I don’t know about you, but I am always on the hunt for a better foundation. Even when I am “happy” with my current foundation, I am still reading and reviewing and testing the new foundations that come out on the market. I’ve tried them all; stick, cream, powder, serum and cushion. I’ve tried BB creams, CC creams, tinted moisturizers and sprays. What is the best? What works and what doesn’t work? Such a difficult question. One day a BB Cream is best (need the SPF protection), another day a light coverage (going to be outside), for evening, I’ll use a heavier coverage for night time lighting. Ack! Stop the madness.
There are three primary issues with foundation.
Your first question should be what type of skin do you have. Mine runs from very dry in the Winter to almost normal in the Summer. If you have skin like mine, you want to stay away from most powder foundations, unless it’s July and it’s hot and humid. My current favorite daytime foundation is Laura Mercier’s Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide. I use the shade “Linen”. I prefer this foundation because it looks natural in daylight, provides enough coverage for me to even out my skin and is not heavy. I also like Chanel’s Vitalumière Aqua. I use the shade “30 – Beige”. The reason I prefer the Laura Mercier over the Chanel is because of the shade range. I feel I have a better shade match with the Laura Mercier. There are 24 shades with the Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide vs 10 with the Chanel Vitalumière Aqua.
For more coverage I prefer Burberry Sheer Foundation in the shade No. 03 or Tom Ford in the shade 04 Bisque. Tom Ford is the heaviest of my foundations.
The second question would be – where are you going? If you’re headed to an office job, going to be under florescent lights all day, your foundation choice would be different from those days that you’re headed to spend the day outside. Likewise, if you’re going out on a dinner date, intending to spend several hours in a dimly lit room (my favorite type of lighting), then you would choose a different foundation. Do you need your foundation to last 8-10 hours? Do you need more spf because you’re going to spend the day outside? These are the issues that determine what type of foundation you’re going to need.
If I know I’m going to be lucky and get to spend most of the day outside, I always reach for my Shiseido Hydrating BB Cream. This BB Cream has an spf factor of 35 and will last at least 6-8 hours. I don’t need a primer with this product and it has enough hydration to last me all day, even in the winter. My biggest problem is the lack of shade option with this product. I am fortunate to be able to use the medium shade. This BB Cream does blend seamlessly into the skin and will slightly adapt to my skin tone. It is not too pink and not too yellow. I prefer this BB Cream over the Smashbox BB Cream because I feel this BB Cream is more hydrating. I have not tried the new Smashbox BB Water, it may be more hydrating.
So your second question would include how long you need your foundation to last and what type of lighting you’ll be in, as well as whether or not you need to beef-up your spf and hydration.
The final question would be what type of coverage do you want/need. If it is ‘one-of-those-days’ and we all know what I’m talking about, then opt for medium to full coverage. This is when I use my Burberry or Tom Ford Foundation. If you’re skin is looking better, then go for a more sheer coverage such as the Chanel Vitalumière Aqua or the Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide will provide. If you’re feeling extra fortunate, then opt out for a serum foundation such as the Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Serum Foundation. Serums are quite sheer but really lovely if you do not need a lot of coverage, just enough to even out the skin tone.
All of these questions and all of these decisions to make everyday. This must be why I have at least six types of foundation in my rotation. Of course I’m always on a quest for something new, something better than what I already have. I try to use up what is in my rotation before I go on another foundation hunt but that can be difficult.
My biggest hurdle for finding the perfect foundation is the lack of cosmetic counters near my home. As shown in the next photos, some foundations will oxidize. This makes it nearly impossible for a person to go into a shop and try a foundation and have trust it will not change color in 30-60 minutes. The photos of the Tom Ford and Burberry Foundations were taken within 30 minutes. I put one swatch on my arm and then another 30 minutes later and took the picture. You can see how much the shade changes. How are you to know what shade you need by simply swatching the sample at your favorite cosmetic counter? I recommend getting a sample and take it home, try it for at least two or three days (more if possible) before deciding if you want to invest in this product. Most cosmetic counters are happy to give a sample of foundation because they would rather you buy the correct shade and not return it.
So…how many foundation products do you currently have in your rotation? What is your favorite foundation product?
I really enjoyed your article. This is a hard work post! Thanks for sharing. I don’t own any foundation liquid. *LOL* I have exactly the same problem as the above – change of colour. The last time that I own a foundation was 4 years ago. It was MAC Mineralised liquid foundation colour NW25. I didn’t like the feeling of foundation. Press powder or crème to powder compacts are good enough for me – easy to use and small for the bag.