I believe that a foundation should be the one make-up item that we invest very wisely in, because once our base is perfected, everything else we apply on top just looks better! Finding that perfect foundation involves really getting to know your own skin type; your undertone, what consistency you like, coverage, finish etc. Of course this involves a lot of trial and error ( thank goodness for brand's that give out tester samples ); But finding the 'Perfect Foundation' really is one of life's makeup missions. Every body has different skin-types, skin-tones, textures and preferences. Just like with mascaras we all look for different things when it comes to a foundation and our base; hence why so many foundations get mixed reviews. Remember what may work for one person may not suit another, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it's a bad foundation. So hopefully i can help with the task of finding you a perfect foundation match......
So over the past three years i have tested a lot of foundations for my blog and instagram! I receive a lot of questions and recommendations about foundations through the platform of Instagram and people who value my honest opinion. I have tried every type of foundation ( ok not every but it would be amazing to ) from sheer/light coverage to full coverage, foundations for dry skin, combo or oily skin, glowy foundations, matte foundations you name it, i have tried it. I still have around twenty foundations still in my stash to test out, to many products too test and not enough faces lol. I enjoy trying foundations and i enjoy helping other people and giving the best advise, so i do not mind putting my time, effort an money into trying out foundations. When it comes to actually trialing the foundations i usually like to test out the same foundation over the period of a week. To get a real feel for the product, to see how my skin reacts to it ( if it does), what primer it teams best with, which powder sets it best, if it even needs setting the testing goes on. I like to write up very detailed posts and offer as much information about a foundation that i can. Sadly i found myself ill for 7 weeks over December and January which lost me the chance to review 7 more foundations, sniff sniff; However, i intend to them them all over the next season. I will say that testing foundations is by far my favourite makeup product to try out. I can see why finding the right foundation can seem very overwhelming, with their being so many different brands, shades, textures and finishes; we definitely are spoiled for choice nowadays.
I often receive compliments from friends and strangers about my complexion and how healthy my skin is looking. "What is your secret? How can you look so polished first thing in the morning with 4 children?" These are questions i am often asked. Truth is i take care of my skin, i have to since i don't actually get much sleep and the second thing is it's called makeup and a beauty blender lol! Chances are when i am wearing foundation it looks just like my skin but more perfected! There is nothing i like more than someone who looks flawless and your left wondering is that her skin that she's blessed with or is it a foundation? A great foundation in my eyes is a foundation that does not look like foundation. Anyone can make a mask like foundation that covers everything but that doesn't mean that it looks good in person or natural, but to each their own. I know that some people don't have flawless skin or skincare products that can help their skincare issues so they need a full coverage foundation for feel more confident, but i don't understand why people with already great skin need to mask their beauty if they don't need to? Makeup is about enhancing beauty not masking it.
Part of the reason why i have such good skin is because of my genes ( thanks to my mom and dad ) but i also take good care of my skin with a good skincare routine( occasionally i get bored and switch it up adding 1 new product very now and again to it ), I make sure to wear sunscreen and i don't actually wear makeup everyday. Chances are 8 times out of 10 i am makeup free. I do suffer with dark circles ( which are hereditary mixed with the lack of sleep being a single mom to four children ) and the other 'flaw' which i don't consider to be a flaw myself is that i have a face full of freckles, literally hundreds of kisses from the sun all over my face. Some people like full coverage foundations to cover up their freckles and brown spots but i embrace mine. I think freckles can make people look youthful; C'mon you know Morgan Freeman would look more his exact age if he didn't have those adorable freckles. Healthy glowy skin with freckles = youthful looking. Whether i am wearing a light foundation or a full coverage foundation ( like the Estee Lauder doublewear ) i love receiving remarks from people when they tell me my skin looks fabulous and i shock them by telling them that i am actually wearing a full face of makeup.
For me when comes to my foundations i'm either a this or that kind of girl, no in between. So i either like a light coverage that looks very natural on the skin or flawless full coverage foundation! I see no point in doing something half way lol! I would describe my skin type as Oily/Combination. In the colder months it's more normal with dry patches and a somewhat oily t-zone, then in the warm months i'm pretty oily but i also sweat a lot, so i need a foundation that holds up well through sweat, heat and humidity. Winter months i tend to wear more full coverage glowy foundations and summer months i like very light bb creams. So many people with oily skin hate hate their skin-type because our foundation doesn't last, but i see having oily skin as a blessing as the oil is what keeps our skin looking younger and more youthful, therefor we age slower. My skin is pretty much problem-free too, with the exception of the occasional blemish when i am on my period or am trying out new skincare items. Overall i am pretty thankful and pretty blessed.
Though i do test out a lot of foundations each season, i am a bit of a creature of habit. When something works well why change it? When i love something i tend to stick to it, rave about it and make everyone else around me buy it, hell if i could buy it for them all i would lol; But what kind of boring beauty blogger would i be if i just used one foundation? I am quite the critique when it comes to testing foundations and am very picky about what i put on my face. I put everything into consideration before testing from reviews/ratings, ingredients, brand, price etc. I guess i can be quite the foundation snob and i have very high standards and expectations hence why i choose to test a foundation for a whole week. Foundations really intrigue me and i am always curious to try every single foundation that releases. Testing foundation sure does take a big chunk of my monthly budget; But there is nothing i like more than doing something i love and helping others at the same time. Its a win win!
So to help with the mammoth task of finding you a perfect foundation match, I have compiled my top five foundations that i personally enjoy that some of you may also like. These foundations aren't just 5 random foundations these are my go to, recommend to everyone, holy grail repurchase over and over foundations. My choices in foundations do tend to be more high-end, but that's because i find much better shade selections ( and often ingredients ) plus they appear more natural-looking on the skin. Now that is not to say there are no good drugstore foundations as i actually really enjoy a few drugstore but i will talk about my favourite drugstore foundations in a following post. So lets get started with the countdown shall we?...
05. Marc Jacobs Genius Gel Super-Charged Foundation | £32 UK - $48 USA.
Coverage & Finish: Light-Medium Natural Finish
About & Claims: The Marc Jacobs Genius Gel claims to erase the past, perfect the present and protect the future with Marc Jacobs Genius Gel Super-Charged Foundation. This breakthrough gel foundation easily builds from natural to full coverage. Buoyancy Gel™ technology enhances the performance of this long-wearing, anti-ageing formula, which includes antioxidant vitamin protection to awaken your skin’s ideal radiance and clarity. Its Oil free formulation hydrates the skin and works for any skin type. It comes in a sleek glass bottle containing 29.57ml / 0.9fl oz of product.
My view: Though i dont feel the skincare benefits are really there because the transparent glass bottle would break down the ingredients ( it would have to be in a dark bottle and stored in a dark place to keep the ingredients in tact ) I do love how easy this foundation is to apply and how natural it appears on the skin. The formulation is lightweight yet it offers medium coverage, that sets to a pretty natural finish and works for any skin type. I love that it comes with a pump dispenser that distributes product with ease, meaning i don't end up pumping out to much product. It blends very easily into the skin for a seamless look. I personally prefer to apply this foundation all over my face with my fingers and use my beauty blender to push it into the skin. This is my go to foundation during the spring months. I love that it doesn't make me oily either though i don't wear it in the summer as i find my skin drinks up the foundation. I find that it wears around 8 hours before starting to show any signs of wearing away usually around my t-zone and oily areas. Overall this is a fantastic foundation for someone who likes medium coverage, that is weightless on the skin and likes a natural look.
04. Givenchy Teint Couture Foundation | £34.50 UK - $51 USA
Coverage & Finish: Light-Medium Natural Coverage
About & Claims: The Givenchy Teint Couture Fluid Foundation is a long-wearing and timeless foundation. In pure couture spirit, its imperceptible and comfortable silky veil matches your skin to provide tailor-made coverage. The skin`s texture is instantly smoothed, blemishes and fine lines are blurred; your complexion is even and glowing. Naturally enhanced. It claims to be a “beautyguard” for the skin and with layer after layer it still looks natural on the skin. It contains 25ml \ 8 fl oz of product housed inside a glass bottle, suits all skin types and comes in 8 shades.
Why i love it: This foundation reminds me so much of the Nars sheer glow foundation, so if you are a fan of that you will love this! However i find it to be longer lasting. The Givenchy Teint Couture Long-Wearing Fluid Foundation is very lightweight on the skin, as easily builds up to a medium coverage without excess build up, leaving it looking like second skin.My favourite tool to apply this foundation with is my fingers followed by my Beauty Blender. The texture of the foundation makes it easy to blend into the skin and it dries to a semi-matte, satin finish. The finish creates a natural but radiant, illuminating glow on my skin despite there being no shimmers in the formula. Basically it's everything that Nars Sheer Glow claims to be ( though i love both ). Basically I find the Givenchy Teint Couture Long-Wearing Fluid Foundation to deliver a flawless, radiant, and luminous glow on the skin that looks natural, feels invisible, is transfer free and is long-wearing. Magic in a bottle.
03. Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation | £29.50 UK ( Coming to USA via Beautylish in March )
Coverage & Finish: Medium to Full Satin Coverage
About & Claims: The is a miracle in a bottle that transforms skin for all ages, skin tones and skin types. I have worked with laboratories for five years to create a “hyper-intelligent” formula that gives full-coverage yet feels completely weightless, with all the anti-ageing and protective benefits of a luxury skin cream. It conceals imperfections, glides on like a dream, and literally feels like a second skin. Whether your skin needs just a bit of perfecting, or you struggle with a frustrating issue like acne, melasma or rosacea, my Magic Foundation will give you a perfect looking skin day, every day! Magical Laricyl: A concentrated mushroom extract that firms skin. It instantly tightens pores whilst flooding the skin with moisture, for a comfortable, nourished yet flawless finish. Super-Charged Vitamin C (VC-IP): Vitamin C is a well-known antioxidant that fights the damaging and ageing effects of free radicals. My Magic Foundation is the first time this new super-charged Vitamin C has been used in a foundation. With consistent use, it helps skin build new collagen (essential for youthful elasticity), reduces the appearance of age spots by 75% in four months, and reduces the appearance of acne after 9 weeks. The foundation is houses in a beautiful glass bottle with a rose gold lid and a pump. It Contains 30ml / 1fl oz of product.
Why i love it: This foundation The foundation is comfortable to wear and doesn't feel at all heavy on the skin. I like that the foundation is enriched with Vitamin C and anti-ageing benefits creating a youthful brightening effect to the skin. I do have to really work this into the skin but once blended in it looks flawless. It is claimed to be full coverage but it is more like medium to buildable full coverage as my freckles still peek through, but it covers up any redness. I would say the foundation wears around 7/8-12 hours depending on if i have set with a power. As for the reducing acne i don't suffer with bad skin so i cannot conform that, however it helps cover redness and dry patches and my skin looks instantly more plump and youthful when i wear this.
02. Diorskin Airflash Foundation | £33.50 UK - $62 USA
Coverage & Finish: Light-Medium
About & Claims: Dior claims the Airflash foundation is the go-to solution for professional makeup artists. It is the first revolutionary spray foundation that brings airbrushed perfection to your daily makeup routine. The Diorskin Airflash foundation is housed in an cream aerosol can with the standard silver Dior lid, containing 70ml / 2.3 fl oz of product.
Why i love it: This foundation is a fantastic and handy game changer. It's pretty much Charlotte Tilbury's Airbrush powder in a spray can form. It works beautifully alone or to add a flawless appearance over top of a more sheer foundation. The Dior Airflash always leaves my skin with a blurred out perfectly flawless finish making it fantastic for photography. Who needs photoshop when you have photoshop in a can? I find the best way to apply this is by spraying it directly onto a brush ( a dense buffing brush ) and then buffing it into the skin, unless i am using it as a finishing spray then i spray it directly over my foundation ( about 20cm away and with my eyes closed of course ) and proceed to buff it into the skin lightly. It is extremely lightweight but it can look cakey if you do not exfoliate beforehand as it has a kind of a powder finish. Another great thing about this foundation is i find it covers my dark circles under my eyes really well and i can wear a less pigmented concealer, yay. The Diorskin Airflash is especially beautiful on normal to oily skin.
And the Winner is....
01. Diorskin Star Foundation | £32.50 UK - $50 USA
About & Claims: The Dior Star Foundation is new generation of foundation. The silica beads captures and diffuses light in a correcting halo with no shine, at the same time the colour-filter pigments neutralise colour imbalances to recreate the perfect light. The complexion is clarified with a purer, more dazzling and long-lasting light.The skincare ingredients help to reduce the appearance of dark areas, pigment spots and redness. The Diorskin Star foundation is houses in a beautiful sleek glass bottle and contains 30ml / 1 fl.oz of product.
Why i love it: It ticks everything that i want in a foundation, it's lightweight, has medium coverage and is long-lasting. The foundation instantly leaves the complexion more luminous and visibly even. There is honestly not one thing i could say is wrong with this foundation on my skin. The Diorstar foundation feels wonderfully soft and light while blending seamlessly into the skin. It has a satin slightly-dewy brightening finish and has buildable coverage without it looking too heavy. This works brilliant on normal to oily skin especially with a mattifying primer underneath and wears on me for around 7-8 hours. I also love that it has an spf of 30 and is long-wearing.
Next To Mac NC25 For Reference
Foundation Comparison Swatches L-R: Mac Pro longwear NC25 - Dior Airflash 301 - Charlotte Tilbury Magic 05 - Diorskin Star 021 - Givenchy Teint Couture 4 elegant beige - Marc Jacobs Genius Gel 34 Beige Medium - Mac Studio Fi Fluid
So these are my favourite most reached for foundations, for oily/combination skin. What are yours? and what skin-type do YOU have?
Head over to my Lovely friend Kelly's Blog Kellilash.com to read about her Top 5 favourites.
More Foundation Blogposts
- My 2015-2016 Foundation Collection & Shades
- My 2014-2015 Foundation Collection
- My Must Have Winter Foundation for Oily/Combo Skin
- My A/W 2015 Foundation Routine
- Nars All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation - Punjab