I currently have 15 (yes, 15!!) base products on rotation (not including CC/BB/TM’s). Like skincare, I chop and change according to several factors: how my skin feels; the weather; where I’m going; length of time I need it to last; whether I want full coverage/medium/light; time of the month; whether I need SPF or not etc. etc.. With a list that long, you do really need a few on rotation to cover all situations (in my opinion).
In terms of how I apply the foundations – that varies, depending on foundation type, between: clean fingers; Zoeva face brush (brushes info coming later); Real Techniques Foundation Brush; Beauty Blender; Real Techniques Sponge Blender. I’ll go in to more detail about how I apply foundations, another day.
So, of the 15 I own, 6 of them are what I would consider ‘budget’ – with one kind of half way. Budget to me is usually under £15. I know people have different ideas about budget, but in reality, up until very recently, it has been really hard to find a decent foundation under this price. Budget foundations had always been associated with the ‘patchy, orange, cakey, uneven, oxidizing look’ – nice. However, over the last 4 years or so, the high street brands have upped their game and there is much more of a selection to rival the high-end market.
I’ve also done a swatch of the colours. They have been taken in natural light, by a window. I am very pale (I’m almost always THE most pale shade in a colour range of foundations). As you can see from the swatches, the colours vary massively. It is really hard to chose a shade – especially in Boots/Superdrug – where the lighting is artificial and you’re usually putting it on the back of your hand. The best tip I’ve heard is to try foundation on the inside of your wrist, by your prominent veins – as this is most like your natural face shade apparently. It works for me on most occasions as I am so pale – but if you’re a fan of fake tan, it obviously won’t match up. If you’re buying high end, they should give you a sample if you ask them. The Clinique and Clarins counters are really good at this if you ask; some of their foundations are around £30 – an expensive mistake if the colour is awful!
Ok – here we go …
1. L’Oreal Infallible 24H Matte – £6.99. Shade: 11 Vanilla. Really like this foundation. I cannot vouch for the 24 hours part, as why would you wear it for 24 hours?! But, it is long lasting, full coverage. Decent colour match – not too dark. Doesn’t feel too heavy on the skin. Doesn’t oxidise on me (turn orange and patchy). Amazing value for a foundation this good! http://www.boots.com/en/L’Oreal-Paris-Infallible-Matte-Foundation_1655157/?cm_mmc=pla-_-google-_-PLAs-_-Boots+Shopping+-+Category+-+Beauty
2. Vichy Dermablend £15. Shade: 15 Opal. This is a foundation created for people with awful (and I mean awful) acne/scarring (just youtube it and see!). I don’t have this problem, but when I do have bad spots (TOTM) or I need the highest amount of coverage, this is where I turn. It is thick, but glides on – I use a brush – and covers amazingly. I’ve seen a youtube video where a MUA covered a girls tattoos for her wedding with this stuff. It is fab. Well worth the slightly higher price tag if you have problem skin. http://www.escentual.com/vichy/dermablend/dermasmooth2009/
3. Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Gel Foundation £10.99 (currently 3for2 in Boots). Shade: 51 Light Vanilla. I LOVE this stuff! I have dry/dehydrated skin sometimes and this is fab. It is deemed ‘healthy’ because of the fruit enzymes/vitamins in it (I’m not sure about that) but it is an amazing budget foundation worthy of a MUCH higher price tag. It smooths on, covers well, doesn’t feel clogging. It is light, smells nice and doesn’t sit in pores. The coverage, although good, is dewy and natural – you don’t feel like you’re wearing foundation with this. **** Highly recommended. http://www.boots.com/en/Bourjois-Healthy-Mix-Serum-Gel-foundation_1238033/
4. Liz Earle Signature Foundation. £21. Shade: Porcelain 01. When I first brought this years ago, I’m sure it was cheaper than the price it is now. Hmm. Anyway – a good foundation, good coverage, decent price. One of the really good things about this is that it is almost the exact right shade for my face. And that doesn’t happen very often! So, whilst I’m not a fan of LE as a brand, I do like this a lot. I usually apply this with fingers and then buff in with a brush afterwards to get rid of any lines. http://uk.lizearle.com/face/signature-foundation.html
5. Bourjois Nude Sensation (interesting name! …) Foundation. £9.99. Shade: 41 Fair Nude. Again, I am the lightest shade in this too (in fact, in all Bourjois foundations). This is a mousse foundation that melts in to skin. It hides pores, doesn’t sit in lines and generally blurs imperfections – I really like it! I’ve applied with a brush and with fingers and both work well, though I prefer a buffing brush. It feels very light again – and claims it is like having ‘bare skin’. I just know that I really like wearing this and it is well worth the price. Looks quite dark in the swatch, but by the time you’ve buffed it in, the colour melts to match my own natural colour. Available in 4 shades and exclusive to Feel Unique at the moment. http://www.feelunique.com/p/Bourjois-Nude-Sensation-Foundation-51g
6. Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation £9.99. Shade: 51 Light Vanilla. This was the original Healthy Mix, before the Serum Gel one came out. This one, in my opinion, is less hydrating, so might suit more oily skins. It has the same lovely fruity smell, and the same fruit/vitamin claims. To me, it is easily buildable for more coverage, doesn’t oxidise on me, feels quite light and leaves a nice natural glow but can be made in to a matte finish with powder. Again, Bourjois are brilliant at budget foundations – really like it. 8 shades available – currently on 3for2 in Boots. http://www.boots.com/en/Bourjois-Healthy-Mix-foundation_1313681/
7. Maybelline Dream Flawless Nude Liquid Foundation £5.99. Shade: 010 Ivory. For the money, this is amazing! Seven shades and a product that is on a par with much, much higher end foundations. This has an incredibly runny formula so you have to work fast. It is also really pigmented, so you don’t need a lot! It has a strange dropper type thing that you use to put a few drops on your fingers and then apply; I then brush out any lines afterwards with a buffing brush. Feels very light on the skin (prob. because you actually aren’t putting much on). I have read reviews that it is not suitable for really sensitive skins, so something to think about it that is you; I’ve not had any reaction to it at all – in fact – I love it! http://www.boots.com/en/Maybelline-Dream-Flawless-Nude-Foundation_1657662/
Other budget foundations I’ve tried and really like:
Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation £8.99. I had to wait ages to try this because when it first came out it didn’t go light enough for me. Then, they released Light Porcelain 01 and it was a great match – no orange skin in sight! It is a lovely glowy base product for when skin needs to look a bit fresher and more awake! Light Porcelain is only available in Superdrug http://www.superdrug.com/Rimmel/WAKE-ME-UP-FOUNDATION-Light-Porcelain-10/p/847961#.VSl_qvnF-PM
Rimmel Lasting Finish 25 Hour (what?!) Foundation £7.99. Shade: 01 Light Porcelain. Full coverage. Long-lasting. Smooth. http://www.boots.com/en/Rimmel-Lasting-Finish-25hour-Foundation_1150829/
Revlon Nearly Naked Foundation £8.99. Very light coverage – so ideal for good skin days. Coverage is build-able though. Feels light on the skin. http://www.boots.com/en/Revlon-Nearly-Naked-8482-Make-Up-Foundation_1298536/
Revlon Colourstay (for Combination/Oily or Normal/Dry) £12.49. This is a very good foundation – especially the combination/oily one, however it does smell quite a bit, so if you’re sensitive to fragrance, be aware. I wore shade Ivory and Buff and mixed them in together. Full coverage – covers a lot. Velvet Matte finish, so not shiny (which is good for oily skin). http://www.boots.com/en/Revlon-ColorStay%E2%84%A2-Makeup-For-Combination-Oily-Skin_30122/
Max Factor Face Finity All Day Flawless 3 in 1 Foundation. £12.99. Shade: Light Ivory. This is a 3in1 – primer, concealer and foundation (so you wouldn’t need the primer – although I would need the concealer!).Lightweight SPF20. Feels nice on the skin and smooths over, covering imperfections. I really like this one. http://www.boots.com/en/Max-Factor-Face-Finity-All-Day-Flawless-3-in-1-Foundation_1279334/
So, that’s it for budget foundations; high-end are up next (prepare yourself!). If you have any questions about the above or anything else, please post them below (let me know if you can’t!) or ask them on FB and I’ll do my best to answer/help. 🙂