Foundation Round-Up!

What’s your favorite kind of foundation?

I have come to the determination that I prefer liquid usually, except for when I’m lazy– then I prefer pressed powder. The concept of cream foundation is interesting, just most formulas don’t really work for me. Loose powder mineral foundation always looks gorgeous applied, but the best results come when you do several sheer layers one after the other, and most of the time I don’t like taking the time to do that.
I have favorites and least favorites in each category, though. :) I have decided to put together a list of my recommended “to-try” foundations if you are looking for something new. Note that not all of these work for me, but I can see how they would work for someone else! Each one has a little “mini review” of my thoughts of the product.
Liquid Foundation

Makeup Forever HD – Lightweight, natural, medium to full coverage. Wide variety of shades. Photographs beautifully (no sunscreen ingredients), and stands up to sweaty conditions like stage or a crowded bar quite well. $40, Sephora
Maybelline Dream Liquid Mousse – Lightweight, very blendable “cushy” type liquid, medium to full coverage. Slightly less shade variety than MUFE HD, but still a pretty wide range. Strange looking packaging (lol), not quite as sweat-proof as the MUFE HD. Still a really really nice option for someone on a budget. $8-$10, drugstores
Revlon Colorstay – Comes in 3 varieties, oily skin, dry skin, and “active”. Active is more like a heavy tinted moisturizer and has a higher SPF. It’s supposed to be more sweat proof than the other 2 as well. Colorstay is heavier than the previous 2 I mentioned and for me not my favorite at all, but many people love their Colorstay. I liked the previous version of it from years ago, but when they reformulated it and added “Softflex” their ingredient that makes it stay put better, the color changed slightly and no longer matched me as well. My skin doesn’t seem to like Softflex, either. $10-$12, drugstores
Illuminare – Illuminare is a liquid mineral foundation! Pretty cool for those of you who like the ease of application of a liquid but want the simpler ingredients of a mineral foundation. They have 2 finishes– one a very matte finish and the other a more natural, slightly dewy finish. They also have a special applicator that is adorable. $28, Illuminare’s website
KohGenDo Maifanshi Moisture Foundation – Also a liquid mineral foundation, this product was created for stage work and is used by the MUAs on the show House! It’s a very sheer, natural looking foundation that can be built up for a little more coverage in trouble areas. This high-tech foundation contains squalane, jojoba oil, and collagen. There are only 3 shades, but KohGenDo encourages mixing them to get your perfect match. $28-$65, KohGenDo’s website
KohGenDo Aqua Foundation – Aqua foundation keeps the skin looking fresh and moisturized with their unique water strobe technology. It also contains shea butter, squalane (vegetable derived, not animal), and jojoba oil for an easy to apply, spreadable, emollient product. It too comes in a fairly limited shade range and is intended to be mixed into the perfect shade. Embarrassingly enough, I use the pure white. This foundation can also be used in an airbrush. $55, KohGenDo’s website
Pressed Powder Foundation
Stila Illuminating Powder Foundation – Light to medium coverage, gorgeous finish (I would call it glowy-ish. It’s subtle). Light enough to be used to set a liquid if you want, and comes in a big variety of shades. One bummer is that the compact is sold seperately and is kind of pricey for what it is. However a Shiseido compact will fit the same pans of foundation and costs much less than the Stila compact. So if you don’t mind the switcheroo, you can save some bucks that way. Or you can put the foundation in with some other goodies in a free-form palette like the Z Palette. This can be found at a variety of places but it’s $28 for the pan refill and $14 for the compact at stilacosmetics.com
MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural – Goodness I love this one. It’s a baked mineral foundation (which unfortunately does include bismuth, but that doesn’t bother me and a lot of people who have problems with bismuth are ok with this one) in a handy compact. The coverage can be anywhere from a light dusting to set foundation up to pretty full coverage if you buff on a bunch with a kabuki. I have been wearing this daily during the hot Cali summer. This one runs light, guys. The shade “Light” matches my pale self. $25, MAC
MAC Studio Fix – This is MSFN’s heavier sister, lol. It’s a much more heavy, full coverage badass powder. Huge variety of shades and can cover like no other. Some people have issues with MAC foundations though, so YMMV. But if this does work for you, you know what I mean. It’s pretty awesome. I wear shade N3. $26, MAC
NYX Twin Cake – For those of you who want heavy coverage without the heavy price (see what I did there? Yeah.) try NYX Twin Cake. It’s very similar in coverage and texture to MAC Studio Fix. However, oddly enough, my skin wasn’t wild about this one, and yet MAC works fine for me. Whatever! Comes in a huge variety of shade ranges including very very light. $12, NYX
DiorSkin Forever Compact – I’m actually not sure if that’s the “official” name, but this foundation is getting a lot of love for having beautiful coverage and finish. I haven’t tried it on, but I have played with it in Sephora. It’s quite silky and nice. $44, Sephora
Loose Powder Foundation
Meow Cosmetics Pampered Puss Mineral Foundation – Long name…not even sure I got it all correct, but it’s an awesome mineral foundation for sensitive skin. They have 2 other formulas as well. Their shade range is positively gigantic, but their customer service is great about helping AND they have very inexpensive samples. And everything is named after CATS!! It’s so cute. I also like that their foundations come in a small and a large size. The formulas vary in price but a large size jar (which is really HUGE– 3 oz jar that holds about 30g of actual POWDER) is $23.95 at Meow Cosmetics’ website.
Purely Cosmetics Mineral Foundation – Oh so lovely. I love the finish of this, and how it looks reallllly natural, like you have perfect skin. Purely Cosmetics also has some of the best customer service around. $18, Purely Cosmetics’ website
Other Types of Foundation
Urban Decay Surreal Skin Compact – Urban’s new cream to powder compact is actually a truly glorious texture and one of the only cream foundations I really enjoy using. With very little product on your face you can get medium coverage. The packaging is gorgeous, and the brush that comes with it is actually great for application. A lot of the times the included brush or sponge with foundations is darn near useless, but I like this half moon brush quite a bit. $34, Urban Decay
Dior Airflash – This is a spray foundation, but rather than spray it directly on your face (which you CAN do…), I think it’s better to spray it onto a kabuki and then buff it on. This stuff will give you FULL coverage, and actually looks kinda cakey at first, but if you wait for a bit it does meld into the skin and look really nice. It’s not the kind of thing I’d use for every day, but if you’re looking for something for a special event you may want to try this out. $60, Sephora

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