Finding the perfect foundation is a lot like shopping for jeans. It can be soo frustrating to find the right fit! There are so many choices to ponder. Skinny or straight leg? Mid rise or low rise? Light or dark wash?
For foundation, you are faced with similar dilemmas. Full or sheer coverage? Matte or dewy finish? Liquid or powder? It can be overwhelming for even the most savvy makeup junky.
For this reason, I thought it fitting to start my “Beg, Borrow or Bomb” series discussing foundation.
Before we begin, here is the key to B,B or B:
Beg: MUST HAVE! Pause reading this post (but please do come back!) and open a new window to order it! A life altering product (we will refer to L.A.P.)!
Borrow: Potential to be a L.A.P, but I’m not QUITE ready to commit without further acquaintance. I would say try a sample and see what you think.
Bomb: We will just leave it at “no thank you”.
Note: I HIGHLY recommend, even for my L.A.P’s, that you try any foundation by way of sample before purchasing. Like jeans, what is a perfect fit for one, may not be for the other. When you order from Sephora you always get to select 3 Free Samples and usually there is a foundation or 2 to choose from. In store they are also more than happy to make a sample for you of any formula you want to try.
Hourglass Cosmetics Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation
This product is an Allure Best of Beauty winner, and I see why! LOVE! I would describe my skin as combination (oily t-zone), and this formula completely controlled my oil all day. The high-tech ingredient that performs this magic is cashmere kaolinite clay, which absorbs 75% its weight sebum (oil). My mom always told me I had “champagne taste on a beer budget.” At $55, this certainly is the champagne of foundation. However, it also is a case of you get what you pay for. I also needed much less (about a nickel size) to cover my entire face.
As I buffed this foundation in to my skin with my brush (my favorite for liquid and cream formulas is either MAC’s #130 Short Duo Fibre Brush or Sigma’s 3DHD Kabuki, both beg-worthy!), it was almost like I was taking a photoshop brush to my skin imperfections. It covered my hyper pigmentation, broken capillaries and red areas. Even with the full coverage, it never looked cakey or “foundation-like.” It wore beautifully, even after a 10 hour work day, there was no blotchiness or faded patches. It blended flawlessly in to the more dry areas of my skin as well as the oil slick sites.
The first day I wore this someone commented that I had beautiful skin. I don’t think I’ve heard that phrase since high school! And that, my friends, was a wrap.
Benefit Cosmetics “Hello Flawless” Oxygen Wow Liquid Foundation
In keeping with the jeans analogy, this is is a foundation that I certainly wouldn’t run out of the dressing room crying after trying on. I could potentially get on board with this one, and had I not discovered the Hourglass foundation, it would probably be beg-worthy. Finishing it with Benefit’s The POREfessional Agent Zero Shine powder polished the finish for me. I had to use more concealer than I did with the Hourglass formula to cover my problem areas.
I am a fan of a “foundation wardrobe,” and change my formulas with the seasons to adjust to my skin’s dry:oily ratio. I think when we get in to the thick of the dry, Winter months that I will give it another go. Since my skin hasn’t entered the winter zone yet, for me, it was a little too shiny. At this time of year, I am still contributing too much of my own personal “dew” in my t-zone.
The price point also elicits a little less sticker shock than the Hourglass formula at $36 vs. Hourglass’s $55, both for 1 oz.
bareMinerals bareSkin Pure Brightening Serum Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 20
I soooo wanted to love this formula! A hybrid of foundation and skin treatment benefits?! It’s too! good to be true! And yes, it was too good to be true. It is also an Allure Best of Beauty winner, but for me a definite bomb. If these were jeans, I would definitely run out of the dressing room, with a little self-loathing as a souvenir of the experience.
I was optimistic at initial application. It blended well, had a natural finish and the color blended beautifully (although it looked VERY yellow before applying).
The first issue with this one is that it didn’t give me enough coverage, although bareMinerals describes the coverage as “adjustable.” It was sheer. Throughout the day, it progressively separated on my skin, and virtually disappeared on my t-zone, while settling in to my pores on the other areas of my face. This left me increasingly splotchy and greasy looking. Major bummer. Maybe for someone with normal, naturally flawless skin, no discoloration or splotchiness this formula would deliver the results that it boasts. I, unfortunately, am not one of those people.
Foundation is usually one of the more expensive products that you will invest in for your makeup arsenal. To protect this investment, definitely invest in a good foundation brush as well. It will double the length of time your foundation lasts and give you a MUCH better application/finish/wearability. It’s the difference between painting a wall with your fingers vs. using a paint roller. Believe me now or believe me later, but please believe me on this one.
What are your beg, borrow or bust foundation formulas? I could talk makeup all. day. long!
Thank you for reading!
These comparisons of foundation were very helpful. What would you recommend for people who don’t normally like foundation but need some coverage?
Lydia Nordhoff says
Hi Heather, I’m glad it was helpful to you! If you’re looking for some more coverage without foundation, there are a couple of options I recommend you try to see what works best for you: First, you could spot conceal the areas that you want more coverage and then apply a powder like MAC’s Mineralize Skinfinish Natural (my favorite).
If you would like a more hydrating option try a BB cream. They are packed with skin craving ingredients and give a beautiful, natural finish with buildable coverage. I really like Garnier’s. Check back in and let me know what you find!