I'm sure there's many women out there, like me, who get frustrated looking for the perfect foundation.
There's so many things to consider eg. shade, complexion, undertones and the amount of foundation coverage. Not to mention these days professional habits such as contouring and baking. Honestly, what the hell is baking! For someone like me who doesn't have a clue it can all be a bit overwhelming!
When it comes to make up, I am a real newbie because I've never really been into it or worn it on a daily basis. The few times I can remember having a full face of make-up done, were for special events and weddings - including my own!
Other than that I've used a simple bb cream from bobbi brown to slap on and keep it moving for years.
So why the foundation experiment now?
Well there's two reasons:
#1. As well as starting the blog, I'm also on youtube, and it makes sense to present the best version of myself when I'm on camera
#2. The bb cream I had been using for years finally ran out
So, Instead of staying in my comfort zone and going back out to get the same product, I thought I'd push the boat out a little and try something different. Not only that, but I would like to learn how to do my own make-up and do it properly. I hope that one day the blog and channel takes off, and it will be nice to be able to make myself pretty when attending events or meet-ups, rather than relying on other people to help me.
Another thing I find very frustrating when looking for foundation, is that when you go into a department store for instance, majority of the sales assistants working on the stands have no idea what they're doing themselves. I cannot tell you the countless times I've gone to get a colour match done, and the assistant has pasted my face with a foundation or bb cream which is at least two shades lighter than my actual skin tone. I know you have sales to make but why at the expense of me looking like I've been bleaching or forcing a complexion that doesn't belong to me?
This is the reason why I didn't commit to buying anything straight away - even if it did look 'nice' in the shop. I do believe there are one or two I'm going to review that looked completely off tone when I got into the natural light.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy this review and the few tips I can provide that will help you to find your perfect foundation.
#1. When applying make-up, it's best to do so in as much natural light as possible. When you go and get a colour match in store, there tends to be really bright light or low ambience light depending on what shop you're in, so in reality you'll have a distorted picture of what the foundation actually looks like. Allow the sales representative to do at least half your face, and then go outside into the natural light to see if it is a correct colour match before you commit to buying anything
#2. Wherever you can, get samples of a product so you can try it for a few days at home before you buy it. Foundation isn't the cheapest thing to purchase and it would be a shame to part ways with your money for a product that doesn't work for you or your lifestyle. Besides just making sure you have the right colour, you want to make sure it's the right coverage for you as well as being fit for purpose.
If you're someone who's looking for a foundation they can wear all day then you may need something with medium to full coverage as well as the ability to stay. No matter what your need or preference is, take the sample, try it for a couple of days and make sure it works for you before you commit to it.
#1. ESTĒE LAUDER DOUBLE WEAR FOUNDATION SPF10 - £31
This foundation right here was so difficult to get my hands on because the sales rep in my local store was literally never there when I went in.
I can't actually remember where I had heard of it but when I mentioned that I was preparing this blog, two people did re-recommend it to me so I knew I had to do it.
I didn't get a full face done with this foundation in the store but instead I was colour matched with the shade 'truffle' and given a nice little sample which I tried once I got home.
Now the full name of this foundation is 'Double Wear Stay-in-Place Make-Up' and is said to provide medium to full coverage and last for 15 hours.
When I applied it, I noticed that it was light but you only needed a tiny bit to go a long way which is good. As I've already said before, I'm used to using a bb cream rather than foundation so my preference would be light to medium coverage, but after applying it, I actually liked it. I think it matched my skin tone well and didn't feel too heavy on the face.
I wore it for roughly 8 hours and it lasted really well. One thing I've noticed with my bb cream, is that because it's so light, usually just touching my face will get some colour transfer on my hands. Same when I kiss or accidentally brush heads with my baby, the colour transfers onto him - and it's noticeable as he's so much lighter than me - but with this it didn't which is brilliant.
I always get a bit self conscious when my make up rubs off in areas as I wonder if its noticeable to other people, but this foundation seems to tick all the boxes.
As I said earlier, it's called double wear so provides a medium to full or heavy coverage but if you're like me and you prefer more natural looking foundation, I would use it very sparingly and if I'm going to an all day event or something similar where I'd need more, I would build it up.
The foundation also leaves a matte finish which I also love.
#2. MAC PREP AND PRIME BEAUTY BALM SPF 35 - £22.50
For this particular bb cream, the sales rep did my full face for me to see how it would look. She colour matched me to their ' dark deep' but as per usual, it looked ok in the mirror but in actual fact it was the wrong colour for my skin tone. I think it had a more of a red undertone whilst my undertone is slightly yellow.
I still don't understand how this undertone thing works, I reckon I'm on the darker side of skin tone so I don't see how yellow can come into it!
Anyway, generally the bb cream felt nice on my face. It was very light but I really didn't appreciate the smell. It smells like play-doh and squeezing that out to apply to yourself smelling like that wouldn't make you feel very glamourous at all.
Once set, the colour didn't look completely horrible, I could probably get away with it but it just wasn't a perfect match for me and that's what we're looking for.
#3. CLINIQUE SUPER BALANCED SILK COLOUR 19 - £23
For me personally, I feel this was probably the worst of the samples when it came to colour matching. It wasn't in itself a bad foundation but the colour just wasn't right for my skin tone.
The sales rep said this was the darkest shade in this particular range so again, I'd have to go heavier if I want something darker.
The reason she suggested the super balanced silk is because I had asked her for a bb cream or foundation with a very light coverage. I'll probably go back at some point to get their heavier coverage foundation to see how that g0oes but if you're of a darker skin tone this wouldn't work for you.
#4. URBAN DECAY NAKED SKIN WEIGHTLESS ULTRA DEFINITION LIQUID - £28.50
Now, this was one of my favourite samples and call it coincidence but the sales rep that helped me was so helpful and lovely we've actually made friends.
When I told her what I was looking for she recommended the naked skin foundation because it does what it says on the tin really.
The darkest shades they had were 11 and 12 so she put the 11 shade on one side and the 12 on the other to see which one I preferred. Now naturally, I always gravitate towards the darkest shade but she took me over to the window to look at it in the natural light. It turned out the 11 looked better matched for me as the 12 seemed to have a red undertone.
The foundation itself is quite light in texture and smells ok.
I tried it on today all over my face and it looked ok still, but I do need to wear it out in the day to see how it looks, wears and lasts.
Lastly, when applied it has a matte finish which is what I would prefer from a make-up as I'm not really keen on looking 'dewy'.
#5. THE BODY SHOP FRESH NUDE FOUNDATION - £15
So basically, I saved the best foundation till last.
If I'm honest I was a little sceptic about getting a sample from the body shop, but you guys know how much I love and swear by their skincare range so I thought I would give it a try.
The sales reps in the store didn't seem to have a clue as they offered me a bb cream that would better suit someone of maybe mixed race or even tanned skinned with their reasoning being 'I need to see what it looks like on,'
This is a perfect example of people just doing their job and trying to make a sale. Anyway, I ignored them because clearly the bb cream wasn't suited for darker skin tones but I noticed they had darker shades in their foundation.
Immediately, I went for the darkest shade which was tuscany chestnut and it looked amazing on. That said the lighting in the body shop store is quite dark so I knew I would need a sample to try again at home. They also gave me a sample of their darkest shade of cc cream or instaglow which I could use as a concealer to brighten up under my eyes.
Since coming home and trying it I've fallen in love. I love the consistency, the colour and best of all the price!
I'm truly won over and I would recommend you go and try it for yourself. I don't think you'll be disappointed but rather surprised.
The only thing I would say is that it leaves a dewy appearance once applied so you might want to brush a powder over it to mattify it, but for that price you could buy their foundation and powder for the same amount as the Estee Lauder Foundation. Not to mention that all of their make-up is usually 3 for 2. What are you waiting for?
I hope you have found this post a little useful to finding your own perfect foundation. I've recorded a youtube video showing how each of these foundations actually looked on in real-time so be sure to subscribe to the channel and check it out in the next coming week.
If you've already found a foundation you love and swear by, how did you find it and what attributes make it a winning foundation for you?