I don’t think I’ve mentioned this before, but I tend to use different foundations for different seasons. For cooler months, I like a more matte finish and can generally tolerate a heavier makeup. Currently, I have four different foundations sitting in my collection that have a demi-matte or matte finish. Yes, four. That’s just the ones with a matte finish. One is a higher quality foundation (Tarte Amazonian Clay), and the other three are drugstore brands I particularly enjoy (e.l.f., Maybelline, & L’Oreal). This of course doesn’t include the two BB creams with sheer (Neutrogena) and light-to-medium (e.l.f.) coverage because these have more of a natural or dewy finish by themselves.
These will of course still be used but less so during the spring and summer, so with that in mind I’m setting out to find something more suitable as the weather heats up. I’m looking for a drugstore and a higher end pick with the following criteria in mind:
- Lightweight. I don’t want anything too heavy when it’s hot out.
- A natural finish. Matte, to me, looks weird when it’s sunny.
- Medium to full coverage. My skin is usually pretty clear, but I prefer my BB creams for a sheer to light coverage. If I’m working and/or experiencing a less-than-perfect skin day, I want good coverage.
- Staying power. I sometimes work all day shifts. I need something that’s going to last me.
- SPF. This is optional. I can always apply a separate sunscreen, but considering that the sun is coming at me from all directions down here in the South, I can use all the help I can get.
Before I get started, I’ll state that my Color IQ number for Sephora seems to go between 1Y02 and 1Y04. I tend to get a different number each time, but generally speaking I have fair skin with neutral undertones. Not all of these foundations are considered matches for my Color IQ, but they still work.
Since there were four contenders for my high end selection, I’ll do my drugstore selection in another post. Goodness knows, you guys probably don’t want to read a novel.
Teint Idole Ultra 24H Long Wear Foundation
My Shade: 140 Ivoire N
Price: $47 for 1 oz
You guys had to know I was going to return to an old favorite. This is my holy grail during cooler months when I don’t mind a heavier makeup. This stuff tends to last all day on me, and the finish is gorgeous– porcelain doll gorgeous. I’ve gotten so many compliments while wearing this stuff. It also contains a SPF 15 sunscreen. I’ve already mentioned that it sits a bit heavy on my skin, but I did wear it last July to the beach and even swam in it, and this stuff stayed put!
Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup
My Shade: 2.5
Price: $40 for 1 oz
A lot of others tend to list this as their holy grail foundation, and I can see why. I’ll admit that it’s been a while since I’ve tried it out, but I did take home a full size while popping into Sephora recently. I’ve gotta say… I really like this stuff. The formula is REALLY THIN, and I didn’t think it’d cover as well as it did, but it blew me away. The finish is very natural-looking, though there isn’t a sunscreen. (That’s okay. I can wear my sunscreen under it.) It wears like nothing at all on my face, it’s so lightweight, and it lasts all day. This might be more what I’m looking for, though it’s still a bit more matte than I like. However, after playing with it a bit I found that I can use a brightening primer and adjust the finish somewhat.
Rainforest of the Sea™ Water Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15
My Shade: Fair Neutral
Price: $39 for 1 oz
This is a fairly new product, and it’s my cheapest option, which definitely bumped it up a few notches on my brownie points scale. Like the Urban Decay, this has a really thin consistency that sits on the skin like nothing at all. It also covers a lot better than expected, though not as well as the Urban Decay, and it has a sunscreen! So far, I haven’t had any issues with it wearing off. It can, however, be a little drying. I have very oily skin at times, and “drying” isn’t something I’m normally going to take issue with, but this definitely left me with that feeling like I’d left a charcoal mask on too long and it had begun to crack. That’s not a pleasant feeling. I was misting my face constantly, and I’m not one to mist my face.
It’s also not often that I have an issue with packaging, but this is one of those exceptions. I absolutely hate the dropper dispenser this comes with. It’s messy, particularly when working with a full bottle of foundation. And I can just see myself already using a brush to dig out what the dropper misses once I get close to the bottom of the bottle. (On the other hand, this is why I really appreciate the tube that Tarte’s Amazonian Clay foundation comes in.) After a couple of weeks of playing with it at home, this ended up being dropped in the mail for a return.
Vibrancy Argan Oil Foundation Fluid
My Shade: Euphoric RG20
Price: $45 for 1 oz
This is some really cute packaging. Isn’t it cute? This was a sample with purchase I got when grabbing the Tarte foundation online. (I’ll confess right now that I prefer Sephora’s online shopping to the store. There are freebies with purchase, returns are simpler, and I don’t have to hassle with sometimes rude employees.) So thankfully I didn’t have to purchase this and discover it didn’t work for me or beg a salesperson to give it a try.
And that’s a good thing, because I hated this one, too.
It definitely feels more lightweight, but the coverage was forever streaky on me. I couldn’t find a good way to get it to work. I tried it with more moisturizer, with less moisturizer, with different primers, with no primer, with powder, without powder, with powder underneath, and applied it using all three methods (with fingers, a brush, or a sponge). Nothing seemed to get me that even coverage I wanted, so it was an easy no.
Other Contenders I Didn’t Try
I wanted to try out a couple more– one from NARS and one from Shiseido, but I ran into two hiccups. One was my encounter with a rude employee at Sephora. The other was the fact that the other simply isn’t sold in the brick and mortar I go to and that I’d have to order it online to try it. The Cover FX drops someone else mentioned to me would have also been on my list to try, but I again ran into an employee who all but refused to let me take a sample despite me assuring her that I know how they work and that I have a dropper at home, and I didn’t feel like purchasing a full size to take home, play with, and return. Words can’t describe how much I hate buying a full size to try and then returning it as opposed to just getting a sample. I’d already done that with the Rainforest of the Sea.
I still might try these, but I wanted a foundation before sometime in July, so I’m going with the Urban Decay for now, and I’ll test the others as I get to them.