I’ve tried several foundations over the years in my search for “the perfect” foundation, and I wanted to share my thoughts on a few. I hope if you have been on the fence wanting to try one of these, that this will help you make a decision one way or the other!
Just so you know, my skin is pale, oily, prone to breakouts, and easily burns. Also, I try to keep my foundations as clean and natural as I possibly can. Someday, I dream of every beauty product I use being natural, but until I can afford that I try to make sure that my face and lip products are clean, because they come in the most contact with my skin/mouth, and because they are the least likely to make my breakouts worse.
So, here we go! I’ll list the products in the order I’ve tried them.
#1: Sheer Cover ($29.95)
I tried this in high school. I was itching to try Bare Minerals at the time, but couldn’t swing the $60 to get the starter kit, and Sheer Cover was a good alternative at half the price. They’ve changed around the kits a bit, but the basics are the same. The $29.95 starter kit comes with foundation, concealer, bronzer, mascara, and lash extending fibers (? they didn’t have those when I tried it. Not even sure what that is.), as well as a bonus of a foundation brush, concealer brush, and bronzer brush. It says it’s a 30-day kit, but I’m sure I stretched it much further than that, and the brushes are a nice bonus to keep. Instead of having a dozen shades you have to choose from from a dime size swatch on a website, they just have Light, Medium, Tan, and Deep. I had no doubts that I was (and always will be) Light, so I got that one. Overall impression — it was fine. Not a life-changer. I don’t remember the foundation being a great match, and I remember the concealer being very yellow (although, to be fair, concealer needs to be a little yellow) and somewhat cake-y. That being said, that was a few years ago, and it looks like they’ve beefed up their products. I would be interested in trying them again now just to try the new formulas. There’s a 60-day money back guarantee, so you can’t beat that! I still use the concealer brush, and it’s a great little brush. Nutshell: If you’ve been wanting to try mineral makeup, but Bare Minerals is too steep for you, give this one a try.
#2: Bare Minerals. ($29.99 or $59.98)
I eventually did try Bare Minerals. I think there was some promotion + coupon I figured out that made it doable. Again, they’ve changed around their starter kits a little. They actually now offer one that rivals Sheer Cover’s price. The one I tried included two foundations, one powder, one bronzer, two fluffy brushes, a concealer brush, and a sample size primer. I think it may have had a mascara as well. That much, plus a new fun powder compact (because let’s be real, carting around all of that loose powder and brushes in your purse is not gonna happen), is now the $59.98 kit. The foundation lasted me a while, and the bronzer, called Warmth, lasts FOREVER. Seriously. You only have to use a tiny, tiny, microscopic bit, so it never goes away. Overal impression — it was good! It felt very clean and fresh, and I knew it wasn’t hurting my skin. Still, I didn’t feel like my colors were spot on. They give you two shades so you can mix them to match you, but one was a little orange/dark, and the other was a tad yellow. And mixing the two every day was a little tiresome. I would have stuck with it though, except the one thing I felt it was lacking that was a deal-breaker for me was blemish coverage. But, I love the brushes, and still use them every day. Nutshell: If you’re looking for natural makeup, and only have redness or some slight blemishes, this might be perfect for you.
#3: Origins Stay Tuned ($24.00)
I honestly don’t remember what all I tried my first couple years of college, but around my junior year a friend with similar skin tone to mine suggested Origins. I had never heard of the brand, but they are another company who guarantees natural makeup, which is a must for me. I had been wanting a good, natural, liquid makeup to get better coverage, so I tried this one. It’s a really good product that I’ve bought multiple times. It is pricier than you would pay for a drugstore product, but it lasts a LONG time, at least in the amounts I use, and they will occasionally run promotions. Overall impression — It covers pretty well, blends well, and feels good on, but my one frustration was that with my oily skin and living in humid Tampa, I always felt like by the end of the day the makeup had slid off my face. The goal of the product is to balance combination dry & oily skin, but my skin is not dry ANYWHERE on my face, it’s just oily. So, I tried the next foundation I will talk about. Nutshell: Good, natural liquid foundation, but if your skin is particularly oily, you may need a different formula, or a heavier powder finish.
#4: Origins Brighter by Nature ($30.00)
I tried this because I liked the idea of a powder foundation specifically made to combat oil. Pros: I love that the powder holder lifts up to have a place for the sponge underneath, keeping the sponge full of oil and skin cells from sitting in your makeup all day. I liked the texture for the most part, and it did reasonably well controlling oil. Cons: I don’t feel like the product lasts very long, and I didn’t like the amount of coverage. I needed the coverage of Stay Tuned, with the matte finish and oil control of Brighter by Nature. So, for a while I alternated between the two. Nutshell: If your main needs are oil control and some discoloration or uneven skin tone, this is your product. If you have dry skin or much acne, this probably isn’t it.
#5: Arbonne Perfecting Liquid Foundation ($42.00)
Introducing my new favorite product! I was introduced to this product watching Kate @ The Small Things Blog‘s video of her going through her daily makeup routine. She doesn’t have the skin problems I do, but just watching her normal skin discolorations disappear when she put this product convinced me it was magical. I was running out of my Stay Tuned bottle, and really want to try something new, but this foundation is FORTY-TWO DOLLARS?! That’s a water bill, people. I couldn’t handle that. But, through some deals I’d found, I had about $15 in Amazon gift cards I could use towards it. Because all sellers on Amazon are third-party sellers (as far as I know), the prices for different shades were all over the map. The fair and porcelain shades were only $17 (?!) but as hard as I tried to convince myself they would work, I knew I would hate myself if I didn’t get the correct shade (my shade is Soft Blush, the same as Kate’s, strangely enough). So, between gift cards and the Amazon price, I got it for about what I would have paid for my Origins makeup, which I could stomach. Conclusion: I really, really like it. It’s not quite as magical as the video made it look, but it’s the first liquid foundation that I feel like stays on my face all day, even in Tampa. It blends beautifully, and has really good coverage. I still use concealer on blemishes and under my eyes, but other than that I’m very pleased! I can’t speak as to how long it will last since I’m on my first bottle, but I’m being conservative. Nutshell: If you can afford it, or are one of the lucky people who’s shade is super cheap on Amazon, go for it! I love it.
So there you have it! I hope you’ll try some of these products out if you’re looking for something new, and I hope my comments are helpful. Have a wonderful Monday!