Sorry for yet another long gap – my laptop is still unfortunately broken.
In the meantime, I thought we’d have a chat about my absolute must have it, won’t leave home without beauty item – foundation! I was actually inspired to write this post after seeing a friend ask for recommendations on facebook. In the research for this post, I realised that over the last 5-10 years I have used about 20 different foundations, in all types of formulas from a variety of brands (full listing below). I actually had no idea the list was so long until I started typing it out!!!
This list doesn’t include concealers as in general I am not a big fan, and have probably only used 5-6. The only other thing in my collection that comes close is lip products, which I’ll post about some other time.
My skin, for reference, is oily and acne prone, but also quite sensitive. I’m very pale, with a lot of red and scarring from my acne. I prefer foundation to be fuller coverage, long wearing and have sunscreen. In general, I don’t find a huge difference between price points and brands in lastability, texture or coverage. For me where the difference really lies is colour. A lot of “drugstore” products simply do not come in the right shade for me and a lot of those that do oxidise into an unpleasant orange shade. For the list below, I have included a brief summary of what shade I used (generally the lightest – if I don’t know the name I’ve just said lightest), how I found the colour, if it lasted as well as advertised and other general impressions
Foundations (in no order, I have tried to group brands together):
• Revlon Colourstay (normal-oily skin formula) – I used this in the lightest shade, and have gone back to it several times over the years. This has never given me breakouts, and lasted fairly well on my skin. The issue has always been the colour – the lightest shade was not a fantastic match – it made me look a little pasty, but the second lightest was too dark.
• Revlon Photofinish Liquid* – I used this in Vanilla, and have purchased it a few times. It looks lovely and glowy and photographs really well. On the downside, the coverage is medium at best, and it has terrible staying power. It’s much better with primer and a mattifying powder, but still not very good.
• Revlon Photofinish cream-to-powder – I also used this in Vanilla. It has much better coverage than the liquid formula, and I find it lasts better too (although it’s still not that great). The downside for me is the packaging – it feel cheap and the netting stops you getting all the product out. It is also very overpriced – you really don’t get much for your money.
• Revlon Colourstay Mineral – Lightest shade again. This was just fine, the colour and lastability were both ok, the coverage was average. I hated the brush it came with.
• L’Oreal Mineral –In the older formula, not the true match minerals. I used the lightest shade. I liked this colour a little better than the Revlon one, but it was similarly average and nothing to write home about.
• L’Oreal True Match Liquid – I think I used N2? I really liked this! Sadly over the years they have re-edited and formulated this line, and it no longer has anywhere near the range of shades it used to. Unfortunately my shade was one of those to get discontinued.
• Maybelline Dream Matte Mouse – in 01. This had a really lovely texture, good coverage and decent lastability. The shade was just ok.
• Maybelline oil-free – In 01. I can no longer find this anywhere – it was a water-based foundation in a kind of blueish tube. I loved it, it was light on my skin, really long wearing and a decent (although not perfect) colour match.
• Maybelline Mineral – I used it in the colour 02, as I never managed to find 01, and it felt kind of heavy and unpleasant on my skin. Even with the heaviness, it didn’t deliver the best coverage. The brush was terrible. I didn’t like it at all.
• Covergirl CG Smoothers AquaSmooth – Again, the lightest shade. I still buy this when I see it cheap! For a one-step look this is pretty amazing. It can look cakey and unnatural if not applied correctly (start light!). it doesn’t have the best staying power, but it’s a good buy, especially if you get it on sale.
• Covergirl Professional Loose Powder – In Translucent. Did not like. It didn’t really do anything for me
• Estee lauder Double Wear Powder* – In Ecru. Like, but it’s very expensive. On its own, I don’t believe it’s really enough coverage. It does last really well and give a flawless look over a good foundation.
• Rimmel Recover liquid foundation – Lightest shade. Again, I had issues with the colour of this product. I got about 6 hours of wear. The thing that bothered me was the shimmer. I found instead of making me look awake and glowy it made me shinny and greasy.
• Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder* – I picked this up really cheaply when I was absolutely desperate. It does set makeup, but it didn’t keep me looking matte any longer than usual, and had little to no coverage.
• Benefit Hello Flawless Pressed Powder – In Ivory (I love me) Did not deliver flawless coverage at all! The colour match was pretty good, but no matter what I did I never got the coverage I wanted out of this.
• Everyday Minerals Pressed Powder – In fair, I think. I used this for several years until it was discontinued. I have emailed asking about it, but as far as I’m aware it’s gone for good. I loved this. It had really excellent coverage, good packaging and lasted a solid 6-7 hours. For the money it was amazing.
• Everyday minerals loose powder* – Likewise, I have used this for years. Right now, I use either Ivory or Golden Fair (the yellow tint cancels out my redness). This has excellent coverage and is very affordable. I do wish it lasted longer – over TM it tends to only go about 4 hours before I need to blot, and has pretty much disappeared by the end of the day.
• Prescriptives Custom Colour – I got this because I thought it would be the perfect solution to my foundation issues, and it was pretty good, but not as perfect as I hoped. It had good coverage and lasted well, but I think I was not matched quite right, because it was a little dark. Sadly, this has been discontinued, or I probably would have tried it again.
• MAC studio fix Fluid* – In NC15. People seem to either love this or hate it. I feel both, at once! I love the coverage, and the way it stays in place all day, no matter what. I hate that if worn for more than 4-5 days in a row it gives me breakouts.
• Clinique Anti-Blemish Solutions – In Fresh Alabaster. This was probably one of the best at keeping me skin nice and matte. I don’t know if it actually helped with my acne, but I didn’t really buy it for that anyways. This also lasted all day – probably 8-9 hours. Unfortunately the colour wasn’t quite right.
• Nars Pure Radiance Tinted Moisturiser* – In Finland. I LOVE this. It has great coverage, lasts well and has SPF. Finland is the perfect colour for me – it’s quite light and the yellow undertones work well to counteract my redness.
• Cancer council TM – I got this for the super sunscreen factor. Unfortunately, the colour range is terrible and non look very good on me. It’s also quite thick, and left my skin oily and greasy looking.
• Clinique – I can’t seem to find the one I used on the website, it was like a gel formula. Worked fine, but again I had issues with the colour.
I have starred the products that are in my current collection.
For my day-to-day makeup (weekdays) I use a tinted moisturiser (currently Nars Pure Radiant which I plan on sticking with) followed by loose powder (I have been using Every Day Minerals loose mineral powder for about 5 years now, and am still happy with it). I use concealer if I feel like I really need it, and blot probably 2-3 times a day.
For important days, or nights out etc. – if my skin looks really bad, I have an important meeting, or will be going somewhere right after work and need to look flawless – I use a full coverage, long wearing foundation (currently MAC Studio Fix) followed by, again, loose powder. I will touch up with pressed powder (currently Estee Lauder Double Wear) as required – generally at the end of the day.
In future, I may start doing an in-depth look at each foundation I buy and linking it back to this page – so please let me know if that’s something you would be interested in!
In other news, I have almost completed the cape for SS. I took a LOT of photos during the construction, so I will be able to do a bit of a step-by-step or tutorial for making your own cape 🙂