This is a blog post I meant to do in January, and here we are almost in April… I’m still allowed to post it right?! We’re gonna roll with it because this is something I’ve wanted to talk about FOREVER. I have tried a LOT of foundations ya’ll. As you can see when I laid them all out on this platter, it’s a little ridiculous. I’m so lucky because I get a lot of them sent to me for free from PR companies – and I know most people don’t have that privilege, so I want to let you know how each of them worked for me, what my favorites are and which ones I do NOT like, which are my go-to’s, etc. I have a few new ones coming up this year that I am going to try out as well, so hopefully this is a post I can do again in 2019 with even more tried and tested foundations. Let’s launch into it and talk FAVORITES:
***All shades I wear will be listed at the bottom of the post!
If I had to choose ONE foundation from this bunch, only one that I would be able to use and the rest I would have to get rid of, it would be Estee Lauder Double Wear. It is definitely a FULL coverage foundation, but even when my skin is clear I love how it evens out my complexion but isn’t drying or too wet. I love Estee Lauder products so I knew this would work well too. It works well for me because I can decide how much to use – so if my skin is having a good day, I can thin it out with moisturizer or even a little water on my foundation brush or sponge. If my skin is struggling, I can do a couple layers and really cover up anything. I’ve even used it as almost a concealer – I’ll do my full face and just dot a little extra on a blemish, let it set a little, and then blend it in. It is THAT full coverage. It is spendy at $42 a bottle, but it lasts a LONG time for me. I also have 2 shades for when I’m more fair or more tan, and having 2 makes them last literally forever because you’re switching back and forth, mixing them together, thinning them out when needed, etc. It’s just truly a great foundation. *Be aware that it does oxidize on your skin a bit (darkens), so go get a consult at Nordstrom or your local department store and have them put it on your skin. Go shopping and if it still looks like the right shade in a few hours, you’re good to go.
IT Cosmetics is a great wallet friendly brand, but the products feel so much more high end. I’ve been using IT Cosmetics for YEARS. Before I was a blogger and knew anything about makeup, I knew they had a cult following, and I joined in. My ride or die is the ‘Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream with SPF 50+’, it’s $38 for a tube and it also lasts a long time. I wear the shade ‘Medium’ usually, and occasionally if I need to, I can mix in some ‘Light’. LOVE LOVE LOVE that it has SPF, it’s easy to forget a face sunscreen but when your makeup includes it, you’re all set. The coverage is light to medium. You can definitely build and use more if you need to, but it is a CC cream, not a full foundation so keep that in mind. IT Cosmetics says that their products are actually GOOD for your skin, and I believe it. My mom and little sister use this as well, and whenever I get a PR package from IT Cosmetics they fight over the ‘Light’ shades.
When we lived in Thailand, I ONLY used the ‘Your Skin But Better CC+ Airbrush Perfecting Powder with SPF 50+’. If you live in a more humid environment, this is for you. In dry dry Utah I usually stick to liquid foundation, but in Thailand my skin looked HEAVENLY with this powder. It just laid so well, and actually covered well which was new for me with a powder foundation. I used this brush to apply it and you can tell they were made to go together, it was perfect. Can’t say enough good things about this powder, if you live in a humid environment and your skin isn’t too dry, you need to try this.
Not pictured above but also an IT Cosmetics favorite is the ‘Anti-Aging Armour Super Smart Skin-Perfecting Beauty Fluid SPF 50+’. IT Cosmetics WHY are your product names so long?! Sheesh. This “fluid” has been my go-to lately. I put a few drops of this on my face and then a few dabs of the Estee Lauder Double Wear and then blend them together on my skin with a brush, and that combo has REALLY been working for me. The fluid thins out the Double Wear just a little bit and gives a little coverage as well, and it just lies so great on my skin together. Double Wear doesn’t have any SPF too, so I’m getting the SPF 50+ of the IT Cosmetics with the coverage of Double Wear. It’s a winning combo for me lately.
This Clinique Beyond Perfecting Foundation + Concealer is a foundation I sometimes forget about, and then remember and use it again and go OH MY GOSH I LOVE THIS STUFF. It’s also a good price at $29 a bottle, and I don’t think I’ve ever even had to replace mine it has lasted so long. It is also full coverage, similar to Double Wear but a much friendlier price. Again I have 2 shades depending on if I’m fair or tan, and I can mix together when needed. The applicator isn’t my favorite, I tend to not like putting an applicator directly on my skin and back into a bottle, even if it’s clean skin – so what I do is use the applicator on my (clean) brush or (clean) beauty blender directly, and then put it on my skin. But other than the applicator, this stuff is awesome. It is truly a foundation and concealer. You can apply all over, and then for the spots that need a little more coverage, go right back in with it and cover them up. I’ve been known to put this all over, even under my eyes, and just go out for the day if I don’t feel like wearing much makeup, but still want some coverage. I reach for this one over and over again.
Those were my TOP favorites, my go-to’s, but now let’s talk about the rest! Some of these are great foundations as well, and some just did NOT work for me. Let’s go through them! I’ll try to go from left to right in the photo above.***All shades I wear will be listed at the bottom of the post!:
- Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Stick Foundation, $43: I do like this one, it’s more the method of application for this one I don’t love. The “stick” aspect makes it a little awkward to sort of paint on your face, and then blend in with your brush. And then getting it around my nose and eyes, it just was tricky. I like the formula though. It’s on the more medium/full-coverage end.
- Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation, $43: Nope, not a typo, this is essentially the same foundation but in a liquid format. MUCH bette in my opinion. Again it’s medium/full-coverage but being a liquid foundation it’s much easier to work with. It is an Allure Best of Beauty winner for a reason, it’s popular and works well, and I am a fan! I like that it goes on very lightweight, and then you can build to more coverage if you need to.
- Missha M Perfect Cover BB Cream, $15: Now this one is confusing for me. I bought this in Tokyo in Korea town. I really wanted to get my hands on some K beauty products I’d heard about – and I thought they would be cheaper but they were actually slightly more expensive than just waiting until I got home and ordering them from Amazon haha. But I couldn’t wait and I grabbed this one when I was in Asia. It has RAVE reviews on Amazon, 772 reviews and 4.3 stars. I was just okay with it – the coverage is okay, but the smell is sort of strong and I didn’t like it. It’s distracting all day honestly! It smells like an elderly woman’s perfume, I hope that’s not offensive but it’s true. I was using it in Thailand though where it was hot and humid, so I probably need to give it one last try here in Utah to see how it goes before I totally throw in the towel on this one. For right now, it’s a pass from me.
- Estee Lauder Double Wear Nude Cushion Stick Radiant Makeup, $42: This is essentially Double Wear in a cushion stick. Maybe I just don’t like stick foundations, but for me I’d rather get the regular liquid Double Wear and not mess with it! The one exception where I do like this cushion stick is in the car. They are super lightweight, and if I mess up my makeup or just need to run out the door, I keep this in my purse and I can just dot it on when I need it. VERY convenient if that is your need – so I’d recommend this one if you’re looking for a car or purse foundation on the go!
- BareMinerals BareSkin Pure Brightening Serum Foundation SPF 20, $30: This is another Allure Best of Beauty winner and that sort of surprises me. It is SHEER like it says online – barely any coverage here, so if you have AMAZING skin and you just want it to be illuminated and slightly evened out, go for this. For the rest of us, this is probably not going to work. I LOVE BareMinerals and the fact that their products are so good for your skin, but I think sometimes they assume you have great skin already. If you do, this is great and would probably work well for you. If you don’t or you have oily skin already, I would steer clear of this. I did use it with this brush, and I liked it a lot. It’s a different shape, but it applies really well with it.
- BareMinerals BarePro Performance Wear Liquid Foundation SPF 20, $34: This is like if the serum foundation above was made thicker and not as oily. It’s a really good foundation, I forgot about this one but now that I remember it I really like it. It’s light, but full coverage if that makes sense at all. You could get away with wearing this really thinned out, or go to town and get a good full coverage look. Again, this brush works well with it. I believe they are actually made to go together. Again BareMinerals is formulated to be good for your skin, so we love that in a foundation. If you’re looking into BareMinerals and you need more medium to full coverage, go with this one for sure.
- BareMinerals BarePro Performance Wear Powder Foundation, $30: I think for every powder foundation on this list, it makes sense if you live in a more humid environment or if you tend to have oily skin. For me here in DRY Utah, a powder foundation just normally doesn’t work for me. I LOVE using this one on top of my liquid foundations like a setting powder. IF you live in a humid place or have oily skin, this would totally work for you as a foundation, and you can build coverage so it’s not sheer. I used it with this brush and it’s perfect because it’s flat, and you can swirl it around and get your powder really on there.
- BareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream, $30: Alrighty we’re almost done with the BareMinerals foundations, I promise! But don’t skip over this one, it’s a real winner. It maybe shouldn’t be on this list as a foundation, but I sort of use it similarly so we’re gonna roll with it. It’s a “multitasking gel cream that is the best of a BB, CC, and Tinted Moisturizer in one.” I like to use it as a tinted moisturizer, or to thin out any of my full coverage foundations. If you have dry skin, this would be great for you to use. Like one of the reviews on Sephora said “good for a no makeup look”, I don’t really wear this on its own unless I’m going to the pool or hiking or something, but for everyday I love to layer this or combine it with something like Double Wear. I’m definitely a fan, but don’t expect it to be your typical “foundation”.
- IT Cosmetics Confidence in a Compact SPF 50+, $38: This one was a no-go for me. It’s like a cream foundation in a compact, and I just couldn’t figure it out. Getting it onto a brush was weirdly difficult and I just couldn’t apply it well. I LOVE IT Cosmetics, so I was surprised not to like this one. Hey, they can’t all be winners! It has good reviews on Ulta though, so maybe I just haven’t figured it out yet.
- IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Redness Erasing Correcting Powder, $38: I remember using this one and not being thrilled by it. Basically to me it was a not as good version of the Airbrush Perfecting Powder I love. Meh.
- IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Lines Foundation, $38: This one didn’t stand out to me. I don’t even remember if it was good or bad, if I liked it or not. I think it was just ok. The main selling point of this one is anti-aging – but I don’t think I used it enough to tell the difference. More research is needed on my part from this one! I think I’ll use it tomorrow to try to remember if I did or didn’t like it haha.
- Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20, $45: As you can see in the photo, I just have a trial/travel size of this one. I had heard amazing things about it and really wanted to give it a shot without taking the full plunge just yet. It turns out this is a really good size for me because I don’t wear tinted moisturizer much, but when I do, I have it! It is what it is, a tinted moisturizer. It’s not much coverage, but just enough to even you out and brighten your skin, and hydrate if you need it. On Sephora it has 4k reviews and 4.5 stars, so it is definitely really popular but definitely recognize it is just tinted, not a true foundation if you’re looking for coverage.
- Too Faced Born This Way Foundation, $39: I really like this one. The price isn’t too bad and it’s a bigger container, you feel like you’re getting your money’s worth. It’s a medium to full coverage foundation, but definitely could be medium or lighter if you want to thin it out and wear less, the formula isn’t too thick for that. It’s not matte or dry, it’s right in between or as Sephora’s website says “radiant”, haha. It seems like a lot of people in the reviews had trouble with shade matching, so go into Sephora and have them match you, and then walk around to make sure it oxidizes on you right. I really like this formula and I definitely use it from time to time. I actually have a full blog post on my Too Faced makeup favorites you can find HERE.
- Coola Rosilliance Organic BB+ Cream SPF 30, $52: You can’t really see this one well in the photo above, but it’s behind the ‘Born This Way’ foundation. This was a nope for me. I got all of the shades from Coola and there are only 3, and none of them worked. I think Light/Medium was the closest and it was slightly grey, like so grey on my skin it was bizarre. The Medium is a better color, but it was a little dark on me. The formula is also super light and slightly oily, and just didn’t work for me. At $52, I thought it was a little ridiculous, although you do get kind of a lot of product and the bottle is heavy and glass. It does have 87 reviews and 3.8 stars, so apparently some people like it, but it wasn’t for me. They make GREAT sun care products, but not so great BB cream in my opinion.
- Rodial SPACE.NK.apothecary Rodial Skin Tint SPF 20, $45: I really like this one! It’s definitely a “tint”, not a full coverage foundation by any means, but it isn’t super sheer like a lot of similar products. I’d say it’s medium coverage. I love to put this on when my skin is good and I just need a tint and some SPF. Yes it’s expensive and the bottle is SMALL, like you will feel like you didn’t get much, but I do use this quite a bit and I still haven’t run out, so there’s that. If you’re looking for something light, but not TOO light, and good for your skin with SPF, this is a good pick.
- MHD Beauty Hi-Def Foundation, $36: I did a full review of MHD beauty cosmetics in this post, and I’m just now realizing that was in 2015!!! To be honest I probably need to throw this foundation away, just because it is so gosh dang old, but I wanted to mention it because I really did like it. I think it might actually be pageant makeup, or for people who are on TV? But it’s really not too full coverage or cakey at all, I loved the way it laid on my skin. I also love that it’s a small company, you just don’t see that with makeup brands and I love supporting great quality products from a small business owner. I think I need to stock up on more!
- Perricone MD No Foundation Foundation Serum SPF 30, $60: I wanted so much to like this foundation. It seems like any foundation with “serum” in the title is too oily for me. I have normal to oily skin, and any foundation that is the least bit oily just does NOT work for me. This foundation is part of a whole “no makeup” line, where the products are supposed to look like you’re not wearing makeup. For me, it just slides right off the skin so I’m actually NOT wearing makeup. If you have dry skin, this could potentially be really good for you. It has good reviews online and Perricone MD makes AMAZING skincare, so you’re getting that quality of skincare in a makeup line. For me and my skin however, it was a no.
- Perricone MD No Makeup Foundation SPF 30, $60: This is confusing because there are 3 foundations from Perricone MD and they are all quite similar. This one was slightly thicker, with a better texture, but still didn’t work for me. Again it’s a sheer coverage, and claims to be luminous and dewy, but for me just turned out oily. The other Perricone MD bottle on the plate is really similar, I can’t find it online but it was like a one-shade serum tinted something or other, and it also didn’t work for me so I won’t dig around for the link online.
- Senegence MakeSense Color Correcting Tinted Moisturizer, $45: As some of you know I used to sell Senegence products. I still do sell LipSense products occasionally (see THIS post), but I never got into selling the skincare. I think because I just wanted to get a handle on the lipstick before branching out, and now I don’t even have time to sell the lipstick haha, but either way this tinted moisturizer is really really great. I was so pleasantly surprised by how it covers and lays on my skin. It’s not too sheer at all, and not too full coverage. I really love it, and recommend it if you know of a distributor who can get it for you.
- PUR Hydrafluid Water Serum Foundation, $39: This is pretty true to its name, it’s a water serum foundation. It goes on SO slick and sheer, like water. A little too sheer for me, so I don’t really use it. If you’re looking for a lightweight foundation though, this could work for you. AGAIN the name has serum in it and it doesn’t really work for me – I’m cursed never to use a serum foundation I guess! BUT if you are looking for something like this and you don’t have oily skin, give it a shot because PUR is a great brand.
- Revlon Colorstay Whipped Creme Makeup, $12: This one isn’t pictured because I forgot it, but it’s a good one. I actually haven’t used it in years so I hope they haven’t changed the formula, but when I used it it was so comparable to Double Wear! And obviously a way better price. I might have to go pick some up again to see if it’s the same because I loved it so much.
Alrighty I THINK that was everything! PHEW. I hope this massive list helps you the next time you’re on the hunt for a new foundation. PLEASE leave me a comment letting me know what you use and what I should try next! I’d love to hear!
Here are the shades I use for everything:
- BareMinerals BarePro Performance Wear Liquid Foundation: Sandalwood 15 & Golden Ivory 08
- BareMinerals BarePro Performance Wear Powder Foundation: Light Natural 09 & Cashmere 06 & Aspen 04
- BareMinerals BareSkin Pure Brightening Foundation: Bare Shell 02 & Bare Natural 07 & Bare Satin 06
- BareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream: Vanilla 02
- Clinique Beyond Perfecting Foundation & Concealer: 6 Ivory
- Coola Rosilliance Organic BB+ Cream SPF 30: Light/Medium & Golden
- Estee Lauder Double Wear Nude Cushion Stick: 2W1 Dawn & 3N1 Ivory Beige
- Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup: 1W2 Sand & 2W1 Dawn
- IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Lines Foundation: Light & Medium
- IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Redness Redness Erasing Correcting Powder Transforming: Neutral Beige
- IT Cosmetics Confidence in a Compact SPF 50+: Light & Medium
- IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Airbrush Perfecting Powder SPF 50+: Light & Medium
- IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Foundation SPF 50+: Medium
- Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation: 117=Y225
- Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Stick Foundation: 117=Y225
- Missha Perfect Cover B.B. Cream SPF 40: No. 23
- Perricone MD No Foundation Foundation Serum: No Color
- Perricone MD No Foundation Foundation SPF 30: No.2 Light to Medium
- Perricone MD No Makeup Foundation SPF 30: Light
- PUR Hydrafluid Water Serum Foundation: Medium
- Revlon Colorstay Whipped Creme Makeup: 240 Natural Beige
- Rodial Skin Tint SPF 20: Hamptons 02
- Senegence MakeSense Color Correcting Tinted Moisturizer: Medium
- Too Faced Born This Way Foundation: Warm Nude
Here is the brush I use with any of these foundations.
Photos by Paige Nicolle
You can find my Pajama Shirt HERE and yes it is maternity, you can’t tell in a sleep shirt. 🙂
Pin this image for next time you go foundation shopping!: