Reflecting on HD Makeup with Senna’s HDExtreme Foundation

Published in: Makeup, Product Reviews

I’m pretty loyal to Laura Mercier’s Oil-Free Foundation for pics and video, but when I read about the “advanced makeup technology” in Senna Cosmetic’s HDExtreme Makeup Foundation ($45), I couldn’t resist the urge to give it a try (in the name of makeup science, you understand).


Senna’s an indie line from So Cal, and the “HD light diffusing pigments” in their new foundation are supposed to help it reflect light. It’s a different approach to foundation than merely covering redness and discoloration with (often) heavy, opaque pigments.

The product comes in five basic shades — Fair, Light, Medium, Honey and Tan — and an illuminating golden pink called Backlit, which is technically also a foundation, but I think of it as a highlighter.

LM’s Oil Free looks fantastic in pics, but like many full-coverage foundations I think it’s sometimes a little too heavy and mask-like for everyday wear. Senna’s HDExtreme, on the other hand, hides imperfections while keeping a low (almost undetectable) profile. My pores feel like they can actually breathe when I’m wearing it, which isn’t always the case with Laura’s foundation, with a thin layer offering complete, lightweight coverage that artfully hides red areas around my nose, as well as acne marks and discolorations.

So does that mean I’m sold on Senna?


Based on Honey, which is the color for me, HDExtreme looks great in real life and in pictures, but it does NOT handle waterworks well. I think I’m sweatier than most girls (think Whitney Houston at the height of the Bobby Brown years), and HDExtreme migrates when I’m wearing it, creating an uneven, patchy look after a while. I tried a whole mess of tricks to make it work (including primer), but I just couldn’t stop the music.

That said, I think you’re in luck if you don’t perspire much, as it sports exceptional coverage for such a lightweight foundation (be prepared to spend a few minutes blending out the streaks during application). Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: B

Wearing Honey and Backlit


Illuminating Backlit’s a slightly different animal. It’s not a true foundation like the regular shades. I tried wearing it both alone and layered beneath other foundations, and ooh, baby, I loved it! It doesn’t migrate like the regular shades do, and while some illuminators can look shiny and/or oily in pics, Backlit doesn’t. It hits just the right notes, giving a healthy, subtle sheen that translates very well in pictures. Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: A

From left: Backlit, Honey

I think Backlit’s great, but the regular foundations could use some fine tuning. If Senna can find a way to get HDExtreme to handle perspiration a little bit better, I’ll get on board.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 14 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Catherine says:

    Ooh, I didn’t know Senna was a SoCal company! I’ve never tried any of their products but Backlit looks and sounds lovely. I currently have the Perricone MD No Foundation Foundation (I actually won it in a blog giveaway) which is supposedly the same idea but I have the sneaking suspicion that it causes me to break out. Either that or I just always pick it to wear on the days that I’m about to get a massive cystic zit since cystic zits are rarely caused by topical products and now I’m just paranoid because I clearly get massive cystic zits on the days I don’t wear it as well. ;_;
    .-= Catherine’s last blog post… Product Focus: Laura Mercier Stickgloss =-.

  2. Roxy says:

    I was thinking about trying HDExtreme about I eventually gave up the idea. Now I kind of regret it.
    .-= Roxy’s last blog post… Getting Fuller Lips With A Lip Plumper =-.

  3. Pinch says:

    For such an expensive product, I really feel they should change the design. It screams cheap, and that’s not what we want. However, I must say I absolutely love what the illuminator did to your face! It looks absolutely gorgeous, and not shiny or oily, just fresh and awake. Yay!
    .-= Pinch’s last blog post… Lip of the Day: MAC Syrup =-.

  4. Tiffany says:

    Wow, you look so so pretty and glowing! I want backlit now! I mean, I neeeeed it, lol 🙂

  5. NINA says:

    It is expensive … but im liking Backlit. I love using illuminators (High Beam, Moon Beam and a Bloom product whose name escapes me now) … I feel like it takes away from sallowness and makes my face seem brighter and more alive. I also love it for days when I cant do much make up (eg no eyeshadow/liner) – its a fab shortcut!

    It looks lovely on you – the glow – I WANT!!!!

    • Karen says:

      RIGHT? It’s such a subtle thing, but totally noticeable.

      How are you liking Moon Beam? I was always a High Beam girl myself, but I plan on spending some quality time with Moon Beam soon.

      • NINA says:

        Totally RIGHT! Backlit is a thing of beauty!!!!

        I am loving Moon Beam … almost as much as High Beam. They are pretty similar but with a subtle difference – something I cant just put my hand on.

  6. Rachel says:

    such a shame…your skin looks great in that picture! i thought you might’ve solved my neverending cries for a lightweight foundation with decent coverage..

  7. rachael says:

    Karen, where did you apply Backlit? Your face looks lovely.

  8. Marce says:

    I’d love this for myself, I hate heavy foundations but need the coverage. Plus my face doesn’t sweat too much, unless I do loooots of exercise, so I think this would work for me, if only I could get it. Love the FOTD by the way, that turqoise is the shiz!
    .-= Marce’s last blog post… FOTD – Cameron Diaz’s Oscars Makeup + Tagged! =-.

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