Foundation is a key product in my make up routine and one I'm quite fussy about. I've tried countless foundations (I'm still working on the Foundation 101 tab for this blog) and it's been difficult to find formulations I like in a shade that matches me. These are the six foundations I currently own so I thought I'd run through them and tell you what I think.
I have a slight yellow undertone to my skin and it tends to darken very easily in the summer months. My skin is usually combination; I get quite oily in my T-zone and normal/dry elsewhere so I prefer a foundation with a satin or slightly dewy finish. I get the odd blemish on my chin and quite dark under eye circles but I prefer to conceal those with a separate concealer so I like foundations which offer light to medium coverage.
First up is the most expensive foundation in my collection. I purchased Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua in B40 last summer and wore it almost exclusively during August and September until it became too dark for me. It has a light texture which can be built up in layers depending on how much coverage I need. I like using my fingers to apply this one but I'll be trying out with my Real Techniques Buffing brush once my skin is dark enough to wear this shade again! The finish of this one is on the dewy side but I find I can easily combat an oily T-zone with a little powder. I had been contemplating picking this up in B30 but as you see, I already have some other great foundations which match me when my skin is lighter. I have really missed using this, though!
Next up is the newest addition to my foundation family and also a shade which will suit me best during the summer months. Illamasqua Skin Base in Shade 11 is a teeny bit pinker than my Vitalumiere Aqua in B40 but I don't find that it looks overly pink on my skin. This foundation has a much thicker texture and is more of a medium coverage foundation. I've only used this one two or three times so far as my skin isn't quite dark enough to wear it yet but when I did apply it I used my Illamasqua Highlighter brush. I think I will also enjoy using this with my fingers when I want less coverage. The finish of Skin Base is less dewy than Vitalumiere Aqua but not at all cakey or heavy looking if applied correctly.
I wasn't sure whether or not I should include my MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Medium Plus in this post because I tend to use this more as a setting powder than a foundation. However, I have used this as a foundation over a bit of Origins Vita Zing moisturiser in the past. The coverage is surprisingly good when I apply it with my E.L.F. Powder brush but I have two issues with this product. First is the powdery finish I sometimes get when using it but I find that a spritz of Fix+ helps eradicate that. Secondly I find that I this powder doesn't control the oil in my T-zone particularly well so I have to be careful which moisturiser I use underneath it.
I bought this tube of MAC Studio Moisture Tint in Medium Dark at Christmas time because Medium Plus was much too pink for me (unlike the MSF Natural which is about right when I'm paler). It smells like paint or something but other than that, it's a really nice tinted moisturiser. It's much less dewy than any other tinted moisturisers I've tried (perhaps aside from the NARS offering) which I really appreciate. The coverage is decent for this sort of product and the staying power on my skin is great. I wouldn't say this product is particularly moisturising so it's not for anyone with very dry skin. I've been reaching for this quite a bit recently but it is still a touch too dark for me. I apply it either with my fingers or the Real Techniques Buffing brush.
I started using this foundation when my Vitalumiere Aqua became too dark for me and now I've only got a little left but I'm so scared to use it all up! This is the Make Up For Ever HD foundation in the shade #125 and it's my go to foundation for a night out. I like it because it doesn't feel or look cakey yet the coverage is pretty decent and it wears well on my skin. I usually apply two thin layers with my Real Techniques Stippling or Buffing brush. I just wish Make Up For Ever was more easily accessible in the UK.
L - R: Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua in B40, Illamasqua Skin Base in Shade 11, MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Medium Plus, MAC Studio Moisture Tint in Medium Dark, Make Up For Ever HD in #125, NARS Sheer Glow in Santa Fe
Apologies for the messy swatches - blame the MAC products. I should probably point out that the inside of my arm is much, much paler than the skin on the rest of my body/face, just in case you all thought that I've been walking around with an orange face!
You may have noticed that I don't have any high street or drugstore foundations in this post and that's because there's only been one drugstore foundation I've tried and liked that doesn't break me out. Unfortunately for me that foundation was Neutrogena's Healthy Skin which isn't even available in this country.
Anyway, I hope that was useful to some of you and please let me know which foundations you like in the comments!