Thursday, 14 May 2009

Foundation: The good, the bad and the ugly.

Ah, foundation. The bugbear of my life. I would love to be a fresh faced glowing 20 year old like so many of my peers here at university, unfortunately the only thing that glows on my face is my rosacea and that ain't a pretty sight. So in order to make me look half normal I have spent a small fortune on that beige fluid we love to call foundation.

Now finding a decent foundation for me skin isn't easy; I am pale. Real pale. I have sensitive skin that will happily break out in a rash if it doesn't like something and of course my rosacea, which basically means I get terrible flushing and uneven skin tone and blemishes. Luckily I have managed to find a few products that can combat even these most awful of skin afflictions, and of course I have come across some that fail at the first hurdle.

So, I bring you an exciting showcase of the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to my collection of foundations...

Right, now I figure the best place to start is from the top, so in descending order we have....

1. Revlon stay matte - mattifying foundation

I got this in the lightest shade (001 ivory) and yet, like so many drugstore brands, it is far too dark for me. Now I understand that these brands have to cater for the masses with their products to have any hope of making money, but I'm pretty sure if 1 or 2 companies made a foundation for pale skin they would fly off the shelves. Any other pale skinned beauties know of any brands that cater for our needs?


2.Benefit you rebel lite - tinted moisturizer.

This is the light colored version of you rebel, although (as you can see from the pic) it's pretty orange. Now this stuff costs around £19 (I was given this by a friend) so it's pretty expensive. However it's also pretty nice on the skin, very soothing and obviously moisturizing; however I found this stuff a little too heavy, plus check out the colour - it's way to orange for me! However if you want a foundation for summer holidays then I'd suggest this stuff as it's a light coverage with SPF 15 protection.


3. Revlon Colourstay with softflex - combination to oily skin.

I want to love this stuff so much. I have shade 110 ivory and it is such a lovely colour for my skin tone, however for some reason I just can't get it to work on my skin. It doesn't seem to sit well; sinking into every pore not matter what brush or what primer I use or how much I blend. It costs around £10-11 which is reasonable, however it doesn't have a pump so getting the stuff out is a pain. A lot of reviews I see for this product rave about it, and I really wish I could say the same. It is my back-up for my bobbi brown and I hope one day my skin will be kind enough to let me replace it.


4. Bobbi Brown - skin foundation SPF 15

This is my HG. I have been wearing this stuff for a few weeks and all I can say is wow. Now this stuff isn't cheap, it comes in at a hefty £25 (eeek!) but for me it is worth is. Now if you haven't already noticed I have pretty pale skin and this stuff matches my skin tone perfectly - I think it looks a little pink in the picture but in reality it's a little lighter. It's wonderfully light so doesn't sit in my pores and blends effortlessly. I use the body shop foundation brush with it for flawless results, and teamed with MAC prep+prime SPF 50 it will last me thoughout the day.

*****/5. (yep, 5/5 even with the stupid price tag!!)

5. Maybelline dream satin liquid.

Again I buy the lightest shade and it is very so slightly too dark, but still wearable. This stuff had a massive marketing campaign when it came out and when I saw it on offer for £5 in boots I couldn't resist. This stuff claims to have an 'air brushed finish', pfft yeah right. In all fairness however it sits nicely on the skin and doesn't clog up pores or lines. It's very light and the coverage ain't half bad either. On the downside I found it didn't have great staying power, so touch ups during the day are essential. But all in all, not too shabby for a drugstore brand.


6. MAC studio sculpt SPF 15 - NW15

My boyfriend brought me this, which I'm glad of because I don't think I would want to splash out on it. This stuff is heavy, it'll last you all day. Unfortunately that means it feels heavy on the skin, and in my case it clearly was far too heavy as it caused breakouts. Not a great start really, add to that NW15 is far too pinky for my skin tone (I have a lot of red in my skin, so need a foundation that that combat that - pinky undertones just make me look like a pale tomato) means this stuff isn't right for me, it's also at the upper end of the budget at around £22.


So that's that. A tried and tested review of foundations, do you use any of these products and if so what did you think of them?

Big love


Kirsty_I said...


I was going to suggest Studio Sculpt but after scrolling down noticed you had already mentioned this. I think its odd you find it heavy, as I dont find this a prob at all and is imo the lightest of all mac foundations. Maybe its because I have really dry skin. I think in your case if you went for NC15, rather than NW15 it would help alot.

Have you tried the range that Nicola from girls aloud brought out. Its called "dainty doll" (Available from asos and other places). Its specifically made for fair skin and the lightest shade looks near on white. I havent tried it, but maybe try googling for some reviews.

My HG foundation was a £3 collection 2000 one funnily enough. It was perfect for my very fair skin tone. However they have discountinued it :( So im searching once again. Atm im using studio sculpt NC15.

Thanks for the blog, was going to buy Revlon Colorstay, but i think i might give it a miss :D

Rebecca said...

Have you tried colour correctors at all?

I have a lot of red in my face and using green products really helps it.

I love Everyday Minerals Mint Concealer. You only need a little bit buffed in to neutralise the redness. I have also used Boots 17 green correctors both the stick and cream, the cream is superior.

Also in general, you can get mineral foundations much lighter than liquids. Maybe something to look into? Both Lily Lolo and Everyday Minerals do extremeley light foundations :)

Hope this helps!

Cat said...

Hi Kirsty,

I'd really suggest you go try the revlon one, I have heard so many good reviews about it but for me I just can't get it to work, I think everyone's skin is a little different and some products will work on some but not on others.

And I didn't know about Nicola's collection, but cheers for that, I'm about to pop onto ASOS now :-)

Cat said...

Hi Rebecca, I use clinique redness solutions colour corrector, it's the best I have tried so far :-)

And yeah I need to try some more minerals, I tried bare escentuals but the colour wasn't right and the drugstore brands haven't blended well on my skin. I saw Oxford jasmines post and she also mentions everyday minerals so when I have the money I may try them out! xx

Doma-Nikki said...

I liked this post, i can completely relate to your situation! However im mixed race lol but i still found it hard to find my perfect liquid foundation and have decided to settle with MAC studio fix fluid!! I've tried others such as Revlon and Dior but its gotta be MAC for me. Im glad you found your match though :)

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MissDollyGal said...

I loooove Colourstay. I use the exact same one- shade and all, it's perfect. Have you tried it in the normal/dry range? Maybe that's the problem.