packaging is fucking gorgeous.

The product did everything it claimed, though, so I kept denying it. It’s not heavy (at least not as heavy as many foundations that I have tried), and it fucking covers EVERYTHING. I am pretty sure that this foundation could make gaping woulds invisible in a single swipe.

So I kept using it. And if this was just a story about buying the wrong shade of foundation, I would still be using it, with some sort of mixer to add in some more pink and white.

But that is not what this is a story about.

At first, it just looked like a breakout. My skin was mad. Maybe it was time to change my pillowcase. Maybe my hormones were doing something wacky. Maybe I’d been touching my face without noticing. Thank god I had this awesome Kat Von D foundation to cover up these encroaching blemished.

But then the breakouts got worse. My whole chin looked like it was covered in tiny Mount Vesuviuses. There was pus. There was redness. I got frantic. Would more exfoliation help? A cleansing mask? A real-life mask that I can just wear on the street so no one looks at me and/or assumes I’m dressed up as Erik from the Phantom of the Opera? I began to use the Kat Von D foundation to cover up my acne and use something lighter on my as-of-yet-un-marred cheeks.

And then it got worse. I basically had a beard of acne. I basically looked like Zach Galifianakis but with pus instead of hair. I stopped taking pictures of myself for this blog. I drug up pictures I had taken in the past and wrote reviews on those products instead.

And then I realized. It was just on my chin and the sides of my face. The area on my cheeks, where I wasn’t using Kat Von D? Totally fine.

Kat Von D Foundation in Light 44

I obviously can’t prove that the Kat Von D Lock It Tattoo foundation was the cause of the seriously gnarly skin troubles, but I can tell you that when I stopped using it, the problems were considerably reduced. I’m still a little grosser than I was looking before, but I’m mostly back to normal.

I can also tell you that I ain’t buying that shit again.

If Kat Von D makes your color and you’re not affected by the skin-murdering issues that I had (people are affected by different things), this could be a great foundation. It really does have absurdly good coverage. But, for obvious reasons, the downsides by far outweigh the upsides for me.

At $34 for 1 oz, Kat Von D foundation retails for the easy-to-calculate price of $34 per ounce. For comparison, my usual foundation, Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation comes in at $22.35 per ounce.


1. I’ve been looking at this foundation for a good part of a year, but all three Sephora’s near me are always sold out of the light shades. My skin isn’t overly sensitive, and I really want a good full coverage foundation, so now I feel better about ordering it online. Thanks 🙂

2. Hope it works better for you!

3. I love your blog, and I’ve discovered so many (TOO many) great products in the couple months I’ve been reading here. It’s time for me to purchase concealer and foundation, but I don’t know what shade(s) I need, whether I have yellow or pink undertones, etc. I know I have fair skin, and I think it’s oily (but I don’t really have anything to compare it to, so who knows!) I was going to venture to a brick-and-mortar Sephora for expert assistance, but if they can’t be trusted, what is a girl to do? I used to go to a makeup counter in a department store, but I want to take advantage of all the awesome options. Thanks for writing, and thanks for any advice you can give!

4. My recommendation is to say you want the best match you can get and not, “please match me in X foundation”. If you want a specific foundation, they want to sell you that foundation, and maybe said foundation doesn’t make your color (which is what happened here).

5. Ah, thank you! I’m going to try to make it to Sephora this afternoon. (And may I please leave the store not having spent $400…)

6. Yikes that’s awful! Love that you manage to be fair in your review and give credit where credit is due though!

7. Any thoughts on what ingredient/ingredients caused the reaction? Have you ever had makeup break you out before? I hear about this happening and I’ve been lucky enough never to have experienced it myself (knock on wood) but I worry it can strike at any time… 😛

8. The Dr. Jart Black Label BB Cream caused breakouts as well. Those are the only two. I intend to take a look at the ingredients of those vs. other ones where I don’t have problems and see if anything stands out, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet…

9. I have painful breakouts on my chin and cheeks, too, but I can’t tell yet if it’s caused by the Kat Von D foundation (which I use once a week). I have hormonal issues, so I almost never blame my acne on makeup/skincare products. But you never know!

10. This isn’t a perfect method, but if I use something for a while and get nasty breakouts, switch to something I know is okay and have my skin calm down, and switch back to the new product and get acne again, I feel okay concluding that it is the product.

11. Like you, I’ve been having crazy breakout issues when I use my Kat Von D foundation (in fact, I was googling this very issue and your blog was the top result!) I’ve only used it twice now, but have broken out worse than a pre-teen boy both times I’ve used it. Makes me super sad, because I do like the coverage and how it matches my skin tone, but I can’t deal with the acne.

Just wanted to share my experience with you and let you know you are not alone in the breakout department with this stuff!

12. Same thing happened to me. Literally used it a couple times. I rarely break out and this did it

13. This is the only foundation that has ever broken me out. Coverage was amazing but it oxidized and gave me zits. Returned.

14. This is a thick, full coverage foundation. If you don’t wash your face clean it off PORPERLY, you WILL get breakouts. That might be the reason you got them, if you mean it was from the foundation. You should use a makeup remover, then wash your face, then rinse it with some good products. You can’t just wipe it off and your good to go. I mean, you can.. But don’t blame the foundation if that’s what you do and you get acne. Then it’s your fault for not taking good enough care of your skin.

– Sorry if my grammer sucks, i’m from scandinavia.

15. couldnt find the right color match for myself :/

16. I recently bought the Kat Von D powder because I heard such great reviews on it but I quickly started to notice I was breaking out in my forehead. The breakout was really bad it was a lot of red pimples all over so I decided to stop using the powder to see if that was the problem & sure enough little by little it started to clear up. I’m not sure if it’s just my skin that has a reaction to the make up or if it’s happening to a lot of people , but I’m not using it again that’s for sure.