Drugstore Picks: Foundation
"Ok ladies now let's get in foundation...." I've never been prouder of these words that just came out of my husband's mouth. A Beyonce-lyric-pun about my favorite makeup product ever created?!? My heart could burst.
We have taken a long road through the ins and outs of Drugstore makeup all month long. I fell in love with so many products this year, but none that I looked forward to more than foundation. It is my first makeup LOVE. My first "Ohmygod...I never knew I could look like that" product. Finding the right one the very first time, I realized that I could ACTUALLY be semi-confident in the appearance of my skin despite struggling with constant breakout, imperfections and pores the size of Kanye's ego.
Due to my insatiable love for foundation, the bar is HIGH when it comes to newbies. I want to love them all, but I need them to 1. last all day on my skin, 2. make my skin NOT look like a textured-mess aka gravel, and 3. still look pretty. You'd be surprised at how complicated this equation seems for many of the Drugstore foundation makers. They might conquer one category but often suck at the others. If you have one or more of the same concerns as me, don't worry...I gotchu. Without further ado, let's get to the contenders!!
1. Loreal Infallible Pro-Matte Liquid Foundation
The stats/claims from Loreal's website: Achieve a matte finish that won’t fall flat with this air-light, longwearing liquid formula. Lightweight and creamy, foundation goes on smooth with a demi-matte finish that lasts up to 24 hours—hiding imperfections for a smooth, clear complexion. Comes in 12 shades.
The Verdict: This is a totally decent foundation. It covers GREAT, lasts all day and looks great whether applied with a brush or a blender. I felt like I was in a shade that was just a littttttttle too dark for me, which bummed me out when trying to wear it multiple days in a row. (I will likely swap it for one shade down, although having only 12 color options may create problems for some people!! I'm super olive toned so I'm hoping one shade lighter doesn't go super pink.) Regardless, I like it. I"m not like, "OMG IM OBSESSED WITH IT" but I'm like...."sure, it can work." And keep in mind, what works perfectly for me, might not be 100% right for you. If you're looking for a longwear, creamy drugstore foundation, this is a solid option!! Just make sure to buy a few shades and then return the one that doesn't work so you don't find yourself without a good match!! Retails for $9-12 depending on where you buy it.
2. Sonia Kashuk Radiant + Tinted Moisturizer
Ok, so someone somewhere just thought, "Hey! That's not a foundation!" And you're right. Tinted moisturizer is NOT a foundation, nor should it be used in the place of foundation if you are wanting the perks of an all-day coverage. I LOVE tinted moisturizer but many don't realize how the two differ. The major difference is: tinted moisturizer's base is just that....moisturizer. You don't apply your morning moisturizer at 7am, but then walk into the bathroom at noon and expect to see it on the surface of your skin still....right?? That's exactly what people complain about with tinted moisturizer: it disappears little by little. But we can't blame Tinted Moisturizer!! In the right setting, it's amazing! A day at the beach, a day at the pool, or a day where makeup is super unimportant to you but you still want a littttttle something are all perfect for the subtle and temporary coverage that a tinted moisture can provide. If you want that lightweight look but want to know that you won't have to reapply and check on your face all day until your coverage is GONE, then a lightweight all-day foundation is what you want. And those reviews are coming below. :) Now that you've got a mini-lesson, let's get to this Sonia stuff.
The stats/claims: sheer lightweight formula for a natural, glowing complexion. Infused with a vitamin complex that helps stimulate collagen production to keep skin cells looking stronger and younger. SPF 15.
The verdict: It does not cover or conceal blemishes, it doesn't provide much coverage and it stays relatively shiny on the skin until it wears off. If you are DRY, going on vacation and/or need a minimal product with some SPF and just enough pigment to even out a few spots on your face, this might be right up your alley. I know people who will LOVE this. But frankly, this product is just not for me!! I wanted to love it but the reality is that I need a product that will stay put for longer than a few hours and I want more coverage. I don't want to babysit my face all day, which is why I'd skip this for daily use. Retails for $13 at Target.
3. Maybelline Super Stay Better Skin
The stats/claims from the website: Maybelline's SuperStay Better Skin Foundation gives an all-day flawless coverage and better-looking skin in 3 weeks. The foundation reduces the appearance of spots, bumps, dullness and redness and gives you a brighter, more even and smoother skin. Benefits: All-day, flawless coverage and a better-looking skin in 3 weeks. Longwear that improves skin every minute you're in it with the antioxidant power of Actyl-C, a more durable form of Vitamin C. For all skin types, Medium to full coverage
and yet it's Oil-free!
The Verdict: I probably love this foundation more than any other this time around. There were so many times that I sat at my vanity and thought, "Shoot...I really should be wearing another one today to give it a fair chance but"......Better Skin just wooed me over and over. It checks off all of the boxes for me. Long day coverage, Medium to full coverage which means you can manipulate it as needed, it help improve your skin's imperfections and acne/bumps/texture as you wear it. Online, I found out that they polled tons of women after wearing it for 3 weeks and the majority said that they could tell a substantial different in their skin after wearing it that long. I LOVE this foundation. I love that it provides great coverage but also keeps your skin looking fresh and a little glowy wherever you want it! I'll buy it again, and recommend it to MANY. Retals $8-10.
4. Revlon Photoready Airbrush Effect
The stats/claims: Revlon's PhotoReady Airbrush Effect Makeup gives you a poreless, airbrushed look. Revlon's new formula offers a light filtering technology that delivers a poreless, airbrushed finish. It also offers ultra refined multi-dimensional pigments for a flawless luminous complexion. Benefits: SPF 20, Medium to full coverage
The verdict: Well...they weren't joking when they used the word "luminous." I would never buy this foundation again, but it may due to the high bar that I've set when it comes to wearability. It basically felt wer on my face all day, which I HATED. Hours and hours afer applying it, I scratched my nose and there were obvioius fingernail marks in my nose. Barf. It DID, however, provide decent coverage...it was just the finish that I wasn't nuts about. I'm sure somebody somewhere would like this foundation....but honey, it ain't me. Retails for $14.
5. Rimmel London Stay Matte Liquid Mousse Foundation
The stats/claims from Rimmel's website: A feather light, oil free formula with an airy mousse texture that won’t feel heavy or greasy. Delivers all day shine control and blends flawlessly for a natural looking matte finish. Minimizes the appearance of pores. The weight is over – finally, shine has met its matte. Comes in 8 available shades.
The verdict: OMG OMG OMG. This foundation is everything. Best drugstore foundation I've ever used. Gorg coverage, has the prettiest matte finish, (but looks bomb with highlight/strobing layered with it,) squashes shine and makes your face look so poreless. It stayed ALL day. And the texture is really cool. Think weightless hair mousse. I applied it multiple times with brushes AND with Drugstore beauty blenders and to be honest, I totally preferred it with a blender. One one occasion, I applied too much with a brush and it settled into my forehead wrinkles a little. Totally fixable and not that big of a deal, just be aware to use less than more and add product as needed. A blender will def help with that build-up though. I LOVE THIS FOUNDATION AND I DON'T CARE WHO KNOWS IT!!!! Gah. Retails for $5. Five freaking dollars.
7. Revlon Photo Ready Insta-Fix
The stats/claims: Revlon's PhotoReady Insta-Fix is the instant skin retoucher. Use all over your face, to conceal flaws and for touch ups on the go. Formula with light filtering technology creates perfected retouched looking skin anytime, anywhere. SPF 20. Used like a concealer and/or foundation.
The verdict: Bomb for touch-ups, on-the go chicks who need a refresher or like...your gym bag. Not my fave for an all-day foundation. Applying this in the morning and expecting it to look good all day was just not my experience. The finish felt heavy, which I really hate. Like the Revlon foundation I reviewed above, my skin felt like the surface was wet or had too much product on it all day. I totally see how this would be a convienient addition to your purse for "Oh-no!" moments when you realize your under-eyes need a pick-me up or a new zit springs up. But any long-term wear out of this product doesn't feel like the right thing, at least for me. I would not buy it again but I WILL keep the one I have and stick it in my purse!
Retails for $14.
PHEW. Hope ONE or more of these seven foundation reviews helps you navigate the tough waters of finding the right Drugstore Foundation. REMEMBER: My recommendation is ALWAYS to buy the two shades closest to you, try them both and return the one that doesn't match. Color matching this time around was super tricky for me and I ended up having the wrong shades in multiple foundations. I didn't follow my own tip!!! Worth an extra trip back to Walgreens to return one vs. wearing the WRONG foundation for a few months. Real talk.
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