I’ve recently been trying out some new foundations (new for me at least), and decided it was time to share my thoughts on them. Because everyone looks for different things in foundations, here’s my criteria so you know where I’m coming from:
Shade: I want a shade that suits my skin, of course. I’m NC25 in MAC, and on the yellow side of that, so often the standard shades of foundation run a little pink on me, which is OK if it gives a perfect finish but looks a little streaky otherwise. I often use Ben Nye Banana Powder to try to counteract the pink, but it’s much easier just to get it right the first time.
Application: I’ve favoured brushes and fingers over the years, but I’ve given them up in favour of an old-school damp sponge. This gives me the smoothest finish, and helps reduce the caking up that can happen around any dry patches. My favourite shape is the house shape because it’s easy to control – it acts a bit like a fat finger (I picked this tip up from a Shu Uemura makeover I did a while ago). I’m also usually in a rush in the mornings, so applying evenly with minimal effort is non-negotiable.
Coverage: My skin is pretty decent most of the time thanks to my obsessive skincare routine, so I’m OK with any level of coverage.
Finish: I have oily skin so I prefer finishes that look slightly dewy on oily skin (i.e. matte finish on everyone else). Like everyone else, I hate cakey.
Longevity: I generally apply makeup in the morning and don’t do any touchups during the day, so ideally I’d need it to last for 10 hours. I often exercise after work as well, so if it lasts through that it gets bonus points, though I don’t generally expect it to!
Packaging: I love nice packaging, but for foundation, all I need is something that isn’t a pain to use.
Scent: I’m partial to a nice scent, but I can handle one I don’t love as long as it doesn’t linger for long.
The four foundations I’m reviewing in this post are Shu Uemura Face Architect Smooth Fit Fluid Foundation, Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup, Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation and Innoxa EverLast Longwear Foundation. Here’s what I thought:
Shu Uemura Face Architect Smooth Fit Fluid Foundation
Shu Uemura Face Architect Smooth Fit Fluid Foundation (Amazon), was my first Shu Uemura product. I picked it up after getting a makeover done at a Shu counter (the one where I learned the damp fat finger sponge technique), and I’m not sure why I’ve never tried the brand before. Since it’s an Asian brand (albeit owned by giant multinational L’Oreal), the foundations in particular cater to Asian skin tones. It’s SPF 18 PA ++ if you’re curious, but I never rely on my foundation for sun protection since we don’t wear enough for real protection.
Retail Price: $70 AUD for 30 mL
Shade: There are 17 shades available. The shade 764 Medium Light Beige is perfect for my NC25 skin.
Application: Great with a damp sponge, but it’s also pretty good with the fingers which is a bonus!
Coverage: Face Architect has sheer to medium coverage which is great for making your skin look just a bit nicer on good skin days, but it’s quite buildable as well if your skin’s misbehaving.
Finish: The finish of this foundation is matte, but on oily skin it ends up looking slightly dewy – I don’t think it works so well on dry skin.
Longevity: It’s pretty good, especially for a foundation that doesn’t tout itself as longwear – at the end of the workday (10-ish hours post-application) my face starts looking a little patchy.
Packaging: Standard glass bottle with pump top. It’s easy to control how much to dispense.
Scent: Very faint generic floral scent, pretty non-existent.
I was using this in my every day routine for a solid 3 months before I started testing out other foundations, so it’s definitely working well for me! This is a holy grail foundation for lots of oily-skinned people. I’ve heard rumours that it’s been discontinued. Boo! Hopefully Shu Uemura replace it with a comparable product soon. Unfortunately, it does end up a little pricey for the coverage, but it looks fantastic on.
Ingredients: Sea Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Propylene Glycol, Talc, Phenyl Trimethicone, Barium Sulfate, PEG-8, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, PEG-10 Dimethicone, PEG-20, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Hexyl Laurate, Acetylated Glycol Stearate, Dipropylene Glycol, Algae Extract, Porphyridium/Zinc Ferment, Sorbitol, Magnesium Sulfate, Disodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Lauroyl Lysine, Aluminum Hydroxide, Methylparaben, Butylparaben, Chlorphenesin, Phenoxyethanol, Limonene, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Linalool, Fragrance, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides.
Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-In-Place Makeup
Estee Lauder Double Wear (Amazon) is a cult product that I’d never gotten around to trying until recently. I’ve had so many people tell me this is amazing, including some makeup artists, so I was ready to be either disappointed or suitably impressed. Turns out it was the latter!
Retail Price: $54 AUD for 30 mL
Shade: There are 21 shades available in Australia, 38 in the US. The first time I got matched to a Fresco that was way too pink, but the second time around I got a great match in 2N1 Desert Beige. There are a few very dark colours in this range as well.