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  • Melissa

Foundation

Updated: Dec 30, 2021


As you're about to see, I've tried a ton of foundations. There's something exciting about new foundations that makes me want to try them all! It's the idea that "maybe this is the one." No matter how satisfied I am with a foundation, I'm always hoping there is something new that is fuller coverage, a nicer finish, or longer wearing. As a makeup addict, I guess I'm just never fully satisfied.

Before we get into the reviews, always remember that a foundation will only look as good as your skin allows it to. If you are not taking care of your skin properly, there's not much even the most amazing foundation can do for you. In my experience, all skin types can benefit from a good amount of hydration before applying foundation, so I would recommend starting with moisturizer and any other skincare products you find necessary. Next, apply a primer based on your skin's needs, whether that be hydrating, mattifying, smoothing, etc., because this will allow the foundation to go on more smoothly and last longer.

Since I don't remember everything about all of these foundations, I will give a quick thought on what I remember and whether or not I liked it. I'm also aware that a lot of these are probably discontinued. If possible, I will include swatches and before & after pictures to demonstrate the coverage of each foundation (I don't own most of these anymore, so I only have pictures for some). Take notice that the vast majority of these foundations are from the drugstore so yes, you can get flawless-looking skin without breaking the bank. I will update this list every time I try a new foundation.

Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Foundation ($44): In my experience, it's medium to full coverage with a dewy finish. I wish it was a tinyyy bit more long-wearing but overall it's great foundation.


Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation ($44): I have not tried this foundation on my face since I only got one of these little sample packs but when I was done swatching them on my arm, they didn't transfer or smear when I rubbed them. I was pretty impressed by that.


Covergirl Outlast 3-in-1 ($10.99): Goes on nicely, blends out evenly. Dries matte but doesn't look cakey or too dry. Pretty long-wearing, medium to full coverage. I remember really liking this one.


Danessa Myricks Vision Cream Cover Foundation ($28): I have such mixed feelings about this. I got to try it twice because they gave a nice amount of product in this little sampler. I was quickly impressed by the amount of pigment and coverage that is packed into this formula!! Wow! I like full coverage so I thought that was awesome. If you like something more on the natural side, they recommend sheering it out with moisturizer or beauty oil. I personally wouldn’t bother with this is you’re a more natural gal. I really felt like I had a filter on my face and the fact that N03 matched me so perfectly just made me fall in love even harder. But like almost every foundation on the face of the earth, it couldn’t maintain its beauty throughout the day. I became oily in my Tzone pretty quickly and it started wearing off my face by midday. Overall, it still looked good and the cheek products looked great on top of it. If you want an honest opinion, ask your mom. At midday, I asked my mom how it looked and she said it looked thick, it rubbed off of my chin and I was shiny. Of course she ended with “but you look nice though.” I was seriously going to buy these for my kit but the oiliness is deterring me.



ELF Camo CC Cream ($15): A really great CC cream at an affordable price with SPF, skincare ingredients, and full coverage. Definitely looks more like foundation than some other CC creams (like the Thrive one).




ELF Flawless Finish ($6): I had the shade Sand and it was a little dark for me, so it looked very orange. Medium coverage, a little thick to blend out. 2 layers gave me nicer, fuller coverage. Stayed pretty dewy on my skin so I wouldn't recommend for oily skin. After it dried a little, I contoured over it just fine. Setting it all over with powder didn't look so good. Stayed fairly well and faded evenly but overall I didn't like it enough to keep it.

ELF Moisturizing Foundation Stick ($6): I liked this foundation. With stick foundations, I pretty much put them all over my face because I like full coverage but you can get a sheerer coverage if you use less. It's a little bit dewy but I'd call it more of a satin finish because it dries up a little. I've seen it break down after several hours but other times with a primer and setting spray, it's lasted 8+ hours. Overall, I like it but it's not a favorite.

Garnier BB Cream Miracle Skin Perfector: I used this BB cream for a couple years and it does exactly what I want a BB cream to do- gives me just enough coverage to even out my skin without necessarily looking like I'm wearing makeup, and it has SPF. I apply it with a foundation brush even though you could probably apply like a moisturizer but it will definitely look less streaky with a brush. When trying to find the price, I found that they may have discontinued this product but I would assume their other BB creams perform similarly.

Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation ($64): Before I go into detail, let me cut to the chase- this is a beautiful foundation, but I don't feel that anything can justify that price tag. It blends out beautifully, gives nice medium-buildable coverage, and looks fresh and natural on the skin. If you don't set it with powder, it's a little more radiant and dewy so I don't know how well it would work for oily skin. It does, however, begin to break up slightly and fade off my skin after several hours so I have gotten in the habit of setting certain areas with powder foundation to extend the wear time. Overall, if you don't mind the price, I would recommend.

Hourglass Vanish Stick ($46): This foundation glides on the skin like a dream and stays fairly dewy. You can get pretty full coverage but I don't love the way it wears on the skin throughout the day. It breaks down a little more than I was expecting which might have been forgivable if it wasn't for the price. As a lover of full coverage, I originally applied this to every inch of my face and then blended it in, but have found that it ends up looking too cakey after a couple hours if you apply it that way. It is much better to apply less since it blends out so easily. I did about 3 stripes per cheek, one on my forehead, one on my nose and one on my chin and then blended it out.


IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Color Correcting Full Coverage Cream +Anti-Aging Hydrating Serum, Light ($38): I really love this CC cream! I started using it after I finished my Garnier BB cream and I don't know if I could ever use any other BB or CC cream after this one. Let's get the one "bad" thing out of the way: it wears away pretty quickly and therefore loses coverage throughout the day. I used quotes around "bad" because BB and CC creams are essentially tinted moisturizers and don't typically claim to have great coverage or any coverage for that matter. But when I first apply this, it looks beautiful on the skin! Covers nicely and has the most gorgeous dewy finish. It has SPF 50 which is great. I wear this when I'm just running out of the house and don't want to look completely dead. I have the shade Light but I could probably drop down to Fair in the winter. Because it's a CC cream, there aren't many shades or undertones and I'll admit, my face and neck look a bit different when I wear it but I don't mind. It's that good.



J. Cat Aqua Surance Compact Foundation, Ivory ($13.99): I don't use powder foundations on their own because I need more coverage than they offer. I like using this to set liquid foundation and add a little more coverage than a translucent powder would. The formula is smooth and looks nice on the skin.


Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra 24H Long Wear Foundation ($47): Pretty and natural on the skin. Buildable coverage. Overall good, but I prefer full coverage.

Lawless Woke Up Like This Flawless Finish Foundation ($46): Natural coverage and dewy finish from a clean brand. It didn't wear very well throughout the day, fading mostly from my chin/mouth area. I liked the dewiness and thought it was pretty good overall. I have lower standards for clean brands because clean formulas don't always last as long.



L'Oréal Infallible Pro Matte ($12.99): This was one of my favorite foundations! It's weird because I didn't like it at first and my skin is dry, but it's been my go-to foundation for events or if I want to know my foundation will look good. It gives me full coverage and is matte (duh). Looks nice on the skin, and other products like contour, blush, etc. blend beautifully over it. One of my longest wearing foundations.

L'Oréal True Match ($9.99): A drugstore classic! Blends nicely, buildable coverage, doesn't feel heavy on the skin. Great shade range.

L'Oréal True Match Lumi ($12.99): Pretty and glowy on the skin, but doesn't dry down so it will rub off especially if you don't set it with powder. W3 was a little dark for me so it looked orange.

L'Oréal True Match Lumi Cushion ($16.99): Nice and luminous on the skin. Medium coverage, lasts pretty long. I think cushions are kind of gimmicky though. Just give me a nice bottle with a pump or squeeze tube!

L'Oréal True Match W2 vs. Lumi Cushion W2

L'Oréal Visible Lift Blur Foundation ($14.99): A decent foundation, but got a little oily on me in my T-zone when I had combo skin. Good, buildable coverage and wears a good amount of time on the skin. It oxidizes a lot which is the main reason I didn't like it.

L'Oréal Magic Nude Liquid Powder ($12.95): I didn't like this at first because I thought the coverage was too sheer but I got a lot of compliments when I used to wear it. It's a completely liquid formula that dries to a powder finish. I had combo skin when I wore it and it didn't make me oily but also wasn't matte. Did cling to dry patches on skin. It also oxidized a lot on my skin. I came to like it more when I applied it with a flat foundation brush and used a beauty sponge to blend out any streakiness.

MAC Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof ($35): Decently long-wearing, looks nice on the skin. Good coverage but won't hide any serious texture. Oxidizes a bit and I think it broke me out a little. Overall, I wasn't super impressed with this foundation.

MAC Studio Fix Powder ($29): I'm a full coverage kinda girl so it's hard for me to judge foundation powders since they are so sheer. If you like powder foundations, I think this is a good formula. It definitely adds a little color and evens out the skin but doesn't really cover imperfections so maybe add concealer underneath for anything that needs coverage. Also nice for touching up liquid foundation throughout the day.

Make Up For Ever HD (liquid) ($43): Honestly I was not as impressed as I wanted to be. It will look great in pictures, but it's medium coverage which left me wanting more.


Maybelline Dream Wonder Fluid Touch ($10.99): Liquid, weightless formula. Can apply with fingers or a brush (both looked fine to me surprisingly). Pretty sheer, not much coverage with one coat but two coats looks pretty nice. Evens out skin tone but didn't do a great job of covering acne. Wore well throughout the day. Dries matte so it clung to my dry patches a little. I ended up liking this foundation a lot for a more natural look. Would be amazing on people with good skin.

Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless ($7.99): One of the best drugstore foundations. Even though I'm combo/dry, I love this formula and it never looked too matte on me. Looks nice on the skin, good medium to full coverage and lasts a long time on the skin.

Milani Conceal + Perfect 2-in-1 ($9.99): Another one of my favorite foundations! They dry a little weird; I think mine gets lighter as it dries instead of darker. But overall, the coverage, finish, and wear-time are all great. I love the way my skin looks with this foundation. I would say it's more on the dewy side.

Milani Conceal + Perfect Stick Foundation ($9.99): Good coverage, lasted well throughout the day and had the same beautiful dewy finish as the liquid version. I got a little oily in my T-zone, so I recommend setting with powder.


Neutrogena Healthy Skin ($13.99): This didn't give me the coverage I wanted. With a sponge, it covered hardly anything and with a brush, it was a little better but still not something I would recommend. If your main concern is keeping your skin healthy, not clogging your pores, and evening out your skin tone, you might like this.

NYX Bare With Me Tinted Skin Veil ($13): Super hydrating, comfortable formula. Comparable to a BB cream where it is sheer coverage to even out your skin but still look like skin. Gives the skin a healthy glow but can easily be mattified with powder. The ultimate "no makeup" makeup!


NYX Born to Glow Naturally Radiant Foundation ($10): I love this formula- a very affordable option if you want a skin-like glowy foundation with medium-buildable coverage. I do find that it wears away throughout the day so I prefer to set it down with powder, at least around my chin and nose.


NYX HD Foundation (discontinued): I'm surprised I liked this one as much as I did. It's definitely medium coverage, but when I covered up imperfections with concealer beforehand, it looked great. It melts into the skin and never looked dry or cakey. I got a lot of compliments with this one. It's pretty pricey compared to NYX's usual prices but it's worth it!

NYX Hydra Touch Powder Foundation (discontinued): Super similar to MAC Studio Fix Powder Foundation so there's no need to spend so much on that one. This evens out my skin but only has sheer coverage (like most powder foundations). The only problem that breaks my heart is that it tends to crack in the pan easily which makes a mess.

NYX Mineral Stick Foundation (discontinued): I fell in love with this stick! Definitely my favorite stick foundation. When my acne was really bad and nothing could make my skin looked good, I actually liked the way this looked on my skin. It gave me full coverage (again, I put it all over my face. You can sheer it out with less product). It has a pretty dewy finish so I would set it down with powder if you're oily, but I loved the finish!


NYX Pro Foundation Palette ($35): This formula is really creamy and looks beautiful on the skin, slightly dewy. The shade range is nice and they blend really well. I would say it's medium-buildable coverage. Just wish the pans were a little bigger.


NYX Total Control Drop Foundation ($14): I get a lot of clients that don't usually wear makeup and don't want to look like they're wearing a lot, so this is my go-to for them! It looks good on every skin type and the shade range is awesome. The whole idea is that you can control your coverage, so you can get really natural, medium or full coverage depending on how many drops you use or how much you layer it. It basically looks like skin but covers well and other products blend nicely with it.


Physicians Formula The Healthy Foundation SPF 20 ($15.99): I have only used this a couple times but it's very natural and doesn't look cakey. It doesn't have a ton of coverage, but you can probably build it up. I personally use it for those more natural-skin looks.



Revlon Colorstay (Combo/Oily) ($12.99): I don't remember my thoughts on this one but I believe I liked it. Medium to full coverage and fairly long wearing.

Revlon Colorstay Whipped ($11.97): I used to love this foundation but it wore away a little weird on my skin. Very thick and full coverage. Tends to look a little cakey after a while. Nice dewy finish when first applied but feels a little sticky.

Revlon Photoready Airbrush Effect ($13.99): This was the first bottle of foundation I ever finished before it expired (kind of sad, I know). I fell in love with the way it looked on my skin when blended out with a beauty sponge (the Real Techniques one to be exact). Nice coverage, slightly dewy finish. When I bought another shade, I found that it had some sort of shimmer in it so I ended up giving it away. So I guess depending on the shade, this could be hit or miss.

02 Vanilla & 05 Natural Beige

03 Shell

Rimmel Lasting Finish 25HR: I loved this at first but then changed my mind. I wanted to keep loving it but it's a little thick and doesn't dry down all the way which made other products hard to blend over it. Contouring was difficult when I didn't powder it well and I had to take it all off one time because my contour looked like such a muddy mess. The finish was nice, but it just didn't blow me away.

Rimmel Stay Matte Liquid Mousse ($5.49): When applied with a brush, this foundation was a nightmare for me. It accentuated all of my pores, fine lines, and imperfections. It clung to my dry patches and looked super streaky, patchy and caked-on. It's a little better when applied with a sponge because it's a little less cakey. It broke up around my nose after a few hours but otherwise was pretty long-wearing. It looked nice from afar but up close, not so much. Very full coverage and matte finish. Would not recommend.


Thrive Causemetics Buildable Blur CC Cream ($38): I like this CC Cream because it's lightweight, has SPF and decent coverage. It has a slightly dewy finish and I've gotten a lot of compliments while wearing it. I think the IT Cosmetics CC Cream had better coverage but I like that Thrive is a brand with clean ingredients and a good cause.


Too Faced Born This Way ($39): It has good, medium coverage and a natural slightly dewy finish. It wears pretty well but it will start fading after maybe 6+ hours. I like it a lot but I don't know if I love it.


Urban Decay All Nighter Liquid Foundation ($40): A nice full-coverage matte foundation. It wears well and looks good in pictures.


Wet n Wild Photofocus Foundation ($6.49): I was very impressed with this foundation, especially for the price! I like the coverage, which I would say is medium-buildable. Wears pretty well during the day. I find it to have a natural finish, not completely matte, but not dewy. It does, however, smell like paint so beware if you are sensitive to fragrance.


Wet n Wild Photofocus Stick Foundation ($5.99): I found this to be very similar to the liquid version but I thought the liquid lasted a tiny bit longer on my skin and broke up a little less than the stick. It was pretty matte and gave me good coverage.


Here are some comparison swatches. It's definitely not a good idea to pick a foundation shade based on a picture because it will always look different in person. However, if you have any of these foundations, it might be helpful to see the difference in undertones between foundations. I have actually ordered foundation online successfully this way but just know you are taking a risk if you can't try it on in person. Either way, I hope this is helpful!

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