Jones Road WTF What The Foundation Review + Update

Make sure to check out the bottom of the post with a quick update I am posting on April 29th, further addressing the issue of product separating and performance.

Since I am about to write about wearing foundation, I think I should clarify something: I don’t usually wear foundation. Finding the right shade, mastering the application, and always spot treating clothes because anything pigmented seems always to make its way to my sleeve or collar – it’s a process I find too time consuming. And when it comes to skincare *or* makeup, I’d like to at least make it look effortless. With that said, I couldn’t not try the WTF aka What The Foundation aka Tinted Moisture Balm. After all, Jones Road really impressed me with the Face Pencils and I still wear the Miracle Balm occasionally afterall.

What is it?

WTF is NOT a foundation. It’s a moisturizing balm that happens to be tinted. It definitely provides more moisture than coverage, yet it’s so easily blendable, I am sure one could build up to medium coverage on areas of greatest concern. Since launching Jones Road, I’ve noticed that Bobbi Brown loooooooooves creating moisturizing formulas. She’s super into plant oils and often formulates with Jojoba, Sunflower, Olive, and Castor. WTF also has the beautiful density of a balm, thanks to Candelillia and Carnauba Waxes. Fear not, however, you are not receiving a jar of solid oil. Its rich and moisturizing so light-handed application is a good place to start. 

image courtesy of Jones Road

The shade range

At the moment, Jones Road includes 12 shades of What The Foundation. Since the formula is on the sheer side, these shades are quite adaptable. I am wearing Beige, which ranks fourth on the scale and is nested between Light and Medium. To find your shade, click here to take the WTF Quiz.

The separation anxiety

I’m going to be as transparent as possible here. Since the launch, I received two WTF jars in the same shade. The first jar arrived separated and required a vigorous shake or stir for the formula to come together. My second jar arrived in such a gorgeous creamy, dreamy state that I felt compelled to email the brand and ask if the formula had changed. It had not. Maybe it was the cooler temperature on the UPS truck during winter transit? I’m posting a side-by-side below but there is no denying that they’re different. The good news is that once I mixed the separated jar, the product delivered a flawless and unaffected performance.

The scent

There is definitely a faint scent to Jones Road WTF and I love it. At first I thought I was picking up on a subtle lavender note but after reading the INCI in detail, it must be the fusion of Geranium and Ginger. Again, it’s faint. And lovely.

The application

After seeing Bobbi Brown herself apply WTF on models at the Jones Road 2nd anniversary event, I realized that one does not try to get creative and go against the makeup artist supreme-o. It really does work best when applied with the fingertips. You dab small dots on the areas on which you want to focus most, and blend out. Though I was initially intrigued by the sleekness of the Skin Brush, I found I like using it for application purposes only. I need something tighter to blend successfully.

Now, here is where things got tricky for me. I have short stubble, and you know how any tinted product (be it water or oil-based) can easily cling to the facial hair. This also applies to my bushy brows. And actual hairline. To ensure seamless finish with no streaks, I use either the Everything Brush or my favorite makeup blending sponge. Either one of these tools works great for me.

The coverage and finish

Because of the moisturizing properties of WTF, I’d say it delivers a dewy to satiny look. In my opinion, the sheer-to-medium coverage makes What The Foundation a perfect pick for those with drier skin that desires a natural look. Personally, I find traditional foundations (with the exception of a small handful including Chanel No1) have a mask-like effect on me, one that is more High School stage production than everyday life in the boonies. Note that I reach for my jar way more often during colder months. Stay tuned for updates on ways I tweak my WTF habits as the weather gets warmer and my combination skin becomes more fussy. 

Final Thoughts

Some may find Jones Road WTF a bit heavy or rich. Since my need for coverage is minimal, I’ve been using it sparingly. So far, I haven’t had breakouts or clogged pores. I am also not one to touch my face during the day so while I think the formula feels slightly present on my skin (in a good way), it is not greasy or tacky. It definitely doesn’t slide down my face, this is coming from someone who had never used a primer or setting powder, both of which I believe are required for a proper application of traditional foundation. As a casual everyday user, I am loving my WTF in Beige. 

WTF What The Foundation is $44 (35g) at


Earlier this month, I traveled to Charleston, SC and packed my WTF in Beige to see how it does during air travel and how it works in a more humid environment. Sadly, the formula separated upon landing (and it was a quick, under 2 hours flight) and the the creamy, cushiony formula in the photos above now looks just like that one that separated on me earlier. I have tried to stir it vigorously and left in the fridge for an hour to bring that creamy texture back without success. Luckily, I have another new jar of WTF with that pristine consistency but I feel like this issue may need to be addressed. I was also thrilled with how great the product did in warmer weather (applied sparingly).

image courtesy of Jones Road

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