Is it just me or is it impossible for any woman to find that one amazing foundation? My number one problem is the fact that most drug store brands don’t carry a color light enough for my skin. I’m quite fair, so it’s always annoying when the fairest shade in the color spectrum is ‘Classic Ivory’ which is always a shade too dark for me. My next big issue with foundation is the formula. I must have a foundation that glides on smoothly, with minimal tugging of the skin. My other requirements include SPF, absolutely no chemical smell, and no sticky residue after it dries. It’s a lot to ask for, I know, especially since it’s so hard to find my color in the first place. For the last two or three months it’s been my quest to find a foundation that works for me in every way, and that doesn’t cost as much as my rent.
Recently, I discovered a formula I like from L’Oréal.
But before I praise its glories, I’ll tell you about a couple of duds, first!
DUD #1: Flower Beauty About Face Foundation ($13 at WalMart)
I had high hopes for this foundation from Drew Barrymore’s new makeup line. I bought the lightest shade available in LF1 and it looked so white in the bottle that I almost went for LF2. The LF1 shade matched my skin tone perfectly, which is the only thing I liked about it, unfortunately. The formula is thick, something I didn’t think was going to be problem, but it pulled my skin too much as I blended. The coverage is sheer and it’s not easy to build the liquid for a thicker coverage. The typical redness in my cheeks was never neutralized and any blemishes I had stood out like a beacon, regardless of how many times I dabbed more of the foundation on them. Then comes the issues with the pump. I was drawn to the line’s pretty, eye-catching packaging, but it turns out that if you put the lid back on the pump, it all gets jammed and the only way to get foundation out is to unscrew the whole bottle. This annoyed me. And it’s happened with every bottle I’ve bought.
DUD #2: L’Oréal True Match Lumi ($11 at WalMart)
I decided to try the luminous line from L’Oréal and bought the porcelain/light ivory. I should’ve known better, with “light ivory” tacked onto the color description. Way too dark. But,this formula was easy to apply and didn’t pull my skin during blending. I liked that it was still thick enough to build coverage, and was able to cover redder parts of my face pretty well. I also liked that it had SPF 20, but it did smell like sunscreen (sigh). Overall, I just wish the color matched better! If you can find your shade in this line, I would recommend it for it’s decent coverage, but avoid if you don’t like smelly foundation.
WINNER: L’Oréal True Match ($7 on sale, originally $11 at Walgreens)
Walgreens was having a sale, so I jumped on the opportunity to try a new foundation for only $7! This is the best foundation I have found for me. It fulfills all of my requirements: it matches my skin tone, blends smoothly, has SPF 17 with no sunscreeny smell, and it dries completely with a matte finish that I like. To build coverage, I let it dry between layers of application, and the fact that it dries fast makes this process go a lot faster! I like this foundation a lot.
And now, my top tips for applying foundation.
1. Always, always, always moisturize and exfoliate first. Protect your skin with SPF and if you notice any dry, scaly patches, squirt a little moisturizer onto a terrycloth wash rag and scrub it away. Dry skin makes foundation look flaky and, well, obvious. I usually have dry skin on my chin, and my sis says she has to Biore strip her nose three times a day just to make it smooth enough for BB cream! (I think she exaggerates here and there).
2. After dabbing foundation all over your mug, use a sponge to blend. Some people use their fingers, and I even read in a magazine recently that you shouldn’t use a sponge because it takes more product off than it leaves on. I, however, disagree and work to avoid putting bacteria on my face as much as possible. So, sponge it is. I would also recommend investing in a washable sponge like the one I’m using in the photos. It’s a little bit of an investment at $6, but a bag of 32 disposable wedges costs almost $4! I think it’s better on the pocket book and easier on Mother Nature, too.
3. Whether you use a sponge or your fingers, always use a blotting motion to blend, rather than a rubbing motion. Rubbing pulls on the proteins in your skin that helps keep it taut. In addition, if you have some peach fuzz, rubbing against the direction of hair growth will accentuate it. And I don’t know about you, but I prefer to not accentuate my lady beard. Okay, so I don’t have a lady beard quite yet, but there is upper lip fuzz and my ancestry indicates I’ll be rocking the whiskers soon.
Do you have any foundation recommendations? I’d like to know your best drug store finds as well as department store finds!
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