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Foundations are indeed very personal items, so I’ve learnt: much like how clothing is a prevailing mode of expression for someone’s style preference. Today, I want to share my choice of foundation after months of trying out various brands, types (liquid, powder, and cream), after watching countless Youtube reviews, and much trial and error on my end.
I first realised I needed to purchase a new foundation when I was looking through some photos taken of me. I noticed all the images showed a greyish tinge on my face I had never noticed before in any of my pictures. I also noticed my face had taken on a shine and I was getting comments about how tan I am. I know that I have always sported a tan, and am usually a few shades darker than the average Singaporean lady, but to get a growing number of comments about my tan, seemed somewhat out of the ordinary for me. So I started to check my reflection more and I also started to pay more attention to pictures of my face. That’s when I realised that I had most likely been sporting a shade of foundation that didn’t match my skin tone or wasn’t the ideal type for my skin type. I promptly decided to shop for a new foundation and popped into Sephora, clueless about what was to unfold next. Naturally, I was thinking it was going to be a simple repurchasing exercise or a quick choice of a different shade and my life would go back to normal.
I was shocked by the selection and variety the world of makeup has to offer today!
Mind you, the last time I stepped into a departmental store and had my shade matched was back in 2000 at the Bobbi Brown counter. Since then, it has been a quick hit and run where I repurchase the item from the counter since I hardly fancy shopping and have always felt the cosmetic sales associates were either unfriendly or extremely pushy with their sales tactics. Purchasing makeup to me, became a somewhat pride swallowing siege given that type of over-the-counter interaction with sales associates and hence, I never wanted or bothered to match my foundation shade again and for almost 13 years, I was using the same shade, same brand, same formula. EEEK. I know, right? But if it ain’t broke, why fix it?
So, here goes my first foundation review and what I have discovered in my journey to find a suitable foundation for me.
Before I get into it, here is a picture of me sans makeup. I have fairly clear skin most days but I do have spots and large pores around the cheeks. Because I ride a motorcycle, some days I just go out with no makeup to let my skin breathe. When I do wear makeup, it would mostly be to the office and my average day would last close to 10 hours. My makeup would be subjected to humidity and our harsh weather conditions as the nature of my job requires me to run out of the office from time to time.
Bobbi Brown Stick Foundation
A medium to full coverage matte foundation, the Bobbi Brown Stick Foundation is easy to blend with either fingers, a sponge or with a brush. The packaging makes it highly portable and as a stick foundation, its creamy consistency is highly build-able. Given our humid weather here in Singapore, I definitely appreciate a foundation that is able to provide longer coverage and is able to withstand our humidity. I like how light-weight it feels on my skin, without looking cakey. It does really give the appearance that you have just fabulously luminous skin. This foundation though, is definitely not for oily skin.
In all honesty, I have enjoyed using this over the last 13 years and never had problems travelling with it. I also like that Bobbi Brown has a really wide colour range. But sadly, the shades do not really match my skin tone anymore and I found the oxidizing quite annoying. Which explains why I decided to try new foundations out.
bareMinerals READY Foundation SPF 20
This launched sometime in April 2013 at Sephora outlets islandwide and I had to try this baby after all the social media hype. I decided to skip the Original formula and try out this new formula instead. The mineral foundation hype claims they have been clinically proven to improve the appearance of skin over time. I was sold.
What I love is the packaging which is reminiscent of the sleek rubberized NARS packaging and with its compact nature, it is most certainly portable and easy to travel with. Only thing is that I would have to tote around a full-sized brush to apply the foundation whenever needed. My first impression of this was I liked how the silky formula feels like a powder but blends into a cream-like texture upon application and provides medium to full coverage. The formula is light-weight and doesn’t feel heavy on the skin. I didn’t quite appreciate how some effort was required in the application process to ensure that the powder wouldn’t fly everywhere.
The formula is great and can withstand our humid weather and did not melt too much. However, the oxidizing of this product did not impress me and most times, I ended up with a greyish cast over my face given the SPF 20 built into the foundation formula. I also noticed that my pores seemed somewhat more obvious when I used this powder foundation, regardless whether I had used a primer or not, and no matter how light-handed I was with my application, I always appeared to have enlarged pores. I had to ditch this after two weeks of using it.
Maybelline Dream Liquid Mousse Foundation
The Maybelline Dream Liquid Mousse foundation comes in a pump glass bottle. The formula is a somewhat sticky and viscous consistency. It offers full coverage and smoothes out very nicely, blending easily into the skin for a natural look. I like how it applies best with either my fingers or a sponge. It isn’t runny and doesn’t cake up or becomes streaky upon application. It is quite build-able and offers a flawless finish and gives the appearance of an air-brushed look! It didn’t accentuate my pores since it is a liquid foundation and is lightweight and doesn’t feel heavy on the skin. However, after a mere three hours in our humid weather, the foundation formula started to separate and became somewhat greasy and oxidized a fair bit. I looked quite the mess at the end of the day and decided to ditch this to try something else out.
This foundation would be best for short-term wear i.e. a few hours in air-conditioned environments.
bareMinerals Matte Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15
So, I decided that I was going to give bareMinerals another try. This time, I decided I was going to try out its Matte formula given the good reviews and the amount of hype it has gotten over the READY foundation formula. I have to admit: the bareMinerals Matte SPF 15 Foundation delivers good coverage. As it is a loose powder, the application is requires more effort. I enjoyed how the powder felt like creamy upon application and after buffing it into the skin, I looked like I had great luminous skin albeit somewhat enlarged pores. This powder foundation gives the skin a natural glow without the heavy feeling of makeup or foundation. After countless hours of wear, it didn’t quite melt away and was robust enough to withstand our humid weather, but it did oxidize and cast a greyish tinge over my face with its SPF 15. I do enjoy foundations with SPF as it gives us protection against the sun but somehow, these SPF foundations always make me look dull.
The oxidizing of the foundation didn’t impress me and I didn’t enjoy the application process with the loose powder requiring that much more effort. I ditched this in two weeks.
Much like the Maybelline, this foundation came in a glass pump bottle. The formula is runnier compared to the Maybelline and offers a light to medium coverage. The liquid applies evenly with my fingers, a sponge or a brush and doesn’t appear cakey or streaky. In fact, this foundation provided the best finish in my opinion: given one a smooth, satin-like finish. I like how I could sheer it out and yet build it for medium coverage. It felt light on my skin and evened out my skin tone very well.
Naturally, being the owner of Chanel, Bourjois would share a similar formula to Chanel for selected cosmetic products and because of that, I half expected more from this Bourjois foundation and frankly, I liked this foundation and I wasn’t disappointed with the finish or application of the product. However, I did find that the shade applied darker than it looked and this formula oxidized in various environments. I ditched this in two weeks.
Revlon Colorstay Whipped™ Crème Makeup
This is my favourite of the lot. In fact, I like it so much, I have almost run out of it and have repurchased it.
First of, this foundation comes in a heavy glass jar reminiscent of Chanel products and it definitely doesn’t boast portability as one of its top packaging features. I had to travel with this sucker and boy was I worried it would crack in my suitcase. I also don’t quite appreciate that I have to dip my fingers into the product, which isn’t quite sanitary. That being said, I honestly think the product itself is worthy of praise.
Revlon claims: Finally, truly decadent makeup offers ultimate performance. The mousse-like texture feels like silk on your skin. And, the time release formula balances skin for a flawless look. All day flexible wear without flaking, caking or feeling heavy.
It is all that, and more. It feels lightweight upon application, and covers perfectly without looking cakey or feeling heavy. Although there is a certain plastic-like scent upon application, but I like how smooth this foundation glides on with a flawless finish and looks just like real skin. On the screw-top cap for the jar, there is a sticker which claims 24-hour wear-ability. I have personally experienced how this product lasts for over 10 hours without melting or oxidizing! For its retail price, it is most certainly more affordable than high-end brands and is good value for money.
This one deserves my recommendation, for sure!
I hope this post is helpful to anyone who might be in the market for a new foundation. Have you tried any of these foundations? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below or if you have any questions and I’ll be happy to answer them to the best of my abilities.
Thank you for reading and I apologize for how long this post is!