Fanny Serrano Two-Way Cake

I have literally been dreaming of this for a week. I finally have it in my hands: the popular Fanny Serrano Two-Way Cake. Look it up and you’ll see a lot of Filipino bloggers raving about it.


You can buy it at any Fanny Serrano counter for only P399 ($9.53). It’s good that the price has remained steady for years; if they increase it, I’m sure they’ll lose some loyalists especially since the makeup world is so fickle; there’s just a lot of products out there, so it’s difficult to stick with one product unless it’s “the one”.

Looks like I bought it at a good time because tada! New packaging!

CompactBeauty bloggers have been consistently complaining about the silly old packaging in which the mirror was placed underneath the compact itself. The brand’s bigwigs have listened, and this foundation now comes in a matte black traditional compact.

InsideThe mirror is now placed above the powder. Don’t mind the scary white color of the powder; it’s about a shade darker in person.

UnderneathI’ve heard that they’re coming out with refills. The presence of that tiny hole beneath the pan confirms this.

BackThe back now has even more holes in it! Perfect for someone like me who likes applying her foundation with a damp sponge. I just have to be careful not to place it on a wet or dirty surface.

I browsed through the Fanny Serrano Cosmetics site one day and decided that Duchess was my shade. Imagine my pleasant surprise when the sales assistant actually offered me Duchess despite the fact that my foundation that day was two shades darker. So it’s true; Fanny Serrano salesladies are good at matching shades with their customers’ skin tones. Of course it doesn’t hurt that this foundation comes in Filipino-friendly shades, so there’s something for everyone.

Duchess looks quite light in the pan but it’s an exact match for my skin tone. Applied with a damp sponge, it gives good, even coverage without making me look all made-up. It covers my undereye circles but doesn’t cover post-acne marks and redness (sometimes, after washing my face, I get these reddish patches all over my face). My priority is my undereye circles, so anything that can hide them is a good product for me. For my blemishes, I just use cream concealer. Blending properly takes time, however, so sometimes I just let them be. Anyway, they’re not noticeable enough to be distracting. This foundation has a sweet vanilla/cocoa butter scent like San San cosmetics. It is a con for some, but I happen to like vanilla. If you don’t, don’t fret; the scent is not overpowering and it fades in a short while.

It controls oil well, too. I got about five or six hours of wear with it and I only had to blot once. Powder foundations are really good at oil control. Now I don’t have to run to the bathroom for an oil check every couple of hours. While I like primping, I think it’s better to let oily skin worries fly out the window and focus more on enjoying myself while I’m out. Besides, ladies’ rooms at the mall are always full.

Finally, it doesn’t transfer to clothes; it adheres to the skin well. Just don’t wipe your face when you sweat; just pat dry. Any kind of foundation will come off when you wipe your skin.

Comparison with LA Passion Mineral Two-Way Powder

As I mentioned previously, I’d like to compare these two powder foundations.

1. Fallout. Both have major fallout issues when used with powder brushes. They are creamy, though, so they adhere to the brush really well. Instead of sweeping my brush around the pan, I just buff it into the powder. It’s less messy this way.

2. Texture. I was surprised to find that FS is rather chalky compared to LAP. LAP is just so creamy.

3. Coverage. LAP has heavier coverage because it’s creamier, but the difference is minimal. FS looks more natural on the skin. Both make my face look matte and smooth, both can cover undereye circles, and both can’t hide blemishes that well.

4. Oil Control. They’re the same in terms of oil control; they work really well at keeping my face shine-free. I still get oily, of course, but my face looks dewy, not the usual oil slick-y mess.

5. Staying Power. Again, they’re the same; I get five to six hours of wear with them before feeling the need to retouch.

6. Packaging. Both feel sturdy, but FS has classier packaging.

7. Price. LAP is actually more expensive at P396 ($9.46) for 7.2 grams of product. FS costs P399 but has more than double the product at 15 grams.

So which do I like better? Well, I like them equally. Their pros and cons cancel out. Of course I’ll be using FS more often because it’s mine and it’s an exact shade match. And I’ll be more likely to repurchase FS because I get more makeup mileage at the same price. Besides, FS will be selling refills soon if they aren’t already! Refills are less expensive and consume less resources. Plastic takes an extremely long time to degrade, so it’ll be such a shame and an environmental burden to just throw a bulky compact away. Better go for refills.

By the way, FS Two-Way Cake has been compared over and over again to MAC Studio Fix Foundation. This article by Eloisa Co of addresses the question of whether FS is a dupe of MAC. It even has an FS-MAC shade reference table.


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