This is a weird time for me to write this post because foundation and I actually are not seeing eye to eye these days. All of my standbys aren’t matching me at the moment, and all the new ones I try break me out (Fenty Beauty how dare you do me dirty like that WE WERE ALL ROOTING FOR YOU).
I find that my skin tone changes so much during the summer/autumn (fair to sunburned to tan and every tone in between) and while I believe that buying a summer shade and a winter shade and mixing them accordingly is an awesome idea, I STILL CANNOT FIND THE RIGHT UNDERTONE. Especially in the summer. This is such a first world problem I can’t believe I’m going on and on about this. BUT THE UNDERTONE, YOU GUYS.
If I do wear foundation, which is not typically an every day must for me (I do the bare minimum for work and sometimes…not even that), these 5 are my absolute go-tos. Depending on how my skin is acting and how much coverage I need, I mix and match these foundations as well as wearing them solo. I absolutely LOVE mixing a radiant foundation with a matte foundation because although I have very oily skin, I don’t want to look flat, matte and powdered all the time. I actually like my makeup most a few hours after I apply it and my natural oils have sort of melted the makeup onto my face a bit more. It just looks more skin-like and less cakey, and less like I tried to suck every bit of shine out of my face. If I’m going to be wearing my makeup outside for a long period of time, I take more care to prep my skin to prevent shine. But on a daily basis, I just live with it and try to embrace the natural “dew” which is a nice way of saying “face grease.” I love a foundation to look somewhere between glowy and matte, but haven’t found the perfect one yet. I’m always on the hunt for the perfect foundation and even though trying new ones breaks me out 90% of the time (FENTY I HAVEN’T FORGIVEN YOU YET), I just can’t help myself sometimes. For those days when I need a foundation I can count on, I turn to one of these!
It was not a conscious decision to only choose drugstore/affordable options, I just don’t have any high-end foundations in my collection. I used to LOVE Estee Lauder Double Wear, Makeup Forever HD liquid foundation, and the Smashbox BB cream. And then my skin flipped some awful switch and my skin broke out at the very thought of the Double Wear touching my skin [I still highly recommend that foundation to anyone looking for flawless full coverage! Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, stays put like that foundation. I miss you, Double Wear]. I love splurging on eyeshadow palettes and lipsticks and highlighters, but strangely foundation is the one area of makeup I don’t spend a lot of money on. So, YOU’RE WELCOME HUSBAND. Never mind that whatever I don’t spend on foundation goes to something else…
My skin type: oily/combination, acne-prone, sensitive, textured/large pores
5) L’Oreal Infallible Pro Matte 24 Hour Foundation
Product description: “L’Oréal’s Infallible Pro-Matte 24HR Foundation has an air-light texture with a demi-matte finish. This super gliding mattifying formula has a high water content for maximum comfort that lasts! Contains Shine Defy Blotting Spheres that act like blotting paper, instantly absorbing sweat and oil without disturbing color pigments.”
Best for: Oily, combination skin types
They weren’t kidding when they called this foundation matte. If you have dry skin, I would steer clear of this one unless you mix it in with a moisturizing foundation to make it less drying. It isn’t full coverage right off the bat but has great buildable coverage and lasts until you wash it off!
4) Soap and Glory One Heck of a Blot All Day Liquid to Powder Foundation
Product description: “Fabulous. Flawless. Full coverage. Soap & Glory’s One Heck of a Blot Foundation is an all-day liquid-to-powder foundation with Shine Bloc 12-hour long wear technology and Super-Blur powders. Offers ultimate shine control designed to give skin a flawless, ‘non-cakey’, soft focus finish. Perfection in a bottle!”
Coverage: Medium to full
Best for: Oily, combination skin types
As is the case with some drugstore foundations, the shade range for this foundation is truly atrocious. And this is definitely NOT for anyone with dry skin, but if you are a grease face like me this foundation is no joke. It’s great for mixing because it’s almost too matte on its own but gives great coverage and keeps shine at bay almost all day long!
3) CoverGirl Clean Matte BB Cream
Product description: “CoverGirl Clean Matte BB Cream provides the perfect amount of coverage to even skin tone, hide blemishes and keep you shine free all day!”
Coverage: Light to medium, buildable
Best for: Normal, combination, oily skin types
This is a drugstore gem that more people should talk about. The coverage is more along the lines of a foundation than a BB cream and it really, truly does have some mattifying powers. The shade range is horrible, but if you find a shade that somewhat matches you it’s amazing for a natural, medium coverage face that stays matte for at least 6 hours! I imagine if you powdered this BB cream it would last even longer without shine, but I am probably the only oily person on earth who doesn’t powder their face unless I have to. I just don’t love the way powder makes my face feel or look, okay?!
2) L’Oreal Infallible Pro Glow 24 Hour Foundation
Product description: “Discover the new pro finish of longwear: up to 24 hour wear with a hydrating glow. Lightweight and creamy, this long lasting foundation goes on smooth with a glow finish that lasts.”
Coverage: Medium, buildable
Best for: Normal to dry skin types
This one is the odd man out, I know. I have crazy oily skin but somehow I’m ranking a dewy foundation for dry skin at number TWO? I don’t know what it is about this foundation but I absolutely LOVE it. The coverage is beautiful, it doesn’t break me out, and it doesn’t look greasy. It looks radiant but not shiny, if that’s even possible! When I wear this one, I do make sure to use a mattifying primer and my CoverFX matte setting spray (holy grail status) but I never feel like it doesn’t work for my skin. I wore this on vacation in very humid Florida and I loved that it covered blemishes but let my skin breathe and look natural. And it lasts a good 6-8 hours on my skin, if properly prepped! I recommend this to everyone, regardless of skin type. It may take a bit of finagling to make it work for oily skin types but it is so worth it! This is one that I mix with more matte foundations and it has yet to fail me on its own or mixed.
1) Sonia Kashuk Soft Focus Satin Matte Foundation
Product description: “Sonia Kashuk Soft Focus Satin Matte Foundation delivers flawless-looking skin with a matte-but-not flat finish. This foundation makeup is infused with blue lotus, daisy flower and mallow extracts to nourish, protect and brighten dull skin.
• Anti-aging formula
• Shine free and silky smooth
• Creamy yet lightweight.”
Coverage: Medium to full
Best for: Oily, combination skin types
If I had to pick a current favorite, right this minute, it would be this one. It’s enough coverage that I don’t have to do much spot concealing but doesn’t feel mask-y and thick. It is heavily scented though, so if you are sensitive to fragrances in skincare and makeup, I might avoid this one. It smells sort of like soap mixed with…clean towels? I weirdly enjoy the smell and even if I didn’t, it doesn’t linger whatsoever! I would say this one has a demi-matte finish and although it doesn’t keep my oils at bay throughout an entire work day, I love the way it makes my skin look! I rank it slightly above L’Oreal Pro Glow because this one is more suitable for oily skin and takes less effort to make it work, although I love them both.
Some of my favorite foundation tips:
- If you struggle with dry skin and want a more radiant, dewy glow, try mixing a drop of beauty oil in with your foundation. Argan, grapeseed, and jojoba oil are amazing for this! You can also mix oil into a cream contour or cream foundation palette to make it softer and more workable.
- Try using brushes, sponges and fingers to figure out what works best to get your desired finish. Sponges can be used wet or dry and are one of my favorite ways to apply face products. Flat top kabuki brushes and buffing brushes are better for getting more coverage.
- Silicone primers are not for those with sensitive skin (like me) but if you have texture, pores or scars you want filled in, silicone is the way to go. Silicone based primers give a flawless canvas for foundation and makes your skin look more airbrushed. If you want your foundation to last all day, use a primer with a tacky finish (especially one with glycerin as a main ingredient) so that foundation grabs on and sticks down all day.
- Don’t be afraid to mix and match primers and foundations for different areas of your face! I have been known to use a mattifying primer on my T-zone and a more moisturizing primer everywhere else. Use a glowy foundation on your cheeks but a matte foundation on your problem areas, such as the nose. Fill in the pores on your cheeks with a silicone primer but add a radiant primer everywhere else. There are no rules and no shame in being extra.
- Fixing sprays are for keeping makeup in place all day, aka hairspray for your face. These are sprayed onto the face after makeup is applied to lock everything into place. Setting sprays are for adjusting the look of your makeup. Some melt the makeup onto the skin so it looks more natural and make everything look less powdery, while some mattify the skin and add a layer of shine blockers.
- “Baking” is a makeup method employed mainly by drag queens that keeps makeup LOCKED IN like nothing else. I use this method to keep the sides of my nose shine free for special occasions because that area is forever on my nerves, but baking is not something I care to make time for every single day. Baking is essentially layering a loose powder onto an area of your skin, aka your undereyes, your T-zone, or your nose, to keep the makeup locked in all day long and to make sure nothing moves. LOAD up the powder in these areas, leave it there for anywhere from 1 to 10 to even 20 minutes while your skin “bakes”, and then brush excess powder away while simultaneously blending the powder into the skin. This helps keep makeup in place and also brightens or cleans up any makeup mistakes, like bringing contour too low or using too much blush. It’s not for everyone and it sort of feels terribly drying while you’re doing it, but if you want your face to last all day it’s a surefire way to do that.
With love and lashes,